Mary Thomas

Mary Thomas

Mary Thomas

Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies


1124 Derby Hall

Areas of Expertise

  • Feminist Geography and Theory
  • Urban Social Geography


  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 2002


Mary E. Thomas (Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 2002) is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the co-Director of OPEEP, the Ohio Prison Education Exchange Project. Her prior work examines how youth in the US come to understand themselves and their identities in and through institutional spaces like schools and detention facilities. Her research foregrounds the emotional and subjective experiences of youth, especially girls and gender nonconforming and queer youth, as they confront oppressive social and cultural expectations of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and embodiment. A recent project explores gender, sexuality and settler colonialism amidst the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, and she and Bruce Braun are editors of Settling the Boom: The Sites and Subjects of Bakken Oil (University of Minnesota Press, 2022). She has a new collaborative research project funded by the Mellon Foundation with Dr. Tiyi Morris (African American and African Studies, OSU-Newark) on race relations in Ohio’s prisons for women since 1950. Dr. Morris and Dr. Thomas also convene the LAM Collective at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, a learning community of incarcerated and campus students studying Black feminisms and pedagogies.