Peer-reviewed Articles

Nanney, Megan, Nathaniel G. Chapman, J. Slade Lellock, and Julie Mikles-Schluterman. Forthcoming 2020. “Gendered Expectations, Gatekeeping, and Consumption in Craft Beer Spaces.” Humanity & Society.

While women are drinking more craft beer in the United States, the association between masculinity and beer remains intact. Yet, sparse research has considered how involvement in craft beer culture may differ across public and elite beer spaces. In this article, we analyze a questionnaire of 1,102 craft beer drinkers to compare the ways that men and women gain and enact cultural legitimacy within different craft beer spaces. Our focus on public and elite consumption spaces generates two interconnected insights. First, in public spaces, men are assumed to have a natural basic beer knowledge. Women, however, are dismissed as ‘not real beer drinkers’ through men’s gatekeeping. Second, within elite spaces, both men and women must prove their belonging as elite drinkers and ultimately navigate gatekeeping mechanisms. As a result, our work extends consumption and gender literature by showing how inclusive cultural movements rest on the gendering of contextually specific knowledge and the policing of elite status and prestige in public and elite leisure spaces.


Ovink, Sarah M., Demetra Kalogrides, Megan Nanney, Patrick Delaney. 2018. “College Match and Undermatch: Examining Variation in and Consequences of College Choice.” Research in Higher Education 59(5):553-590.

Recently, multiple studies have focused on the phenomenon of “undermatching”—when students attend a college for which they are overqualified, as measured by test scores and grades. The extant literature suggests that students who undermatch fail to maximize their potential. However, gaps remain in our knowledge about how student preferences—such as a desire to attend college close to home—influence differential rates of undermatching. Moreover, previous research has not directly tested whether and to what extent students who undermatch experience more negative post-college outcomes than otherwise similar students who attend “match” colleges. Using ELS:2002, we find that student preferences for low-cost, nearby colleges, particularly among low-income students, are associated with higher rates of undermatching even among students who are qualified to attend a “very selective” institution. However, this relationship is weakened when students live within 50 miles of a match college, demonstrating that proximity matters. Our results show that attending a selective postsecondary institution does influence post-college employment and earnings, with less positive results for students who undermatch as compared with peers who do not. Our findings demonstrate the importance of non-academic factors in shaping college decisions and post-college outcomes, particularly for low-income students.


Chapman, Nathaniel G., Megan Nanney, J. Slade Lellock, and Julie Mikles-Schluterman. 2018. “Bottling Gender: Accomplishing Gender through Craft Beer Consumption.” Food, Culture and Society 21(3):296-313.

While beer has maintained a position as the most popular alcoholic beverage among men age 21–34, a recent Gallup poll indicates that craft beer has surpassed wine as the most popular beverage for women in the same age group in USA. In light of this trend, there has been little research done to explore gender dynamics in craft beer consumption and the craft beer industry. This paper seeks to understand the increasing popularity of craft beer among women by: (1) exploring beer as a gendered object, (2) illuminating the experiences of women in the craft beer culture and industry, and (3) examining how gender is done, redone, and undone in craft beer spaces. Drawing from a discursive content analysis of an online beer community, it seeks to consider the gendered nature of beer and how gender is both reconfigured and upheld, allowing for the possibility for new consumption patterns.

Nanney, Megan, and David L. Brunsma. 2017. “Moving Beyond Cis-terhood: Determining Gender through Transgender Admittance Policies at U.S. Women’s Colleges.” Gender & Society 31(2):145-170.

In 2013, controversy sparked student protests, campus debates, and national attention when Smith College denied admittance to Calliope Wong—a trans woman. Since then, eight women’s colleges have revised their admissions policies to include different gender identities such as trans women and genderqueer people. Given the recency of such policies, we interrogate the ways the category “woman” is determined through certain alignments of biology-, legal-, and identity-based criteria. Through an inductive analysis of administrative scripts appearing both in student newspapers and in trans admittance policies, we highlight two areas U.S. women’s colleges straddle while creating these policies: inclusion/exclusion scripts of self-identification and legal documentation, and tradition-/activism-speak. Through these tensions, women’s college admittance policies not only construct “womanhood” but also serve as regulatory norms that redo gender as a structuring agent within the gendered organization.


Kari Dockendorff, Megan Nanney, and Z Nicolazzo. 2019. “Trickle Up Policy-Building: Envisioning Possibilities for Trans*formative Change in Postsecondary Education.” Pp. 153-168 in Rethinking LGBTQIA Students and Collegiate Contexts: Identity, Policies, and Campus Climate, edited by E, M. Zamani-Gallaher, D.D. Chouduri, and J. L. Taylor. New York: Routledge.

While there has been an ongoing push within postsecondary education for “data-driven decision-making,” there has been some provocative questioning of just what it means to collect data and develop policies to accommodate trans* populations. The relative lack of interrogation about such policy-making signals the ways in which institutional sexism reinforces and bolsters the ongoing effects of transgender oppression. This chapter discusses how calls for collecting certain types of data that already exist (e.g., climate data) or are rift with problematic assumptions and often become overly simplified (e.g., demographic data) continue to serve as impediments to forward policy-based progress. Rather, this chapter discusses what data is needed in order to chart a course for trans*formative change in postsecondary education, highlighting several ongoing initiatives to collect data with and alongside transgender students, faculty, and staff to further gender justice. The chapter closes with a vision of what trans*formational policies could look like across educational contexts and spaces.

Nanney, Megan. 2019. “Making Room for Gendered Possibilities: Using Intersectionality to Discover Transnormative Inequalities in the Women’s College Admissions Process.” Pp. 227-241 in Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses, edited by W. C. Byrd, S. Ovink, and R. Brunn-Bevel. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers.

Outcry and protest arose in 2013 when Smith College, a women’s college in Massachusetts, denied admission to Calliope Wong, a trans* woman, because her financial aid form indicated her sex as male. Since then, at least 20 women’s colleges have adopted admissions policies outlining varying biological, social, and legal criteria for who may apply to the institution. In this chapter, I complicate our understanding of gendered policies as a relationship between identity, biology, and legal status leading to trans* precarity. Rather than sex/gender serving as the sole institutional barrier for trans* individuals at these institutions, the utilization of an intersectional analysis can highlight how even seemingly inclusive institutional policies may still exclude the most marginalized students. I call for higher education practitioners and policy makers to rethink adding trans* identities to pre-existing nondiscrimination policies that invite students into broken systems. I emphasize trickle-up justice and policy building led by the students to assist with addressing the multiple, interlocking systems of inequalities preventing full inclusion and participation within postsecondary systems of education.

Nanney, Megan. 2017. “‘I’m Part of the Community, Too’: Women’s College Alumnae Responses to Transgender Acceptance Policies.” Pp. 133-154 in Advances in Gender Research: Gender Panic, Gender Policy (vol. 24), edited by V. Demos and M.T. Segal. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group.

This study highlights the nuances and strategies of boundary construction in regards to the social category of woman. I propose that researchers expand theorizations of gendered boundary negotiation to consider the ways in which boundaries are drawn not only as a form of panic and exclusion but also as a response to such panics to promote inclusivity and diversity.

Editorials and Reports

Harless, Chase, Megan Nanney, Jasmine Beach-Ferrera, and Austin Johnson. 2019. “The Report of the 2019 Southern LGBTQ Health Survey.” Southern LGBTQ Health Initiative, Campaign for Southern Equality.

Brunsma, David L., Megan Nanney, and J. Slade Lellock. 2016. “Seeing the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity through Keywords and References.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2(1):1-9.

Embrick, David G., David L. Brunsma, and Megan Nanney. 2015. “On Moving Forward.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 1(2): 1-5.

Brunsma, David L., David G. Embrick, and Megan Nanney. 2015. “Toward a Sociology of Race and Ethnicity.” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 1(1): 1-9.

Book Reviews

Nanney, Megan. 2019. “Review of Sexual Intimacy and Gender Identity ‘Fraud’.” Sexualities 22(7-8):1145-1146.

Nanney, Megan. 2019. “Critical (of) Anti-Bias Research, Practice and Policy in Education: Review of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Schooling.” Journal of LGBT Youth 16(1):113-15

Nanney, Megan. 2017. “In the National Spotlight: Review of Growing Up Coy.” [Documentary]. Journal of LGBT Youth 15(2):135-137.

Nanney, Megan, and David L. Brunsma. 2015. Review of Humanitarian Violence: The U.S. Deployment of Diversity, By Neda Atanoski. Ethnic and Racial Studies 38(13):2408-2410.

Manuscripts Under Review

Nanney, Megan and Z Nicolazzo. “Performing Ideology: Taking Up TERF as a Slur.” 

Nanney, Megan. “Cis.” Chapter for Rethinking Women’s and Gender Studies II edited by Catherine Orr and Ann Braithwaite. New York: Routledge. Revise and Resubmit.

Nanney, Megan. “Transgender Student Experiences in Single-Sex Colleges.” 

Manuscripts in Progress

Ovink, Sarah M., W. Carson Byrd, Megan Nanney, and Abigail Wilson. “Intersected Experiences: Comparing Student Pathways In and Out of STEM.

Nanney, Megan. “Gender Panics.” Invited entry for The SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies, ed. by Genny Beemyn and Abbie Goldberg.

Ovink, Sarah M., Megan Nanney, & Jessica Herling. “Gendered Organizations and STEM Career Pathways for College-Aged Women.” (In preparation for Gender & Society)

Johnson, Austin, Megan Nanney, & Chase Harless. “Transgender Health in the American South: Attitudes, Behaviors, Experiences, & Outcomes.” Accepted chapter for Handbook on Transgender, Non-Binary, & Gender Minority Populations, edited by Amanda Baumie and Sonny Nordmarken.