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Profile for Sana Illahe

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Sana Illahe

Assistant Teaching Professor
Race/Gender/Sexuality Studies
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Sana Illahe

Assistant Teaching Professor

Race/Gender/Sexuality Studies

Specialty area(s)

Transgender Studies, Queer Studies, Decolonial and Feminist Frameworks.

Brief biography

My origins are in Lahore, Pakistan. I was awarded a Doctorate in Sociology from South Dakota State University in 2022. 

My research interests include studying how transgender persons negotiate mobility in various spaces in Pakistan, especially in urban public spaces. I study the violence against transgender people and how transgender persons respond to the violence and navigate these spaces.

My teaching interests especially revolve around themes of decolonization, with a special focus on gender, promoting an understanding of marginalized identities within their own cultural frameworks.

Before leaning towards Sociology, I studied and earned Bachelors (Honors) and Masters degree in Economics, with a minor in Mathematics from Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan. The critical economist in me peeks out especially when I teach topics around social class, development, and economic systems.

I currently serve as the Equity Liaison at Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department. I am also the Faculty Advisor to Asian Students Organization at UWL.

I am a trained vocalist in Pakistani (Hindustani) classical music tradition, and perform in concerts frequently. I use interdisciplinary approaches in collaborating with the music programs, to create global cultural consciousness among students.

I serve as a member of the Arts Board for the City of La Crosse. 

Current courses at UWL

RGS 100: Race Gender and Sexuality, and Class

RGS 310: Topics in Queer Studies- Decolonizing Sexual and Gender Identities


Teaching history

SOC 100: Introduction to Sociology

SOC 150: Social Problems



Sana Illahe, Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies, presented "Gendered Spaces: Transgender Community in Pakistan" at The University of Central Florida on Oct. 5 in Orlando, Florida. Sana Illahe presented to students, staff and faculty at UCF about the historical transgender community, also known as Khwaja Sira, in Pakistan and how colonization caused an erasure of spectrum in sexuality and gender. Illahe will discuss different stories of victory, defeat, resilience, and survival to share the voices of a community that has to navigate daily violence while maintaining identity in the urban landscape of modern-day Pakistan.

Submitted on: Oct. 9, 2023