- Petchesky, Rosalind
- Professor Emerita, Women's and Gender Studies
- Political Theory, international law and relations, Reproductive and Sexual Rights
- B.A. (1964) Smith College, M.A. (1966) Smith College and Ph.D. (1974) Columbia University.
Rosalind Petchesky is a political scientist and a leading theorist on international reproductive rights.
Drawing upon ethics, political philosophy, feminist theory, history, political science, sociology, demography, semiotics, and law, Petchesky integrates many types of scholarly analysis to clarify the issue of reproductive rights. She is the author of The Individual’s Rights and International Organization (1966), Abortion and Women’s Choice: The State, Sexuality, and Reproductive Freedom (1984, 2d rev. ed., 1990), and Global Prescriptions: Gendering Health and Human Rights (2003).
Petchesky is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In addition to her research contributions, she initiated and coordinates the International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group (IRRRAG) in its work of assessing, across cultures, women’s own views of their reproductive rights. She is the editor of IRRRAG’s seven-country study, Negotiating Reproductive Rights (1998). She is also involved with the International Working Group on Sexuality and Social Policy in coordinating a multicountry, multisite comparative study of national and international policies affecting sexuality and sexual rights.
In spring of 2013, Rosalind Petchesky retired from over twenty-five years of teaching at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York (and nearly two decades teaching elsewhere before that). Petchesky’s new life as “Distinguished Professor Emerita” is devoted to three main projects: renewed study of classical piano; political activism with Jewish Voice for Peace, New York City chapter, and CUNYforPalestine, in support of the international BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement and justice for Palestinians; and more time enjoying her two grandchildren, now living in Texas. Since retiring, Petchesky has published “Owning and Disowning the Body: A Reflection,” in The Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements (2015), and she is currently working on a memoir on the roots of her Jewish feminist questioning of Zionism.
- Women and Global Power: The Transnational Politics of Reproductive and Sexual Rights. London: Zed Books, 2001.
- Negotiating Reproductive Rights: Women's Perspectives Across Countries and Cultures. (Co-editor with Karen Judd.)
- Introduction and Conclusion. International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group. London: Zed Books; St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998.
- Abortion and Woman's Choice: The State, Sexuality, and Reproductive Freedom. Northeastern University, 1984. Second [revised] edition, 1990; British edition, Verso, 1986). [Winner, The Joan Kelly Memorial Prize, American Historical Association; Cited by United States Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).]
- “Sexual Rights: Inventing a Concept, Mapping an International Practice.” Framing the Sexual Subject. Eds. Richard G. Parker, Regina Barbosa and Peter Aggleton. Berkeley: University of California, 1999. 81-103. Also published in Sexual Identities, Queer Politics. Ed. Mark Blasius. Princeton UP, forthcoming 2000.
- “'Re-Theorizing Reproductive Health and Rights in the Light of Feminist Cross-Cultural Research.” Cultural Perspectives on Reproductive Health. Ed. Carla Makhlouf Obermeyer. Oxford UP, forthcoming 2000.