Sandra Lynn Barnes

C.V. Starr Professor of Sociology and Department Chair
Photo of Sandra Barnes

Prior to joining Brown University in 2021 and the PSTC in 2022, Barnes was a joint appointed Professor of Sociology in the Department of Human and Organizational Development in Peabody College and the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University. She also served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Vanderbilt. Dr. Barnes was the first female African American Assistant Vice Chancellor in the history of Vanderbilt University.

Professor Barnes is engaged in mixed-methodological research on race and religiosity, in general, and the Black Church, in particular, as well as religion/spirituality and sexuality. Her scholarship also considers ways in which poor and working class urbanites are adaptive and resilient and focuses on the role of religion and congregations as change agents in society. She is also interested in race, class, and gender dynamics, the relationship between structural constraints and individual agency, and how these dynamics influence the experiences of residents in poor urban spaces. 

Scholarly Interests

Sociology of Religion; Inequality and Poverty; Urban Sociology; Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality; Black Youth Education; African American Studies

Affiliated Departments

Department of Sociology