Christina Hanhardt

Associate Professor & Director of Graduate Studies, American Studies
Associate Professor, LGBT Studies
4109 Susquehanna Hall

For Graduate Program issues, email

Christina B. Hanhardt is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of American Studies. She is also the core faculty member of the LGBT Studies Program, and an active affiliate of the Department of Women’s Studies and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity. Her research focuses on the history and contemporary forms of U.S. social movements and cities since the mid-20th century, with an emphasis on the politics of deviance, punishment, and uneven development. Her first book, Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence (Duke University Press, 2013), is a history of LGBT activism against violence in New York and San Francisco since the 1960s, framed in the context of broader debates about poverty, gentrification, policing, and crime. Safe Space details how the mainstream LGBT movement sought to distinguish normative gay identity from the matrix of deviancies associated with racialized poverty; her next project asks after those who have been left out of this vision. Left Out looks at how certain social movements have organized around highly stigmatized and criminalized low-income communities, including those who have used drugs, exchanged sex for money, been diagnosed as mentally ill, and/or been incarcerated. Of particular interest is the historical emergence and present-day uses of a model of public health known as “harm reduction” and its relationship to varied social movement strategies.

Hanhardt’s other publications on the above areas, as well as on the politics of neoliberalism, queer film and video, and additional topics, include articles in the journals Radical History Review, Women and Performance, and the Scholar and Feminist On-Line, and reviews, roundtables, and short essays in the Journal of American History, Transformations, In Media Res, and others. Her research has been recognized by grants, awards, and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council; Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University; General Research Board and Qualitative Research Interest Group at the University of Maryland; Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Fund and the Future of Minority Studies Project at Cornell University; and Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York; among additional sources. She was the winner of the 2013 Undergraduate Studies Teaching Award at the University of Maryland.



  • Ph.D. Program in American Studies (New York University, 2007)
  • M.A. Program in American Studies (New York University, 2002)
  • M.A. Inter-Arts Program (San Francisco State University, 1998)
  • A.B. Department of Modern Culture and Media (Brown University, 1994)

Courses Taught:

  • Sex and the City (undergraduate)
  • Race, Sexuality, and the Transnational (undergraduate)
  • Crime and Punishment (undergraduate)
  • Queer Politics (undergraduate and graduate versions)
  • Deviance and Dominance in the City (graduate)
  • The Bad Life: Deviance, Disability, Defiance (graduate)
  • The Cultural Politics of Neoliberalism (graduate)