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Amanda Lock Swarr

Associate Professor, Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

Contact Information

PDL B110 Q
Office Hours: 
By appointment


Ph.D. in Feminist Studies, University of Minnesota (2003)
M.A. in Anthropology, University of Minnesota (1998)
B.A. in Women's Studies, Bucknell University (1995)

Professor Swarr’s work is concerned with queer, trans, and intersex studies, medical inequalities, and feminist politics in South Africa and the U.S.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Washington in 2005, she was Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Barnard College of Columbia University.  Swarr is the author of Sex in Transition: Remaking Gender and Race in South Africa (2012), analyzing 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 2014 Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Sexuality. She is also the co-editor of Critical Feminist Transnational Praxis (with Richa Nagar, 2010), an anthology engaged with North/South feminist collaborations and power through the lens of praxis—the juncture of theory and practice.  Swarr’s current book project, Envisioning African Intersex: Challenging Colonial and Racist Legacies of South African Medicine, explores how colonialism and scientific racism are integral to contemporary intersex medicine, focusing on African intersex activists' challenges to dominant representations and violence.


  • Swarr, Amanda Lock.  Sex in Transition: Remaking Gender and Race in South Africa.  SUNY Press, 2012.
  • Swarr, Amanda Lock, and Richa Nagar, eds.  Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis.  SUNY Press, 2010.

Select Honors and Awards

  • 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Washington
  • Royalty Research Fellowship, 2021-2020 and 2013-2014
  • Society of Scholars, Simpson Center for the Humanities: 2016-2017 and 2009-2010
  • 2014 Distinguished Book Award: Honorable Mention for Sex in Transition for best book in the Sociology of Sexualities, American Sociological Association, Section on Sexuality
  • Sylvia Rivera Award for best book or article in Transgender Studies for Sex in Transition, CLAGS at CUNY, 2013
  • Ruth Benedict Prize: Honorable Mention for Sex in Transition, Association for Queer Anthropology, 2013
  • Samuel E. Kelly Distinguished Faculty Award, 2013
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Barnard College, Columbia University, 2003-2005
  • MacArthur Scholar, International Center for the Study of Global Change, 1995-2003
  • Schochet Center Graduate Award for Excellence in Scholarship in GLBT Studies, 2002


Courses Taught

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