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Patrick R. Grzanka

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

Curriculum Vitae

Keywords: intersectionality, race and racism, sexuality and LGBT issues, feminist theory, emotions, and mental health

Research Interests

Sexualities; intersectionality; sex & gender; race & racism; LGBTQ issues; emotions; mental health & psychotherapy; science & technology studies; critical psychology; mixed-methods research; research design; feminist, queer, & critical race theories

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. Since joining the University of Tennessee (UT) faculty in 2014 after four years teaching at Arizona State University (ASU), I have continued to develop this interdisciplinary program of research across two intertwined areas: sexuality studies and intersectionality studies. In sexuality studies, I have published and received external funding to support my work on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT+) issues, including beliefs about sexual orientation’s nature and origins, LGBT+ mental health, and neoliberalism. In intersectionality studies, my work has focused on how intersectionality can facilitate novel approaches to research, teaching, and advocacy in the social sciences. 

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 also 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 book Intersectionality: Foundations and Frontiers (second edition forthcoming from Routledge, 2019) 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. New work in this area takes a reproductive justice approach to interrogate the racial and class dimensions of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) promotion. 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. With Carlos Santos and Bonnie Moradi, I recently co-edited a special section of the Journal of Counseling Psychology on intersectionality research in counseling psychology.

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 program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. I am also an associate editor of the flagship Journal of Counseling Psychology and public engagement liaison for the Science, Knowledge, and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association.

Current and Future Directions

I¬†continue to conduct research on sexual orientation beliefs with the SOBS. My new book project, The “Born This Way” Wars: Sexuality, Science, and the Future of Equality (under contract with Cambridge University Press), is a qualitative investigation of sexual orientation beliefs at the nexus of science, law, and society.  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+ people in Tennessee. With colleagues at Arizona State University and the University of South Carolina, I continue to study the social and psychological consequences of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) promotion in the U.S. I am also engaged in several studies of the effects of abstinence-only education on attitudes toward abortion and sexual and reproductive health knowledge, as well as responses to social movement protest, including Black Lives Matter, gun control, and pro-choice activism. I am interested in working with undergraduate and graduate students who share specific research interests in any of these areas.

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Counseling Psychology (2017-Present)
  • Editorial Board, The Counseling Psychologist (2016-2018) 
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Counseling Psychology (2015-2016)
  • Michele Alexander Early Career Award for Scholarship and Service (2018)
    Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, APA Division 9: SPSSI
  • Mary Roth Walsh Teaching the Psychology of Women Award (2018)
    Society for the Psychology of Women, APA Division 35
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Teaching Award (2018)
    Invited SPSSI Speaker at the National Institute for Teaching of Psychology, APA Division 9
  • Early-Career Excellence in Research/Creative Achievement Award (2017)
    College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tennessee
  • Junior Excellence in Teaching Award (2017)
    College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tennessee
  • LGBT Advocate Award (2017)
    Chancellor’s Commission for LGBT People, The University of Tennessee
  • Chancellor’s Grant for Faculty Research (2017)
    Office of Research and Engagement, The University of Tennessee
  • Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program (Finalist) (2017)
    Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Development of Interdepartmental Collaboration in Scholarship and Research Award (2015)
    College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tennessee
  • Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award (2014)
    Faculty Women’s Association, Arizona State University
  • Outstanding Faculty and Staff Award (2013)
    Office of LGBTQA Services, Arizona State University
  • Outstanding Academic Service Award (2013)
    Barrett, the Honors College, Arizona State University


  • National Science Foundation, ADVANCE Grant
    Title: ASCEND: Adaptations for a Sustainable Climate of Excellence. Co-PI. (PI: Veerle Keppens, The University of Tennessee). 2018-2021. $713,763

  • American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (Division 9): Local- and State-Level Policy Work Grant
    Title: The ‘Counseling Discrimination Law’ and Barriers to Mental Health Services-Seeking among LGBT+ Individuals in Tennessee. 2016. PI. $2,000.

  • National Science Foundation, Science, Technology, & Society Program: Standard Grant
    Title: Collaborative Research: Institutional Settings and the Transmission of Social Scientific Knowledge. PI with Joseph Miles (The University of Tennessee). 2012-2013. $56,472


  • University of Tennessee, The Graduate School: Student/Faculty Research Award
    Title: Emerging Adult Women’s Experiences with Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC). 2017. PI. $1,125.

  • University of Tennessee, College of Arts and Sciences: Haines-Morris Lecture Endowment Grant 
    Title: “For All the World to See”: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights. 2015. PI. $3,070.

  • University of Tennessee, Office of Research and Engagement, Scholarly Activity and Research Incentive Funds (SARIF): Summer Graduate Research Assistantship
    Title: The Impact of the ‘Counseling Discrimination Law’ and Other Potential Barriers to Mental Health Services-Seeking among LGBT+ Individuals in Tennessee. 2017. PI. $3,600.

  • University of Tennessee, Office of Undergraduate Research: Summer Undergraduate Research Internship
    Title: The Sexual Orientation Affect Project. PI. 2017. $2,400. 

  • University of Tennessee, Teaching and Learning Center: Teaching Innovation Grant 
    Title: Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality. 2017. PI. $3,500.

  • Southeastern Conference (SEC) Visiting Faculty Travel Grant 
    Title: Intersectionality Research in Counseling Psychology. Sponsoring institution/department: University of Florida, Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research. 2016. PI. $846.

  • University of Tennessee, College of Arts and Sciences: Haines-Morris Lecture Endowment Grant 
    Title: New Horizons in Intersectionality Research, Policy, and Activism. 2015. PI. $3,000.

  • Southeastern Conference (SEC) Visiting Faculty Travel Grant 
    Title: Southeastern Sexualities Working Group. Sponsoring institution/department: University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health. 2014. PI. $1,246.

  • Arizona State University, Barrett, the Honors College: Dean’s Award 
    Title: Intersectionality and Science & Technology Studies: Shared Affinities. 2014. PI. $2,325

  • Arizona State University, Institute for Humanities Research, Transdisciplinary Seed Grant 
    Title: Happy Place: The Emotional Life of Cities. Co-PI with Hilary Harp (Art), Barry Moon (Interdisciplinary Arts & Performance), & Kevin McHugh (Geography). 2013. $12,000 

  • Arizona State University, Barrett, the Honors College: Sol & Esther Drescher Faculty Development Grant 
    Title: The Social Psychology of Neoliberalism. 2013. PI. $1,724 

  • Arizona State University, Barrett, the Honors College: Sol & Esther Drescher Faculty Development Grant 
    Title: Sexualities and Applied Social Research: A Multi-Site Research Program. 2012. PI. $2,315


  • Grzanka, P. R. (under contract). The “born this way” wars: Sexuality, science, and the future of equality. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Grzanka, P. R. (Ed.) (2019). Intersectionality: Foundations and frontiers. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Grzanka, P. R. (Ed.) (2014). Intersectionality: A foundations and frontiers reader. Boulder, CO: Westview Press

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, 297-427.
  • Santos, C. E., Grzanka, P. R., & Moradi, B. (Eds.) (2017). Special section: Intersectionality research in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64, 453-513.

Articles and Book Chapters

**Denotes student collaborator.

  • Grzanka, P. R., Frantell, K. A.**, & Fassinger, R. E. (In press). The White Racial Affect Scale (WRAS): Development and initial validation of a scale of White guilt, shame, and negation. The Counseling Psychologist.
  • Grzanka, P. R., DeVore, E. N.**, Gonzalez, K. A., Pulice-Farrow, L.**, & Tierney, D.** (In press). The biopolitics of passing and the possibility of radically inclusive transgender health care. American Journal of Bioethics.
  • Seraphin, S. B., Grizzell, J. A.**, Kerr-German, A.**, Perkins, M. A.**, Grzanka, P. R., & Hardin, E. (In press). A conceptual framework for non-disposable assignments: Inspiring implementation, innovation, and research. Psychology Learning and Teaching.
  • Mann, E. S., & Grzanka, P. R. (2018). Agency-without-choice: The visual rhetorics of long-acting reversible contraception promotion. Symbolic Interaction, 41, 334-356. doi:10.1002/SYMB.349
  • Boggan, C. E.**, Grzanka, P. R., & Bain, C. L.** (2017). Perspectives on queer music therapy: A qualitative analysis of music therapists' reactions to radically inclusive practice. Journal of Music Therapy, 54, 375-404. doi:10.1093/jmt/thx016
  • Grzanka, P. R. (2018). Intersectionality and feminist psychology: Power, knowledge, and process. In C. B. Travis & J. W. White (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of women: Vol 1. History, theory, and battlegrounds (pp. 585-602). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/0000059-030
  • Grzanka, P. R., Santos, C. E., & Moradi, B. (2017). Intersectionality research in counseling psychology. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64, 453-457. doi:10.1037/cou0000237 
  • Moradi, B., & Grzanka, P. R. (2017). Using intersectionality responsibly: Toward critical epistemology, structural analysis, and social justice activism. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64, 500-513. doi:10.1037/cou0000203 
  • Grzanka, P. R., Bhatia, R., Lewis, M. M., Parks, S. L., Woodfork, J., & Casiano, M.** (2017). Intersectionality, Inc.: A dialogue on intersectionality’s travels and tribulations. Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture, & Social Justice, 38(1), 16-27.
  • Grzanka, P. R., & Frantell, K. A.** (2017). Counseling psychology and reproductive justice: A call to action. The Counseling Psychologist, 45, 326-352. doi:10.1177/0011000017699871 
  • Grzanka, P. R., & Morrison, D. R. (2017). Post-racial fantasies and the reproduction of scientific racism. American Journal of Bioethics, 17(9), 65-67. doi:10.1080/15265161.2017.1353179
  • Fishman, J. R., Mamo, L., & Grzanka, P. R. (2017). Sex, gender, & sexuality in biomedicine. In U. Felt, R. Fouch√©, 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

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