Director of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies
Laurie Essig is Director of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies. She is a sociologist who teaches courses on Heterosexuality, White People, Freakishness and Feminist Blogging. Her first book, Queer in Russia: A Story of Sex, Self and the Other (Duke, 1999) considered how sexual others are imagined and thus imagine themselves in Russia. Her second book, American Plastic: Credit Cards, Boob Jobs and Our Quest for Perfection (Beacon, 2010) argued that cosmetic surgery in the US is the subprime mortgage crisis of the body, with corporations squeezing profit from working class Americans who hope a more perfect body will lead to a better future. Essig writes for a variety of publications including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Psychology Today. Her current project is Love, Inc: The strange marriage of romance and capitalism.