Joseph Renow

Joseph Renow Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology


  • Ph.D. – Loyola University, Chicago
  • M.A. – Loyola Univeristy, Chicago
  • B.S. – University of Southern Indiana


Moving Science: How One Museum Makes Scientific Representations Real, Midwest Sociological Society Annual Conference, Spring 2012

How Buildings (Re)Construct Their Users: Identity Transformations in a 21st Century Library, Midwest Sociological Society Annual Conference, Spring 2011

Facts From Artifacts: How One Story Became Real at an Archeological Field Site, Chicago Ethnography Conference Spring 2011

The Care of the Mii: Technoscience, Surveillance, and the Biomedical Body in the Nintendo Wii Fit, Society for Social Studies of Science, November 2011

Making Monsters: Conflicting Representations of Gender and Sexuality in the Design and Use of an IUD, Loyola Annual Symposium, Spring 2011

Building Time: How a New Library Translated Future Orientations into Future Relations, Midwest Sociological Society Annual Conference, Spring 2010

Storytellers: Constructions of Science, Race, and Place at a Native American Historic Site, Loyola Annual Symposium, Spring 2010

Making Things Speak: Representations of Nature in the Politics of Technological Change, Loyola Annual Symposium, Spring 2009

Designing Buildings and Building People: An Ethnographic Study of Loyola’s Information Commons, Loyola Annual Symposium, Spring 2008

Awards and Recognition

Graduate Student Fellowship Award, Loyola University Chicago, Department of Sociology, Fall 2007 – Spring 2011

Graduate Student Service Award, Loyola University Chicago, Department of Sociology, 2009

Duffus-Melvin Recognition Award in Sociology, University of Southern Indiana, Department of Sociology, 2007

R.I.S.C. Grant Award, University of Southern Indiana, 2006

Research Interest

My research focuses on the intersections of society, culture, and expertise, so I think a lot about what scientists, engineers, and physicians think, say, and do when they are busy being experts. A common theme in my work is the places where experts do what they do, particularly the buildings where they spend so much of their time. What exactly happens within the hallowed spaces of universities, labs, and hospitals? How do these places help make expertise happen? Past projects include the design and later use of a university library, and the birth and promotion of an archeological field-site and museum. In both projects the sites themselves were instrumental in stabilizing the materials and practices from which facts are made, especially the students and publics that must be convinced, cajoled, and coerced into compliant supporters. My current project asks how the spaces of hospitals sever and divide patients (figuratively and literally) into subjects, samples, pathogens, and disease, so that medical practitioners can expand their gaze, social control, and career trajectories.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Research Methods I
  • Research Methods II
  • Sociological Theory
  • Sociology of Health and Healthcare
  • Food Systems

Teaching Positions

  • Visiting Professor -Valparaiso University (2021-Present)
  • Visiting Professor – University of Evansville (2018-2020)
  • Adjunct Instructor – Ross Medical Education Center (2015-2017)
  • Adjunct Instructor – Loyola University-Chicago (2009-2013)

Professional Associations

  • American Sociological Association
  • Midwest Sociological Society
  • Society for Social Studies of Science