Helana Darwin is an award-winning sociologist on the academic job market who researches the reproduction of social inequality. Her ongoing research arc theorizes gender inequality through a wide range of subcultures, both online and offline.
Helana’s dissertation research analyzes the social experiences of non-binary people (those who identify as neither man nor woman), identifying obstacles that they encounter in their daily lives, along with strategies they have devised in order to achieve social recognition. Based on a virtual ethnography of a social media site and a follow up series of in-depth interviews with 47 non-binary people from across the globe, this research illuminates the limitations and harmful effects of the gender binary system. Helana earned the Joyce Turner Dissertation Fellowship Award from Stony Brook University for this research. She has published two articles from this data thus far, including: “Navigating the Religious Gender Binary” (Sociology of Religion) and “Challenging the Cisgender/ Transgender Binary: Non-binary people and the transgender label” (Gender & Society). Helana has revised her dissertation into a book manuscript and is in active pursuit of a book contract with a University press.
Helana’s next substantive research arc will shift in focus to analyze anti-Semitic ideologies, Jewish racial subjectivities and constructions. This project will begin with a pilot study called “White but Jewish.”
In her spare time, Helana is writing her second book, called #MeTooPhD, intended for a general reading audience. She is currently searching for an agent and a press for this book.