Jessica Fields


Phone: 416-287-7312

Office: 725 Spadina; Rm. 358

Jessica Fields



Jessica Fields is Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society and Professor of Health Studies and Sociology at University of Toronto Scarborough. Fields’ research focus on racialized and gendered discourses of vulnerability and risk. In studies of high school communities, middle school classrooms, and jail-based HIV education, she explores the ways discourse curtails and produces sexual health education’s gendered and racialized lessons about the array of relationships, identities, desires, and behaviors that people imagine and pursue for themselves and others. With Laura Mamo, Nancy Lesko, and Jen Gilbert, Fields leads The Beyond Bullying Project (funded by the Ford Foundation), a community-based storytelling project that interrogates policymaking that challenge perceptions of LGBTQ sexualities and youth as problems and consider what is required for sexual health education to open up to the uncertainty, discomfort, and pleasure of learning from and about LGBTQ sexuality and lives. Fields is also the author of Risky Lessons: Sex Education and Social Inequality (Rutgers University Press), an ethnography of community responses to state legislation requiring school-based health education to promote abstinence until marriage. Risky Lessons received the 2009 Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Race, Gender, and Class. Fields is currently completing her second book, Problems We Pose: Feeling Differently about Qualitative Research (University of Minnesota Press), in which she welcomes emotion and feeling as a source of insight—not an obstacle to understanding—into the racialized, gendered, and sexual inequities that compromise health and well-being.