Breanne Fahs is Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Arizona State University, where she specializes in studying women's sexuality, critical embodiment studies, feminist histories, and political activism. She has a B.A. in women's studies/gender studies and psychology from Occidental College and a Ph.D. in women's studies and clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She has published widely in feminist, social science, and humanities journals and has authored six books: Performing Sex (SUNY Press, 2011), an analysis of the paradoxes of women's "sexual liberation," Valerie Solanas (Feminist Press, 2014), a biography of author/would-be assassin Valerie Solanas, Out for Blood (SUNY Press, 2016), a book of essays on menstrual activism and resistance, Firebrand Feminism (University of Washington Press, 2018), a book about radical feminist histories and their links to contemporary problems of sex, gender, and justice, Women, Sex, and Madness: Notes from the Edge (Routledge, 2019), a book of her essays about women's sexuality in the chaotic and "mad" context of contemporary sexual cultures, and Unshaved, a book about resistance and revolution in women’s body hair politics (University of Washington Press, 2022). She has also edited or co-edited four books: The Moral Panics of Sexuality (Palgrave, 2013), a collection that examines cultural anxieties of "scary sex," Transforming Contagion (Rutgers University Press, 2018), a collection about the dangers and subversive potential of contagion, The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Menstruation Studies, an open-access field-defining collection of over 72 chapters on menstruation, and Burn it Down! Feminist Manifestos for the Revolution, a fiery collection of historical and contemporary feminist manifestos (Verso, 2020). She is currently at work on her newest book, Fat and Furious, about the necessity of rage as transformational to the emotional, structural, and political dimensions of fatness. She is the founder and director of the Feminist Research on Gender and Sexuality Group at Arizona State University, and she also works as a clinical psychologist in private practice.
New piece: "Nine ways that capitalism is ruining sex" from the Boston Review. Click here to access.
Unshaved: Resistance and Revolution in Women's Body Hair Politics. Order now at the University of Washington page or on Amazon.
New Podcast with Laurie Betito on body hair
NPR interview with Lauren Gilger
Reviews of Unshaved:
Fahs's lively writing, coupled with an abundance of evidence, convincingly illustrates how body hair is a path to difficult discussions regarding gender, bodies, power, and social control.- Samantha Kwan, coauthor of Under the Knife: Cosmetic Surgery, Boundary Work, and the Pursuit of the Natural Fake
"Fahs astutely reveals how tricky, sticky patriarchal power is enacted right down to the surface of our skin. What’s more, she makes clear that the everyday can—and must—be truly revolutionary."- Chris Bobel, author of The Managed Body: Developing Girls & Menstrual Health in the Global South
"Breanne Fahs is a moving, bold, and brilliant thinker and writer. Unshaved blasts the century-old Western misogynist, racist, and shame-inducing imposition of the norm of women's bodily hairlessness. Fahs urges a body politics of lived resistance and attends closely to differences among women as she covers a rich repository of feminist art, zines, and global activism. This book is utterly compelling reading; and it is an ideal text for many classes in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies."- Jane Caputi, author of Call Your “Mutha”:
"Unshaved provides an accessible way to think about power and how power gets inside our heads to shape women’s experiences of their bodies, but it is also optimistic, envisaging through in-depth scholarship a better world for women."--Sarah Riley, Women's Reproductive Health (full review here)
"This is a thorough and revelatory treatment of an underexamined aspect of feminism and body politics."- Publisher's Weekly
"Unshaved is an unabashed and unparalleled reading for anyone wanting to think more deeply about body politics."--Janice Yoder, Psychology of Women Quarterly
"UNSHAVED has wended its way into my favorite new conversation starter…We cannot be whole until we have autonomy over our own bodies. Read Breanne Fahs' book. Start the conversations. Take Action.”—Bonnilee Kaufman, Journal of Lesbian Studies