Get to know Cristina Khan - WGSS New Faculty Member!
Cristina Khan received her PhD in Sociology with a graduate certificate in Feminist Studies from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Her research and teaching interests include: feminist methodologies, sexualities, race/ethnic studies, body/embodiment, Latina/o/x studies, qualitative methods, sex work, and women of color feminisms. She is co-author of Race & Sexuality (Polity Press, 2018) and managing editor of the Wiley Blackwell Companions to Women's and Gender Studies, Sexuality Studies, & Feminist Studies. Her work has appeared in Gender & Society.
1. Tell us about your work. What do you study?
My work centers on race and sexuality within erotic labor industries. I’m interested in how both of these social categories, together, come to bear meaning for folks across different kinds of sexual labor. Recently, I’ve started attending to the role of space and place in exotic dance and drawing upon feminist geography to analyze how different exotic dance settings might be conducive to agency for participants.
2. Tell us about a book that has had an influence on you and your work.
I read The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure (edited by Tristan Taormino , Constance Penley , Celine Parrenas Shimizu , & Mireille Miller-Young) when I had just started my MA in sociology. It was formative to read the work of feminist scholars who took seriously the question of how pleasure and power are produced in the erotic. It made me realize I could study the things I was truly passionate about, and that there was a community of feminist scholars I could learn from.
3. What was a favorite class you took as an undergrad?
I took my first sociology course, Inequality: Class, Race, Ethnicity with Dr. Bette Dickerson during my first year as an undergrad at American University, and it profoundly changed my life. I found it cathartic to learn about inequality from a sociological perspective because it encouraged me to appreciate the relevance of social structures and institutions in my own life.
4. What is something you like to do to relax or for fun?
When I’m not working I paint, spend time with my partner and dogs, and (perhaps most importantly) watch and re-watch The Golden Girls.
5. Dog or cat person?
Dog person for sure! My partner and I have three dogs: a senior chihuahua I’ve had since high school, a golden doodle, and a pocket pit we rescued a couple of years ago.
6. Favorite sport? Favorite team?
Honestly, I’m not too much of a sports person but I’m definitely fascinated by Olympic curling if that counts!
7. What are you listening to now (music, podcast)?
I’m always listening to Stevie Nicks. The podcasts on my most listened to list include Myths and Legends, Psychic Teachers, and Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations.