Department Chair

  • Erich Hertz
    Associate Professor of English
    Kiernan Hall 214
    (518) 782-6896

Rachel Stein, Ph.D.


     Rachel Stein, Ph.D.
     226 Kiernan Hall









Rachel Stein joined the English Department at Siena in 1994, after completing her PhD in English and Women’s Studies at Rutgers University, and her MA in Contemporary Literature at Emory University. She teaches courses that focus on multicultural American literatures; sexuality in literature; queer writers; environmental justice literature and activism; and the capstone Women’s Studies course that focuses on social, political, and cultural issues pertaining to women’s bodies. Beyond the English Department, she directed Women’s Studies and Multicultural Studies for many years,  and she chaired the Women’s and Multicultural Studies Committee,  now reconstituted as the Diversity Action Committee—devoted to increasing diversity on our campus and throughout our curriculum.  She is currently the faculty advisor to the Siena Gay/Straight Alliance.

Her scholarship focuses on intersections of gender, sexuality, environmental justice, and bio-colonialism in literature and film.  She is the author of Shifting the Ground: American Women Writers’ Revisions of Nature, Gender, and Race,  editor of New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism, co-editor of The Environmental Justice Reader: Politics, Poetics, and Pedagogy, and her work has been included in many anthologies and journals. Previously, in North Carolina,   she taught English at an alternative school, was a freelance journalist who wrote about the arts,  green politics, and social justice issues,  and she sang and played pennywhistle in a Celtic band.