IRW Staff

Arlene Stein

Director: Arlene Stein

Arlene Stein is a Professor of Sociology who studies gender, sexuality, and American culture. The author of four books, she received the Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to the study of sexualities and the Ruth Benedict Book Award. She teaches courses on the sociology of gender and sexuality, culture, self and society, and trauma/memory, among other subjects, and serves on the graduate faculty of the Department of Women's and Gender Studies.

Her latest book, Reluctant Witnesses: Survivors, Descendants, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness (Oxford, 2014), looks at how mass traumatic events shape the families of survivors, how they tell stories about these events, and how their stories enter the public sphere. The Stranger Next Door: The Story of a Small Town’s Battle Over Sex, Faith, and Civil Rights,  (Beacon, 2001), an ethnography of a Christian conservative campaign in a small lumber community in the Northwest, explores clashing understandings of religion and sexuality in American culture. 
Her 1997 book Sex and Sensibility: Stories of a Lesbian Generation (California), examines generational shifts in lesbian identities and the impact of feminist ideas on sexual self-concepts. Recent work focuses on feminism and transgender politics, same-sex marriage, and Islamophobia.

Her book Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists (J. Daniels, coauthor), will be published by the University of Chicago Press. She is currently writing a book about transgender men. You can follow her at twitter @SteinArlene.


Associate Director: Sarah Tobias

Sarah Tobias's work bridges academia and public policy. A feminist theorist and LGBT activist, she is co-editor of Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities (Rutgers University Press, 2016), co-author of Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families (University of Michigan Press, 2007), and additionally has written and edited numerous academic and policy-related reports and articles. Prior to joining IRW in January 2010, she spent over 8 years working in the nonprofit sector and also taught at Rutgers-Newark, the City University of New York (Baruch College and Queens College), and Columbia University. In addition to serving as Associate Director of IRW, Sarah is affiliate faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers. She has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University, England.


Administrative Assistant: Meliseta Shand


Sara Perryman

IRW Learning Community Coordinator: Sarah Perryman

Sara Perryman is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at Rutgers. Her dissertation seeks to theorize race and sexuality as affective experience in the context of postindustrial Detroit, Michigan. By putting feminist postcolonial scholarship in conversation with recent work in geophilosophy, new materialisms, affect theory, and the posthumanities, she argues that asymmetrical encounters with the earth over time shape urban topographies and actually produce the experience of identity as events. Racial and sexual difference emerge when certain bodies become viscous as they associate with landscapes, objects, music, money, states of mind, and so on. By tracing relational tensions between settler colonialism, territorialization, ‘natural resources,’ and eco-politics, she aims to better understand how technology, ecology, and affect overlap and cross-pollinate in Detroit’s fractious topography.

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