• Tori Barnes-Brus

    Tori Barnes-Brus

    Associate Professor of Sociology

      211 College Hall

Biographical Sketch

Professor Barnes-Brus teaches courses on inequality, deviance & social control, reproduction, media, and research methods. She has a long-standing commitment to the liberal arts and values the integration of theory and practice. Her courses demonstrate a dedication to social justice and civic engagement; many involve field trips (to local homeless shelters or medical centers) or incorporate public sociology projects such as student-made public service announcements.  She works closely with students on their research, sponsoring numerous student research presentations at Student Symposium, the Iowa Sociological Association meetings, and the Midwest Sociological Society meeting. Her current  research uses  the Lydia E. Pinkham Company as a case study for analyzing the cultural construction and commercialization of womanhood, reproduction, and women's health.

Academic History

  • PhD in Sociology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 2010
    Dissertation: “Responsible Mothers and Well Born Children: Social Authorities and the Discourses of Nineteenth-Century Pregnancy”
  • MA in Sociology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 2001
    Thesis: “Women of the Perpetual Cloth: Quilting, Alienation and Consciousness.”
  •  BA in Sociology & History, Cornell College 1996


  • SOC 101: Sociological Thinking
  • SOC 255: Media and the Public Mind
  • SOC 314: Community Organizing, Public Policy, and Social Change ~ in Chicago
  • SOC 315: Wealth, Power, and Inequality
  • SOC 316: Cultural Sociology
  • SOC 317: Reproductive Practices, Reproductive Policies
  • SOC 364: Deviance and Social Control
  • SOC 387: Research Design and Data Analysis

Off-Campus Experiences

  • Soc 314: Community Organizing, Public Policy, & Social Change: Regularly taught in Chicago every other year for 10 days - full block. (Next offering Block 8, 2014-15; 10 days)
  • Fall 2016: Faculty Fellow , ACM Newberry Seminar: Research in the Humanities "Novel Action: Literature, Society, and Social Movements"
  • Fall 2013  ACM Faculty Site Visit, Pune, India
  • Fall 2010  Aoyama-Gakuin Women’s Junior College, Faculty-Student Exchange, Tokyo, Japan
  • Summer 2010  “Global Citizenship”FaCE Grant for Course Development, Malta


  • Barnes-Brus, Tori. Forthcoming. Review of Cut It Out: The C-Section Epidemic in America, by Theresa Morris.  Contemporary Sociology. 
  • Donovan, Brian and Tori Barnes-Brus.  2011. “Narratives of Sexual Consent and Coercion: Forced Prostitution Trials in Progressive-Era New York City .” Law and Social Inquiry 36(3): 597-619
  • Barnes-Brus, Tori.  2006. “Birth Control”and “Reproductive Rights.” Encyclopedia of Privacy, edited by William G. Staples. Westport CT: Greenwood Publishing.
  • Barnes-Brus, Tori.  2005. “The Contradictions of Gay Tele-Visibility: A Reaction to Gamson.” Social Thought and Research 26:1-2.” 
  • Barnes-Brus, Tori. 2005. “Women of the Perpetual Cloth: Women's Consciousness, Women's Culture, Women's Work.” Midwest Feminist Papers a Publication of the Midwest Sociologists for Women in Society. 
  • Warren, Carol A. B., Tori Barnes-Brus, Heather Burgess, and Lori Wiebold-Lippisch. 2003.  “After the Interview ” Qualitative Sociology 26(1):93-110.

Recent Presentations and Lectures

  • “’The Mother is the Architect of Man’:The Lydia E. Pinkham Patent Medicine Company’s Fear-Empowerment Discourse on Health and Mothering.”  Presented at the Making Motherhood Visible: (Re)Writing Narratives of Contemporary Mothers Conference, Museum of Motherhood, NYC, March 2014.
  • “Free Lovers: Sex, Morality and the Middle Class in late Victorian America.” Invited lecture for SOC 365 Sexualities, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa, November 2012.
  • “It’s Not Like That Anymore… or Is It? Using Mad Men to Teach Feminism and Culture” Presented with Erin Davis at the Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2012. 
  • “ ‘Saviour of Her Sex': The Lydia E. Pinkham Company and the Contradictions of Women's Reproductive Maladies in late 19th Century America.” Invited lecture at Aoyama-Gakuin Women’s Junior College, Tokyo, Japan. October 2010.
  • “Well Bred Mates, Well Born Children: Heredity, Maternal Influence and Pregnancy in the Late Nineteenth Century.” Presented at the Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Des Moines, Iowa, April 2009.
  • “‘The Hope of the Race’ and the ‘Rights of Children to be Well-Born’ Late Victorian American Reproductive Rights.” Presented at the Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, April 2008. 
  • “Courtroom Storytelling and the Legal Construction of Sexual Consent: Prosecuting Compulsory Prostitution in New York City, 1908-1915." Presented with Brian Donovan at the Social Science History Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2006. 
  • "' Yours for Health, Lydia E. Pinkham': A Cultural analysis of a Late Victorian Era Patent Medicine Company." Presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, August 2006. 
  • “Reproductive Morality: Physicians vs. Free Lovers in Late Victorian America.” Presented at the Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, August 2006.
  • “The 'Boundary Turn' in Cultural Sociology: Cultural Capital, Symbolic, Boundaries, and the Perpetuation of Social Inequality.” Presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 2005.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Schlesinger Library Research Support Grant, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2014-2015
  • Emil and Rosa Massier Award in the Social Sciences, Cornell College, 2014, 2011
  • Campbell McConnell Sabbatical Grant, Cornell College, 2013-2014
  • McConnell Travel Grant, Cornell College, 2014, 2012, 2011
  • Student-Faculty Summer Research Grant, Cornell College 2010
  • FaCE Grant for "Global Citizenship" (with Deborah Norland, Luther College; John Moeller, Luther College; Kimberly Lanegran, Coe College, & Linda Clemente, Ripon College), 2010
  • Civic Engagement Project Curriculum Development Award, Cornell College, 2007
  • Dissertation Fellowship, University of Kansas, 2006-2007
  • Scholarship Development Award, Midwest Sociological Society, 2004