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Cameron Awkward-Rich - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Cameron Awkward-Rich

Associate Professor in the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Program | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Cameron Awkward-Rich is a poet and a scholar of trans theory/expressive culture.

Expertise (6)

Trans Theory

Creative Writing


Contemporary American Literature

Disability Studies

Trans/Feminist/Queer Theory and Methods


Cameron Awkward-Rich is a poet and a scholar of trans theory/expressive culture. His writing and teaching creatively combine trans/feminist/queer theory, disability studies, black studies, and poetry and other forms of experimental writing to explore transgender aesthetics and cultural production, the conflicted histories of trans/feminist/queer thought in the U.S., and collective affect/feeling.

Social Media






Cameron Awkward-Rich reads Invisible to Whom? A Dialogue in Verse


Education (2)

Stanford University: Ph.D., Modern Thought and Literature

Wesleyan University: B.A., English and Biology

Select Media Coverage (2)

5 Black Male Poets Whose Words Enthrall Us

Ebony Magazine  online


Since his 2016 release “Sympathetic Little Monster,” won the Lexi Rudnitsky Editor's Choice Award in 2018, young poet Cameron Awkward-Rich has been on the literary world’s radar. He is also a Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has penned a number of essays on gender and racial politics. Awkward-Rich continues to use his platform as an artist and educator to spread awareness of social justice and the unique experiences of transgender and Black individuals.

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Poems of provocation

Boston Globe  online


“All of us write into and around issues of race, justice, etc.,” said Awkward-Rich, an assistant professor of gender studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “In the midst of all the unfolding of both hopeful and troubling chaos, it will be a place for people to feel the feelings that all of that has brought up.”

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Select Publications (3)

The Terrible We: Thinking with Trans Maladjustment

Book – Duke University Press

Cameron Awkward-Rich


In The Terrible We, Cameron Awkward-Rich thinks with the bad feelings and mad habits of thought that persist in both transphobic discourse and trans cultural production. Observing that trans studies was founded on a split from and disavowal of madness, illness, and disability, Awkward-Rich argues for and models a trans criticism that works against this disavowal. By tracing the coproduction of the categories of disabled and transgender in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century and analyzing transmasculine literature and theory by Eli Clare, Elliott DeLine, Dylan Scholinski, and others,

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Persea Books

Cameron Awkward-Rich


In his second collection, Cameron Awkward-Rich reckons with American violence, while endeavoring to live and love in its shadow. Set against a media environment that saturates even our most intimate spaces, these poems grapple with news of racial and gendered violence in the United States today an in its past.

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Sympathetic Little Monster

Ricochet Editions

Cameron Awkward-Rich


Through a combination of lyric, narrative, & fractured essay, SYMPATHETIC LITTLE MONSTER attempts to make a space & a shape for the little girl who haunts our cultural/ personal narratives about blackness & transmasculinity.

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