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Stefan Vogler (Ph.D. 2018)

Area(s) of Interest

Gender, sexuality, law, crime, science and knowledge, risk and classification, political sociology, immigration, cultural sociology, feminist and queer theory


Stefan Vogler is a Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. He completed his PhD in sociology at Northwestern University, where he was also affiliated with the Gender & Sexuality Studies Department, Legal Studies, and the Science in Human Culture program. His research, which has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Sociological Association, and the Sexualities Project at Northwestern, examines the interrelationships of gender and sexuality, law and crime, and science, technology, and knowledge.

His dissertation, “Ruling Sexuality: Law, Expertise, and the Making of Sexual Knowledge,” analyzes how legal and scientific institutions reify and regulate sexual subjects. Using legal and discursive analysis, interviews with legal and scientific actors, and multi-sited ethnographic observations, he argues that attempts to measure and classify sexual “others” naturalizes social differences along the lines of sexuality while simultaneously legitimating differential forms of social control for various sexual populations. Through a comparative analysis of sexual orientation-based asylum claims and risk evaluations of sex offenders—two legal arenas where adjudicators must determine subjects’ sexualities—he shows how the state enrolls non-state expert actors to help craft classificatory schemas that render sexual “others” legible to and thus manageable by the state. Drawing on different types of social science expertise results in dramatically different measurement practices and, in turn, drastically disparate definitions of the sexual subjects under scrutiny. He suggests that the institutionalization of these divergent schemas within law and science helped to anchor the rapid separation of sex offenders and LGBTQ people in the cultural imaginary and thus the extension of rights for LGBTQ people and the escalation of punishment for sexual criminals.

He is also at work on several other projects, including a collaboration with Laura Beth Nielsen examining the differential implementation of Title IX policies regarding sexual consent and assault on college campuses and how such differences affect students’ sexual interactions and likelihood of reporting unwanted sexual encounters. Other projects examine the legal constitution of transgender asylum claimants and gendered differences in the asylum claiming process for gay men and lesbians.


Forthcoming. “Constituting the ‘Sexually Violent Predator’: Law, Forensic Psychology, and the Adjudication of Risk.” Theoretical Criminology. Online first:

2017. Review of Gendered Asylum: Race and Violence in U.S. Law and Politics by Sara McKinnon. International Migration Review 51(3):e39-e40.

2017. “Interview with Tiana Paschel.” Amici: The Newsletter of the Sociology of Law Section 25(2):13-15.

2016. “Legally Queer: The Construction of Sexuality in LGBQ Asylum Claims.” Law & Society Review 50(4):856-889.

2016. “Welcoming Diversity? Symbolic Boundaries and the Politics of Normativity in Kansas City’s LGBTQ Communities.” Journal of Homosexuality 63(2):169-92.

2014. “Queer Nation.” Pp. 570-572 In Encyclopedia of Social Deviance, edited by Craig Forsyth and Heith Copes. London: Sage.

Fellowships, Awards, and Grants:

2018 Maurice J. and Fay B. Karpf Peace Prize
2017 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Completion Fellowship
2016 Martin P. Levine Memorial Dissertation Award from ASA Section on Sexualities
2015 Sexualities Project at Northwestern Dissertation Fellowship
2016 Sexualities Project at Northwestern Summer Research Grant
2016 Northwestern University Research Grant
2015 Buffett Institute Dissertation Research Travel Award
2013 Sexualities Project at Northwestern Summer Research Grant
2012 Mellon Foundation Interdisciplinary Cluster Fellow in Gender and Sexuality Studies
2012 E. Jackson Baur Award for the Study of Conflict and its Resolution
2011 Morris C. Pratt Travel Scholarship
2011 Morris C. Pratt Research Scholarship
2010 Helen Waddell Roofe Scholarship
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