Faculty Profiles

Hannah Wohl
Assistant Professor
Ph.D.Northwestern University
Research Interests

My research explores how individuals make judgments. In particular, I study how aesthetic judgments interact with other kinds of judgments, such as economic and moral judgments. I focus on creative industries, including visual arts, literature, and academia. I examine how individuals experiment to produce new creative works and how others choose which works to distribute and consume. I also research issues regarding gender and sexuality in creative industries.

My current book project, Creative Visions: Consistency and Variation in the Production of Contemporary Art, is under contract with University of Chicago Press. Drawing upon my ethnography of the New York City contemporary art world, I analyze how contemporary artists produce and circulate distinctive bodies of work. The book contributes to both the social sciences and the humanities by extending understandings of experimentation and judgment across creative industries.

My research has won awards from the Theory Section, Culture Section, and Consumers and Consumption Section of the American Sociological Association, as well as from the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. It has been published in Sociological Theory, Poetics, Qualitative Sociology, Qualitative Research, Teaching Sociology, and other venues. I hold a B.A. from Brown University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. Before coming to UCSB, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia University.

Selected Publications

Wohl, Hannah. 2019. “Performing Aesthetic Confidence: How Contemporary Art Collectors Maintain Status.” Socio-Economic Review. DOI: 10.1093/ser/mwz041.

Wohl, Hannah. 2019. “Creative Visions: Presenting Aesthetic Trajectories in Artistic Careers.” Poetics. DOI: 10.1016/j.poetic.2019.03.003.

Wohl, Hannah, and Gary Alan Fine. 2018. “Reading and Reputation: Sense, Sensibility, and Status in Graduate Education" 18(5): 554–564.

Wohl, Hannah, and Gary Alan Fine. 2017. “The Active Skim: Efficient Reading as a Moral Challenge in Post-Graduate Education.” Teaching Sociology 45(3):220-227.

Wohl, Hannah. 2017. “Somatic Security: Negotiating Appropriateness in Sexualized Interactions.” Qualitative Sociology 40(2):237-257.

Wohl, Hannah, and Gary Alan Fine. 2017. “Reading Rites: Teaching Textwork in Graduate Education.” The American Sociologist 48(2):215-232.

Mosser, Gianna, Hannah Wohl, and Gary Alan Fine. 2016. “Alone in Publand: Leaving Academics to Themselves.” The American Sociologist 47(2):238-252.

Wohl, Hannah. 2015. “Community Sense: The Cohesive Power of Aesthetic Judgment.” Sociological Theory 33(4):299-326.

Griswold, Wendy, and Hannah Wohl. 2015. “Evangelists of Culture: One Book Programs and the Agents who Define Literature, Shape Tastes, and Reproduce Regionalism.” Poetics 50:96-109.

Teaching Areas

My main teaching areas include courses on creative industries, culture, qualitative methods, and sociological theory.

Course Listing

Contact Information

Social Sciences and Media Studies Bldg 3427
office hours
T 4:00-600pm