The following keynote speakers are scheduled to appear at
Sexualities, Race, and Resistance in an Uncertain Time

Sexualities, Race, Empire

Moderated by Dr. Nancy Naples


Vrushali Patil
Florida International University
Associate Professor

Dr. Vrushali Patil is Associate Professor of Sociology at Florida International University. She writes and teaches at the intersection of gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial studies, and historical sociology. She has published in Ethnic and Racial Studies; Sociological Theory; Signs; Theory and Society; Gender & Society; Journal of Historical Sociology; Annals of Tourism Research; Tourism Geographies, Comparative Studies in Society and History; and Sex Roles, among others journals. She is currently working on a book entitled Empire and the Social Construction of Sex, Gender and Sexuality: From Societies to Webbed Connectivities. Her previous book is Negotiating Decolonization in the United Nations: Politics of Space, Identity and International Community (2008; Routledge).


Roderick Ferguson
University of Illinois, Chicago

Dr. Roderick A. Ferguson is a faculty member in the Department of African American Studies and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the co-director of the Racialized Body research cluster at UIC. He is the co-editor of the anthology Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization (2011). In addition, he is the author of We Demand: The University and Student Protests (2017), The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference (2012), Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (2004), and articles on race, social theory, cultural formations, sexuality, and feminism. He is the president-elect for 2017/2018 of the American Studies Association.


Jin Haritaworn
York University
Associate Professor

Dr. Jin Haritaworn is Associate Professor of Gender, Race and Environment at York University. Their publications include two books, numerous articles (in journals such as GLQ and Society&Space), and several co/edited collections (including  Queer Necropolitics and Queering Urban Justice). Their book Queer Lovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places (Pluto 2015), on queer Berlin, addresses both academic and non-academic readerships interested in queer of colour spaces and communities. Jin has keynoted in several fields on both sides of the Atlantic, including gender, sexuality and transgender studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and urban studies, and has made foundational contributions to various debates, including on gay imperialism, homonationalism, queer gentrification and criminalization, and trans and queer of colour space. Together with a team of awesome Torontonians, they organized the third Critical Ethnic Studies conference in Toronto in 2015.

naples picture by mirrow lake

Nancy A. Naples
University of Connecticut
Distinguished Professor

Dr. Nancy A. Naples is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, political activism, and citizenship in comparative perspective. Her work has appeared in a wide range of journals including Social Problems, Gender & Society, Feminist Economics, Social Justice, Social Politics, and Qualitative Sociology. She is author of Grassroots Warriors and Feminism and Method.  She is editor of Community Activism and Feminist Politics and co-editor of Border Politics and Women’s Activism and Globalization.  She is Editor-in-Chief of The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies and Series Editor for Praxis: Theory in Action (SUNY Press). She has served as president of SWS, SSSP, and ESS. She is recipient of the Jessie Bernard Award, (ASA 2015); the Lee Founders Award, (SSSP 2014); the Feminist Mentor Award, (SWS 2011) and the Distinguished Feminist Lecturer Award, (SWS 2010). The book she co-edited with Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, The Sexuality of Migration: Border Crossings and Mexican Immigrant Men by Lionel Cantú , was co-winner of the Best Book Award from the Sexualities Section (ASA 2010).

The Past, Present and Future of Sexualities Studies

Moderated by Dr. Steven Epstein

Steven Epstein
Northwestern University
(Moderator and Presenter)

Dr. Steven Epstein is Professor of Sociology and John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities at Northwestern University, where he currently serves as Sociology department chair. He is especially known for two books:  Impure Science: AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Knowledge, which received multiple awards, including the C. Wright Mills Prize; and Inclusion: The Politics of Difference in Medical Research, which also received multiple awards, including the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Book Award. Epstein has served on the editorial boards of various journals, including Sexualities and Social Studies of Science; was a founding member and former Council member of the ASA’s Section on Sexualities; chaired the Science, Knowledge, and Technology Section of the ASA; served on the selection committee for the SSRC’s Sexuality Research Fellowship Program; and served on the ASA’s Committee on the Status of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons in Sociology. He is a co-founder and co-director of the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN). His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Currently he is completing a book on the emergence and proliferation of the modern concept of sexual health.


Ghassan Moussawi University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign Assistant Professor

Dr. Ghassan Moussawi is Assistant Professor of Sociology and a faculty affiliate of the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His current project focuses on everyday life disruptions and queer formations in post-war Beirut. Moussawi’s research has been published in Gender, Place, and Culture, Sexualities, The Sociological Review, and Introducing the New Sexuality Studies. At the University of Illinois, he teaches courses on Race & Ethnicity, Gender & Sexuality, and Transnational Sexuality & Queer Studies.


Theo Greene
Assistant Professor

Dr. Theo Greene is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Bowdoin College. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of sexuality, urbanism, and culture. His work has been published in City & Community and will be featured in the upcoming edited volumes The Handbook of Research on Black Males: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Multidisciplinary (Michigan State University Press) and Queer Families and Relationships after Marriage Equality (Routledge). Greene’s current book project, Not in MY Gayborhood! Gay Neighborhoods and the Rise of the Vicarious Citizen, draws on ethnographic, archival, and interview data collected from iconic gay neighborhoods in Washington, DC to develop a framework for understanding how community actors legitimate claims of ownership to a neighborhood community in the absence of residential, network, and material ties (vicarious citizenship).


Angela Jones
Farmingdale State University
Associate Professor

Dr. Angela Jones is Associate Professor of Sociology at Farmingdale State College, State University of New York. Jones obtained her PhD from the New School for Social Research. Her research interests include: African American political thought and protest, gender, and sexuality. Her current research is on online sex work. Specifically, she is conducting a mixed method study of adult webcam performers and her book based on this research is forthcoming with NYU Press. Jones is the author of African American Civil Rights: Early Activism and the Niagara Movement (Praeger, 2011). She is a co-editor of the three volume books series called the After Marriage Equality series. The books, Queer Families and Relationships After Marriage Equality, Volume 1, Queer Activism After Marriage Equality, Volume 2, and The Unfinished Queer Agenda After Marriage Equality, Volume 3 are being published by Routledge and will be available in spring 2018. Jones has also edited two other anthologies: The Modern African American Political Thought Reader: From David Walker to Barack Obama (Routledge, 2012), and A Critical Inquiry into Queer Utopias (Palgrave, 2013). She is also the author of numerous scholarly articles, which have been published in peer-reviewed journals.


Lorena Garcia
University of Illinois, Chicago
Associate Professor

Dr. Lorena Garcia is Associate Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has served as Chair of the ASA Sociology of Sexualities Section (2015-2016) and on the Steering/Programming Committee of the Race, Sex, and Power 2018 Conference. Her book, Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself: Latina Girls and Sexual Identity (New York University Press, 2012), takes an intersectional approach to study Latina youth and sexuality, challenging their problematic framing as “at risk” by uncovering how some of the interactions of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, class, and generational status work in their lives.  The book received the 2013 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the ASA Section on Race, Gender, and Class. Her research has been published in Gender & Society, Latino Studies, and Identities: Global Studies in Power & Culture.  She is currently working on a project on social mobility among U.S. Latinxs.

Methodologies in Sexualities Studies

Moderated by Dr. Chaitanya Lakkimsetti

Evren Savcı
San Francisco State University
Assistant Professor

Dr. Evren Savcı is Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at San Francisco State University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Southern California, and her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Sociology from University of Virginia. Prior to her position at SFSU, she was a postdoctoral fellow at The Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN). She is currently working on the book manuscript Queer in Translation: Sexual Politics under Neoliberal Islam. Her work on the intersections of language, knowledge, sexual politics, neoliberalism and religion has appeared in Journal of Marriage and the Family, Ethnography, Sexualities,Political Power and Social Theory and Theory & Event. Her work has also been published in edited collections Cinsellik Muammasi: Türkiye Üzerine Queer Okumalar (Sexual Enigma: Queer Readings of Turkey, eds. Cüneyt Çakırlar & Serkan Delice, Metis 2011) and Mapping Intimacies: Relations, Exchanges, Affects (eds. Tam Sanger & Yvette Taylor, Palgrave 2013), Queer Translation (eds. Klaus Kindle & Brian Baer, Routledge 2017) and is forthcoming in Other, Please Specify:___________: Queer Methods in Sociology (eds. Kristen Schilt, Tey Meadow & D’Lane Compton, UC Press). She has contributed op-eds, blog entries or interviews to Jadaliyya, The Feminist Wire, make/shift and Middle East Research and Information Project.




Dr. Kristen Schilt, University of Chicago, Associate Professor

Kristen Schilt is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director for the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago. Her most recent project is an edited volume on queer methods forthcoming from the University of California Press titled Other, Please Specify: Queer Methods in Sociology. She is also working on a book and film project with multi-media artist Chase Joynt about sociological gender identity research in the late 1950s.



Patrick Grzanka
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Assistant Professor

Dr. Patrick R. Grzanka is Assistant Professor of Psychology and Core Faculty in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Interdisciplinary Program at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the American Psychological Association, and he has published in a wide range of journals including Sexualities, American Journal of Bioethics, Archives of Sexual Behavior, The Counseling Psychologist, and Symbolic Interaction. His is the editor of Intersectionality: A Foundations and Frontiers Reader (Westview Press, 2014), as well as the co-editor of two special issues: one on neoliberalism in Sexuality Research and Social Policy (2016, with Emily Mann and Sinikka Elliott) and one on intersectionality in Journal of Counseling Psychology (2017, with Carlos Santos and Bonnie Moradi). He is working on a new book that traces the “born this way” wars—fierce debates about the nature, origins, and mutability of sexual orientation—in science, law, and the emotional lives of sexual and gender minorities. He is also associate editor of the Journal of Counseling Psychology and serves as Public Engagement Liaison for the ASA Section on Science, Knowledge, and Technology.


Bethany (Bee) Coston
Virginia Commonwealth University
Assistant Professor

Dr. Bethany Coston is a sociologically-trained activist scholar who has spent time in the Midwest and on the East Coast educating, protesting, and participating in research on sexualities and the making of sexual identities, violence, health and wellness and community-based organizing. Bethany spends most of their time with grassroots organizations/groups that work to end LGBTQ+ intimate partner violence and make victims’/survivors’ lives physically and psychologically better in the process. Bethany is a former pre-doctoral population health fellow with the National LGBT Health Education Center at Fenway Health and currently a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections scholar. You can find their research in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and Journal of Social Issues, and edited volumes such as Race, Class, and Gender (edited by Margaret L. Anderson and Patricia Hill Collins), Queering the Deep South (edited by Kamden Strunk), and Paths to Gender Justice in Education: Theories & Practices (edited by Marc Pruyn, Curry Malott, and Pierre Wilbert Orelus), among others. Bethany is also passionate about bringing these interests and issues into their teaching; no matter the topics taught, Bethany aims to expand boundaries, question normality, and deconstruct reality. When not in community or teaching, you can find Bethany streaming reality tv and dramedies with their wife and two dog-children.


Dr. Chaitanya Lakkimsetti
Texas A&M University
Assistant Professor

Dr. Chaitanya Lakkimsetti is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at Texas A&M University. Her areas of interest and expertise include sexualities, gender, law & society and South Asia. She is currently working on her book manuscript entitled, Politics of the Stigmatized: HIV/AIDS, Law and Citizenship in India, which explores the salience of sexuality rights politics in contemporary India. Her work appeared in  Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Sexualities, positions: asia critique and Qualitative Sociology.