Wesleyan portrait of Courtney  Patterson-Faye

Courtney Patterson-Faye

Assistant Professor of Sociology

212 College Street, 105


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BA University of Pennsylvania
MA Northwestern University
PHD Northwestern University

Courtney Patterson-Faye

Courtney J. Patterson-Faye is an African American studies and sociology scholar who seeks to shift how the world views and defines the bodies of black women. Her research and teaching interests include Black feminist thought, race, class and gender, fat studies, fashion studies, sexuality, cultural and medical sociology, and HIV/AIDS. She is author of “ ‘I Like The Way You Move’: Theorizing Fat, Black and Sexy,” in Sexualities (2016); “Is It Just Baby F(Ph)at?: Black Female Teenagers, Body Size and Sexuality,” in Contemporary Black Female Sexualities (2015); and “Plus Size Black and Latino Women: The Implications of Body Shape and Size for Apparel Design,” in Designing Apparel for Consumers: The Impact of Body Shape and Size (2014). She is second author of “Precious: Black Women, Neighborhood HIV/AIDS Risk, and Institutional Buffers," in the Spring 2011 edition of the Du Bois Review. Her dissertation, Fat Chance, Slim Chance: Identity, Culture, and a Politic of Fatness, studied fat black women and the political construction of body size through lenses of popular culture, fashion, and sexuality to understand how their sociocultural experiences may frame, define and regulate their identity.

Courtney J. Patterson-Faye earned her B.A. in Afro-American studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in African American studies from Northwestern University. Born in South Carolina and raised in Philadelphia, she is a former charter corps member of Teach for America's Philadelphia region where she taught high school mathematics. Professor Patterson-Faye has also worked as a staff member at Oberlin College, first as the Africana community coordinator of the Multicultural Resource Center, and later as faculty-in-residence of Afrikan Heritage House. At Oberlin she enriched her love of teaching and further developed and honed her programming and community building skills. Prior to arriving at Wesleyan, she was the inaugural teaching fellow in critical identity studies at Beloit College.



Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Wednesdays, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and by appointment.

All office hours will be virtual for the 2022-2023 academic calendar.


Fall 2022
SOC 308 - 01
Baby Got Back: Embodiment

SOC 399H - 01
ARS: Hot Mamas: Black Women

Spring 2023
CHUM 324 - 01
Black Girl Magic?