Dana Ahern

Visiting Assistant Professor of Queer Studies

Prior to joining Hampshire College, Dana Ahern was a postdoctoral fellow in queer and trans studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Ahern’s research lies at the intersection of trans and queer studies, critical race and ethnic studies, and feminist science and technology studies, comparing the development and sale of transgender medicine out of Eastern Europe and the United States. Ahern’s work examines trans medicine through differing political economies of health and their effects on the construction of the transgender body as (de)pathologized.

Ahern completed a B.A. in gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, an M.A. in gender and cultural studies at Simmons College, and a Ph.D. in feminist studies with a designated emphasis in critical race and ethnic studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • digital community particularly through a lens of racial justice. In particular, this course pays attention to recent and ongoing revolutionary and social justice movements including Arab Spring, the George Floyd protests of 2020, and the more general growing disability rights movement as it emerges on and through digital platforms. With these and other examples, we will critically discuss the limits and possibilities of digital technologies, particularly a lens of critical race and ethnic studies and racial capitalism more specifically. Together we will explore the increasingly digital context of identity, revolution, and power. Keywords:Queer, trans, disability, race, STS The content of this course deals with issues of race and power.

  • In Cruising Utopia, Jose Munoz describes the possibility for queerness through the opening oneself up to the "perception of queerness as manifestation in and of ecstatic time." Ecstasy allows for us to see the paradoxes in pleasure, giving space to the contradictions, nuances, and differences, and in that, opening up what is meant in thinking with the future and potentiality. This course is grounded in women of color feminisms and explores the development of theories on hope, futurism, and utopia. The reading follows foundational texts in affect, queer, and critical race theories, examining their genealogies critically. We will examine debates within the context of future studies, starting with the notion of queer utopia by Jose Munoz and situating it within the larger context of women of color feminisms. We will analyze the development of these theories and explore the limits, possibilities, and new directions of the scholarship. Keywords:Queer, trans, critical race and ethnic studies, affect The content of this course deals with issues of race and power This course could be used to fulfill the Division II Project requirement.

  • This course introduces a broad range of topics within queer and trans studies with emphasis on queer/trans of color critique. We will look at the formations of these fields, their origins, limits, and what they accomplish within the space of the university. We will examine what "counts" as queer studies, exploring the histories of its writings and publications alongside current topics in the field. In addition to its emphasis on queer and trans of color critique, the course centers around women of color feminisms as we examine the ways that research in topics such as queer theory and transgender studies emerge via and through this canon. Simultaneously, we examine queer studies and its affiliates through the lens of social justice, moving through early groundwork of queer and feminist organizing and exploring how it influences and informs more recent movements for justice. Keywords: Queer, LGBTQ, Race

  • This course emphasizes queer and trans histories and theoretical approaches to discussions of medicine and science as systems of power. We begin with an exploration of histories of medicine and medical technologies, discussing topics of scientific racism and misogyny, as well as racialized constructions of health and wellness. In addition to these analyses of oppression and power, we will also discuss legacies of resistance and social justice done in response to medical violence. We will bridge these histories with discussions of the more recent debates of medicine and medical technologies with particular attention to debates surrounding access to and legislating of transgender medicine. Overall, our readings primarily put into conversation critical race and ethnic studies, trans studies, and feminist science studies to examine the production of medicine through the intersection of legislative and medical policies and institutions. Keywords: Queer, transgender, medicine, race