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Carole S. Vance

Associate Professor at Columbia University Medical Center of Sociomedical Sciences

Carole S. Vance, PhD, works on integrating sexuality with human rights frameworks and rights-based health interventions. She has written widely on sexuality, science, gender, and policy; policy controversies about sexual expression and imagery; and sexuality theory and research methods. For the past ten years, she has directed a program on sexuality, gender, health and human rights, which advances policy-relevant scholarship and facilitates exchange between researchers and advocates on sexual health and rights issues. Dr. Vance has extensive experience in training students from developing countries, particularly on research methods in sexuality, and the practical application of sexuality research in a range of cultural, national, and policy contexts. Dr. Vance currently is involved in research on trafficking into forced prostitution, also known as sex trafficking, with particular focus on the ways in which ethnographic research can inform policy, as well as health and rights interventions. Dr. Vance edited the landmark collection, Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, and is completing the edited volume, Ethnography and Policy: What Do We Know about Trafficking? with publication in 2007. In 2005, Dr. Vance received the David R. Kessler Award for lifetime contributions to studies of sexuality.
Education & Training:

    MPH, 1982, Columbia University (Epidemiology)

    PhD, 1979, Columbia University (Anthropology)

    BA, 1968, Hunter College - CUNY (Latin and Greek, cum laude


University Affiliations:

  • Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Anthropology Dept.  Associate Clinical Professor
  • Law School  Lecturer
  • Institute for Social and Economic Research Policy  Faculty Fellow

Additional Affiliations:

Honors and Awards:
  • Kessler Award (lifetime contribution to sexuality studies), 2005
  • Tannenbaum-Warner Award for Excellence, University Seminar in Sexuality and Rights, 2005
  • Outstanding Teacher Award, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 1999
  • International Fellow in Sexualities and Culture, The Australian National University, 1993
  • Doris Stevens Professor in Women's Studies, Princeton University 1991
  • Selected Editorial Boards

    • Associate Editor, Medical Anthropology
    • Editorial Board, International Journal of Sexual Health
    • Editorial Advisory Board, Culture, Sexuality and Health
    Co-Director, Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture and Society, International School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Project URL: http://www.ishss.uva.nl/SummerInstitute/

    Since 2000, I have been the Co-Director of The Summer Institute on Sexuality, Culture Society at the International School for Humanities and Social Sciences, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Summer Institute is an intensive four-week summer program focused on the study of sexuality across cultures, for international graduate students and NGO advocates and activists, given every July, and taught by a team of internationally recognized scholars, researchers, and practitioners. www.ishss.uva.nl/SummerInstitute/
    Countries: Bangladesh

    Sexuality and Rights Institute, India Project URL: http://www.sexualityinstitute.org

    For the past five years, I have provided consultation and technical support to NGOs in India working in the area of sexuality, health, and rights. In connection with this project, I teach at the Sexuality and Rights Institute: Exploring Theory and Practice, Pune, India. www.sexualityinstitute.org The Sexuality and Rights Institute is an annual two-week residential course for Indian researchers and advocates that focuses on a conceptual study of sexuality. It examines the interface between sexuality and rights and its links with the related fields of gender and health. The Institute also aims to further the analytical skills of participants to critically examine how various strategies and practices in the field of sexual and reproductive health affirm or violate the rights of individuals. The Institute is sponsored by CREA (Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action), New Delhi, India and TARSHI (Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues), New Delhi, India.
    Countries: India

    Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health, and Human Rights Project URL: http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/gender/

    Dr. Vance founded and directed this progra, which uses the new scholarship on sexuality to engage with ongoing theoretical conversations and activism in human rights, gender, and health. The program aims to promote dialogue and exchange between academic, activist, and advocacy work. See A.M. Miller and C.S. Vance (Co-editors), Special Issue: Sexuality, Human Rights, and Health. Health and Human Rights 7(2), 2004. Current activities: o Seminar in Sexuality, Gender, Health, and Human Rights, P8707/ L 9836 (co-sponsored with Columbia University Law School) o University Seminar on Sexuality, Gender, Health, and Human Rights (monthly evening seminar for the metro New York academic and advocacy community). Tannenbaum-Warner Award, Columbia University, April 2005. http://www.columbia.edu/cu/seminars/

Selected Publications:
  • A.M. Miller and C.S. Vance. Sexuality, Human Rights, and Health. Health and Human Rights 7(2) 5-15 2004
  • A.M. Miller and C.S. Vance (Co-editors) Special Issue: Sexuality, Human Rights, and Health. Health and Human Rights 7(2), 2004. 2004
  • G.E. Marcus and F.Myers (Eds.) Traffic in Culture: Refiguring Art and Anthropology. University of California Press Pp. 330-368. 1995.
  • Carole S. Vance Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, 2nd edition. Pandora xvi-xxxix 1992
  • Carole S. Vance "Anthropology Rediscovers Sexuality: A Theoretical Comment." Social Science and Medicine 33 (8) 875-884 1991
  • Carole S. Vance "Misunderstanding Obscenity." Art in America, May 49-55 1990
  • F. Ginsburg and A. Tsing (Eds.) Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture. Beacon Press, 1990
  • Carole S. Vance The War on Culture. Art in America, September 39-45 1989
  • Carole S. Vance (Ed.) Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality. First edition, Boston and London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984. Second edition, with new introduction, London: Pandora, 1992, 1994. 1984
  • Carole S. Vance Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality Routledge & Kegan Paul 1-27. 1984

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