IRW Staff

Nicole image

Director: Nicole R. Fleetwood

Nicole R. Fleetwood is Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at Rutgers University. Fleetwood received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in the Program in Modern Thought and Literature and her B.Phil. from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University (Ohio). Her articles appear in African American Review, American Quarterly, Callaloo Art and Culture in the African Diaspora, Signs, Social Text, tdr: the journal of performance studies, and edited anthologies.  Her book Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press 2011) is the recipient of the 2012 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize of the American Studies Association.  She has worked as a consultant and has collaborated with a number of arts organizations and programs.  Currently, she is working on two books. One is a study of racial icons, commissioned by Rutgers University Press. The second is a study of prison art and visuality in which she examines a range of visual art and practices emerging inside prisons and about prison life, including photography, painting, and collaborative works with arts organizations and commissioned artists.

Areas of research and teaching: visual culture and media studies, black cultural studies, gender theory, sexuality studies; American cultural history; popular culture; and culture and technology studies.

For more information on Dr. Fleetwood, please go to her American Studies webpage:


Associate Director: Sarah Tobias

Sarah Tobias's work bridges academia and public policy. A feminist theorist and LGBT activist, she is co-author of Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families (University of Michigan Press, 2007) and author of "Several Steps Behind: Lesbian and Gay Adoption" in Sally Haslanger and Charlotte Witt (eds.), Adoption Matters: Philosophical and Feminist Essays (Cornell University Press, 2005), as well as co-author and editor of numerous 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.

colleen martin

Administrative Assistant: Colleen Martin

Colleen Martin ensures the smooth running of IRW's lectures and seminars and coordinates the efforts of the institute's work-study students. She is responsible for purchasing, accounting and scheduling, among other functions. She has been at Rutgers for 14 years, working in University Accounting, Payroll and The Office of Research and Economic Development before joining the IRW in December 2013. Her interests include women's rights, human rights and popular culture.


IRW Learning Community Coordinator: Ghassan Moussawi

Ghassan Moussawi is a PhD Candidate in the Sociology Department at Rutgers. His dissertation examines the formations and articulations of queer subjectivities in Beirut since the year 2005. He uses a feminist postcolonial approach to interrogate the links among gender, sexuality, and discourses of modernity and 'progress.' He is also interested in the intersections of gender, race, class and sexualities, feminist and postcolonial theory, queer theory, representations, and knowledge production. In addition, he has taught classes on the sociology of gender, sexuality and society, and race relations. Ghassan has been awarded a 2014 Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies.

Contact Us

IRW building

Institute for Research on Women

160 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

P   848-932-9072
F   732-932-0861
E   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.