Ms Sophie Pezzutto

Ms Sophie Pezzutto

Position: PhD Candidate in Anthropology
School and/or Centres: School of Archaeology and Anthropology


Location: LG 31 Graduate Centre A D Hope Building 14


BEcons, BA (Hons. Asian Studies)

Sophie Pezzutto completed her Bachelor of Economics in 2009 and her Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Asian Studies in 2016 at the University of Western Australia, Perth under the supervision of Dr. Stephen Dobbs. She was the recipient of the 2011 Sir Harold Bailey Memorial Prize in Asian Studies and the 2011 Japanese Association of Western Australia Prize in Japanese Studies. She was a visiting researcher at the National Central University’s Centre for the Study of Sexualities in Taiwan from September 2016 – December 2016 where she met with Dr. Josephine Ho. In 2017 she was awarded the three-year, full-time Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship to fund her PhD research at the Australian National University in Canberra under the supervision of Dr. Christine Helliwell. In 2018 Sophie received the ANU Vice Chancellor's travel grant to spend a semester at the Institute of LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson and meet Dr. Susan Stryker. She conducted her field work in Las Vegas and was a visiting scholar at Department of Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas under the supervision of Dr. Lynn Comella. She speaks English, German, and French.

Sophie Pezzutto is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at the Australian National University. As part of her dissertation, she spent 12 months living in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, conducting an ethnographic study of the transgender pornography industry. Her research interests are economic anthropology, gender, sexuality, friendship, loneliness, fame, and social media. 

Journal articles

Pezzutto, S 2019, Confucianism and Capitalist Development: From Max Weber and Orientalism to Lee Kuan Yew and New Confucianism, Asian Studies Review, 04/2019, pp. 224-238.

Pezzutto, S 2019, “From Porn Performer to Porntropreneur: Online Entrepreneurship, Social Media Branding, and Selfhood in Contemporary Trans Pornography”, AG: About Gender, vol 8, No. 16, pp. 30-60.

Pezzutto, S & Comella, L 2020, “Trans Pornography: Mapping an Emerging Field”, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, 7.2 (May 2020).

Magazine publications

Bossy Magazine, Published by: ANU Women's department, Title: 'My friend the PhD grad and trans escort', November 13, 2017.

Conference presentations

Anthropology in transit conference, University of California Irvine, Conference title: Facing/Framing failure: New perspectives on anthropological practice, Paper presented: “Rethinking Embodiment in Anthropology through Trans Subjectivities”, February 9-10, 2018.

 “Fame and Loss of Self in Las Vegas: Social media and capitalist subjectification in trans pornography”, Far West Popular Culture Association Conference, February 22- 24, 2019.

“The fakest of them all: Reflections on fame, friendship and ethnographic practice in the trans pornography industry”, Australian Anthropological Society Conference, Panel on Queer Anthropology (Convenors: Katherine Giunta, Sophie Pezzutto), Australian National University, December 2-5, 2019.

Online articles

“The rise of the ‘Porntropreneur’: even hustlers need side hustles in the gig economy”, The Conversation, Jan 22, Link:

“I did it for the data”, The Familiar Strange, July 15, Link:

“Why Adult Video Stars Rely on Camming”, The Conversation, Nov 21, Link:

Updated:  25 February 2020/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications