Nancy Fischer

Professor, Sociology Chair & Urban Studies Director

CB 116

Nancy Fischer joined the faculty in fall 2005. She is a professor of sociology and teaches courses in the Sociology department that cross-list with interdisciplinary programs including Urban Studies, Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and Environmental Studies. She is the current Chair of Augsburg’s Sociology Department.

Nancy teaches SOC121 Introduction to Sociology, SOC111 City Life: Introduction to Urban Sociology, SOC265 Race, Class & Gender, SOC266 Sociology of Love, Intimacy and Sexuality, SOC320 Sociology of Law, and The City and Environment Keystone. “I really enjoy all of the courses that I teach for different reasons. I love teaching Introduction to Sociology because Sociology as a social science has a unique way of viewing the world, and it’s super-engaging to help others to see their worlds differently. In classes like SOC 265 or SOC266 we’re grappling with ways that our individual identities are shaped by our social locations within the societies we live and that’s an interesting intellectual and emotional journey. And in the urban and law, one emphasis is on finding practical, tangible ways to make social changes – particularly policy changes – that will improve people’s daily lives and it’s really meaningful to focus on ways to use sociology to make positive change”. Nancy deeply values intercultural education and has taught a number of Augsburg Abroad courses (Canada, Mexico, Iceland and Denmark) on urban living, happiness and environmental sustainability. Her next scheduled study abroad class will be “Green Amsterdam”, a course on environmental sustainability in the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This course is scheduled for May 2023.

In terms of research, most recently, Nancy co-edited (with James Joseph Dean), The Routledge Handbook of Heterosexualities Studies (2020), a collection of both classic and new works in the emerging field of Heterosexualities Studies. She and James co-authored the book’s introductory essay, “Thinking Straightness.” Nancy is also the co-editor of Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, a best-selling text of over 75 original essays from authors who research various topics in the fields of Sociology of Sexualities, Sexuality Studies, and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. She is currently working with Laurel Westbrook on co-editing the 4th edition of Introducing the New Sexuality Studies. Nancy is a former chair and former Secretary of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexualities. She has published a number of essays on Heterosexualities studies over the years.

Nancy is also known for her interest in (and wardrobe of) vintage clothing. She has delivered a number of presentations on vintage clothing consumers (based on a survey she conducted of vintage clothing wearers), and she authored Vintage, the First Forty Years: The Emergence and Persistence of Vintage Style in the United States” for the journal Culture Unbound on how the trend of wearing vintage clothing grew in the United States since the 1960s. Nancy loves to sew clothing from vintage sewing patterns in her spare time, and she also loves to re-fashion old clothes into new looks.


  • B.A. Hamline University (International Relations, Sociology)
  • M.A. American University (International Communication)
  • Ph.D. State University of New York at Albany (Sociology)


  • Urban Sociology
  • Law & Society
  • Sexuality & Gender
  • Culture


SOC 121 Introduction to Sociology

SOC 211 City Life: Intro to Urban Sociology

SOC 265 Race, Class and Gender

SOC 291 Sociology of Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality

SOC 320 Sociology of Law

SOC381 City and Regional Planning

ENV/URB 492 The City and Environment Keystone

SOC 295 Sustainable Cities in North America (study abroad in Canada, and Mexico)

SOC295 The Dark Side of the Happy City (in Reykjavik, Iceland and Copenhagen, Denmark)

SOC295 Green Amsterdam (coming in May 2023)