Christoph Hanssmann

Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies, San Francisco State University
Chapter Member: Bay Area SSN

Connect with Christoph

About Christoph

Hanssmann's research interests include the politics of health, science and medicine, focused on relationships between biomedicine and social movements. Hanssmann's writings include transgender health care, housing, feminist health justice, and health-based social movements. Hanssmann works collaboratively with researchers and activists in feminist, queer, and trans*feminist health and justice as well as prison abolition movements. He supports and consults with California Coalition for Women Prisoners, TGIJP, and more.


Preventing Homelessness Among TransLatinas in a Sanctuary City

  • Nicole Santamaria
  • Christoph Hanssmann
  • Samuel Bosch
  • Mark Fleming

In the News

Opinion: "Trump’s Anti-Trans Memo Opens Door to Escalating State Surveillance," Christoph Hanssmann, Truthout, October 27, 2018.
Opinion: "Feminists and Trans Activists Rise Against State Violence in Argentina," Christoph Hanssmann (with Erika D’Andrea), Truthout, September 30, 2018.


"Housing Is Health Care”: Treating Homelessness in Safety‐net Hospitals" (with Christoph Hanssmann, Janet K. Shim, Irene H. Yen, Mark D. Fleming, Meredith Van Natta, Maryani Palupy Rasidjan, and Nancy J. Burke). Medical Anthropology Quarterly 36, no. 1 (2022): 44 - 63.

Discusses how health workers in two U.S. urban safety‐net hospitals worked with patients without stable housing.

" Managing the “Hot Spots” Health Care, Policing, and the Governance of Poverty in the US" (with Mark D. Fleming, Janet K. Shim, Irene Yen, Leslie Dubbin, Ariana Thompson-Lastad, and Nancy J. Burke). Journal of the American Ethnological Society 48, no. 4 (2021): 474-488.

Discusses how managing the “hot spots”: Health care, policing, and the US. Health care systems in the US are experimenting with “hot spotting,” which targets high-cost patients— so-called “super-utilizers”—with intensive health and social services. Mentions through a calculative deployment of resources to the costliest patients, health care hot spotting promises to simultaneously improve population health and decrease financial expenditures on health care for impoverished

"Epidemiological Rage: Population, Biography, and State Responsibility in Trans- Health Activism" Social Science & Medicine (2020).

Examines how social movements reconceptualized trans-health in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Looking ethnographically to medical and activist practice, the article analyzes "epidemiological biographies", or activist-produced community-based studies blending quantitative and narrative data. Draws on population health, feminist science studies, transgender studies, and social theory to discuss the circulation and implications of these publications. Describes how epidemiological biographies disputed health behavioral models by defining state violence and criminalization as primary conditions endangering health and life expectancy among travestis and trans-people.

"Caring for "Super-utilizers": Neoliberal Social Assistance in the Safety-net" (with Mark D. Fleming, Janet K. Shim, Irene Yen, Meredith Van Natta, and Nancy J Burke). Medical Anthropology Quarterly 33, no. 2 (2019): :173-190.

Examines how the deployment of social assistance within a neoliberal institutional logic aligns economistic values and ethics of care.

"Passing Torches?: Feminist Inquiries and Trans-Health Politics and Practices " Transgender Studies Quarterly 3, no. 2 (2016): 120–136.

Offers an empirical and theoretical inquiry into how the emergent field of trans health can be productively read with and through feminist health formations. Explores connections (tense and otherwise) between trans health and feminist health, and it brings critical theorizing of feminist health practices to bear on how trans health is currently fashioned, situated, and represented. 

"Training Disservice: The Productive Potential and Structural Limitations of Health as a Terrain for Trans Activism" in Transfeminist Perspectives in and Beyond Transgender and Gender Studies, edited by Anne Enke (: Temple University Press:, 2012), 112-132.

Explores some of the structural challenges of Trans 101-style trainings for health care providers in health care pedagogy.