Research Interests: Place-making; Medical Sociology; Sexualities, Gender, Family; HIV/AIDS & PrEP; Inequalities; Social Determinants of Health, Population Health; Qualitative and Quantitative Methods

Current Research:

My research interests are in queer place-making and health disparities and their social determinants. I am interested also in the social construction of disease states, illness measures and population-based health-surveillance technologies, and how pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and insurance companies intervene in the relations of health assessments and care across populations. My future work hopes to look into these processes within the LGBTQ community in Vancouver and other regions within North America using mixed method analyses.

As a Master’s student and scholar-activist at the University of Chicago and Research Assistant at NORC at the University of Chicago, I examined the construction of social scripts transmitting biomedicalized ways of knowing the self among LGBTQ populations through HIV prevention marketing and public health surveillance methods. I spent two years (2014-2016) volunteering for a sex-positive public health campaign, #PrEP4Love, convened by AIDS Foundation of Chicago, which is in its second advertising wave across Chicago (Fall 2016). At NORC (2015-2016), I worked on two community-based HIV prevention and treatment studies (uConnect, N = 620; PrEP Chicago, N = 400) on the South Side of Chicago. Additionally, I helped design a forthcoming national representative HIV surveillance survey of young gay, bisexual adolescent males (N = 1,500) and adolescent transgender females (N = 1,500) in the U.S. with the Fenway Institute for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

I am originally from outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I was a resident member of Green College from 2016 to 2017.

Supervisor: Dr. Amin Ghaziani
Supervisor: Dr. Richard Carpiano (UC Riverside)

Stillwagon, Ryan, Adriana Brodyn, Amin Ghaziani, and Kyle Sutherland. “Queer pop-ups take us beyond the gaybourhood.” The Conversation. September 19, 2018.

Ghaziani, Amin and Ryan Stillwagon. 2018. “Queer Pop-ups.” Contexts 17(1):78-80.

Articles In Progress:
Stillwagon, Ryan and Amin Ghaziani. Forthcoming. “Queer Pop-ups: A Cultural Innovation in Urban Life.” City & Community.

Stillwagon, Ryan, Richard M. Carpiano, Brian C. Kelly, Stuart Michaels, and John A. Schneider. Forthcoming. “Network Norms & Health Behaviors: Contextualizing HIV Risk among Young Black Men who Have Sex with Men (YBMSM).”

Jessica M. Dehlin*, Stillwagon, Ryan*, Jim Pickett, Lance Keene, and John A. Schneider. Forthcoming. “#SpreadTingle: Increasing Health Equity through a Sex-positive HIV Prevention Campaign.”
*co-first author

Invited talks:
“Gay Places and e-Spaces: How online dating changed Davie.” BC Centre of Excellence for HIV/AIDS. 2017. November 30.

Poster Presentations:
Selected Conference Poster Presenter. 2017. “Network Norms & Health Behaviors: Contextualizing HIV Risk among Young Black Men who Have Sex with Men (YBMSM).” Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Sciences (IAPHS). The University of Texas at Austin. October 3-5.

“Spotlight – Jim Pickett.” 2016. The Chicago Center for HIV Elimination at The University of Chicago. October 17.

Guest Lectures:
“Queer Geographies of Urban Sex & Space.”
SOCI 369. October 09, 2018.
Instructor: Becki Ross

“Work & Family Life.”
SOCI 200. June 05, 2018.
Instructor: Oral Robinson

“Stress & Violence: Realities of Family Life.”
SOCI 200. February 26, 2018.
Instructor: Oral Robinson

“Theorizing Family & Fictive Kin Work.”
SOCI 415. October 31, 2017.
Instructor: Sinikka Elliott

Winter Term 1, 2018
Teaching Assistant. SOCI 369. Sociology of Sexualities.
Instructor: Becki Ross

“According to the late French philosopher Michel Foucault, beginning in the eighteenth century discourses concerning sexual ‘normality’ and ‘abnormality’ have proliferated in the West. Not a neutral development, Foucault identifies this proliferation as a primary mechanism for moral regulation, state formation, and social organization. Drawing from the work of Foucault, Martin Cannon, Chris Brickell, Patricia Hill Collins, Steven Maynard, Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez, Amin Ghaziani, C.J. Pascoe, Chong-suk Han, Fareen Parvez, and others, our 3-credit course explores questions of sexual histories, discourses, identities, communities, and practices. Rather than an unchanging biological or natural force, sexuality is interrogated as a social and historical construction, differently constructed across time and space, and as a shifting site of pleasure and danger, desire and conflict. This course does not involve a detailed description of sexual acts (a ‘mechanics’ of sexual techniques); rather, it examines how sexuality as been, and continues to be, embedded in relations and discourses of power and inequality.

Our approach is interdisciplinary, drawing from sociology, feminist and gender studies, queer theory, anti-colonial and anti-racist studies, history, geography, anthropology, and cultural studies. Our major objective is to devise tools to problematize, historicize, and pluralize sexuality as complex human expression mediated by social cleavages of gender, class, race, ethnicity, dis/ability, geography and citizenship. We turn our intersectional analytical framework to themes of homo, bi and heterosexualities, cis-normativity, masturbation, medicalized sexuality, pornography, racist beauty standards, racialized and Indigenous sexualities, cross-generational tensions, popular culture, gender-based sexual violence, sex work, and exotic dancing. We probe how our sexual and erotic selves have been, and continue to be, shaped by broad social, economic, and political relations in contexts of settler colonialism and late capitalism in the West, primarily Canada and the US in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students are encouraged to approach topics with a curious, inquisitive mind as befits the doing of Sociology. Those offended by what some consider ‘deviant’ and ‘abnormal’ will discover that this course is not for them.”

Summer Term 1, 2018
Teaching Assistant. SOCI 200. Sociology of Family.
Instructor: Oral Robinson

“An introduction to contemporary family forms and relations.”

Winter Term 2, 2018
Teaching Assistant. SOCI 302A. Ethnic and Racial Inequality.
Instructor: Wendy Roth

“Racism, discrimination, and social inequalities between ethnic and racial groups are problems that continue to plague most societies in the 21st century. This course is designed to provide students with a theoretical and empirical grounding to assess these patterns. The course examines definitions and theoretical models of how race and ethnicity can be understood, and considers how ethnic and racial identities are socially reproduced and transformed. We will examine racial and ethnic inequalities that exist today and the historical formation of group relations in the Canadian context. Together we will consider both micro-theoretical concepts – those which seek to explain behaviour and attitudes at the individual level (for example, racism, prejudice, and discrimination as it occurs between individuals) – and macro-theoretical explanations of unequal race relations – those which focus on wider structural influences that shape those individual-level actions. The course asks how social structures and institutions have shaped ethnic and racial inequality in Canada and elsewhere. Ideally, students will come away from the class with an understanding of the patterns and social structures causing ethnic and racial inequality in Canada and beyond and ideas for ways to reduce those inequalities.”

Winter Term 1, 2017
Teaching Assistant. SOCI 415. Theories of Family and Kinship.
Instructor: Sinikka Elliott

“This course will introduce you to theoretical perspectives on family and kinship. We will examine theories that address a variety of family-related questions such as: How and why do families come together, come apart, accomplish the caring work of family, experience conflict and solidarity, and reflect, reproduce, and resist inequalities? What do commonly-shared ideas about marriage, parenthood, and childhood mean for how people “do” family life? How and why do families change over the life course? Throughout the course, we will also consider the ways dominant discourses around the family shape the questions researchers ask and the theories they construct, with a particular focus on the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and age inequalities. Students are expected to describe, understand, and contrast family theories and to develop critical thinking skills by breaking down theories and linking ideas to other theories and, ultimately, to contemporary family life.”

Summer Term 2, 2017
Teaching Assistant. SOCI 200. Sociology of Family.
Instructor: Oral Robinson

“An introduction to contemporary family forms and relations.”

Relevant Work Experience:
Editorial Assistant, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 2016–2017
Supervisor: Andrea Polonijo

Research Assistant, NORC at the University of Chicago, 2015–2016
Supervisor: Stuart Michaels

Previous Degrees:
M.A. in the Social Sciences (MAPSS), The University of Chicago, 2015
B.A. in Religion Studies, Lehigh University, 2011
B.A. in Political Science, Lehigh University, 2010

Previous Advisors:
Edward O. Laumann, The University of Chicago
Nandini Deo, Lehigh University

Sociology Graduate Scholarship, The University of British Columbia, 2017–2018

Four Year Fellowship (FYF) For PhD Students, The University of British Columbia, 2016–2020

Four Year Fellowships (4YF) Tuition Award, The University of British Columbia, 2016–2020

International Tuition Award, The University of British Columbia, 2016–2020

Fellowship, Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (TC-CFAR) and Sexualities Project (SPAN), “Pleasure/Danger: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Sexual Pleasure and Sexual Risk” TC-CFAR and SPAN, The University of Chicago and Northwestern University, 2015–2016

Half Tuition Scholarship, The University of Chicago, 2014–2015

Full Tuition Scholarship, Lehigh University, 2010–2011

Social Sciences Thesis Research Grants, Lehigh University, 2010–2011