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Patrick R. Grzanka

Patrick R. GrzankaPatrick R. Grzanka
Ph.D., University of Maryland (2010)

Curriculum Vitae

Keywords: emotions; intersectionality; race and racism; sexuality and LGBT issues; feminist theory and research

Research Interests

My research interests include intersectionality; emotions; the psychosocial dimensions of race and racism; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues and psychotherapy; mental health, science, and society; and multicultural feminist theories and research practices.

Research statement

My research program broadly investigates the interplay of emotions, attitudes, and identities at the nexus of intersecting inequalities, namely race, gender, and sexuality. My work explores the social life of emotions: how our feelings influence our sense of identity and our relationships with other people and institutions, as well as how emotions come to be understood as scientific objects, psychotherapeutic tools, expressions of identity, etc. This work is elaborated in two interrelated strands of my qualitative and quantitative research: intersectionality studies and sexuality studies, both of which explore the relationships between identities, attitudes, and emotions.

In the sexualities domain, I developed a survey instrument to study what people believe about the nature and origins of sexual orientation (“The Sexual Orientation Beliefs Scale”). This work has both expanded traditional understandings of the range of sexual orientation beliefs (i.e., inborn vs. choice) by exposing how individuals possess multiple and sometimes contradictory beliefs about sexuality simultaneously, and connected these beliefs with discriminatory attitudes toward sexual minorities. In my NSF-funded project on LGBT affirmative therapy, Dr. Joe Miles (UT) and I analyzed over 2,000 hours of therapist training videos to explore how therapists and their clients co-produce knowledge about sexuality, particularly vis a vis other aspects of the self (i.e., mental illness, other identities). I have critiqued normative psychological approaches to sexuality in ways that integrate “queer theory” into psychology, specifically in terms of how we conceptualize LGBT+ youth, suicidality, and resilience. I have published papers (with students) that offer novel approaches to what we call “radically inclusive” therapy, as well qualitative inquiry into what motivates straight people to engage in pro-LGBT+ activism. I recently co-edited a special issue of Sexuality Research and Social Policy (with sociologists Emily Mann and Sinikka Elliott) on the significance of neoliberalism in critical sexuality studies.

In intersectionality studies, my edited book Intersectionality: A Foundations and Frontiers Reader (Westview Press) explores the interdisciplinary history of intersectionality studies; other writing has provided guidelines for how to incorporate intersectionality into research and teaching in the study of perceived racism, feminist psychology, sexuality studies, science and technology studies, and bioethics. The thrust of this work has illustrated the power of intersectionality to expose dynamics that are obscured by one-dimensional approaches that privilege race or gender or sexuality at the expense of attention to their interactions. For example, my dissertation and earliest publications investigated the gendered and sexual dimensions of White racial affect, namely guilt and shame. All of my scholarship takes a critical, intersectional approach insomuch as I: a) conceptualize the relationships among dimensions of difference and inequality (e.g., sexuality, class, gender, ability, nation, race) as culturally contingent and interdependent, and b) direct my scholarship toward efficacious interventions for social justice.

In addition to my work in the Department of Psychology, I founded and direct the Intersectionality Community of Scholars (ICOS) at UT and serve on the steering committee of the interdisciplinary programs in American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

Current and Future Directions

I continue to conduct research on sexual orientation beliefs and am starting a new project that will explore the affective dimensions of these beliefs. With colleagues at UT, I am investigating the effects of Tennessee’s counseling discrimination law on LGBT+ individuals’ willingness to seek mental health services, as well other barriers to mental health help-seeking that affect LGBT+ Tennesseans. With colleagues at Arizona State University and the University of South Carolina, I am exploring the social and psychological consequences of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) promotion in the U.S. I am also engaged in interdisciplinary work on the science of happiness, as well new approaches to intersectionality theory and research in counseling psychology.

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Counseling Psychology (2017-Present)
  • Editorial Board, The Counseling Psychologist (2016-2018)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Counseling Psychology (2015-2016)
  • The University of Tennessee
    College of Arts and Sciences
    2015. Interdepartemental Collaborative Scholarship and Research Award
  • Arizona State University
    Faculty Women's Association
    2014. Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
  • Arizona State University
    Office of LGBTQA Services
    2013. Outstanding Faculty and Staff Award
  • Arizona State University
    Barrett, the Honors College
    2013. Outstanding Academic Service Award


  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (APA Division 9)
    Local- and State-Level Policy Work Grant
    “The ‘Counseling Discrimination Law’ and Barriers to Mental Health Services-Seeking among LGBT+ Individuals in Tennessee”
    2016. Funded: $2,000
  • National Science Foundation
    Science, Technology and Society Program
    "Collaborative Research: Institutional Settings and the Transformation of Social Scientific Knowledge"
    PI with Dr. Joseph Miles, University of Tennessee
    2012. Funded: $56,472


  • Southeastern Conference (SEC)/The University of Tennessee
    Visiting Faculty Travel Grant 
    “Intersectionality Research in Counseling Psychology” 
    PI, to visit Bonnie Moradi (University of Florida)
    2016. Funded: $846
  • College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tennessee
    Haines-Morris Endowment Grant
    "New Horizons in Intersectionality Research, Policy, and Activism"
    PI with Dr. Adrienne Smith (Political Science)
    2015. Funded: $3,000
  • Southeastern Conference (SEC)/The University of Tennessee
    Visiting Faculty Travel Grant 
    “The Southeastern Sexualities Working Group” 
    PI, to visit Emily Mann (University of South Carolina)
    2014. Funded: $1,246
  • Barrett, the Honors College, Arizona State University
    Dean's Research Award
    "Intersectionality and Science & Technology Studies: Shared Affinities"
    2014. Funded: $2,325
  • Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University
    Transdisciplinary Seed Grant
    "Happy Place: The Emotional Life of Cities"
    PI with Dr. Hilary Harp (Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts), Dr. Barry Moon (Interdisciplinary Arts and Culture), & Dr. Kevin McHugh (School of Geography and Planning)
    2013. Funded: $12,000
  • Barrett, the Honors College, Arizona State University
    Sol & Esther Drescher Faculty Development Grant
    "The Social Psychology of Neoliberalism"
    2013. Funded: $1,724
  • Barrett, the Honors College, Arizona State University
    Sol & Esther Drescher Faculty Development Grant
    "Sexualities and Applied Social Research: A Multi-Site Research Program"
    2012. Funded: $2,315


  • Grzanka, P. R. (Ed.) (2014). Intersectionality: A foundations and frontiers reader. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. (ISBN 0813349087)

Edited Journal Issues

  • Grzanka, P. R., Mann, E. S., & Elliott, S. (Eds.) (2016). Special issue on neoliberalism in sexuality research and social policy. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 13(4), 297-427.
  • Santos, C. E., Grzanka, P. R., & Moradi, B. (Eds.) (2017, forthcoming). Special section: Intersectionality research in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64.

Articles and Book Chapters

**Denotes student collaborator.

  • Grzanka, P. R., & Frantel, K.** (In press). Counseling psychology and reproductive justice: A call to action. The Counseling Psychologist.
  • Moradi, B., & Grzanka, P. R. (In press). Using intersectionality responsibly: Toward critical epistemology, structural analysis, and social justice activism. Journal of Counseling Psychology.
  • Grzanka, P. R. (In press). Intersectionality and feminist psychology: Power, knowledge, and process. In C. B. Travis & J. W. White (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of women. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Grzanka, P. R., Bhatia, R., Lewis, M. M., Parks, S. L., Woodfork, J., Casiano, M.** (In press). Intersectionality, Inc.: A dialogue on intersectionality's travels and tribulations. Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, & Social Justice.
  • Fishman, J. R., Mamo, L., & Grzanka, P. R. (2017). Sex, gender, & sexuality in biomedicine. In U. Felt, R. Fouché, C. Miller, & L. Smith-Doerr (Eds.), The handbook of science and technology studies (4th ed., pp. 379-405). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Grzanka, P. R. (2016). Queer survey research and the ontological dimensions of heterosexism. WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly, 44(3-4), 131-149. doi:10.1353/wsq.2016.0039.
  • Grzanka, P. R., Mann, S. E., & Elliott., S. (2016). The neoliberalism wars, or notes on the persistence of neoliberalism. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 13, 297-397. doi:10.1007/s13178-016-0255-8
  • Grzanka, P. R., & Miles, J. R. (2016). The problem with the phrase “intersecting identities”: LGBT affirmative therapy, intersectionality, and neoliberalism. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 13, 371-389. doi:10.1007/s13178-016-0240-2
  • Grzanka, P. R. (2016). Undoing the psychology of gender: Intersectional feminism and social science pedagogy. In K. Case (Ed.), Intersectional pedagogy: A model for complicating identity and social justice (pp. 61-79). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Bain, C. L.**, Grzanka, P.R., Crowe, B. (2016). Queer music therapy: The implications of queer theory for a radically inclusive music therapy, 50, 22-33. The Arts in Psychotherapy. doi:10.1016/j.aip.2016.03.004
  • Grzanka, P. R., Brian, J. D., & Shim, J. K. (2016). My bioethics will be intersectional or it will be [bleep]. American Journal of Bioethics, 16(4), 27-29. doi:10.1080/15265161.2016.1145289
  • Grzanka, P. R. (2016). Intersections and configurations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 45, 501-503. doi:10.1007/s10508-015-0624-z
  • Lewis, J. A., & Grzanka, P. R. (2016). Applying intersectionality theory to research on perceived racism. In A. Alvarez, C. Liang, & H. Neville (Eds.), The cost of racism for people of color: Contextualizing experiences of discrimination (pp. 31-54). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 
  • Grzanka, P. R., Zeiders, K. H., & Miles, J. R. (2016). Beyond "born this way"? Reconsidering sexual orientation beliefs and attitudes. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63, 67-75. doi:10.1037/cou0000124
  • Grzanka, P. R., Adler, J.**, & Blazer, J.** (2015). Making up allies: The identity choreography of straight LGBT activism. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 12, 165-181. doi:10.1007/s13178-014-0179-0
  • Grzanka, P. R., & Mann, E. S. (2014). Queer youth suicide and the psychopolitics of "It Gets Better." Sexualities, 17, 363-393. doi:10.1177/1363460713516785
  • Brian, J. D., & Grzanka, P. R.  (2014). The machine in the garden of desire. American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, 5(1),17-18. doi:10.1080/21507740.2013.863255
  • Arseneau, J. R., Grzanka, P. R., Miles, J. R., & Fassinger, R. E. (2013). Development and initial validation of the sexual orientation beliefs scale (SOBS). Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60, 407-420. doi:10.1037/a0032799
  • Grzanka, P. R., & Maher, J. T. (2012). Different, like everyone else: Stuff White People Like and the marketplace of diversity. Symbolic Interaction, 35, 368-393. doi:10.1002/symb.24

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