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

 Simone James Alexander
“Sex and the State: The Politics of Mannishness, Transgression and Sexual Decolonization"

simone james alexanderThis project explores how by embodying erotic autonomy, the female protagonist, Viveka Krishnu of Shani Mootoo’s Valmiki’s Daughter, challenges the state’s definition of citizenship “normativized within the prism of heterosexuality.” This challenge manifests in the disruption of the neat narrative of heteronormativity and masculinity. Furthermore, erotic autonomy as a politics of feminism engenders decriminalization or decolonization of alternative sexualities. Thus, the nation is reimaged as one in which alternative sexualities are part of the nationalist, masculinist discourse.


 Dr. Simone James Alexander joins IRW from Seton Hall University

 Elaine Arnull
"Constructing an Autobiography: Resistance, Poverty and Transgression: Girls Tell Stories"

Elaine-ArnullWe know that delinquency and poverty are strongly interrelated although we imperfectly understand the causal mechanism. Studies have shown that young people from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds are strongly over-represented within most youth justice systems (Fox and Arnull 2013). Further, a longitudinal, prospective study in Scotland found that gender and social class affected a young person’s likelihood of coming into the Youth Justice System (YJS) that could not be explained by other factors (McAra and McVie 2005). The contribution this project makes is in the deconstruction and exploration of the concepts of poverty and transgression through the first person narratives of girls and their constructions of self, as told through their use of mobile phones and social media.

 Dr. Elaine Arnull joins IRW from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom

 Maria Cecilia Hwang
"Mixing Work and Pleasure in Hong Kong: Women’s Migration, Sex Work, Border Control, and the Politics of Trafficking"

Maria Hwang smallMy research examines the migration and labor of women sex workers from the Philippines and interrogates how the global campaign against human trafficking has affected their lives and livelihood. Based on thirteen months of ethnography conducted in Hong Kong between 2010 and 2013, my project challenges their identification as “trafficked persons.” I argue that rather than making migration safe for women, anti-trafficking policies that are premised on a paradigm of rescue have only compounded their vulnerability. Broadly, my project bridges scholarly conversation in gender and migration and human trafficking and focuses on understudied patterns of labor migration that are presumed to involve trafficking in persons. Specifically, I examine the dynamics of informal labor migration channels, South-South migration, and short-term migration flows.

Maria Cecilia Hwang joins IRW from Brown University