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Maura Ryan

Sr. Lecturer    

Ph.D., University of Florida, 2009


Gender, Sexualities, Social Movements, Social Inequalities


Research and Teaching Interests

My main areas of interest in sociology relate to gender and social movement activity in LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer] communities. My dissertation work explored the social psychological dimensions of gender identity and expression for feminine identified bisexual, lesbian and queer women and the social movement aspects of how they mobilize around their queer feminine identities. I utilized ethnographic observations of the increasingly popular performance of queer burlesque (strip teases) and events promoted by femme (feminine identified queer people) organizations; I also conducted 31 in-depth interviews with people associated with either a queer burlesque troupe or a femme organization. I was dually interested in how my participants’ sexual orientation marginality affected their sense of themselves as femininely gendered women and in how these cases provided examples of queer cultural politics, emphasizing the importance of non-state directed (or non-rights based) social change in gender and sexual politics.

Because of my interests in sociology, my teaching always reflects a holistic approach to people’s lives in that I attempt to center the experiences of historically marginalized people – people of color, working class/working poor people, queer people, transgender people, and people with disabilities.


Curriculum Vitae