Visiting Scholar, Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies


Dr. Sophie Lewis is a writer and an independent visiting scholar at Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Sophie is also a member of the teaching faculty of the Philadelphia branch of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. They are the author of Abolish the Family: A Manifesto for Care and Liberation (Verso Books, 2022) and of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family (Verso Books, 2019), which Donna Haraway hailed as "the seriously radical cry for full gestational justice that I long for." Their third book, Enemy Feminisms, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books (2024). Sophie's work regularly appears in e.g., Harper'sn+1London Review of BooksBoston Review, and the New York Times. You can support their writing here.
Sophie's scholarship operates in the spheres of trans feminist cultural criticism and queer social reproduction theory, and their interests include utopian critiques of the family, Marxist feminisms, Black radicalism and antiwork theory. Their research has lately focused on the etiologies of eugenic, bioconservative and imperial feminisms, including narratives of so-called white slavery past and present, femonationalism, and trans-exclusionary femocratism. Their short courses, available to all to enroll in via BISR, have lately included such themes as: FemonationalismEcofeminism and XenofeminismChildren's LiberationFeminists Against Women: The Politics of TERFism, and The Feminist Sex Wars.
Prior to becoming a para-academic, Sophie's academic trajectory was transdisciplinary ("undisciplined"): they are a graduate of Oxford University (initially at Wadham College for a BA English Literature; subsequently at St. Hilda's for an MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy). As a Fulbright Scholar at the New School for Social Research in 2011, they earned an MA Politics. Finally, Dr Lewis defended their PhD in human geography in early 2017, at the University of Manchester. Their peer-reviewed papers have appeared in journals such as Feminist TheoryParagraphFeminist Review, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and SocietyFrontiers: Journal of Women's StudiesGender Place & Culture and Dialogues in Human Geography (Sophie's paper ‘Cyborg Uterine Geography’ serves as the anchor for a response forum). Sophie’s German-English translations for MIT Press include A Brief History of Feminism (Antje Schrupp) and Communism for Kids (Bini Adamczak). Their translation of Sabine Hark and Paula-Irene Villa’s account of femo-nationalist Islamophobia in Germany, The Future of Difference, is published by Verso Books (June 2020). Sophie is a member of the ecological writing collective Out of the Woods, whose edited collection Hope Against Hope: Writings on Ecological Crisis is published by Common Notions (June 2020). 

Area of Expertise