IRW Staff

Director: Arlene Stein

 Director: Arlene Stein Arlene Stein is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology whose research focuses on the intersection of gender, sexuality, culture, and politics. The author or editor of nine books, she received the American Sociological Association’s Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to the study of sexualities. She teaches courses on the sociology of gender and sexuality, culture, self and society, and trauma/memory, and writing within and beyond academia. She is the director of the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers and serves on the graduate faculty of the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Her latest book is Unbound: Transgender Men and the Transformation of Identity (Pantheon, 2018). She is also the author of The Stranger Next Door, an ethnography of a Christian conservative campaign against lesbian/gay rights, which explores clashing understandings of religion and sexuality in American culture; it received the Ruth Benedict Book Award. Her book Sex and Sensibility examines generational shifts in lesbian identities. Reluctant Witnesses: Survivors, Descendants, and the Rise of Holocaust Consciousness (Oxford, 2014), looks at how children of survivors became narrators of their parents’ stories of genocide. Going Public: A Guide for Social Scientists (J. Daniels, coauthor), is a guidebook for publicly engaged scholars. 

You can follow her at twitter @SteinArlene.

Associate Director: Sarah Tobias

 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 co-editor of Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities (Rutgers University Press, 2016), which won the 2017 Sylvia Rivera Award for the Best Book in Transgender Studies from the City University of New York Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies. With Nicole R. Fleetwood, she co-edited “The New Status Quo: Essays on Poverty in the United States and Beyond,” a special issue of Feminist Formations (Spring 2021).

Sarah is co-editor, with Arlene Stein, of IRW’s new Feminist Bookshelf series with Rutgers University Press, and is also the founding editor of Rejoinder, an online journal published by the Institute for Research on Women. 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, Gender, and Sexuality 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: Andrea Zerpa

Administrative Assistant: Andrea ZerpaAndrea Zerpa received a B.A. in English and M.A. in Communication and Media from Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is a Douglass Residential College alumna and past IRW Learning Community scholar. Before joining IRW, Andrea worked at the Rutgers Office for the Promotion of Women in STEM. Andrea is an avid concertgoer and is passionate about art, fitness, and media.

IRW Learning Community Coordinator: Sara Perryman

IRW Learning Community Coordinator: Sara 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.