The Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts was established in October 1987 to encourage “innovative, distinctive research in the liberal arts” with the special directive that the chair be held by individuals whose research or creative work “questions established patterns of thought.”

The benefactors, David Michael Winton and Penny Rand Winton, expressed interest in supporting individuals whose work challenges cultural paradigms and represents important breaks from dominant patterns of thought.

Upcoming dates and events

Current Winton Chairs

Miranda Joseph
Host: Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

Portrait: Miranda Joseph

Miranda Joseph received her PhD in modern thought and literature from Stanford University in 1995. Since then she has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. Her scholarship uses the tools of cultural studies to explore the relationship between economic processes and social formations.

In her recent book, Debt to Society: Accounting for Life Under Capitalism (2014), Joseph explores modes of accounting (financial, juridical, and managerial) as they are deployed to create, sustain, and transform social relations, with particular attention to gender, race, and sexuality. Her first book, Against the Romance of Community (2002), examines the supplementary relation of community with capitalism in the context of political debates over LGBT art and culture and the discourses and practices of NGOs. In ongoing current work, such as "Investing in the Cruel Entrepreneurial University" South Atlantic Quarterly 114:3 (July 2015), Joseph explores the impact of financialization on universities. She is also undertaking interdisciplinary collaborations to examine the limits and potentials of various forms of "counter-accounting," such as "Challenging Assumptions: Crossing Disciplinary Divides to Make Knowledge about Gender and Finance," co-authored with Joyce Serido, Feminist Formations 26.2 (Summer 2014).

As a Winton Chair in residence, Joseph is facilitating an interdisciplinary reading group on gender, race, and financialized capitalism, in which faculty and graduate students from across the College of Liberal Arts are reading current scholarship and sharing their own works-in-progress on the topic.

In spring 2016, Joseph is teaching a graduate-level seminar in conjunction with the reading group and in fall 2016, she will offer an undergraduate class on related topics. The reading group and both classes will also serve as the foundation for a visiting speaker series that will bring some of the most compelling thinkers on the role of finance in contemporary life to the University of Minnesota campus.

Sandra K. Soto
Hosts: Departments of American Studies and Chicano & Latino Studies

Portrait: Sandra Soto

Sandra K. Soto is associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona, editor of Feminist Formations, and co‐editor of The Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latino Literature. She holds a PhD in English, with a focus in ethnic and third world Literature, from the University of Texas at Austin. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests are in Chicana/o and Latina/o literary and cultural studies, feminist theory, gender studies, and queer theory.

Her book, Reading Chican@ Like a Queer: The De‐Mastery of Desire (2010), replaces the race‐based oppositional paradigm of Chicano literary studies with a less didactic, more flexible, framework geared for a queer analysis of the discursive relationship between racialization and sexuality. She is currently working on a book tentatively titled Feeling Greater Mexico, which mobilizes queer theories of affect to pursue unlikely connections between critical transnational studies and US ethnic studies. She also writes about the politics of Arizona, and in 2010, she and co‐author Miranda Joseph received the NEA Excellence in the Academy Award in Democracy in Higher Education for their essay “Neoliberalism and the Battle over Ethnic Studies in Arizona.” At the University of Arizona, she is an affiliate of English, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Mexican American Studies and Research Center. 

Soto will be teaching two courses as a Winton Chair in residence. This spring she is teaching Chicanas and Chicanos in Contemporary Society, an interdisciplinary upper‐division undergraduate course that she runs seminar style in order to give the students a graduate‐school experience. In fall 2016, Professor Soto will lead a graduate seminar on Queer of Color Critique. Offered through the Department of American Studies, this seminar/salon will be a hybrid of closed classroom discussions and open reading‐group meetings. Every other week, this class will meet jointly with a faculty reading group convened on the same topic; these salons are designed to expand the conversation, multiply its possible directions, and enhance graduate/ faculty exchange and mentorship on campus.

In the same spirit, during spring and fall Soto will be conducting a series of workshops and roundtables on the topic of academic publishing, specifically geared toward graduate students and junior faculty. She will also host a Feminist Formations symposium on campus this fall to showcase some of the most pressing questions in feminist knowledge production. An active contributor to campus life,  Soto will deliver two talks this semester: the keynote presentation for Queer Publics, Queer Praxis, a graduate student symposium sponsored by the Steven J. Schochet Endowment for GLBT Studies (April 1); and “Triptych: Floating with a Queer Shade of Brown,” co‐sponsored by the Critical Conversations in Chicano and Latino Series, and the Department of American Studies (April 4 at 3:30, Walter Library 402).

There are nearly 20 past Winton Chair Holders & Visiting Scholars dating back to 1993.