Spotlight Spotlighting a UH Woman Each Month

azie       Dr. Sarah Luna


What is your position and title at UH?

I’m a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program.

How long have you worked here?

I have worked at UH since August 2014. 

What are your job responsibilities and duties?  

I teach one class per semester, work on my own research project, and work on program development. 

Do you teach or engage in research and if so, can  you detail? 

Last quarter, I taught Intro to Women’s Studies, and this quarter, I’m teaching Sexuality and Queer Theory.  In Fall 2015, I will teach a course cross-listed in anthropology and WGSS entitled Sex and Money: Feminist/Anthropological Approaches to Sex Work.  I’ll teach Sexuality and Queer Theory again in Spring 2016. 

I’m working on my first book manuscript, which is tentatively titled Sex Workers and Missionaries Transforming Value(s) on the Mexico/US Border.  I’m an anthropologist, and my first project is based upon twelve months of ethnographic research in the Mexican border city of Reynosa, Tamaulipas.  I focused upon two kinds of migrants to Reynosa whose projects brought them together in a prostitution zone surrounded by walls—women who migrated from rural areas to work as sex workers and a small group of (mostly American) missionaries whose mission focused upon the sex workers.  The ethnography I’m writing examines how the projects, relationships, and subjectivities of these migrants was shaped by the differences created by the Mexico/US border and how they changed after Reynosa’s militarization and surge in drug-related violence. 

What is your teaching philosophy? 

I have three main goals in any classroom: 1) for students to learn to see the world from diverse perspectives 2) for students to develop analytical tools that they can use to evaluate other material both inside and outside of the classroom 3) to create an inclusive and supportive learning environment that is sensitive to students’ different backgrounds and learning needs.  

What are your career goals in the next five years? 

In the next five years, I plan to finish my first book project and begin research for my second book project.

What is your proudest accomplishment? 

Finishing my dissertation is my proudest accomplishment.  If anyone reading this is writing a dissertation, I feel your pain, and I encourage you to keep chipping away at it, bit by bit.  

What advice or encouragement would you give UH staff and students? 

Drink more water!  Don’t text and drive! Remember that this is not a meritocracy. 

What is something about you that many co-workers and students do not know about you? 

I was Jesus Christ for Halloween when I was four years old.   I convinced my parents to dress up like Mary and Joseph.   It was totally not blasphemous, though.  I loved Jesus, like, a lot, when I was four. #dragkingofkings