Dr. Jacque Lynn FoltynDepartment Chair College of Letters and Sciences
Jacque Lynn Foltyn, PhD, is a cultural critic, sociologist, editor in chief of a scholarly journal, and media expert shaping public discourse in a variety of fields. An interdisciplinary trained scholar who is widely educated across the social sciences and the humanities, Foltyn is social theorist of the human body and an outspoken critic about its exploitation. Particular interests are fashion, beauty, media representations, aging, dying and death, popular culture, cultural diversity, and the social construction of knowledge. Her perspectives on death as amusement in a death denying culture and the phenomenon of quasi-widowhood (gained from her 2005 caretaking of her dying ex-spouse) have gained international attention and been used to train clergy, hospice workers, and journalists.
Besides her teaching and administrative responsibilities, Foltyn is editor-in-chief of Catwalk: The Journal of Fashion, Beauty and Style, www.catwalkjournal.net. The author of numerous academic articles and book chapters, Foltyn’s recent books include Fashions: Exploring Fashions through Cultures; Crafting Allure: Beauty, Culture, and Identity; and Fashion-Wise (co-editor). She guest edited an award-winning special issue of Mortality: The Corpse in Contemporary Culture: Identifying, Transacting, and Recoding the Dead Body in the Twenty-First Century, and her work has been honored by the American Sociology Association; the American Anthropology Association; the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, UK; and the San Diego Museum of Art/Ilan Lael Foundation/Mingei Museum. Foltyn is working on a longitudinal study of how people live their looks, updating her doctoral study: The Importance of Being Beautiful. She appeared on a CBS 48 Hours special about the death of pop star Michael Jackson, and has been interviewed by BBC news, Allure magazine, More magazine, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The DesMoines Registrar, The Sydney Morning Herald, Brisbane News, and Western Australia Today. Internationally, her scholarship has been a subject for scholars, columnists, bloggers, and essayists. An interview with Foltyn appears in Connecting Sociology to Our Lives: An Introduction to Sociology, by Tim Delaney. The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, ABC 20/20, NBC Dateline, 60 Minutes Australia, French Vogue, World Anthropologist, San Diego Union Tribune, Newsweek, Revlon Corporation, Science Museum of Minnesota, among others, have sought her expertise. From 2009 - 2015, she led international conferences at Oxford University focused on fashion and aesthetics, and since 1993 she has been a member of Writing Women, San Diego. She chairs the Mission Hills, San Diego, Oral History Project.
Foltyn believes that her intellectual range, love of teaching, and general spirit of feistiness reflect a family upbringing in which her parents not only emphasized education but intellectual curiosity and the challenging of received knowledge.
College of Letters and Sciences