Director: Chie Ikeya
Chie Ikeya is a historian of Southeast Asia with interests in the related fields of Asian history/studies, women’s and gender history, race, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies. Before joining Rutgers University, she taught in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore.
Her first book examined colonial politics, gender and race relations, social reforms, anticolonialism, media, and consumerism in colonial Burma. She is currently completing her second book project, “Inter-Asian Intimacies and Alienations: Memories, Laws, and Politics of Marriage and Collaboration Across Colonialisms, c. 1850–c.1950.” It traces the little known history and legacy of inter-Asian marriages and collaborations, and racializations and terrorizations under colonial rule. It shows that intimate relations among imperial and colonized Asian subjects—rather than the all too familiar and romanticized heterosexual coupling of the white male colonizer and the native female—constituted the primary, and hitherto unrecognized, site for the articulation of modern understandings of religion, race, family, and nation that continue to vex many regions of Asia today. She is also at work on two new research projects. One explores the history of vernacular sexual culture through the life and writings of the modernist writer, Catholic apostate, and Burma’s pioneering sexologist P. Moe Nin (1883–1940). The other, co-directed with Dr. D. Christian Lammerts (Religion Department, Rutgers University), is a photographic historical study of Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and Muslim cemeteries in Burma-Myanmar.
Executive 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 The Perils of Populism, the first book in IRW’s new Feminist Bookshelf series with Rutgers University Press (September 2022). She 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 Executive 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: Alexandra Singh
Alexandra (she/her) is currently pursuing her second Master's degree in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Her current working thesis ideas are centered on the theme of erasure and violence, and all of the ways in which it is intimately interwoven into the lived experience. More specifically, she is researching the erasure of the Indo-Caribbean woman and the unique double removal they face, as well as the dearth of representation in various media channels and how it impacts audiences. She is also studying the ways in which generational trauma stems from colonialism and affects the ability to heal and in what capacity.
Alexandra has a background in education and is a former urban elementary and middle school teacher. She believes in approaching education through both a social and restorative justice lens, and centering the concept of childhood in the classroom in the ever-changing world of education. As a university lecturer, she loves working with students of all ages and applying an educational framework to every area.
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.