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Christine Labuski

Christine Labuski, Associate Professor and Associate Director of ASPECT

Christine Labuski portrait
Christine Labuski, Associate Professor and Associate Director of ASPECT

Department of Science, Technology, and Society
335 Lane Hall 
280 Alumni Mall
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Christine Labuski is the Associate Director of the ASPECT program and is an associate professor of Science, Technology and Society and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her research and teaching are organized around two primary areas of inquiry: 1) sexualities and how sexualities become medicalized, and; 2) gender and climate/environmental justice, with an emphasis on feminist energy systems, queer ecologies, and the gender politics of fossil fuel boomtowns.

Dr. Labuski has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and essays on the subject of chronic and unexplained genital pain. Her first book, It Hurts Down There: The Bodily Imaginaries of Female Genital Pain, was co-awarded the Dissertation/First Book Prize in Women’s and Gender Studies from SUNY Press and her 2013 article “Vulnerable Vulvas” was awarded the Claire Goldberg Moses award for theoretical innovation from the journal Feminist Studies. Since then, she has been investigating the feminist and gendered dimensions of energy systems with a focus on energy justice. Her co-authored (with S. Bell and C. Daggett) article “Toward Feminist Energy Systems: Why Adding Women and Solar Panels is Not Enough,” was awarded the 2021 Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication award in Environmental Sociology.

Dr. Labuski holds a PhD in cultural anthropology and is currently editing The Ethnographic Case (2023, Mattering Press), a collection of 28 ethnographic case studies, ranging from sexual violence in the Mennonite Church to how communities respond to environmental contaminants. She teaches courses in: ecofeminisms; gender, science, and technology; sexualities; feminism, work, and labor; and sexual medicine. She has been awarded numerous teaching awards during her time at Virginia Tech, including the Diggs Teaching Scholar Award, a Certificate of Teaching Excellence, and the E. Gordon Ericksen award for Graduate Student Teaching.

  • Feminist energy systems
  • Ecofeminisms and queer ecologies
  • Gender and labor in extractive zones
  • Genital pain and medicalized sexualities
  • Feminist and queer science studies
  • PhD, The University of Texas at Austin, Social Anthropology (Women and Gender Studies portfolio)
  • MA, The University of Texas at Austin, Social Anthropology
  • MS, The University of Massachusetts Medical School-Graduate School of Nursing
  • BS, Fitchburg State College, Nursing
  • Associate Director, ASPECT
  • Director, Gender, Bodies & Technology (Conference and Initiative at VT)
  • Member, Society for Social Studies of Science
  • Member, American Anthropological Association
  • Member, National Women’s Studies Association
  • William E. Snizek Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Department of Sociology, 2015
  • American Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grant, American Association of University Women, 2015
  • Claire Goldberg Moses award for the theoretical innovation, Feminist Studies, 2014


  • The Ethnographic Case (Mattering Press, 2023). Edited with Emily Yates-Doerr.
  • It Hurts Down There: The Bodily Imaginaries of Female Genital Pain (SUNY Press, 2015).
  • The World of Walmart: Discounting the American Dream (Routledge, 2012). With Nicholas Copeland.

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Wentzell, Emily and Christine Labuski. 2020. “The Role of Medical Anthropology in Understanding Cultural Differences.” In Cultural Differences and the Practice of Sexual Medicine, Eds. David Rowland and Emmanuele Jannini. pp. 23-35. New York: Springer.
  • Labuski, Christine. 2014. "Deferred Desire: The Asexuality of Chronic Genital Pain." In Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives, eds. Karli June Cerankowski and Megan Milks. New York: Routledge, pp. 302-25.
  • Labuski, Christine. 2011. “It’s Hard to Say”: Moving Beyond the Mystery of Female Genital Pain. In Embodied Resistance: Challenging the Norms, Breaking the Rules, eds. Samantha Kwan and Christine Bobel, 143-155. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.
  • “(Wo)Men Working: Gender, Labor, and Vulnerability in the Bakken Oil Fields.” American Association of University Women. American Summer/Short-Term Research Publication Grant, $6000
  • “(Wo)Men Working: Gender, Labor, and Extraction in the Bakken Oil Fields.” Institute for the Study of Culture and the Environment (ISCE). Summer Scholars Program; $13, 694
  • “Airing Concerns: A Data-Driven Approach to Autonomous Vehicle Technology Ethics. Co-sponsored with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Sciences (ICTAS). Co-PI. $40,000.

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