Joslyn Brenton

Professional Headshot

Specialties:  Health & Illness;  Intersectionality; Family; Qualitative Methods

About Me:  I grew up in a rural town in Maine. I had never heard of sociology until I took a course my first year of college. I soon switched my major! After I finished college, I spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, West Africa.  While there, I became fascinated with how other cultures view the body and medicine. Today I study and teach about health and illness (among other things).  I see the classroom as a transformative space for students and for myself.  In my courses I focus on how multiple inequalities (e.g., race, class, and gender) shape the way people think about and experience health and illness.  I love when students ask questions, as I think this is an essential component of learning.  In my course we examine questions like: Is health a basic human right?  Who has the power to define what health and illness mean?  Is Western medicine better than other health practices that have existed for thousands of years?  I look forward to seeing you in my classroom!


  • Ph.D. (2014) North Carolina State University
  • M.S. (2008) North Carolina State University
  • B.A. (2001) University of Maine


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of Health & Illness
  • Health & the Family
  • Global Perspectives on Health 
  • Feminism, Food, and Health
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Brains, Besties, and Bodies: Being a Woman in College (Ithaca First-Year Seminar)

Research Areas:

  • Health & Illness
  • Intersectionality
  • Family
  • Qualitative Methods



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