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Dr Karey Harwood

Associate ProfessorWomen's and Gender Studies Program Director

Picture of Dr Karey Harwood


Dr. Karey Harwood is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at NC State and also an Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies. She won the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2010 and the Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor award in 2019 and is a member of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers. Dr. Harwood teaches courses at the intersection of Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Women’s and Gender Studies and has served as Coordinator of the WGS major concentration since 2015. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center

She received her Ph.D. in 2003 from Emory University, where she studied religious ethics and the sociology of religion and morality and was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Grant in Women’s Health. The focus of her research has been primarily in biomedical ethics and reproductive technologies. Her book, The Infertility Treadmill: Feminist Ethics, Personal Choice, and the Use of Reproductive Technologies, examined both the social context of reproductive technologies and the individual experience of infertility, including the tendency of reproductive technologies to function as a consumeristic rite of passage in coming to terms with infertility. More recent work has focused on egg freezing, repro-genetic technologies, and eugenics.

During a leave of absence from NC State in 2013-14, Dr. Harwood served as the Executive Director of Public Schools First North Carolina, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting public schools in our state.

Teaching and Research Interests

Biomedical ethics, reproductive technologies, feminist theory

Courses taught:

PHI/STS 325 Biomedical Ethics 
REL 200 Introduction to the Study of Religion 
REL 327 Issues in Contemporary Religion
REL/WGS 473/573 Religion, Gender, and Reproductive Technologies 
WGS 200 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies 
WGS/STS 210 Women and Gender in Science and Technology 
WGS 300 Introduction to Feminist Theories
WGS 310 Women's and Gender Studies Internship
WGS 492 Theoretical Issues in Women’s and Gender Studies 
MALS 501 The Ethics and Ideology of Choice

Funded Research

FRPD funded research project: “Public Moral Arguments Surrounding School Integration: Wake County’s Example,” 2018-2019



Harwood, Karey. The Infertility Treadmill: Feminist Ethics, Personal Choice and the Use of Reproductive Technologies. University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

Selected articles:

Harwood, Karey. "Decentering Whiteness in Feminist Bioethics: Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) as an Illustrative Case." In Reproductive Ethics II: New Ideas and Innovations, edited by Lisa Campo-Engelstein and Paul Burcher, Springer Press, 2018, p. 99-112.

Harwood, Karey. “Egg Freezing and the Feminist Quest for Equality in the Workplace.” In Reproductive Ethics: New Challenges and Conversations, edited by Lisa Campo-Engelstein and Paul Burcher, Springer Press, 2017, p. 63-75.

Harwood, Karey. “On the Ethics of Social Egg Freezing and Fertility Preservation for Nonmedical Reasons,” Medicolegal and Bioethics, vol. 5, 2015, p. 59-67.  

Harwood, Karey. “Bad Habit or Considered Decision? The Need for a Closer Examination of Prospective Parents’ Views.” International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, vol. 7, no. 1, 2014, p. 46-50.

Harwood, Karey. “Egg Freezing: A Breakthrough for Reproductive Autonomy? Bioethics, vol. 23, no. 1, 2009, p. 39-46.

Harwood, Karey. “Teaching bioethics through participation and policy-making.” Essays on Teaching Excellence, POD Network in Higher Education, vol. 16, no. 4, 2004-2005.

Selected blog posts:

Harwood, Karey. On the Common Good and Medical Conscience Claims. IJFAB Blog, January 23, 2018.

Harwood, Karey. Don’t Tread on Me: The Irony of Opting Out of Vaccination in an Era of Decreasing Reproductive FreedomIJFAB Blog, February 9, 2015.

Harwood, Karey. Further Thoughts on the Case of Imprisoned Mother Jennifer WhalenIJFAB Blog, September 24, 2014. 

Harwood, Karey. Posthumous Reproduction. UNC Press Blog, May 19, 2011. 

Harwood, Karey. IVF Kids: Are They Really All Right? UNC Press Blog, Oct. 6, 2010.

Harwood, Karey. Ethics and the California Octuplets Case. UNC Press Blog, Feb. 6, 2009.


Recent presentations:

“How Privatized Eugenics Undermines Democratic Values,” Canadian Bioethics Society annual meeting, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 25, 2018.

Commentary responding to Danielle Wenner’s paper, “Non-Domination and the Limits of Relational Autonomy,” presented at a one-day workshop: Shaping a More Just Bioethics: A Celebration of the Work of Susan Sherwin, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 26, 2018.

“De-Centering Whiteness in Bioethics: Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) as an Illustrative Case,” Reproductive Ethics Conference at Albany Medical College, Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany, NY, April 8, 2017.


Director, Interdisciplinary Studies Major, 2019 -- present
Coordinator, Women’s and Gender Studies Major Concentration, 2015 – present
Member, WGS Executive Committee, 2004 – present
Member, ex officio, Council on the Status of Women, 2004-2005, 2017 -- present
Member, Search Committees for Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies: 
 - Islam (Religious Studies), 2019-2020
 - African and African-American Religions (Religious Studies), 2018-2019
 - Ethics of Emerging Science and Technology (Philosophy and STS), 2015-2016
 - Asian Religions (Religious Studies), 2011-2012
Member, Head’s Advisory Committee, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, 2011-2012, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020
Member, Department Head Review Committee, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, 2008-2009, 2018-2019
Chair, Assistant Dean Review Committee, Interdisciplinary Studies, 2018-2019
Director, Health, Medicine, and Human Values Minor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, 2007-2013
Member, Advisory Committee, Health, Medicine, and Human Values Minor, 2003-2006


  • Ph.D. in Religious Studies, Ethics & Society Program, from Emory University, 2003
  • M.T.S. in Ethics from Harvard Divinity School, 1996
  • B.A. in English from Yale University, 1992