Catherine Connell

Assistant Professor

  • 96 Cummington Street, Room 245
  • 617-358-0647

In my research and teaching, I am interested in the intersections of gender, sexuality, and work/organizations. My forthcoming book, School’s Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom, focuses on the experiences of gay and lesbian identified teachers in California and Texas. In the book, I ask: how do gay and lesbian teachers grapple with their professional and sexual identities at work, given that they are constructed as mutually exclusive, even indeed as mutually opposed? School’s Out explores how teachers struggle to craft a classroom persona that balances who they are and what’s expected of them in a climate of pervasive homophobia. The book explores the tension between the rhetoric of gay pride and the professional ethic of discretion in the context of other complicating factors, from local law and politics to race and gender privilege.

My next research project will consider the legal and cultural ramifications of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on the US military.  I am currently at work on a content analysis of the media’s framing of the repeal, and will soon begin ethnographic and interview research with current and former LGB soldiers. I’m also interested in understanding how the continued official exclusion of transgender identified soldiers affects trans veterans and their access to benefits.  In addition to research and teaching, I also serve as the secretary/treasurer of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexualities and as a council member for the Section on Sex & Gender.  I am the faculty advisor for Q, BU’s Queer Activist Collective, and a member of the BU Gender & Sexuality Faculty Group.

My course, Sex & Social Life (SO/WS 240), explores the social construction of sexualities and their intersections with raced, classed, and gendered identities and inequalities.  In addition, I teach an advanced seminar on Contemporary Debates in Sexualities Research (SO/WS 452), in which we read and discuss cutting edge texts in the study of sexual identities and communities.  Finally, American Families (SO/WS 205) traces the history of the institution of family as well as discusses contemporary trends in parenting and partnership.