Jason Pierceson and Holly Kent


Jason Pierceson is Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois Springfield. He received his Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University. His teaching and research focus on public law, the legal and political issues relating to sexuality and gender, and political and legal theory. He is the author or co-author of several books, including Courts, Liberalism and Rights: Gay Law and Politics in the United States and CanadaSame-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court; and Sexual Minorities in Politics: An Introduction. He is editor of LGBTQ Americans in the U.S. Political System: An Encyclopedia of Activists, Voters, Candidates, and Officeholders. He is currently working on the book, The Accidental Precedent: Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins and the LGBT Rights Movement. In 2011, he was the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in American Studies at the University of Alberta. His commentary and writings have appeared in such media outlets as Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota Public Radio, ReutersThe New York TimesThe Washington PostThe EconomistPolitiFact, and U.S. News & World Report. He has also served as an expert witness in federal civil rights litigation.



Dr. Holly Kent is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Illinois-Springfield, where she teaches classes on the histories of women, gender, and sexuality in the U.S. She has published books and articles about women’s involvement in U.S. fashion culture, women’s literature in the antebellum era, and best practices in teaching fashion studies. Dr. Kent has been a member of UIS’ Safe Zone Program (which provides training to campus community members about how to be effective allies to the LGBTQIA+ community) since 2011. She co-developed and co-leads Safe Zone’s sessions on “LGBTQIA+ U.S. History” and “Religion and LGBTQIA+ Community,” and is co-author of the chapter on “Religion and Faith” in Safe Zones: Training Allies of LGBTQIA+ Young Adults (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016).