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Austin Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Austin Colby Guy Lee, a Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, focuses on the complex relationship between Black womanhood and communal mothering practices in her research. Her work centers on firsthand accounts gathered from semi-structured interviews with eighty middle and working-class Black mothers and childless women. She delves into how parental status and social class influence their experiences with communal motherhood and gender inequality within the family. Using affect theory, Austin unravels the complex emotions and pressures tied to communal mothering practices. She also dissects themes related to motherhood, caretaking, and class, thereby enriching the fields of race, gender, emotion, and family studies. The focal areas of her scholarship include the interconnectedness between racism and gender and sexuality norms, and how various systems of inequality convey difference. Austin's research interests span race, gender and sexuality, sociology of the family, Black feminist ontologies, and affect theory. Besides her Ph.D., she holds a graduate certificate in Africana studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor's degree in Black Studies from Amherst College.