Sarah Prior

Sarah  Prior
  • Assistant Professor | Undergraduate Program Director
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD Arizona State University 2012
  • MA Northern Arizona University 2008
  • BA Gonzaga University 2004
  • 460A Berkey Hall
  • 509 E. Circle Drive
  • East Lansing, MI 48824
  • 517-353-4760


Sarah Prior


Sarah Prior is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Undergraduate Program Director at Michigan State University and Core Associated Faculty/Staff at the Center for Gender in Global Context.  A sociologist and justice studies scholar, her work focuses on gendered violence and gender inequity.  Sarah's current work investigates the institutional culpability in issues related to campus sexual violence.  Her work is interdisciplinary in nature and seeks to create social change at the personal, institutional, and societal levels.  As a teaching-scholar, Sarah focuses on strong and inclusive pedagogy.

Sarah is currently a Lily Fellow and was previously a Bailey Scholars Faculty Fellow (2020-2022) and an Adams Academy Fellow (2019-2020).

Sarah is a member of sociological and criminological associations including the American Sociological Association (ASA), Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS); and American Society of Criminology (ASC) and its Division on Women and Crime. Her recent teaching responsibilities have included SOC 216 - Sex & Gender; SOC 241 - Social Psychology; SOC 316 - Youth & Society; SOC 488 Social Theory, ISS 210 - Society and the Individual; among others.  Sarah is a founding member of TELLIT - Teaching and Learning for Institutional Transformation at MSU and also a member of the RCGV - the MSU Research Consortium on Gender-based Violence. 



Dr. Prior's current research focuses on campus sexual violence and the institutional action/inaction of colleges and universities. She is collaborating on a book project Campus Sexual Violence: A State of Institutionalized Sexual Terrorism forthcoming Sept 2022 with Dr. Brooke de Heer (Northern Arizona University) on a project regarding campus sexual violence as sexual terrorism and the influence of neoliberal ideologies on how institutes of higher education respond to sexual violence. Dr. Prior's current work also looks at the role and influence of pornography on both sexual violence.


Prior, S., and B. de Heer. (2021). Everyday Terrorism : Campus sexual violence and the neoliberal university. Sociology Compass.

de Heer, B., S. Prior, and J. Fejervary. “Female Pornography Consumption,  Alcohol Use, and Sexual Victimization”. Violence Against Women.   https://doi/10.1177/1077801220945035 

Prior, S., and B. de Heer. (forthcoming September 2022). Campus Sexual Violence: A State of Institutionalized Sexual Terrorism. Routledge

de Heer, B., S. Prior, & G. Hoegh.  2020.“Pornography, Masculinity, and Sexual Aggression on College Campuses". Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Prior, S., and B. de Heer. 2017. Raising Strong Women in a Culture of Rape: The Maternal Struggle. Conditionally Accepted. Inside Higher Ed.

Jones, L., de Heer, B., S. Prior. (2016). “Campus Sexual Assault: Conceptualizing Vulnerable Groups in an Unfolding Legal Context” in Campus Action Against Sexual Assault: Needs, Policies, Procedures, and Training Programs. M. Paludi (ed). Praeger/ABC-CLIO


Sarah Prior