Joslyn Brenton

Joslyn Brenton

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Faculty, School of Humanities and Sciences
Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies

Office: Muller Center
Ithaca, NY 14850

About Me: I grew up in a rural town in Maine. I had never heard of sociology until I took a course my first year of college. I soon switched my major! After I finished college I spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, West Africa. While there I became fascinated with how other cultures view the body and medicine. Today I study and teach about health and illness (among other things). I see the classroom as a transformative space for students and for myself. In my courses I focus on how multiple inequalities (e.g., race, class, and gender) shape the way people think about and experience health and illness. I love when students ask questions, as I think this is an essential component of learning. In my courses we examine questions like: Is health a basic human right? Who has the power to define what health and illness mean? Is Western medicine the best medicine? I look forward to seeing you in my classroom!


  • Ph.D. (2014) North Carolina State University
  • M.S. (2008) North Carolina State University
  • B.A. (2001) University of Maine


  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Health & Illness in Modern Societies
  • Global Perspectives on Health & Health Care (Spring 2015)

Research Areas

  • Health and Illness
  • Race, Class, Gender
  • Health and the Family
  • Social Psychology
  • Qualitative Methods


  • Brenton, Joslyn. (Forthcoming 2017). “The Limits of Intensive Feeding: Maternal Foodwork at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Gender.” Sociology of Health & Illness 39(6): XX
  • Bowen, Sarah, Joslyn Brenton and Sinikka Elliott. (Forthcoming 2018) The Joy of Cooking?: Feeding the Family in Unequal Times. Advance contract Oxford University Press.
  • Bowen, Sarah, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton. 2014. "The Joy of Cooking?" Contexts.
  • Brenton, Joslyn and Sinikka Elliott. 2014. "Undoing Gender? The Case of Complementary and Alternative Medicine." Sociology of Health and Illness 36(1): 91-107. 
  • Elliott, Sinikka, Rachel Powell, and Joslyn Brenton. (forthcoming). "Being a Good Mom: Low-Income Black Single Mothers Negotiate Intensive Mothering." Journal of Family Issues.


School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing