Clare Sears

Associate Professor

Contact Information

(415) 338-3508

Office Information: 

HSS 373
Room Number: 
Also available by appointment.
Office Hours: 
Monday: 2:00-3:00
Tuesday: 10:30-11:30


Clare Sears, Associate Professor of Sociology, joined the department in 2007. Her research and teaching interests include critical criminology, queer theory, transgender studies, historical methods, and disability studies. Sears received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2005, her M.A. in sociology from UC Santa Cruz in 2002, and her BA in sociology from the University of Leeds, England in 1992. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1992-93 and a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of California Humanities Research Institute in 2005-06. Sears is author of the book, Arresting Dress: Cross-Dressing, Law and Fascination in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco (Duke University Press, 2015) and co-editor of a special issue of the journal Social Justice on sexuality and criminalization. She has published articles on the history of cross-dressing law in Women’s Studies Quarterly and GLQ and recently completed a chapter on nineteenth century queer history for publication in Routledge History of Queer America. She has several works in progress, including a book project that investigates the historical emergence of emotional disturbance as an administrative and diagnostic category that is primarily used in special education. Outside of academia, Sears has worked as an outreach worker and researcher in the field of public health and she has published numerous articles on homelessness, drug policy, and harm reduction in Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Journal of Drug Issues, and Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.