Book by Sociomedical Sciences Professor Named to NPR Best Books List

December 11, 2020

The book, Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus, by Sociomedical Sciences Professor Jennifer Hirsch and co-author Shamus Khan, chair of sociology at Columbia, was named to NPR’s List of Best Books of 2020.

Published by W. W. Norton & Company, the book details new approaches to making sexual assaults a less common feature of college life. The book draws on ethnographic research from the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT), Columbia’s landmark study of sexual assault on its campuses, and the most comprehensive study of sexual assault on campus to date. Hirsch and Khan present an entirely new framework that emphasizes sexual assault’s social roots―transcending current debates about consent, predators in a “hunting ground,” and the dangers of hooking up.

Hirsch’s research spans five intertwined domains: the anthropology of love; gender, sexuality, and migration; sexual, reproductive, and HIV risk practices; social scientific research on sexual assault and undergraduate well-being, and the intersections between anthropology and public health.

Earlier this year, the book was fourth on an Esquire Magazine list of “The Best Books Coming Out This Winter to Solve Your New Year’s Resolution to Read More.”