Abigail Saguy is a professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at UCLA. Her books include What’s Wrong with Fat? (2013, Oxford University Press) and What is Sexual Harassment? From Capitol Hill to the Sorbonne (2003, University of California Press). Her research interests include gender, culture, the body, politics, law and public health. She has a longstanding interest in how cultural schemas shape power relations and how subordinate groups are sometimes able to create new cultural meaning to increase their control. She has pursued these interests through comparative research on sexual harassment definitions and on framing contests over fatness. In these “hot” or highly contested topics, social actors make their cultural assumptions explicit, making them ideally suited to cultural analysis. In her work, she uses multiple methods and cross-national, cross-issue, and cross-institutional comparisons.
Another ongoing project examines how the narrative of “coming out” has travelled beyond U.S. gay rights politics and diffused to France and to other groups in the U.S., including fat women, fat admirers, people with gay parents, women in polygamous marriages, and undocumented students.
Saguy worked with CSW on developing the “Coming Out As…,” a colloquium, which addresses how the phrase “coming out” has expanded, migrated, and been re-purposed by various marginalized groups, such as transgender individuals, undocumented immigrants, or the plural marriage rights movement. Part of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women’s Research and Equity Committee initiative, which is supported by the Office of Interdisciplinary and Cross Campus Affairs, and hosted by the UCLA Center for the Study of Women and the Williams Institute, the colloquium will also feature Laura E. Enriquez, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at UC Irvine and a former student of Saguy’s, and Nicole Iturriaga, a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at UCLA.; and Kristen Schilt, who received her Ph.D. in Sociology at UCLA and who is now an associate professor at the University of Chicago. James A. Schultz, an emeritus professor at UCLA, will be respondent. It takes place on February 8, from 2 to 5 at the Charles E Young Research Library, room 11360. Cosponsors are the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA Library, LGBT Studies IDP, LBGT Resource Center, and the Sociology Gender Working Group.