Amanda Lock Swarr

Professor, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Amanda Swarr

Contact Information

PDL B110
Office Hours
By appointment
Accepting new graduate students


Ph.D. in Feminist Studies, University of Minnesota
M.A. in Anthropology, University of Minnesota
B.A. in Women's Studies, Bucknell University

Professor Swarr’s work is concerned with queer, trans, and intersex studies, medical inequities, and feminist politics in South Africa and the U.S.  Swarr is the author of Sex in Transition: Remaking Gender and Race in South Africa (SUNY, 2012), an analysis of how the boundaries of sex and gender were policed under South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and during the transition to democracy.  This book was awarded the Sylvia Rivera Prize in Transgender Studies from CLAGS at CUNY, Honorable Mention for the Ruth Benedict Prize from the Association for Queer Anthropology, and Honorable Mention for the Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexuality.  She co-edited the book Critical Feminist Transnational Praxis (with Richa Nagar, SUNY, 2010), an anthology engaged with North/South feminist collaborations and power through the lens of praxis—the juncture of theory and practice.  She also co-edited "The Intersex Issue," a special issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly (with Michelle Wolff and David Rubin, 2022).  Swarr’s latest book, Envisioning African Intersex: Challenging Colonial and Racist Legacies in South African Medicine (Duke, 2023), explores how histories of colonialism and scientific racism are integral to contemporary intersex medicine, focusing on African intersex activists' challenges to dominant representations and violence.  It can be accessed for free here.

Select Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Teaching Award
  • Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Award
  • Simpson Center for the Humanities Fellowships
  • Royalty Research Fellowships
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Barnard College, Columbia University
  • MacArthur Scholar, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change

Photo credit: Thembela Terra Dick


Selected Research

Courses Taught


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