Donna Auston, Anthropology, Rutgers-New Brunswick
“Race & Islam in the Era of Black Lives Matter”

donna auston My study is an ethnographic analysis of how and where African American Muslims are engaging in Black Lives Matter. The central claim is that African American Muslims are responding to, and participating in, the Black Lives Matter movement in unique ways based on: 1) the confluence of Islamic ethics and religious exhortations to social justice and rootedness in the particular history of African American freedom struggles and 2) their doubly liminal status, marginalized by virtue of race and religion, and the attendant intersectional impacts of police violence, surveillance, and Islamophobia.

Diane Shane Fruchtman, Religion, Rutgers-New Brunswick
“Living Martyrs and the Violence of Ideology: The Legacies of Martyrdom Without Death in Contemporary American Political Discourse”

Diane Shane FruchtmanMy research recuperates the category of “living martyr,” which has always had a place in Christian history and culture, if not always an officially sanctioned one. This category has been recently mobilized in the United States, with figures such as Kim Davis and Donald Trump effectively using martyrdom self-narratives to mobilize supporters. The success of these narratives parallels the success of “populist” discourse. This project explores that relationship, and aims to analyze the ways that martyrdom discourse, in the guise of or under the umbrella of populism, has spread beyond confessional boundaries to color the perceptions of the American public.   

Angelique Haugerud, Anthropology, Rutgers-New Brunswick
“Populism, Gender, and Wealth Inequality in Kenya”

Angelique Haugerud Why are some African intellectuals concerned about a populist “contagion” from the West, and resurgent populism on their continent? Kenya, which has its own home-grown populisms of both ethnonationalist and progressive civic varieties, will hold an intensely contested national election in August 2017. My research helps to show why—contrary to common news media narratives—votes cannot be predicted from demographic categories such as Kikuyu or women. Voices of women and men from many walks of life in Kenya can help us to understand this unsettled political moment of resurgent reactionary populism.

Chie Ikeya, History, Rutgers-New Brunswick
“The Specter of the Libidinous and Unassimilable Foreigner: A Feminist Historical Analysis of Buddhist Nationalism, Racism, and Islamophobia in Burma (Myanmar)”

Chie IkeyaThis project offers a feminist, historical analysis of Buddhist nationalism, racism, and Islamophobia in Burma (Myanmar), whose genealogy as well as gendered, racialized and sexualized character remain underexplored and undertheorized. In particular, it interrogates the place of the libidinous, unassimilable foreigner and inter-faith, inter-racial intimacies in the popular imagination in colonial Burma; the regularity and predictability with which they have been deployed in political movements of distinct variants to shore up support for their cause; and the resilience of ideologies and discourses that pathologize intimate relations between “Indian,” “Arab,” and “Chinese” foreigners and native women.

Ying-Chao Kao, Sociology, Rutgers-New Brunswick
“Populism Returns: A Critique on the Transnational Conspiracy of Christian Pro-family Movements in Taiwan and the United States”

ying chao.kaoAmerican scholars are anxious about the resurgence of a conservative power that is armed with racism, xenophobia, (hetero)sexism, and religious hegemony. While scholars are searching out domestic structures to critique the perils of populism, the key to understanding them may come from overseas and have an American legacy. My research shows that during the Obama administration, the American evangelical/charismatic enterprise diffused to Taiwan and other East Asian countries to regain power, collect money, and organize transnational networks. An East Asian perspective could therefore help us understand American populism.

Rutgers School of Arts & Sciences logoirw network news
fall 2017

institute for research on women

Architect's sketch of IRW building (image)
Until 1993, IRW regularly distributed a hard-copy newsletter to its affiliates. After a 25-year hiatus, we've decided to revive this tradition in 21st century style. Welcome to the electronic version of irw network news. We hope you enjoy learning more about us.


Arlene talking at Sussex (image)On May 26, 2017, IRW Director Arlene Stein and IRW Associate Director Sarah Tobias presented "The Holocaust Without Jews, US Without Muslims, and the Men in the White House,” a keynote address at the University of Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies conference, “Echoes of Fascism in Contemporary Culture, Politics and Society.” Read more about the "Echoes of Fascism" conference.

Trans Studies book cover (image)IRW’s most recent book, Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities (Rutgers University Press) has been awarded the 2017 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies. Edited by former IRW Director Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and IRW Associate Director Sarah Tobias, the book grew out of IRW’s 2012-2013 programming and features the innovative contributions of fifteen scholars and activists in the fledgling field of Trans Studies. Learn more about the book.


Perils of Populism (image)IRW’s 2017-18 core programs revolve this year around the theme of The Perils of Populism. Coming up next in our  Distinguished Lecture Series is Sabine Hark, an eminent sociologist from the Technical University of Berlin who will talk on December 7 about the paradoxical ways that authoritarian movements use the concept of gender. Our seminar has gotten off to a great start with varied readings and presentations from our brilliant group of seminar fellows. Our undergraduate learning community scholars are making podcasts that showcase their research. They will present them in the lobby of Douglass Student Center on December 14. 

IRW is also running the Rutgers Public Engagement Project this year. We look forward to hosting an op-ed writing workshop with Thaler Pekar in February and a conversation about academic freedom in a digital world with Deepa Kumar in March.

upcoming calls

2018-19 IRW Seminar Call

Apply to join next year's IRW seminar on the theme of Public Catastrophes, Private Losses.
Deadline: Jan 11

2018-19 Global Scholars Call

Apply to join IRW as a visiting Global Scholar during the 2018-19 academic year.
Deadline: Rolling

Rejoinder Online Journal Call

Write for IRW's online journal Rejoinder on the theme of The Stranger Within.
Deadline: Jan 16

We are small but mighty, and greatly appreciate any support you can provide. Thank you!



Institute for Research on Women
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
160 Ryders Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

P: 848-932-9072  F: 732-932-0861 W:

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Copyright © 2017 School of Arts and Sciences. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.


Arlene Stein talking at Sussex University

Directions to IRW

Our Location
IRW is located on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers-New Brunswick. Our address is:

Institute for Research on Women
160 Ryders Lane
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, New Jersey

The Rutgers sign in the yard reads "160-162 / Women's Leadership and Scholarship Complex / Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building." IRW is located on the second floor of the Center for Women's Programs, the building closest to the road. The Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building (162 Ryders Lane), where we often hold our events, is located farther away from the road. Please click on the map to see our exact coordinates. We are on two campus bus routes: the EE and the F. The nearest campus bus stop is Henderson Apartments.

Directions by Train from New York City
From Penn Station take a New Jersey Transit train via the Northeast Corridor to New Brunswick. Take a taxi from the train station or the EE Rutgers bus ( to our location. The nearest EE bus stop to the train station is on Somerset Street close to the intersection with George Street. All Rutgers buses are free; everyone can ride them and there is no need to show a Rutgers ID.

Directions by Bus from New York City
From the Port Authority Bus Terminal take the Suburban Transit bus (Line 100), the Princeton/East Brunswick/New Brunswick line (, to downtown New Brunswick. Take a taxi or EE bus to our office (see above). 

Driving Directions
If you are using a GPS device to locate IRW, please note that there is also a 160 Ryders Lane in the nearby municipality of Milltown. Using the address "160 N Ryders Lane" may help, but please check your GPS instructions with the text below.

Traveling North or South on the New Jersey Turnpike

  • Take the Turnpike to EXIT 9 (New Brunswick exit)
  • Immediately after leaving toll booth, take Route 18 North and follow signs to New Brunswick
  • Take the exit ramp for ROUTE 1 SOUTH
  • Take the first exit: Ryders Lane/New Brunswick
  • Follow Ryders Lane through the traffic light at Labor Center Way
  • Turn right into the first parking lot immediately after the traffic light.
  • After parking in 71A, walk along the sidewalk to the right, and then turn right at the first opportunity to IRW and the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building

Traveling North or South on U.S. Route 1

  • Take the Ryders Lane exit for New Brunswick. (Coming from the North, take the first Ryders Lane exit [before the overpass]. From the South, the second Ryders Lane exit [after the overpass])
  • Follow Ryders Lane through the traffic light at Labor Center Way
  • Parking is available at the first driveway on the right (Lot 71A)
  • The sidewalk leads to the right from this parking lot to IRW and the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building

Traveling North or South on Route 287

  • Take Easton Avenue exit (New Brunswick) and continue 4.5 miles to the end
  • Turn left at train station
  • Go about two blocks to George Street
  • Turn right, go 1.2 miles, and turn right onto Ryders Lane. The road will bear sharply to the left and then to the right
  • Park at the second driveway on the left after Cobb Road (Parking Lot 71A)
  • The sidewalk leads to the right from this parking lot to IRW and the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building

There is a very small parking lot at 160-162 Ryders Lane, but most of the parking is reserved for and used by staff members.  Please contact IRW if you require special parking accommodations and use only the spaces marked for visitors. The lot may be used for passenger pick-up and drop-offs, but note that the driveway is one-lane, two-way: please be patient and alert for other cars.

For further information or assistance, call 848.932.9072 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Light Abstract

Call for Papers, Art, Workshops, and Presentations

We invite proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and artwork for Marking Time: Prison Arts and Activism Conference at Rutgers University on October 8-10, 2014. Read more.

IRW Welcomes Colleen Martin

The IRW is delighted to welcome Colleen Martin as its new administrative assistant.  Colleen has been with Rutgers for 14 years, previously working in University Accounting, Payroll and The Office of Research and Economic Development. Read more.

Join the Undergraduate Learning Community

The IRW is accepting applications for its Spring 2014 Undergraduate Learning Community.  Apply online or download the application in MS Word or PDF.

Join IRW as a Global Scholar

The IRW accepts applications for its Global Scholars program on a rolling basis. Global Scholar appointments include access to libraries and recreational facilities, a private office, and participation in University lectures, colloquia and seminars. Please view the 2014-15 call for applicants and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


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.