Faculty and staff members standing and clapping together outside.
Gerise Herndon, Ph.D.

Gerise Herndon, Ph.D.

Professor of English
Gender and Sexuality Studies, International Studies
Film and Literature from Rwanda & India; Transnational Gender Studies
Office location

Old Main 119

Office hours

MWF 1:00-1:45 and by appointment

please email cgh [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (cgh[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu) to make an appointment

cgh [at] NebrWesleyan.edu
Headshot of Gerise Herndon, Ph.D.

“Reading is a provocation, a rebellion.”

 --Hélène Cixous

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.”

--James Baldwin


My pronouns are she/her.

The first in my family to attend university, I majored in French and English, not realizing at the time how language would expand my personal and professional opportunities. After finishing my BA in southern Missouri, I crossed the Atlantic to teach conversational English to French high school students. Graduate school drew me to Austin, Texas, where I focused on Caribbean and African literature along with film studies.

I'm grateful to NWU for multiple opportunities for intercultural exchange. I spent my first sabbatical in Cuba and the Caribbean, my second in France and then in Rwanda. My most recent sabbatical involved research and presentations in Haiti, France, and India.

NWU news:

Faculty Scholarship Award for book on how creating art helps heal from trauma:

Archways Winter 2019 - page 13


Fulbright to India:

Fulbright-grant-will-send-English-professor-to India



1986-1993 Ph.D., Comparative Literature - University of Texas at Austin
1981-1985 B.A., English, French - Drury University, Springfield MO

Courses taught


New courses designed and implemented:

Haiti Education Exchange (summer study abroad with Rev. Eduardo Bousson) https://www.nebrwesleyan.edu/about-nwu/news-center/haitian-education-ex…

Rwanda: Genocide and Beyond (summer study abroad taught with Dr. Rangira Béa Gallimore)


India Through Film and Literature; Rwandan Culture Through Film and Literature, Postcolonial and Global Literatures, Women Writing Across Cultures, Gender and the Art of Film, International Cinema

Archway Seminars (for first-year students):

Transnational Migration and Global Connections
Beyond Black: Africa, America, and the Cultural Imaginary

Other courses taught:
African American Literature; World Literature: Sexualities; Gender Advocacy 

Research and academic interests

hijra identities in India; women's power in Rwanda; African and Caribbean cinema; literature of migration

Art from Trauma: Genocide and Healing Beyond Rwanda

University of Nebraska Press

"Surviving Genocide, Thriving in Politics: Rwandan Women's Power"
Cosmopolitan Civil Societies

Emerging Perspectives on Maryse Condé
Africa World Press

"The Antenna and the Mosque: Liberatory Mass Media in Moolaadé"
Facts, Fiction, and African Creative Imaginations

Grant-funded Research:
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research grant with Kerry Worley, Katie Gilroy and Anna Delaney: "F words: Feminism and Francophonie in Rwanda," Kigali, June 2019.

Student-Faculty Collaborative Research with Cassandra Ndahiro, "Women of Integrity: Equality, Justice, Reconciliation," Kigali June 2014
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research with Meera Bhardwaj, “Rwanda’s Governmental Transformation” Kigali and Butare, Rwanda, July 2009
Student-Faculty Collaborative Research with Women’s Studies major Lyndie Christensen: “Social Services, Safety Nets and Governmental Indifference: Non-governmental Organizations and Support for the Poor in Mexico,” on-site research in Cuernavaca, Mexico, 2007
Service Learning Grant, Nebraska Consortium for Service Learning: service with Lincoln Literacy Council in first-year seminar, “As Others See Us: The US Image Abroad,” 2006

Service interests

Asian Community and Cultural Center: I teach Nia Moving to Heal gentle exercise for Vietnamese and Chinese seniors

YWCA Social and Racial Justice committee

Released and Restored, Nebraska Correctional Center for Women: Women's Empowerment; Jobs Readiness/Life Skills
Middle East/North Africa Hope, Good Neighbor Community Center

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards


2021 White Award for Internationalizing the Campus (Nebraska Wesleyan)

2021 Holder Award for Instructional Improvement (NWU)

2018 Faculty Scholarship Presentation Award (NWU)
2013 Faculty Advocate for Diversity (NWU)
2012 Fulbright Specialist Grant to teach feminist theories at Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
2005 Margaret J. Prouty Teaching Award (NWU)
2005 White Award for Internationalization (NWU)
2003 Alice Paul Award, Lincoln-Lancaster County Women’s Commission, in recognition of service to women in the community

Professional Certifications:

Nia White Belt (2017), Blue Belt (2018), Green Belt (2018), Brown Belt (2020), Black Belt (2021), Moving to Heal  (2019) & Freedance (2020) instructor
ESL Tutor Training: Certification in English as a Second Language & Basic Literacy, Lincoln Literacy Council, Lincoln NE, 2007

Professional Organizations:
Rwanda Association of University Women
African Literature Association
Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars
American Association of University Professors
National Women’s Studies Association