Welcome to the Sociology Department

kempner 2018Joanna Kempner
Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2004

Department of Sociology
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
26 Nichol Avenue
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901

Office: Davison Hall, 134
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Joanna Kempner, associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University, works at the intersection of medicine, science, gender, and the body. Kempner’s research investigates knowledge production as cultural work, inscribed with and shaped by tacit cultural assumptions and social relations. Her award-winning book, Not Tonight: Migraine and the Politics of Gender and Health (Chicago 2014), examines the social values embedded in how we talk about, understand, and make policies for people in pain. Kempner is also on the vanguard of research investigating what we do not know, aka the social production of ignorance. She is currently writing a book that tracks the role that citizen scientists are playing in the reemergence of psychedelic medicine.

Professor Kempner received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, participated in the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Program and worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University. She has won several awards for her research, including the 2016 American Sociological Association’s Eliot Freidson award for Outstanding Publication in Medical Sociology, the 2016 Eileen Basker Memorial Prize, awarded by the Society for Medical Anthropology, and the Rutgers Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, one of Rutgers’ highest honors. She writes for a wide variety of audiences, publishing in journals like ScienceSocial Science & MedicineGender & Society, and Public Library of Science Medicine. You can follow her on twitter at @joannakempner or read about her work on her website at www.joannakempner.com

Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Program

Graduate Program

grad program v1


journal cover mix

In the Public Eye

newark.rally2 400

New and Noteworthy