Current Graduate Students

Sean Watkins


Sean came to Kennesaw State University in 2008 as a non-traditional student after a brief career in the United States Marines. As an undergraduate, he majored in Psychology and minored in Gender and Women’s Studies. He graduated with multiple honors, even making the President’s List. Sean is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Golden Key, and he is also a brother of the national honor fraternities Phi Sigma Pi and Delta Epsilon Iota. While at KSU, Sean further developed his love for interdisciplinary research and made many lifelong bonds, which would lead him to completing his Master’s degree in American Studies at KSU. As a graduate student, Sean has performed transnational research and interned with KSU’s Maya Community Health Center and the National Maya Interpreter’s Network, which is led by members of the Maya community around the world and facilitated by Dr. Alan LeBaron. Sean’s first published work was a website for the organization, which included his research on the functions of engaged classrooms.

Sean was an invited panelist for KSU’s 2011 Gender and Women’s Studies Love your Body panel. Additionally, he was both a guest speaker and co-facilitator of KSU’s 2014 Gender and Women’s Studies screening of Service: When Women Come Marching Home. He presented his paper, “African-American Veterans and the Oppressive Impetuses for Civil Rights after World War Two Through the Comparative Lens of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man” at the 6th annual African and African Diaspora Studies: Student Research and Engagement Conference as a part of a panel discussing civil rights movement history. Sean is currently completing his MA thesis, which examines aesthetics, authenticity and Blackness in U.S. Blaxploitation films, specifically The Wiz, and plans to continue his academic career by pursuing his Ph.D.

His professional career outside of academia includes writing short stories and poems, contributing to the Wounded Warrior project, Disabled American Veterans and mentoring transitioning service members who are adjusting to civilian life. An important aspect of his life is family -- his partner and wife (an academic in English and Literary Studies), two sons, and two dogs.

Areas of Interest

Historical Theology, Gender and Women’s Studies, African American Literature and Religion, Psychology, Drama and Film Studies, Peace and Protest, Religion