Carla A. Pfeffer is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work, affiliate faculty in the Department of Sociology and Center for Gender in Global Context, Director of the Consortium for Sexual and Gender Minority Health, and a Community-Engaged Research Fellow at Michigan State University. Prior to coming to MSU in 2021, Dr. Pfeffer served as Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Pfeffer completed her PhD in Sociology, MSW in Social Policy and Evaluation, and Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, where she received interdisciplinary multi-method training in the social sciences and humanities. Her research is at the intersection of critical inquiry into contemporary families, genders, health, sexualities, and bodies considered marginal, as well as social actors’ management of stigma and discrimination processes. She served as the sole U.S. co-Investigator on an internationally-funded research project studying transgender pregnancy. Dr. Pfeffer’s independent and collaborative research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and American Council of Learned Societies. Her interdisciplinary research has been published in leading journals across multiple disciplines and recognized through awards from the National Council on Family Relations and the American Sociological Association. Her award-winning book, Queering Families: The Postmodern Partnerships of Cisgender Women and Transgender Men, was published by Oxford University Press (2017). 


Dr. Pfeffer has been nationally elected to serve as Chair of the sections on Sex and Gender and Sexualities and Secretary-Treasurer of the section on Body and Embodiment of the American Sociological Association. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of an Interdisciplinary journal focusing on body weight and society, guest editor of four journal special issues, has served on eight journal editorial boards, and has reviewed for over 80 peer-reviewed journals and academic presses. She is also an invited research advisory board member and reviewer for numerous university, national, and international grants, fellowships and awards, and faculty promotion, tenure, and third-year review cases. Dr. Pfeffer’s teaching has been recognized through a university-wide outstanding teaching award and she has served as a committee member or examiner on over 50 senior honors and masters theses, guidance committees, and doctoral dissertations across nine universities. As a community-engaged and public scholar, Dr. Pfeffer’s research has been published in media outlets across the globe (including the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Boston Globe, Jakarta Post, Salon, and NBC News). Her latest piece in The Conversation has been read over 70,000 times.