Current Research

Welcome! As of Fall 2015, I am assistant professor of sociology at The University at Albany, SUNY. I came to Albany from a postdoctoral fellowship in the Criminology, Law and Society Department at the University of California at Irvine. My research examines how punishment came to be a legitimate response to controlling HIV and disease more generally.

I am in the process of publishing two books in 2017. The first, "The War on Sex," is a collection of essays co-edited with David Halperin analyzing the criminalization of sex. The second, "Punishing Disease," is a monograph explaining the rise of punitive responses to HIV and other infectious diseases.

The War on Sex

The War on Sex NOW AVAILABLE: The past fifty years are conventionally understood to have witnessed an uninterrupted expansion of sexual rights and liberties in the United States. This state-of-the-art collection tells a different story: while progress has been made in marriage equality, reproductive rights, access to birth control, and other areas, government and civil society are waging a war on stigmatized sex by means of law, surveillance, and social control. The contributors document the history and operation of sex offender registries and the criminalization of HIV, as well as highly punitive measures against sex work that do more to harm women than to combat human trafficking. They reveal that sex crimes are punished more harshly than other crimes, while new legal and administrative regulations drastically restrict who is permitted to have sex. By examining how the ever-intensifying war on sex affects both privileged and marginalized communities, the essays collected here show why sexual liberation is indispensable to social justice and human rights. Order your copy!

Punishing Disease

Punishing DiseaseCOMING NOVEMBER 2017: From the very beginning of the epidemic, AIDS was linked to punishment. Calls to punish people living with HIV – mostly stigmatized minorities – began before doctors could even name the disease. Punitive attitudes towards AIDS prompted lawmakers around the country to introduce legislation aimed at criminalizing the behaviors of people living with HIV. Punishing Disease explains how this happened and with what consequences. Now that the door to criminalizing sickness is open, what other ailments will follow? With lawmakers moving to tack on additional diseases such as hepatitis and meningitis, the question is more than academic. Pre-order your copy today!


In August 2014, I completed my PhD in Sociology and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. My dissertation examined the application of HIV law in Michigan, particulary the felony disclosure statute that makes it illegal for HIV-positive people to have sex without first disclosing their HIV-positive status. You can read the entire dissertation here. In addition, articles based on it are published in Social Problems, Social Science & Medicine, and Punishment & Society.

Curriculum vitae

Below, find my current CV (updated January 2017). Or click here to download the PDF if using mobile.

Praise for "The War on Sex"

  • Containing essays from some of the most insightful scholars and activists working on the front lines, "The War on Sex" is a vital tool for understanding how the regulation and criminalization of sex relate to our vital struggles in racial, economic, gender, and disability justice. Full of thoughtful, carefully researched essays, "The War on Sex" will support readers in classrooms and social movements to understand and strategize about the relationships among sex, criminalization, poverty, disability, and contemporary politics. We need this book right now.

    Dean Spade, author of, "Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law"
  • Recent events just keep confirming, all too dismally, that the issues this collection takes up—from sex offender registries and sex trafficking to HIV in public health—link together as a major front of struggle in our time, often far from public view. Questioning some of the narratives of progress that are so widely echoed in the media and popular consciousness, "The War on Sex" will immediately meet the needs of academics and activists alike.

    Michael Warner, author of, "Publics and Counterpublics"
  • We are living through a little-discussed assault on sexual freedoms that is pioneering new, subtle, and insidious methods of social control: this is the disturbing and difficult-to-refute thesis of The War on Sex, a new collection of essays... Interdisciplinary in scope and inclusive of activist voices from outside the academy, the book is an essential introduction to a struggle for self-determination and sexual self-assertion that has been occurring behind mainstream social movements’ focus on dignity and respectability.

    Ben Miller, Lambda Literary Foundation

Contact me.

The easiest way to get in touch with me is through the contact form below. If you are a member of the media on deadline, please put DEADLINE at the beginning of the subject.

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