Sara Nason Presents Thesis Research at Graduate Studies Conference at MIT


Sara Nason’s research on queer self-care earned them a spot at a graduate studies conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.


The conference, titled “Interrogating Self-Care: Bodies, Personhood, and Movement in Tumultuous Times,” was hosted by the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women and Sexuality.


Nason, who completed an honours in Sociology and a major in English with a Concentration in Creative Writing, presented their thesis “I Don’t Need to be Told Things are Shitty; I Know: Queer Self-Care as Radical Resilience and Political Resistance.”


“The opportunity to present your research is incredibly valuable, not only for your own personal experience—presentation experience, networking, exposure to other research—but because conferences like this are so inspiring,” Nason said.


“I think so often when we’re in classrooms and we’re taking notes we don’t think about how we could change society for the better with the knowledge we gain, so conferences like this one are so important.”


Sociology professor Dr. Kristi Allain encouraged Nason to apply for the conference, despite being an undergraduate student, given the strong connection their research had to the conference’s theme.


Their research focuses on what self-care means to self-identified queer students and how they practice self-care while being part of a community that’s actively marginalized.

“I interviewed a selection of self-identified queer students at STU about what the term self-care means to them,” Nason said.


“There was a big factor at play in all of their interviews, which was queer self-care as a way of taking care of yourself and continuing to thrive despite a society that oftentimes rejects you.”


Attending this conference helped Nason realize it’s possible to mold research in a way that makes it accessible as “public sociology.”


“Public sociology is a term we talk about a lot. It’s basically when you make it part of your research to have ways to spread the knowledge you gain to society in general and to people who could benefit from it the most,” they said.


In the future Nason may consider pursuing a master’s in Sociology, but in the short-term they’re going to attend the School of Education with the goal of becoming an Elementary School teacher.