Ummni Khan holds an SJD in Law from the University of Toronto, along with a Master of Laws from the University of Michigan, a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a Master’s in English Literature from York University. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University, and is crossed with Sociology and the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Her research focuses on the construction and regulation of stigmatized sexuality in law, feminism, social science, psych discourses and popular culture. She is particularly interested in teasing out how gender, race, class, disability, age, nationality and other markers of difference intersect with sexual hierarchies.
Dr. Khan has written on a variety of topics, including BDSM, sex work, inter-cousin sexuality, “rapey” music, Canadian identity, feminist praxis and transgendered rights. Her book, Vicarious Kinks: Sadomasochism in the Socio-Legal Imaginary (2014), examines how regulation of consensual sadomasochism rests on problematic ideological claims that engage with psychiatry, anti-sm feminism and film. She is currently wrapping up a SSHRC-funded project, which grapples with the criminalization and deviantization of sex trade clients in law and culture. Her next project will be an oral history that addresses sexuality debates within Canadian feminist communities during the fraught times known as the “sex wars,” focusing on the years between 1975 and 1995.