Public Catastrophes, Private Losses

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.

Eriada Cela

"Empowering Student-Teachers Through Critical Feminist Pedagogy"

Eriada CelaEducation and feminism are important causes for women worldwide, as they have the power to advance and promote women into subjects and agents of social justice when present, or subjugate women and girls into injustice when missing. Obviously, education empowers by offering learners essential knowledge and skills for individual and social progress, which is even more significant in girls’ lives in most countries. Yet, gender inequality cannot be uprooted if the system of education in most of its components functions according to the rules of the oppressor, which in our case is hegemonic masculinity in subtle forms in the hidden curriculum. As McLaren has stated “The hidden curriculum deals with the tacit ways in which knowledge and behavior get constructed, outside the usual course materials and formally scheduled lessons” (1994, 191). The purpose of my project is to identify potential pitfalls in education that unwittingly perpetuate gender inequality, in order to address these problematic situations with opportunities of empowerment through critical thinking and critical pedagogy along the feminist pedagogy praxis. Feminist pedagogy is not merely a list of techniques or strategies to go to as a toolbox; instead it is a holistic philosophy that is lived throughout the process of teaching and learning, which empowers teachers and students alike.

Eriada Cela has a M.A. in Gender Studies from the Central European University in Hungary and a Ph.D. in Pedagogy from Tirana University, Albania. She is a lecturer at Aleksander Xhuvani University in Elbasan, Albania.


Basuli Deb

"Indigenous Lives and Diasporic Aspirations"

basulidebMy current monograph project Indigenous Lives and Diasporic Aspirations examines the heteropatriarchal politics of legislative and technological control of indigenous and immigrant communities in settler colonial security regimes. Situating literature, films, images, legal, prison, and administrative documents, media, and social media within a transnational and queer of color feminist frame, it extends the inquiry into states of exception vis-a-vis terrorism at home and abroad initiated by my previous monograph Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Terror in Literature and Culture (2014).....I use narratives and images of indigeneity and immigration in South Africa, India, and the United States to revise the dominant frame of transnational feminist and queer praxis around international and national security that advocates for border crossing without recognizing that “the land of immigrants” is a settler colonial myth that erases indigenous claims to land. I propose an alternative paradigm for transnational feminist and queer justice that includes the original inhabitants of the land in a discourse and praxis of affiliation and community where the indigenous and the diasporic intersect.

Basuli Deb has a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University and teaches at Queens College, CUNY


Danai Mupotsa

"White Weddings"

danai.mupotsaDanai Mupotsa's teaching and research interests are broadly located in feminist, queer and antiracist theories and activism. Her work is often trans and interdisciplinary with an interest in desire, intimacy, feeling and the relation between these and visual, oral, aural and textual cultures, objects, rituals and spaces. Danai holds a BA from Luther College in Africana Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies and Women’s Studies, a B.Soc. Sci (hons) in Gender and Transformation and a M.Soc. Sci in Gender Studies from the University of Cape Town and a PhD in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand. She will launch a collection of poetry titled feeling and ugly (imphepho press) in June 2018, and is completing a book titled White Weddings.

Danai Mupotsa has a Ph.D. in African Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is Senior Lecturer in African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Voichita Nachescu

"Populism, Transnational Whiteness, and Contemporary Eastern European Immigrants in the United States"

Voichita NachescuContemporary right-wing populism situates race at its core, appealing to whites who perceive themselves as being disenfranchised. Given that race in the United States is a construct under constant revision, I examine the position of contemporary Eastern European immigrants toward whiteness and contemporary populism. If during the great wave of migration to the United States at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, Eastern Europeans were considered undesirable immigrants (although white and thus eligible for citizenship, unlike their Asian counterparts), a century later, while still experiencing xenophobia, Eastern Europeans are more likely to be accepted, given that they are classified as white.

Voichita Nachescu has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo


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 Professor of Law at the University of Arizona