Dr. Midge Wilson


MIDGE WILSON is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology (PSY) and Women's and Gender Studies (WGS)at DePaul University in Chicago. Dr. Wilson is also an affiliated faculty member for both the experimental and community doctoral programs. As associate dean, her primary responsibilities include chairing the College's Curriculum Committee, as well as the Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Committee. Her research interests include: 1) how initial impressions formed of African Americans and European Americans are influenced by their perceived overall attractiveness, as well as their body size, skin color variations, and facial features. Dr. Wilson is also interested in how humor induces attitude change, especially for controversial topics such as gay marriage and universal health care.

Her major publications include the co-authored (with Kathy Russell and Ron Hall) book The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color Among African Americans (Anchor, 1993), about which The New York Times wrote, "Presents a powerful argument, backed by historical fact and anecdotal evidence, that color prejudice remains a devastating divide within Black America." The updated second edition, ''The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color in a New Millennium'', is due to be released in January, 2013. Her second book (co-authored with Kathy Russell) is Divided Sisters: Bridging The Gap Between Black Women and White Women (Anchor/Doubleday, 1996). Hailed by The Washington Post as "Fast paced and crisply written . . . in its explorations of power and privilege, competition, beauty and style among Black women and White women," Divided Sisters addresses the social and political relationships between Black and White women from childhood through adolescence, on the college campus, and in the workplace.

Dr. Wilson has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets, including The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, on the subjects of intraracial color discrimination, women's cross-race relationships, and various women's issues. She has appeared on scores of radio interviews and news shows, including ABC's Good Morning America and Nightline, and NBC's Nightly News to discuss her research and books.

Her research has been presented at major universities and colleges around the country, including the Universities of Virginia, Illinois, and Indiana, as well as at Harvard, Vanderbilt, and North Carolina State. Dr. Wilson has also conducted workshops and given talks at scholarly conferences, including the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Women's Studies Association, the Society Of Experimental Social Psychology, Society of Personality and Social Psychology, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities. She currently serves as a media contact person for the APA on issues ranging from beautyism to racism and humor.

Her classes include a multicultural seminar entitled "Love, Beauty, and Friendship: Women's Cross Cultural Perspectives," a new WGS course, "Constructing Gender and Sexuality," and a graduate course, "Advanced Psychology of Women and Gender" which is cross-listed with psychology and women and gender studies.

Midge Wilson earned her B.A. from University of Virginia, her M.S. from Old Dominion University, from which she was recently given a distinguished alumni award, and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In 2000, she was given the Cortelyou-Lowery Award for Excellence, and in 2005, she was named a Vincent DePaul Professor.

Copyright 2011 Dr. Midge Wilson