Austin Lee

Austin Lee Profile Picture

Postdoctoral Fellow, Boston University Society of Fellows, Department of Sociology


Austin Lee is a postdoctoral scholar at the Boston University Society of Fellows, specializing in the study of extended kin networks, communal mothering practices, Black families, sexuality, and gender. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has received support from various organizations, including the National Science Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration. Her overarching research agenda utilizes comparative qualitative research methods to highlight the interdependent relationship between antiblackness and norms related to sexuality and gender, such as the essentiality of the nuclear family structure, gender conformity, and compulsory heterosexuality. Her working book manuscript, "Feeling Communal Motherhood: Black Women's Navigations of Class, Gender, and Parental Status," employs affect theory and Black feminist theory to investigate how social class and parental status shape women's experiences with communal mothering. Drawing on interviews with 80 class-diverse women, she probes how gender norms permeate within Black kin networks. She underscores the benefits of communal care practices while also acknowledging their potential to perpetuate inequality.


University of Pennsylvania, Department of Sociology, Philadelphia, PA

Ph.D. in Sociology with Graduate Certificate in Africana Studies


Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Bachelor of Arts in Black Studies with honors, Cum Laude

Research Interests

Race and ethnicity; gender and sexuality; intersectionality; affect; Black feminist theory; qualitative methods; family; informal adoption; religion

Selected Publications

Austin Colby Guy Lee, “Bring Your Straight Friends”: Anti-Gay Religious Stigma and Black and White LGB-Affirming Church Members, Sociology of Religion, Volume 84, Issue 2, Summer 2023, Pages 144–163

Lee, A. C. G. (2023). Allure in the uninhabitable: on affect, space, and Blackness in gentrifying Philadelphia. Cultural Geographies, 30(2), 205–218. 


The University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellow (2023)


Turner-Schulman Graduate Fellow, Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration (CSERI) (2021)


Research Fellow, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program (2018)

CV (file)