Nancy Fischer

Urban Studies Director, Professor

CB 116
Curriculum Vitae

Nancy Fischer (pictured in the center) 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 ENV/URB492 The City and Environment Keystone. “I really enjoy all the courses I teach for different reasons. I love teaching Introduction to Sociology because Sociology as a social science has such a unique way of viewing the world. As a teacher, it’s exciting to help others see their daily worlds differently. In classes like SOC 265 or SOC266 we’re grappling with ways that our individual identities and relationships are shaped by our social locations. That’s an interesting intellectual and emotional journey. And in urban studies or the law, the emphasis is on finding practical, tangible ways to make social change – particularly policy changes – that will improve people’s daily lives. It’s deeply meaningful to focus on ways to use sociology to make positive social change”. Nancy values intercultural education and has taught several Augsburg Abroad courses (in Canada, Mexico, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden) on urban living, happiness and environmental sustainability. Her next scheduled study abroad class will be “Another Future is Possible: Sustainable Solutions in Amsterdam and Rotterdam”, a course on hope, practical “utopias,” and environmental sustainability in the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. This course is scheduled for May 2023.

Nancy’s primary research project has been editing the engaging work of scholars in Sociology of Sexualities, and Sexuality Studies. Most recently (2022) Nancy co-edited the 4th edition of Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: Original Essays with Laurel Westbrook. The book features 84 essays by leading scholars in the field specifically writing about sexual issues for an undergraduate audience. Nancy also 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. Nancy is a former chair and former Secretary of the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexualities. She has published several essays on Heterosexualities studies over the years.

Nancy is also known for her interest in (and wardrobe of) vintage clothing. She has delivered 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)


  • Sexuality & Gender
  • Fashion & the Sociology of Culture
  • Law & Society
  • Urban Sociology & Urban Studies


  • SOC 121 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC 211 City Life: Intro to Urban Sociology
  • SOC 265 Race, Class and Gender
  • SOC 266 Sociology of Love, Intimacy, and Sexuality
  • SOC 320 Sociology of Law
  • SOC 381 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)
  • SOC 295 The Dark Side of the Happy City (in Reykjavik, Iceland and Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • SOC 295 Another Future is Possible: Sustainable Solutions in Amsterdam & Rotterdam (coming in May 2023)