Joanna Wuest is a political scientist who studies identity and inequality, American political and constitutional development, political economy, and social theory. At Princeton University, she holds the Fund for Reunion-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellowship in LGBT Studies in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts.
She received her Ph.D. in Political Science with a certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019. Her doctoral research was funded in part by the Social Science Research Council and was the recipient of the American Political Science Association's 2019 Kenneth Sherrill Award for the Best Dissertation on Sexuality and Politics. Published work from this and related projects has appeared or is forthcoming in Perspectives on Politics, Politics & Gender, Law & Social Inquiry, and nonsite. Her writing has also appeared in the Nation, Dissent, Psyche (Aeon), the Los Angeles Review of Books' Philosophical Salon, Jacobin, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Wuest's book manuscript, Born This Way: Science, Citizenship, and Inequality in the American LGBTQ+ Movement (advance contract with the University of Chicago Press), is a comprehensive account of the “born this way” phenomenon as it has developed within the LGBTQ+ movement in the U.S. In examining that history, it reveals the consequences of allowing scientific authority to bear so heavily upon questions of identity, rights, and citizenship in American politics and political culture.
She is also working on essays for a second book project tentatively titled Queers & Capital Interests: Gay Liberation in an Age of Inequality.