University of Wisconsin–Madison

Chris Barcelos

Assistant Professor

3414 Sterling Hall

Personal Website

I am a broadly trained social scientist and community-based researcher whose intellectual and political home has long been in feminist studies. My research uses ethnography, discourse analysis, and visual methods with the lenses of feminist science studies and queer of color critique to examine how scientific discourses in health promotion both reveal and reproduce inequalities along the lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, and ability. I am affiliated with the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and the Collaborative Center for Health Equity. In 2018-2019 I will participate in the inaugural group of faculty fellows working on community-engaged research and teaching through the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Finally, I work with the data team of the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition to promote data collection and dissemination that benefits the lives of trans and gender nonconforming people across the state.

My current research projects include an ethnographic manuscript on theracial politics of teen pregnancy prevention, an archival and interview-based examination of the politics of queer and transgender safer sex practices, and a narrative and statistical analysis of how trans people crowdfund transition related healthcare expenses. These projects share a theoretical emphasis on making visible how social power operates at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, ability, and so on, as well as a practical emphasis on research for and by marginalized people that contributes to effective policies and programs.

As a scholar-educator, I aim to nurture public intellectuals who are moved to translate their academic knowledge and skills into meaningful change in their lives, communities, and workplaces. A commitment to critical pedagogy links my research and teaching and leads me to enlist students as research collaborators, de-centralize power in the classroom, and structure learning as a dialogic, reciprocal process. I encourage students to engage with me as an interlocutor, rather than an all-knowing expert.


GWS 103: Gender, Bodies, and Health
GWS 449: Queer of Color Critique
GWS 533: Queering Sex Ed
GWS: 534: Gender, Sexuality, and Reproduction
GWS 900: Research in Gender & Women’s Studies


Book manuscript in progress:
Distributing Condoms and Hope: Race and Reproduction in Youth Sexual Health Promotion

Journal Articles:
Barcelos, Chris. 2018. “Culture, Contraception, and Colorblindness: Youth Sexual Health Promotion as a Gendered Racial Project.” Gender & Society 32(2): 252-273.
Barcelos, Chris, and Aline Gubrium, 2018. “Bodies That Tell: Embodying Teen Pregnancy Through Digital Storytelling.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43(4): 905-927.
Barcelos, Chris, and Aline Gubrium. 2014. “Reproducing Stories: How Young Mothers Negotiate Dominant and Alternative Narratives on Teen Pregnancy.” Social Problems 61(3): 466-481.
Barcelos, Chris. 2014. “Producing Potentially Pregnant Teen Bodies: Biopower and Adolescent Pregnancy in the United States.” Critical Public Health 24(4): 476-488.
Gubrium, Aline, Chris Barcelos, David Buchanan, and Erika Gubrium. 2013. ‘“When Nothing Matters Things Just Happen’: Young Parenting Women’s Reflections on Caring, Health, and Justice.” International Quarterly of Community Health Education 34(2): 121-137.

Book Chapters:
Barcelos, Chris. Forthcoming. “Gender and Health in Adolescence.” In Oxford Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality in Education, edited by Cris Mayo. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Working Papers:
Barcelos, Chris. “Go Fund Inequality: The Politics of Crowdfunding Transition-Related Medical Care.”
Barcelos, Chris and Stephanie Budge. “Inequalities in Crowdfunding Transgender Healthcare.”
Barcelos, Chris. “Bye-bye Boobies: Normativity and Medicalization in Transgender Medical Crowdfunding.”
Barcelos, Chris and Malú Machuca-Rose. “Gloves and Revolution: The Limits and Possibilities of Queer Safer Sex as Political Project.”