Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols, Ph.D.

Portrait of Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols.

Office: Pearsons Hall 319
Phone: (417) 873-6925

Fall 2023 Office Hours

8 – 9 a.m.
Noon – 1 p.m.
2 – 4 p.m.

8 – 9 a.m.
Noon – 1 p.m.
2 – 4 p.m.

1 – 3 p.m.

8 – 9 a.m.
Noon – 1 p.m.

Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols, Ph.D.

Professor of Spanish

Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols became a member of the Drury University faculty in 1997 after earning her master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Nichols specializes in Latin American Culture in the area of Women and Gender Studies with current research interests in International Beauty Practices, Cosplay and Popular Culture..

In 2012 Dr. Nichols received a Fulbright award to teach and study in Argentina and is also the contributing editor at large for Venezuela and Colombia for the Library of Congress’ Handbook of Latin American Studies. In 2016, Dr. Nichols co-authored a multi-million-dollar Federal Grant to provide first-year success services to the children and families of migrant students. She continues as PI on the grant and teaches in Monett as part of the CAMP program.

Dr. Nichols’ current research deals with the international practice of cosplay, or “costume-play” in the United States, Mexico and across the Americas. She is a cosplayer herself, a cosplay mom and an advocate for fan-led artistic creativity. She blogs at

Dr. Nichols is the faculty advisor for the Drury Cosplay Club, and serves as Public Relations Lead for Visioncon: Missouri’s Premier Pop Culture Convention.

Read an example of Dr. Nichols research: “Weirdo Barbie and Punk-Rock Daddy’s Girl: Ambiguity, Gendered Identity and Appearance of Eleven in Stranger Things” Originally published in Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, February 26, 2019. Vol. 31.

Drury University faculty member since 1997
Professor since 2009


  • B.A., University of Missouri-Columbia, 1991
  • M.A., University of Kansas, 1993
  • Ph.D., University of Kansas, 1997


  • Venezuela: In Focus. (with Kimberly J. Morse). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2010.
  • Popular Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean: (With Timothy Robbins). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2015.
  • No Such Thing as Inner Beauty: Dress, Cosmetics and Success in Venezuela 1850-2015. New York: Lexington.
  • Beauty Around the World: A Cultural Encyclopedia. (With Erin Kenny). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio.
  • "Playing with Identity: Storytelling, Performance and Feminine Agency in Cosplay," in Continuum: A Journal of Media and Cultural Studies (Taylor & Francis)
  • "Weirdo Barbie and Punk-Rock Daddy's Girl: Ambiguity, Gendered Identity and Appearance of Eleven in Stranger Things" Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, (Swinburne University)