Diane Gillespie

Diane Gillespie

Professor Emeritus

B.A. English, Southern Illinois University
Ph.D. Cultural and Psychological Studies in Education, University of Nebraska Lincoln

Recipient of the University of Washington Bothell Distinguished Teaching Award, 2010

UWRA Board Member

Email: dianegil@uw.edu


I love teaching in an interdisciplinary program because I can examine, with my students, interesting social and psychological phenomena from multiple perspectives. Shared explorations of such topics create a dynamic learning environment for me and I hope for my students. When possible, I use pedagogies that engage students personally with subject matter. I want the ideas they study to matter deeply to them and to transform how they think about and act in the world. I try to get to know my students through learning their names, listening and attending to what they say in class, and responding fully to what they write. I also believe that the most significant learning often occurs in collaboration with one's peers. Genuine exchanges of ideas encourage reflective practice and intellectual growth, and so I use carefully designed small group exercises that allow students to test out their ideas and get feedback about their understanding of the course materials.

Recent Courses Taught

BIS 435 Interactive Learning: Theory and Practice
BIS 437 Narrative Psychology
BIS 449 Advanced Topics in Psychology: Empathy


Dr. Gillespie's research history before her retirement can be found on her website: dianemgillespie.com

Since retiring from IAS, Dr. Gillespie has been actively involved with the nonprofit Tostan, both as a researcher and volunteer.  Tostan is a human rights education program currently active in five West African countries.  She has written multiple reports for Tostan, including a recent overview of the qualitative findings from two iterations of Tostan's Community Empowerment Program https://tostan.org/wp-content/uploads/Breakthrough-Generation-Overview-of-Qualitative-Data-Analysis.pdf.  She is part of the Community of Understanding Scaling Processes, contributing to their publications and conference presentations. (See, for example, https://raisingvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/CUSP_FeministScalePaper-2.pdf)

Selected Publications

Cislaghi, B., Gillespie, D., & Mackie, G.  (2017) Values Deliberation and Collective Action: Community Empowerment in Rural Senegal. Palgrave MacMillan.

Cislaghi, B., Gillespie, D. & Mackie, G. (2017). Expanding the Aspirational Map: Interactive Learning and Human Rights in Tostan’s Community Empowerment Program.  In Bajaj, M. (Ed.). Human Rights Education: Theory, Research, Praxis. (pp. 252-56). 

Goldmann, L., Lundgren, R. Welbourn, A., Gillespie, D., Bajenja, E., Muvhango, L., &  Michau, L. (2019). On the CUSP: The Politics and Prospects of Scaling Social Norms Change Programming. Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 27:2, 51-63, DOI: 10.1080/26410397.2019.1599654

Weber, A.M., Diop Y,. Gillespie D., et al. ( 2021).  Africa is not a Museum: The Ethics of Encouraging New Parenting Practices in Rural Communities in Low Income and Middle-Income Countries. BMJ Global Health: 6:e006218. doi:10.1136/ bmjgh-2021-006218

Gillespie, D. & Melching, M. (2010). The Transformative Power of Democracy and Human Rights in Nonformal Education: The Case of Tostan. Adult Education Quarterly, November 2010 60: 477-498, first published on March 26, 2010. doi:10.1177/0741713610363017. 

"College Students Attitudes about Learning in Small Groups after Frequent Participation” (with Cinnamon Hillyard and Peter Littig), Active Learning 11 (1), 2010.

"Villagers Ending Female Genital Cutting," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 17, 2007.

"Villagers Agree to End Female Genital Cutting," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 21, 2007.