Corey Lee Wrenn; Photo Credit: Jonathan Pillow

Photo credit: Jonathan Pillow

Corey Lee Wrenn, PhD is an American sociologist specializing in animals and society, the animal rights movement, ecofeminism, and vegan studies.


Dr. Wrenn is Lecturer of Sociology with the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She was previously a Lecturer of Sociology and Director of Gender Studies (2016-2018) with Monmouth University. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology with Colorado State University in 2016 and her M.S. in Sociology and B. A. in Political Science in 2008 and 2005 respectively from Virginia Tech. She was awarded Exemplary Diversity Scholar, 2016 by the University of Michigan’s National Center for Institutional Diversity. She served as council member with the American Sociological Association’s Animals & Society section (2013-2016) and was elected Chair in 2018.

Dr. Wrenn serves as Book Review Editor to Society & Animals and member of The Vegan Society’s Research Advisory Committee. She has contributed to the Human-Animal Studies Images and Cinema blogs for the Animals and Society Institute. She has been published in several peer-reviewed academic journals including the Journal of Gender Studies, Environmental ValuesFeminist Media StudiesDisability & SocietyFood, Culture & Society, and Society & Animals. In July 2013, she founded the Vegan Feminist Network, an academic-activist project engaging intersectional social justice praxis. She is the author of A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory (Palgrave MacMillan 2016) and Piecemeal Protest: Animal Rights in the Age of Nonprofits (University of Michigan Press 2020).

Research Emphasis

Dr. Wrenn grew up in a lower-income, resource-extractive community in southern Appalachia, inspiring her passion for social justice and social change. Her graduate work with Virginia Tech reflects this heritage, investigating social and environmental inequality in southwestern Virginia through historical comparative content analysis.

More recently, Dr. Wrenn’s research builds on social movement theory to explore relationships between humans and other animals and animal liberation efforts. Her work explores the role of factionalism in social movements under the shadow of movement professionalization. Her work also prioritizes theories of intersectionality and oppression, particularly that which manifests within social justice spaces.

History of Service

As reflected in her contributions to public sociology, Dr. Wrenn is also committed to maintaining bridges between academic institutions and the vulnerable communities and activists who stand to benefit from critical sociological research. Dr. Wrenn has been actively involved in working towards positive social change long before entering her academic career. As a high school student, she served as a crew member for the U.S. Forest Service’s Youth Conservation Corps in the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson National Forests. In college, she continued this environmental and community stewardship as a Crew Supervisor for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Youth Conservation Corps program in Virginia State Parks. This program serves at-risk youths and teens from vulnerable backgrounds.

As a college student, she was also heavily involved in student activism, acting as president to the Virginia Tech animal rights and environmental awareness organization and founding the animal rights student organization at Colorado State University. Additionally, she has worked as an emergency caseworker for the Virginia Department of Social Services in Child Protection and has volunteered for the Virginia Tech English Language Institute and the Roanoke Valley Total Action Against Poverty. She continues to volunteer with a number of social justice non-profits today.


Corey Lee Wrenn, PhD
+44 01227 (82)3536


Google Plus
Linked In

Press and Promotional Materials

Dr. Wrenn’s work has been featured by The Huffington Post, Women’s Health Magazine, The Vegan Society, The Feminist Wire, Everyday Sociology, Sociological Images. A full list of her academic publications is available here.


A Rational Approach to Animal Rights: Extensions in Abolitionist Theory
Palgrave 2016
ISBN 978-1-137-43465-4
Hardcover $110
eBook $85/£60
Softcover $35/£25
Political philosophy
Promotional flyer
High-res cover image

“In her insightful analysis, Wrenn skillfully makes the case for a rational, scientific approach calling for the elimination of animal oppression . . . ” – Journal of Animal Ethics

“Corey Lee Wrenn challenges the conventional thought of the nonhuman animal rights movements that promotes a neoliberal, capitalist agenda that reinforces rather than ends speciesism . . . Wrenn’s groundbreaking book provides a critical analysis of the two major perspectives within nonhuman animal rights organizations: animal welfarism and abolitionism.” – Contemporary Sociology
Piecemeal Protest: Animal Rights in the Age of Nonprofits 
University of Michigan Press 2020
Hardcover –
e-Book –
High-res cover image


High-Resolution Photographs