Aren Aizura - Mellon Fellow, Institute for Research on Women (IRW) Scholar, and Postdoctoral Associate
Aren Aizura received his PhD from Melbourne University, Australia in 2009. His research focuses on how biopolitical technologies of race, gender, transnationality, medicalization and political economy shape and are shaped by transgender and queer bodies. He is particularly interested in how geographical location and histories of colonialism have fostered or subtended different gender variant and queer subjectivities. His research to date has focused on diverse sites: the political economies of travel for gender reassignment surgery; tracing circuits of affective labor within trans and queer migration; writing about whiteness as a shifting ideal within transnational economies of body modification in Thailand; and interrogating concepts of homonationalism, biopolitics and necropolitics as they relate to gender variant life. His journal articles have appeared in Asian Studies Review, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness, while book chapters are included in Queer Bangkok (HKUP 2011), Trans Gender Migrations (Routledge, forthcoming 2011) and Trans Feminist Perspectives (Temple UP, forthcoming 2012). He is the co-editor with Susan Stryker of the Transgender Studies Reader Volume II (Routledge, forthcoming 2012). Dr Aizura has taught on a wide variety of topics including introductions to gender studies; the history of gender, race and settler colonialism in Australia; scientific understandings of sexuality/gender; transnational body modification; representations of the body; and transnational transgender studies. Before joining the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers, Dr. Aizura held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gender, Race, and Science at Indiana University Bloomington.
Ikuko Asaka - ACLS Faculty Fellow and Postdoctoral Associate
Office: RDJC #006
Ikuko Asaka received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a historian of the United States with an emphasis on women, gender, and sexuality, African American and Diaspora history, and American Studies. Trained in both U.S. and Japanese institutions, she has always taken comparative and transnational approaches in her studies. In all of her work, she explores how U.S. nationality and its related hierarchies were shaped by larger global circumstances at historically specific moments. Her book project is on geographies of black freedom in the eighteenth-and-nineteenth century Atlantic world. The work seeks to demonstrate how labor and territorial formations in the British and U.S. empires took shape around the question of the proper location of black freedom and how domesticity and reproduction were central to the imperial and colonial struggles over racial boundaries. Drawing partly from the book manuscript, she has written an article titled “‘Our Brethren in the West Indies’: Self-Emancipated People in Canada and the Antebellum Politics of Diaspora and Empire,” forthcoming in Journal of African American History (Summer 2012).
Yanoula Athanassakis - ACLS Faculty Fellow and Postdoctoral Associate
Office: RDJC #006
Yanoula Athanassakis received her Ph.D. in English (American Literature), with a Global Studies emphasis, from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her interests include the politics of environmental justice, representations of immigration and the body in contemporary U.S. multi-ethnic literatures, global and transnational approaches to “American” texts, and theories of corporeality. Her book project dovetails with the transnational turn in American Studies and with emerging concerns of environmental justice. In her roles as Managing Editor for Special Forums for The Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS) and as Co-director of the UC Summer Study Abroad to Greece Program she works to keep her teaching and research relevant to an international audience. Her publications include poetry translations from English to demotic Greek of both more traditional and experimental, digital projects. She has published articles on psychosomatic trauma in U.S. literature, the intersection of postcolonial politics and transnational studies in the writing of Kiran Desai, and on filmic and literary representations of human rights violations on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Nadia Guessous - Mellon Fellow, Institute for Research on Women (IRW) Scholar, and Postdoctoral Associate
Nadia Guessous received her PhD in anthropology from Columbia University in 2011. Her research interests include gender and feminism; the anthropology of progressive politics; religion and secularism; modern subjectivity; affect and viscerality; postcolonial feminist theory; the Middle East, North Africa, and Islam. Her book project describes the sense of anxiety, exhaustion, and disorientation that prevails among older leftist feminists in the wake of the Islamic Revival in contemporary Morocco. The book raises questions about the faith in the promises of secular modernity that undergirds this anxiety and argues that it gives rise to an exclusionary politics of avoidance which comes in the way of intergenerational exchange. The book contributes to thinking about feminism in non-teleological ways by highlighting some of the tragic consequences that can accompany the search for its realization. The project also seeks to think about the affect of politics and the centrality of embodiment to questions of modern subjectivity. Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Guessous was a Faculty Fellow at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU, where she taught graduate courses in anthropology and gender studies while directing the MA program. She was also a Five College Fellow in the department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College, where she taught on the anthropology of women and gender in the Middle East. She is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Award, an American Institute for Maghrib Studies Long Term Research grant, a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Women’s Studies Dissertation Fellowship, and a Five College Fellowship. She has published articles and book reviews in Confluences Méditerranée, The Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, and Jadaliyya; and has forthcoming articles in The Review of Middle East Studies and Arab Studies Journal.