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Shanna K. Kattari

Associate Professor of Social Work and Associate Professor of Women's Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Shanna Katz Kattari

Shanna K. Kattari, PhD, MEd, CSE (they/them/theirs) is an associate professor at the School of Social Work, in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department (by courtesy), and is the director of the [Sexuality|Relationships|Gender] Research Collective. A white, Jewish, nonbinary, disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent (AuDHD), polyamorous, queer fat Femme, their practice and community background is as a board-certified sexologist, certified sexuality educator and social justice activist.

Kattari’s multi-methodological research focuses on three areas that often overlap: disability and ableism (including neurodivergence, Mad studies and disability justice), sexuality and sexual health (including reproductive justice), and queer and trans affirming practice (in behavioral, physical and sexual health spaces).

Their work aims to understand how power, privilege and oppression systematically marginalize, exclude and discriminate against people regarding their identities, while also uplifting the brilliance and resistance demonstrated by these communities in the face of stigma and harm. Recently, Kattari’s work has focused on the health disparities among trans/nonbinary communities, across physical, behavioral and sexual health, using community-based participatory research and arts-based methods. Their work has also included several studies on disability and ableism, particularly regarding the academy and social work education.

Kattari also explores experiences of sexuality in marginalized communities, most notably disabled adults, LGBTQIA2S+ individuals, those practicing non-monogamy, and those practicing kink/leather/BDSM. Their work with the SRG Collective allows them collaborators across North America, the U.K. and Aotearoa/New Zealand, and they deeply value having many students and community members as collaborators. Additionally, they conduct research in other topic areas such as weight stigma/fatphobia, critical and anti-carceral pedagogy and developing anti-oppressive social work education.

Kattari strongly believes in translational research that benefits the communities being researched and values making research accessible to not only academics but also to society at large. They are committed to engaging, innovative education and critical pedagogy, multi-level omnidirectional mentorship models and supporting individuals from a variety of identities in entering, navigating and succeeding in the academy.

Kattari is the convener of the Social Work Disability Justice League and currently serves on the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Council on Disability and Persons with Disabilities. They previously served as co-chair of the CSWE Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression and chaired the LGBTQ Caucus of Social Work Students and Faculty.

Research Interests/Focus

Health disparities; health outcomes; discrimination; disability/ableism; gender identity; sexual orientation; intersectionality; mixed method; and power/privilege/oppression


Year Degree   School
2017 PhD Social Work University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
2008 MEd Human Sexuality Education Widener University
2006 BA Sociology and German Colorado College


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