Global Scholars

2021-2022 Global Scholars

The IRW hosts feminist researchers from around the world as Global Scholars, enabling them to pursue their own research and writing in a supportive environment while accessing Rutgers’ unique feminist resources. Global Scholars participate in the IRW seminar, present public lectures and speak in classes throughout the university.

Leslye Obiora

"Gender, Governance and Democracy"

leslye obiora smallpictureDespite the challenges of advancing equitable gender inclusion in leadership hierarchies and substantively promoting women’s participation in high-level political decision-making, a handful of women are managing to attain prominence in politics. Conventional emphasis on increasing women’s representation in deliberative arenas where power and influence are brokered and shared as a measurement index of value creation do not necessarily address the need for economy, efficiency and effectiveness in extracting the value constituted by women’s political participation. However, continuing dilemmas of attaining the ideals for meaningful gender inclusion point up the limitations that inhere in routine conceptualizations of power as primarily a site to contest patriarchal hegemony. With a view to enhance understandings about the implications of equitable gender participation for the quality of democracy, I draw on a Liberian case study to examine the logic of prioritizing a feminist ethic as both a strategic objective and a performance measure to improve the returns of gendering power for democratic quality.

Leslye Obiora has an LL.M. from Yale Law School, and a J.S.D. from Stanford Law School. She is the Founder of the Institute for Research on African Women, Children and Culture.


Niina Vuolajarvi

"Sex Work, Migration and the Feminist Politics of Care"

niina smallpictureI aim to explore the notion of care and its potential in imagining feminist futures. To do that I build on recent insights in feminist theorizations of care and precarization, abolitionist thinking, and transformative justice. This theoretical work stems from my ethnographic book project "Sex Work, Migration and the Feminist Politics of Care" that highlights the impact of migration, populism and precarization on the politics of sexuality. In the book, I examine a feminist-inspired anti-trafficking policy that has taken center stage in political debates around sex work in recent years. The book draws on my three-country ethnographic dissertation research among migrant sex workers, the police, and policy-makers in the Nordic region, where the policy approach originates, including 210 interviews and policy document and media analysis.

Niina Vuolajarvi has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School of Social Research and has an appointment as Assistant Professor in International Migration at The London School of Economics