This is What Democracy Looks Like: Feminist Re-imaginings

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.

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


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