Tamara Lea Spira

Associate Professor


PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz

Tamara Lea Spira (she/her) is a scholar of Feminist Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Hemispheric American Studies. She currently serves as an Associate Professor of Queer Studies with a joint appointment in American Cultural Studies and Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University. Prof. Spira obtained her PhD in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at UC Santa Cruz and was also UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Davis. She has also served as a Research Scholar at the Beatrice Bain Research Center at UC Berkeley, where coordinated the collective project, “Archiving 1960s and 1970s Third World and Anti-Colonial Feminist and Queer Transnational Solidarities.” Dr. Spira is on sabbatical 2020-2021, and she is currently a research fellow at the UC Davis Feminist Research Institute.

Dr. Spira’s writings can be found or are forthcoming in venues including Radical History ReviewBoundary2IdentitiesFeminist TheoryFeminist FormationsNACLA Journal of the AmericasThe Feminist Wire, Abolitions Journal, and E-misférica. Dr. Spira’s first book, Movements of Feeling: Feminist Radical Imaginations in Neoliberal Times, is under contract with University of Washington Press. Her second book, Desiring Parenthood: The Perils and Promises of Queer Parenthood in an Age of Homonormativity, is under contract with the University of California Press.

Prof. Spira’s research and teaching are informed by over two decades of work within transformative justice and prison abolitionist struggles. Her classes interrogate the intersections and disjunctures between anti-racist, queer of color, anti-imperialist, decolonial and Black feminist movements, with a focus on bridging movements and cultivating new generations of struggle. She is inspired by the creativity and commitment of her students; she particularly enjoys supporting a new generation of brilliance through student writing, publication, and organizing.