About

I am associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia. During the 2014 – 2015 academic year, I will be a Wall Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies.

I earned my Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern. Before arriving in Vancouver, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton Society of Fellows.

I study the cultural, political, and spatial expressions of sexuality, and I have dedicated my career to bringing such matters to the forefront of sociology. Click here to read an interview with me in which discuss why I became a sociologist, memorable advice I have received over the years, and reflections on my new gayborhoods book.

My publications consider how sexual minorities politically organize in the nation’s capital (American Sociological Review 2011, award-winning lead article); how our cultural understandings of sexuality are changing in the so-called “post-gay” era (Social Problems 2011); the problem of measurement in social scientific studies of culture (Theory and Society 2009); how to measure urban sexual cultures (Theory and Society 2014); the role of infighting in political organizing (award-winning University of Chicago Press book 2008); and the alleged demise of iconic gay neighborhoods across the United States (Princeton University Press book 2014).

As you can see from this list, I study topics that range from measurement to mobilization and the metropolis. Despite this diversity, however, there are common questions that motivate my work: How can we characterize the social organization of sexuality? And how do these relational arrangements change over time, across political contexts, and in different urban and non-urban settings? I have used these broad questions to advance research programs in the study of culture (where I focus on how to measure meanings using qualitative approaches), social movements (where I think about the relationship between infighting and insurrection), and urban sociology (where I explore the spatial expressions of sexuality).

My recent work on gay neighborhoods has been featured in many news media outlets, including The New Yorker, Time magazine, Salon, Vox, BBC Radio 4 (“Thinking Allowed”), CBC Radio (“On the Coast”), CBC Vancouver News (television), NBC News, Chicago Tribune, Chicago RedEye, Chicago NPR (“Morning Shift”), WGN Chicago radio news, Governing magazine, Standpoint magazine (UK), Vice magazine (US, UK, Canada, and Colombia), Seattle Times, Seattle NPR (“The Record”), SF Weekly, Philadelphia Weekly, LA NPR (“Which Way, LA?”), Washington DC NPR (“Metro Connection”), Wisconsin Public Radio (“Central Time”), The Monocle Daily (UK), Radio New Zealand National Public Radio (“Nights”), Huffington Post, Yahoo News, National Post, Vancouver Sun (front page), the Advocate, Huffington Post Live: Queer View (television), HuffPost Gay Voices, Towleroad, Joe. My. God., Queerty, Pink News (Europe’s largest gay news service), Out Traveler, Frontiers magazine (LA), Windy City Times, Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, and The Michelangelo Signorile Show (“The Gist”), among others.

I have won several awards for my research and my teaching, including:

  • 2009 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Best Book in LGBT Studies (Dividends of Dissent);
  • 2009 Charles Tilly Honorable Mention Award for Best Book from
    the Social Movements section of the American Sociological Association (Dividends of Dissent);
  • 2010 Sage Prize for Innovation and Excellence Finalist from the British Sociological Association (The Constraints of Culture);
  • 2012 Clifford Geertz Honorable Mention Award for Best Article from
    the Sociology of Culture section (Cultural Anchors and the Organization of Differences);
  • 2012 Best Article Award from the Social Movements section
    (Cultural Anchors and the Organization of Differences);
  • 2014 Killam Teaching Prize from UBC (a university-wide award for teaching excellence);
  • 2014 Wall Scholars Research Fellowship from the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies;
  • The Princeton Society of Fellows, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the American Sociological Association’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline have all supported my work in various ways over the years.

Please visit the above links to learn about my research, teaching, and engagement with the media.

Thank you for visiting.


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