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), an analysis of the ways that 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 Medicine, Racism, and Gender Impositions in South Africa explores how colonialism and scientific racism are integral to intersex medicine, focusing on South African intersex activists' challenges to dominant representations and violence.
- Swarr, Amanda Lock. Sex in Transition: Remaking Gender and Race in South Africa. State University of New York (SUNY) Press, 2012.
- Swarr, Amanda Lock, and Richa Nagar, eds. Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis. State University of New York (SUNY) Press, 2010.
Select Honors and Awards
- 2019 Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Washington
- 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
- Royalty Research Fellowship, 2013-2014 and 2006-2007
- 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
- Graduate Research Partnership Program Fellowship with Richa Nagar, 2001
- National Women's Studies Association, Annual Conference, 2019.
- Dworkin, Shari L., Amanda Lock Swarr, and Cheryl Cooky. “(In)Justice in Sport: The Treatment of South African Track Star Caster Semenya.” Feminist Studies, 39(1), spring 2013.
- Amanda Lock Swarr. "Paradoxes of Butchness: Lesbian Masculinities and Sexual Violence in Contemporary South Africa." SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 37(4): Summer 2012.
- Amanda Lock Swarr. Sex in Transition: Remaking Gender and Race in South Africa. New York, SUNY Press, 2012.
- Amanda Lock Swarr and Richa Nagar, eds. Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis. New York: SUNY Press, 2010.
- Amanda Lock Swarr, with Sally Gross and Liesl Theron. "South African Intersex Activism: Caster Semenya's Impact and Import." Feminist Studies, 35(3): Fall 2009.
- Amanda Lock Swarr and Richa Nagar. "Dismantling Assumptions: Interrogating 'Lesbian' Struggles for Identity and Survival in India and South Africa." SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 29(2): Winter 2004.