Beyond Walls

Proud of my students in my course on immigration, transnationalism and diasporic communities:

My student published a write-up with the Office for Equity & Diversity at the University of Utah’s People’ & Places blog.

Additionally, you may find content for their projects by visiting – scroll down to see their projects – #beyondwallsutah.


Diaspora, Displacements and Transnational Communities invites you:

3PM, April 10, 2019
Gardner Commons 4660 (260 Central Campus Drive) University of Utah

In 2015, it was estimated that 244,467 immigrants resided in Utah. In spite of a long history of movement across the Americas, into the Americas, and into Utah, migrant (im)mobility continues to be shaped by anti-immigration rhetoric and policies. These policies encompass a long history that spans from 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to more contemporary orders such as Executive Order 13769. Additionally, ongoing discussions of “building a wall” impact communities and people who are transnational workers, support transnational families, are part of transnational networks, or seeking refuge.

Join the students of Ethnic Studies – Diaspora, Displacements and Transnational Communities – for a discussion of migrant stories and walls. Students will discuss, with an ethnic studies lens, how a rhetoric of walls, criminalization, surveillance, and xenophobia shape migrant 21st century experience. The class invites participants to join us – we will gather, discuss, listen and read fragments, excerpts, parts of migratory lives placed around the Marriott library. The discussion will begin on April 10 at 3PM at Gardner Commons 4660 on the right side of the Marriott library plaza.

Questions? Contact Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima,, Ethnic Studies, University of Utah



Launch of Migratory Times

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2019, the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects and the Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research announce the launch of the Migratory Times online space!
Migratory Times: Session #1: Translating Geographies of Displacement
Today, March 8, 2019, the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects and the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research go live with “Migratory Times.” Migratory Times began in 2016 as a series of pedagogical, research, and exhibition events focused on the politics of race, gender, geopolitics, and global migration organized by the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects. Since its emergence the project has created over 30 international events with even more numerous collaborating artists, researchers, and cultural and educational organizations. In 2018, the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects co-founded the Migratory Times and Spaces working group of the Center for Arts Design & Social Research (CAD+SR). As a co-sponsored project with CAD+SR, Migratory Times will continue to unfold through an interactive web platform, with three month “sessions” of curated content and events, featuring works produced previously in the Migratory Times series of events, put in conversation with new art and writing, and archival texts.
The web publication lead editors are founding members of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects, Dalida María Benfield and Annie Fukushima.

The launch of the web platform begins with a three month session called “Translating Geographies of Displacements.” This session features the following works:

Audio from “Dislocating Geographies of Displacement” an online conversation featuring at land’s edge and @criticaldías (Rebecca Close and Anyely Marin Cisneros)

Audio from “For More Than One Voice,” a performance by Jane Jin Kaisen and Stina Hasse JørgensenPhotographs and texts from Translating Geographies of Displacement, a workshop organized by Jane Jin Kaisen and Dalida María Benfield (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Video from Geographies of Displacement, a panel discussion featuring anti-gentrification activists organized by at land’s edge (Los Angeles)
Scholarly and public contribution articles on gentrification in Inglewood, East Los Angeles, Crenshaw Corridor/Leimert Park in Los Angeles
Essays and artworks by Alanna Lockward and Patricia Kaersenhout, Tara Daly, Choralyne Dumesnil, Annie Fukushima, and Rolando Vázquez
Invitation: We invite artists, activists, journalists, researchers, scholars, teachers, technologists, thinkers, video makers, visualists, and any community member to participate in the web launch as a flashread. “Flashreads” are a technology of collective reading and annotation that the Institute has been developing over the past three years, engaging in online discussions that are open to multiple publics. As academics, researchers, and artists, we are interested in creating spaces for the engagement with transnational feminist and decolonial thought and action across different media and knowledge forms.

How to participate in a flashread:
· Visit:
· Read, view, listen to the content provided in Session 1: Translating Geographies of Displacement.
· Respond to one of the works by creating (either in a writing, artist work, video, sound, or any other creative, written, visual or auditory platform).
· Submit your contribution in the comments. Look for the + sign next to the texts. You can also email us your contribution:
· Open period for submission: March 8 – June 8, 2019
About: The Institute of (im)Possible Subjects (IiPS) is a transnational feminist collective of artists, writers, and researchers. Building from conversations between scholars and artists and activists, from the streets to independent art spaces to college campuses, our project pursues questions regarding digital spaces and global racialization and racisms, gender, and labor politics; the transnational exchange of visual cultures and social justice through media and technoscapes; and the intervention of contemporary artists and researchers in (re)defining landscapes of knowledge. IiPS constructs a knowledge commons, framed by voices and experiences in multiple social conditions.
We welcome your feedback on the site and also invite your submissions for future sessions! Please contact
For more information about the Center for Arts, Design and Social Research please contact us at
With love and respect,
Annie & Dalida

Annie Isabel Fukushima, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDivision of Ethnic Studies, School for Cultural & Social TransformationUniversity of UtahAuthor of Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S.(Stanford University Press, 2019): Here
Personal website:
Academic Publications: Here
Co-Coordinator, Migratory Times, Institute of (im)Possible Subjects

dalida maría benfield, ph.d.artist
researchercollective impossible, llc
Research and Program Director, Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research
Affiliated Researcher,, Aarhus University
Co-Coordinator, Migratory Times, Institute of (im)Possible Subjects

Transnationalism, Migration & Diasporic Communities

Ethnic Studies 5350

Transnationalism, Migration & Diasporic Communities
Professor: Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima
Spring 2019
University of Utah

What are the processes that different ethnic migrants settle within the U.S.? How do migrants maintain ties with their “home” and create a sense of community both locally and transnationally? Through concepts of immigration, transnationalism, and community, this course explores the displacements, relocations, and remaking of communities and identities. Integrating disciplines of cultural studies, history, legal studies, race studies, and sociology, this course examines the movement of people. This course employs relational analysis to understand the historical and contemporary patterns that vie rise to the various ebbs and flows of people, resources, cultures, and communities. Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima is the author of Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the US (Stanford University Press, 2019).

Available for Pre-order: Migrant Crossings

Visit Stanford University Press:

Migrant Crossings examines the experiences and representations of Asian and Latina/o migrants trafficked in the United States into informal economies and service industries. Through sociolegal and media analysis of court records, press releases, law enforcement campaigns, film representations, theatre performances, and the law, Annie Isabel Fukushima questions how we understand victimhood, criminality, citizenship, and legality.

Fukushima examines how migrants cross into visibility legally, through frames of citizenship, and narratives of victimhood. She explores the interdisciplinary framing of the role of the law and the legal system, the notion of “perfect victimhood” and iconic victims, and how trafficking subjects are resurrected for contemporary movements as illustrated in visuals, discourse, court records, and policy. Migrant Crossings deeply interrogates what it means to bear witness to migration in these migratory times – and what such migrant crossings mean for subjects who experience violence during or after their crossing.

About the author

Annie Isabel Fukushima is Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Division in the School for Cultural and Social Transformation at the University of Utah.


Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S.

Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S.

  • Monday, November 5, 2018
  • 12:00 PM  1:00 PM
  • Gardner Commons — Hinckley Institute of Politics (map)
  • Annie Fukushima, Assistant Professor, Division of Ethnic Studies, School for Cultural & Social Transformation

Pizza & Politics

Free and open to the public

*The Hinckley Institute neither supports nor opposes the views expressed in this forum. 


Xicanx/Latinx Heritage Month Keynote Speaker.




Xicanx/Latinx Heritage Month Keynote Speaker.


You are invited to a plática/ talk featuring Annie Isabel Fukushima, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah and author of the upcoming:  Migrant Crossings: Human Trafficking in the United States

11:00 AM, Wednesday, September 26th in Berkeley City College Rm. 216

Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima is Assistant Professor in the Division of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. In addition, she has served as an expert witness for human trafficking cases in California and Colorado, and a consultant, recently producing the Grant Management Toolkit for Office for Trafficking in Persons. Her most recent projects have been funded by the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women (2018) and the Abundance Foundation (2016 – 2017).

Dr. Fukushima has published extensively on human trafficking, intimacy and race, and immigration. Her upcoming interdisciplinary work examines Asian and Latinas trafficked into the United States. She reminds us, “In spite of the violence as systemic and naturalized, survivors are always resisting.”

Sponsored by Ethnic Studies and Mexican/Latin American Studies at Berkeley City College

This message was sent from the Berkeley City College Public Information Office.  For further information call 510-981-2852.

Felicia Bridges, Ed.D

Public Information Officer

Berkeley City College

(510) 981-2852

Violence Against Women Needs Assessment Community Presentation


You are invited to attend a community presentation hosted by the University of Utah and the Department on the Status of Women, “Violence Against Women Needs Assessment.” The presentation will include University of Utah’s findings from the San Francisco Violence Against Women Needs Assessment. The findings will be presented by Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima, the project’s Principal Investigator. This event is co-hosted with the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women.

Event Details:

Date & Time: Friday, June 22, 2018, 3-5:30pm. 
Event Location: 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 610, San Francisco, CA.

The Violence Against Women Needs Assessment is a study conducted by the University of Utah. The study was made possible through a grant funded by the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women (2018).

Catering will be provided by Eat Suite.

Please RSVP by June 8th for planning purposes. However, anyone and everyone in the community is welcome to attend regardless of your RSVP.

Should you have questions about the event, food allergies, dietary restrictions, need accommodations, need translation, or would prefer to RSVP by email, please contact Elizabeth Boley at ecboley[at]gmail[dot]com or visit

Working with Asian American Individuals, Couples and Families Webinar

Dear Colleagues,

Please join me for the web-presentation I am giving for the National Resource Center for Health Marriage and Families on “Working with Asian American Individuals, Couples and Families Webinar.” I will be co-presenting with Dr. Hao Min Chen of University Texas A&M. Please share with your networks.

Save the Date! June 14, 2018

Working with Asian American Individuals,

Couples, and Families Webinar

Join the National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families (Resource Center) for a new webinar that discusses the diversity of Asian American populations and provides targeted cultural information on dominant Asian demographic groups in the United States. The Asian population in the US includes at least 26 countries of origin, representing a range of languages and cultural groups. When stakeholders seek to learn and understand the complexities of one of the fastest growing immigrant group in the United States, Asian families are more likely to be receptive to programmatic messages and a stronger rapport can be built between client and service provider. This webinar will provide an overview of the Resource Center’s newest toolkit, Working with Asian American Individuals, Couples, and Families: A Toolkit for Stakeholders, which focuses on Asian immigration and history, the complexities of Asian groups, cultural considerations, and ways safety-net service providers can improve service delivery to Asian American families. During the webinar, we will:

  • Share Asian cultural values and collective experiences, and the impacts of immigration and acculturation on Asian American families.
  • Help safety-net service providers improve outreach, engagement, and support of Asian American families.
  • Discover more about the importance of healthy relationship skills, as well as strategies for integrating healthy marriage and relationship skills into service delivery systems.

Register now and don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about free research-based resources and technical assistance available to support you and your agency strengthen families and communities.

To learn more about the Resource Center, visit

The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families supports human service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship education skills into service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed to promote self-sufficiency.

If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please contact them. To learn more about free training and technical assistance available to human service agencies, visit our Training and Technical Assistance page.

Missed the presentation? 

Watch here:

Toward Decolonial Feminisms


Toward Decolonial Feminisms

A Conference Inspired by the Work of María Lugones

Nittany Lion Inn, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA


Session U                                                                  4:30 p.m. -5:45 p.m. Location:

Resistant Imaginaries and Enactments: Towards a Praxis of Decolonial Feminism

Turning Into Coalition, Sounding Decolonial Feminism. Presenter: Wanda Alarcon, University of California, Santa Cruz

“Playfulness, World-Traveling and Loving Perception” across Migratory Times and Spaces. Presenter: Dalida María Benfield, The Center for Arts, Design, and Social Research

Bridge as a Primer: A Decolonial Feminist Politics of Being “With You”. Presenter: Cindy Cruz, University of California, Santa Cruz

Witnessing in Migratory Times: Militarisms, Displacements & Death Worlds. Presenter: Annie Isabel Fukushima, University of Utah.

“Pay Attention to the Wound”: Vulnerable Ethnography and Methodologies of the Wound/ed. Presenter: Anne Rios-Rojas, Colgate University

Suspending Action: Making Time for Another World. Presenter: Linnea Beckett, University of California, Santa Cruz.


DOMESTICATING BODIES, DOMESTIC SPACES: Trafficking and the Intersection of Race and Gender 


5:30 PM
University of Utah

Join Drs. Annie Isabel Fukushima and Lindsay Gezinski in their panel discussion as they examine trafficking into domestic work and sexual economies. Through case examples from their research, they will paint a picture of human trafficking and how it is shaped by interlocking oppressions of race and gender. This presentation also offers a general understanding of human trafficking, how communities are called to witness violence, and how community members may get involved in local and transnational efforts.

Grant Management Toolkit: Building Sustainable Anti-Trafficking Programs.

I am pleased to share with you a resource / tool-kit published with the Office for Trafficking in Persons. This project was made possible with the collaboration between myself (Annie Fukushima) and Kathleen Morris (International Rescue Committee) – Grant Management Toolkit: Building Sustainable Anti-Trafficking Programs. While we were the primary authors, the project was also supported by the amazing team at the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center managed by ICF.  
This toolkit is intended to assist OTIP grantees as well as other organizations in creating a culture and infrastructure that support the effective implementation and sustainability of anti-trafficking programs.  It provides information on organizational identity (mission, vision, value statements, organizational structure, approach, communication), strategic planning, culture and approaches, grant management and administration, partnership development and management, measuring performance, and sustainable planing.  It includes links to official resources on federal websites, as well as supplemental, unofficial information from other sources.
Visit the website to download the full PDF of the toolkit.

Violence Against Women Community Needs Assessment – San Francisco

Violence Against Women Community Needs Assessment

$40 gift card per participant –Survivors of Domestic Violence, Human Trafficking & Sexual Assault

Have you survived domestic violence, human trafficking or sexual assault as an adult or when you were under the age of 18?

We want to hear from you! We invite you to be part of a 90-minute confidential group discussion about the needs of people who have experienced abuse, violence, or assault.

All participants will receive $40 gift card for their time.

If you are interested in participating in any of these groups please complete a registration online at

Or contact Annie Isabel Fukushima* at 415-341-6047 or via e-mail at

DATE & TIMES: February and March 2018 at a range of times.

Youth Survivors:

  • Horizons (survivors of violence ages 18-24 years-old.) If you are older now but the abuse occurred when you were under 18 years-old or continued into your adulthood, you can participate too! March 14, 2018 at 4:30PM.
  • LYRIC (survivors of violence ages 18-24 years-old) If you are older now but the abuse occurred when you were under 18 years-old or continued into your adulthood, you can participate too! March 15, 2018 at 2PM.

Adult survivors of violence:

  • James Infirmary. February 28, 2018 at 11AM.
  • La Casa de las Madres. February 28, 2018 at 3PM.

Sexual assault survivors:

  • San Francisco Women Against Rape. March 1, 2018 at 1PM.

More focus groups forthcoming.

*Annie Isabel Fukushima is a professor of the University of Utah working with San Francisco’s Department on the Status of Women to identify the needs of survivors of violence. All group discussions will be confidential and your identity will not be linked to your comments.

Gender: War, 1st Edition

·        Andrea Pető Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Part of the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks series on gender studies, Gender: War examines war through the discipline of gender and sexuality studies. Containing 24 chapters, the volume demonstrates that bodies and other allegedly passive material/other allegedly passive objects have a history and also agency. Chapters describe feminist interventions in war and violence history’s genealogy, present incarnations, and possibilities for the future in the context of gender and sexuality studies. Chapters are written by eminent scholars, are peer reviewed, include illustrations, and offer bibliographies to encourage further research. The volume concludes with a glossary and a comprehensive index.
Features and Benefits
·        GENDER: WAR introduces students to concepts related to war through the discipline of gender studies.
·        All chapters in GENDER: WAR are newly commissioned and hence based on fresh and topical research and debates from a variety of fields–including philosophy, literature, art, film, social sciences, (old and new) media, history, economics, politics, and religion.
·        Chapters are written by eminent scholars and are peer reviewed.
·        The volume will include a glossary, bibliographies of worked cited and suggestions for further reading, approximately 30 relevant images/charts/graphs, and an index.
Table of Contents
Cult of Heroes.
Digital Archives.




Gender Order and Gender Confusion.

Gendering Genocide.

Gendering Holocaust.

Human Trafficking.

Intimacy of Violence.




Policing Bodies.




Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War.

Sexual Violence in the Holocaust.


Transitional Justice.

Truth Commissions.


Women in the Military.

“Pedagogies of the Zombie”
In Event: International Committee Talkshop II: Pedagogies of Dissent in A Global Context

Fri, November 10, 2:00 to 3:45pm, Hyatt Regency Chicago, Horner, Third Floor West Tower
The image of the zombie as a figure is iconic. The zombie is Frankenstein’s monster, the figure through which Mary Shelley transgressed women’s roles in the 1800s by writing about it. In the 1970s, the zombie figure was articulated through imagery of the wives of Stepford – she was zombie-like submissive woman. Today it has multiple meanings from the person controlled through voodoo rituals, to the brain eating human chasing monster, to the warm heart zombie that falls in-love and becomes human again. The zombie is a resurrected figure through which alterities are reinforced, imagined, and disrupted. It raises ontological questions regarding who and what counts for as the human. The living dead are also social and historical figures that rise up, haunt and stalk the living. The living dead encompass when a history of colonization, genocide, death, slavery, an American apartheid furthered by racism, sexism, and classism, and transnational migration and diasporic subjectivities, are reanimated for the living as the living dead. At times the living dead makes visible ghostly matters. Zombies are not just about the danger – they represent societal concerns, anxieties, and hopes for another kind of future. In neoliberal modern colonial economic systems, are zombies a mechanism of survivance? They raise questions regarding the haunting – sociological, imaginary, and historical – creating a scene of witnessing. Through the living recuperation, recovery, reclamations, appeals to witnessing are made possible. Dr. Fukushima and Dr. Pillow offer reflections and a framework, through a course they team taught at University of Utah – Zombie Futurities. In analyzing the course curriculum, the context in which we were teaching, and the narratives of social death and zombification circulating in politics and media, we put forth a pedagogies of the zombie. A pedagogies of the zombie is methodology of teaching that centralizes decolonial feminisms, anti-racist theory, and gender, to understand how subjects and practices create social death, the living, dead, and hauntings, that may be contended with in the classroom.

Annie Isabel Fukushima, University of Utah
Wanda Pillow, University of Utah



Salon with the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects – Silhouettes: Migration, (Un)Documented, and Pedagogies



This event is by invitation only. Please contact Dr. Fukushima at if you have questions or would like to be a part of this discussion. This event is being recorded. 

Purpose: The salons create a space for discussion, sharing, and connections. For this salon, I would love to invite all of us to be in a conversation regarding pedagogies, documentation and migration. Here, I recognize the current climate, and that when considering migration, documentation, and teaching, that we are not only discussing DACA, where migration and notions of documentation have a range of contested meanings. But, we are also recognizing that DACA, undocumented, and other forms of documentation have shaped our students lives, our own lives and pedagogues, and our communities (recognizing community is multifaceted and complex). Questions we seek to grapple with: What does it mean to teach / learn in the current moment on migration / emigration / immigration and transnational connections? What can be learned from the transnational/diasporic/migratory subject? What is currently being made invisible? How do you teach about migration? How does documentation, undocumented, and the dualities of legality/illegality emerge in the classroom and/or spaces of learning?

Format: The salon will be 90 minute recorded conversation. It will be edited then published to the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects websites (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and our under construction edited multimedio web publication).

To begin our conversation, we could listen to Sonia Guiñansaca “Bursting of photographs after trying to squeeze out old memories”.

Then we will discuss the works of Ruby Chacon.


Salt Lake CityUTUSA*
MDT (UTC -6)
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 10:00 am
San FranciscoCAUSA*
PDT (UTC -7)
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 9:00 am
EDT (UTC -4)
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 12:00 noon
SeoulSouth Korea
KST (UTC +9)
Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 1:00 am
COT (UTC -5)
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 11:00 am
PHT (UTC +8)
Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 12:00 midn

Location in Salt Lake City

2130N Hoopes Seminar Room, Marriott Library, University of Utah.

For Silhouette’s Remote participants Call-in information

Tue, Oct 17, 2017 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM MDT

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

You can also dial in using your phone.

United States: +1 (872) 240-3311

Access Code: 947-035-901

First GoToMeeting? Let’s do a quick system check:

About folks invited to be in conversation:

Leticia Alvarez (Utah)
Crystal Baik (California)
Dalida Maria Benfield (Massachussetts)
Ruby Chacon (California/Utah)
Jose Manuel Cortez (Utah)
Cindy Cruz (California)
Annie Isabel Fukushima (Utah)
Sarita Gaytan (Utah)
Juan Herrera (California)
Alonso Reyna  (Unconfirmed?) (Utah)

Untethering in Korea



June 24 – 25, 2017

Seoul, South Korea

Tethered subjectivities encompass immigrants who are legally, socially, and politically bound to dualities of citizen/noncitizen, legal/illegal, freedom/social death, and more. Our efforts via action research, public pedagogy and south- south rescensions are to creatively engage and transform both our capillary relations of our migration through and from Asia, and sites and subject-locations for new solidarities.

Tethered Subjectivities and Human Trafficking in These Migratory Times
Saturday, June 24, 10AM – 12PM, Korea University
LG-Posco Hall, 4th Floor, 432
Speakers: Annie Isabel Fukushima, Hyesil Jung, Kanokwan Uthongsap

Border Crossings, (Non) Citizenship, and Rights
Sunday, June 25, 9AM – 10:50AM, Korea University
Hyundai Motor Hall, B2 Level B206
Speakers: Sudarat Musikawong, Malinee Khumsupa, tammy ko Robinson

Curriculum Workshop:
June 24, 2017 1:00PM-3:00PM
Hanyang University
College of Education

Additional Collaborators: Cha-u-ri Lee, Dohee Lee, Duhyun Ko, Lilly Ju Hee Lee, Salai Suanpi, Sun Mee Won, Watcharaporn Ruenroeng

Migratory Times: Militarisms, Displacements & Death Worlds

Join me for my presentation at the Militarism & Migration conference. My paper is entitled, “Migratory Times: Militarisms, Displacements, & Death Worlds.” I am grateful to the collaborators of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects in our project, “Migratory Times.” This paper thinks through some of the conceptual frames I have been sitting with regarding death, social death, death worlds, and militarisms, for some time now. Some of these original questions appeared in my manuscript Migrant Crossings, in particular my chapter where I examine militarized sexual violence and “comfort women.” This paper is a growth out of this earlier thinking.

Militarism & Migration Conference


FRIDAY, April 21

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. CHECK-IN

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. KEYNOTE PANEL

Impact of Militarization and Migration on Indigenous Communities

Moderator: Professor Erin Suzuki, Literature, UC San Diego

Keynote speakers: Professor Perse Hooper Lewis and Dr. Kalamaoka’ina Niheu

Professor Perse Hooper Lewis is a citizen of the Yomba Band of Shoshone Indians, located in the beautiful mountains of central Nevada. A settler to San Diego, she has spent her career serving the local tribal and urban communities on a variety of issues related to education, health, community development, and culture. A proponent of sovereignty and self-determination, Perse works with Indian-serving nonprofits and tribes to ensure program design, implementation, and evaluation reflect the needs and strengths of the community. In addition to her consulting duties, she holds a full-time position at the University of San Diego as the Tribal Liaison and a Professor of Practice in the Ethnic Studies Department.

Dr. Kalamaoka’ina Niheu, MD is a co-founder and convener for `Aha Aloha. She is a founding member and Kauka (Physician) for Onipa`a; Hui Kalo, the Hawai`i wide traditional taro farmer’s association, a Medical Officer in the Polynesian Voyaging Society Hokule`a, a Board Member of `Ahahui o; Kauka, and has served as Hawai`i Representative to the United Nations as a member of the Pacific Caucus. As one of approximately 800 Indigenous Peoples who gathered in Alta, Norway in 2013 she helped craft the Alta Outcome Document as an extension of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Her published works include “Pu`uhonua: Sanctuary and Struggle at Makua, Hawai`i” and “The Effect of the Military on the Health of Native Hawaiians.”

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. DINNER and COMMUNITY PANEL

Community Panel: A panel with recently resettled refugees from Syria, Sudan, and the Congo

7:30 – 9:00 p.m. COMMUNITY HOUR/BAZAAR

“African Band with Dance Kings and Queens.” A 15-minute performance by the local Congolese choir and dance troupe

Tabling with local community organizations, artisans, craft-makers, and UCSD undergraduates.

SATURDAY, April 22

9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CHECK IN


Panel 1. Militarized Citizenship

Joining the Military as Migration: Indigenous Soldiers in the Mexican Military, Ivan Sandoval-Cervantes, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso

The Local Imaginaries Leading to Militarized Youth, Heather Rae-Espinoza, Department of Human Development, Cal State Long Beach

Divergent Paths towards Militarized Citizenship: Korean International Male Students’ Military Service in S Korea and in the US in their Pursuit of Mobility and Citizenship, Hee Jung, Migration and Social-Integration Research Center, Konkuk University; and Ga Young, Education Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Every Breath You Take: Asbestosis, the U.S. Navy, & The Militarization of  Chamoru Diasporic Bodies, Antoinette Charfauros McDaniel, Independent Scholar

Discussant: Simeon Man, History, UCSD

Panel 2. Feminist Epistemologies and Everyday Survival

Marching Beggars: Militarism and Social Welfare in U.S.-Occupied Okinawa, Asako Masubushi, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto

Because Food is the Essence of the Everyday; or, the Palestinian Hearth and Everyday Survival, Lila Sharif, Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Migratory Times: Militarisms, Displacements & Death Worlds, Annie Fukushima, Ethnic Studies, University of Utah

Thug Love and Arab-Region Militarism: The Affective Logic of Migrating Investors and Megaprojects, Paul Amar, Global Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Discussant: Kamala Visweswaran, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 3. Refugeetude, Labor, and Citizenship

The Latinization of Los Angeles, Central American Refugees, and Identity, Alexis Meza, History, UC San Diego

Race, Nation, and the Immigration of Korean War Adoptees, Susie Woo, American Studies, California State University, Fullerton

Refugeetude: When Does a Refugee Stop Being a Refugee, Vinh Nguyen, Department of Culture and Language Studies, University of Waterloo

Imagining Inhumanity and North Korea: Emotional Citizenship in Paul Yoon’s Snow Hunters, Joseph Han, Department of English, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Discussant: Anita Casavantes Bradford, Chicano/Latino Studies & History, UC Irvine

Panel 4. Colonial Violence, Militarism, and Mobility

Rehabilitating the Golden Triangle: The Long Strive to Move From a Drug-Based Economy to New Forms of Neoliberal Development, Josto Luzzu, Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney

Time and Haste in Differentiation of Settler/Native Mobilities in North America, Carrie Alexander, History, UC Davis

Permissible Militancy and Racialized Hierarchy: Diasporic Korean Militarism and the Nebraska Youth Military Academy, 1908-1914, Youngoh Jung, History, UC San Diego

Nicaragua was Spanish for Palestine: Israeli Covert Arms and Counterinsurgency for the Contras, 1978-1985, Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn, American Studies, Yale University

Discussant: Victor Bascara, Asian American Studies, UCLA

Panel 5. Military Technologies, Counterinsurgency, and Cyber Resistance

Tracking Mobility: Techno-Paranoia and Benevolent Dictatorships, Christopher Patterson, Humanities and Creative Writing, Hong Kong Baptist University

Economy of Excess: The Value of Military Waste Materials, Davorn Sisavath, Anthropology and Asian American Studies, California State University, Fresno

Militarized Sexuality: Queer Fantasies, Slash Fiction, and Cyber Resistance, Keva Bui, Department of English, Dartmouth

Creating ‘Positive Peace’ in the ‘Pivoting Pacific, Sylvia Frain, Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Otago/ Te Whare Wānanga Otāgo, Dunedin/ Otepoti, Aotearoa New Zealand

Discussant: Charles Thorpe, Sociology, UCSD

Panel 6. Militarization, Securitization, and Border Imaginaries

Migrating Islands and Reframing Environmental Refuge(e)s, Olivia Quintanilla, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Urban Security Regimes and Border Militarization in Southern Mexico: Preliminary Findings from Tapachula, Chiapas, Krys Mendez Ramirez, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

La Leyenda Negra: Racial Imaginaries of Haiti and the US/Mexico Border, Katherine Steelman, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

The 4.3 Massacres, Anti-Base Activism in Jeju, and the Haunting Metaphor, Esther Choi, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Discussant: David Pedersen, Anthropology, UCSD

12:00 – 2:00 p.m. LUNCH and WALKING TOUR.

City Heights has become a hub for the resettlement of refugees from around the world, from Vietnam to Somalia to Iraq. Take this hour-long walking tour to learn about the history of refugee resettlement in the city.


Panel 7. Comparative Settler Colonialisms, Subimperialisms, and Refugees

Racialized Encounters: Vietnamese Refugees and Native Chamorros on Post-1975 Guam, Evyn Le Espiritu, Rhetoric, UC Berkeley

Decolonization and Subimperialism: Okinawa Postwar Emigration to Latin America, Symbol Lai, History, University of Washington

Asian Settler Colonialism: Resettlement of Vietnamese Refugees on Tongva Land, Saramosing Demiliza and Tiffany Tran, Asian American Studies, UCLA

Cultural Formations of Uchinanchu and Shima On the Move, Ayano Ginoza, Asian Studies, University of Redlands

Discussant: Daphne Taylor-Garcia, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 8. Queer(ing) Refugees and Militarized and Heteronormative Kinship

From Destruction and Flight among Queer-Identified Syrian Refugees, Sofian Merabet, Department of Anthropology, UT Austin

That Childhood Fantasy of Returning to My Family’: Migration and Queer Kinship in Transnational Korean Adoption Narratives, S Moon Cassinelli, Department of English, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Militarized Kinship: Black women, surveillance and place-making in San Diego, Christina Carney, Department of Women’s & Gender Studies and Department of Black Studies, University of Missouri

The Transnational Legacy of Sexual Enslavement and Militarized Heteronormativity in Fox Girl, Sam Ikehara, Department of English, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa

Discussant: Jillian Hernandez, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 9. War Trauma and Memories Across Generations

Trauma Through the Generations: Education, Identity, and Resilience Amidst Social Violence, Yvonne Kwan, Sociology, Dartmouth

The Search for Healing in Lan Cao’s The Lotus and the Storm, Jeff Gibbons, Department of English and Philosophy, US Military Academy, West Point

“You’re Korean, Don’t You Care About Your Own People?”: The Korean Diaspora Politics of LiNK’s “People Over Politics” Campaign. Lisa Ho, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Medicating Trauma: Dis-ease and Contested Medicinal Care in Mukherjee’s “Fathering,” Catherine Nguyen, Comparative Literature, UCLA

Discussant: Khatharya Um, Asian American Studies, UC Berkeley

Panel 10. Militarism and Migration in the Postwar City

How Do Refugees Not See Race?”- SF East Bay Refugee Perspectives on Race, War, and Migration, Jennifer KA Tran, American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Militarized Settlement and Refuge in Albuquerque, New Mexico (1940s-1970s), Christina Juhasz-Wood, Women’s Studies, University of New Mexico

Phục Quốc: Vietnamese Exile Politics After the Fall of Saigon, Y. Nguyen, Sociology, Northwestern University

Militarized Miami: Counterinsurgency and the Refugee City, Emma Shaw Crane, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU

Discussant: Kirstie Dorr, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Panel 11. Policing Migrants Under Neoliberalism

The Legacy of Reagan’s Cold War on Immigrants: Immigration Detention and the Power of Storytelling, Kristina Shull, History, UC Irvine

Debt: Peonage, Payments, Poetics, Calvin Walds, Literature, UC San Diego

Italian colonial expansion and the Criminalization of Migration in the Mediterranean Sea, Maysam Taher, Middle Eastern Studies, NYU

Dead on Arrival: Mexican and Central American Asylum Claims in the Age of Authoritarian Neoliberalism, Alfonso Gonzales, Ethnic Studies, UCR

Discussant: Nigel Hatton, Literature, UC Merced

Panel 12. Settler Colonial Visuality, Digital Activism and Decolonial Epistemologies

Digital Repositories and Social Reproduction: Gendered Publics and Ongoing Resistance in Palestine, Rana Sharif, Department of Gender Studies, UCLA

Perceiving Otherwise: Settler Colonial Visuality & Re-encountering Kimsooja’s An Album: Sewing into Borderlines, Crystal Baik, Department of Ethnic Studies, UCR

Donald Trump’s Wet Dream: The Frontrera Film Noir Landscape of Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer (2008), Felipe Quintanilla, Department of Spanish & Linguistics, Franklin & Marshall College

Multimedia Submission – Images at the Border, Justin De Leon, Lizeth Maria Ruiz-Herrejon, and Jessica Garcia, Ethnic Studies, UCSD

Discussant: Lan Duong, Dept. of Media and Cultural Studies, UC Riverside

4:00 – 5:30 p.m. BREAK

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. DINNER

6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Film Screening: Nứớc (Water/Homeland) by Quyên Nguyen-Le

Set in the California drought, Nứớc is a six-minute experimental film about a Vietnamese American teen who attempts to piece together and understand their mom’s experience as a Vietnam War refugee. (Q&A with filmmaker after screening)

7:00 – 9:30 p.m. INTERACTIVE ART & ACTIVISM WORKSHOP with GABRIELA Los Angeles (Alliance of Filipina Women)

Building Solidarity & Resistance Against U.S. Militarism & Forced Migration Through People’s Art

Movements unleash the creativity and vibrancy of people’s struggles. Join this interactive workshop on how U.S. militarism and forced migration impacts Filipina women, children, and indigenous peoples. Participants will learn the art of stenciling posters and have the opportunity to choose pre-designed stencils or create their own designs.

GABRIELA is a grassroots organization and alliance of Filipina women founded in 1984 in the Philippines. GABRIELA Los Angeles is a member organization of the first overseas chapter GABRIELA-USA. They aim to educate, organize, and mobilize Filipino women to fight for their rights and welfare through education, organizing, campaigns, cultural art, and collective action. GABRIELA recognizes that the issues Filipino women face across the globe are rooted in the Philippines and works together to advance the movement for national liberation and genuine democracy in the Philippines.

SUNDAY, April 23

10:00 -11:30 a.m. PANEL WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ACTIVISTS: “Take Back Our Education.”


Maridel “Da” AndradaAnakbayan San Diego.  Anakbayan is a comprehensive national democratic mass organization of Filipino youth and students from all walks of life who are fighting for national democracy, social justice, and equality in the Philippines and around the world.

Melissa Castañeda – Las Fotos Project, Tijuana.  Las Fotos Project is a community-based photography program whose mission is to bring about positive change for teenage girls facing adversity. It provides a creative outlet for students, encouraging them to express their artistic talents and explore their imagination.


The goal of the luncheon is to share stories, cultivate new relationships between community members, and forge partnership between local groups with faculty and students at UCSD.

Redefining Justice: Envisioning New Approaches in Anti-Trafficking Work

Redefining Justice:
Envisioning New Approaches in Anti-Trafficking Work

“Redefining Justice: Envisioning New Approaches in Anti-Trafficking Work,” the 15th Annual Freedom Network USA Human Trafficking Conference, will use a social justice lens to imagine what justice looks like in the anti-trafficking movement. To achieve justice is to talk about inequalities in our society and how injustices can create vulnerabilities to human trafficking and continue to disadvantage trafficking survivors. For the trafficked person, justice might look like the conviction of a trafficker, having access to various benefits, or the development of preventative efforts so that no one else experiences what they went through. What does justice look like to anti-traffickers? It might be through the criminal justice system, the civil legal system or restitution. It may be prevention or looking beyond the legal system or the development of new resources to protect survivors, victims, and potential victims. We look forward to exploring these issues during on April 5 -6, 2017 in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. Registration opened on December 2016.

ASA Human Rights Section Newsletter – Spring 2017

ASA Human Rights Section Newsletter – Spring 2017

Download a PDF version of the newsletter: humanrightssection_asa_spring2017newsletter

A Brief Message from the Editors

We appreciate everyone who contributed to this newsletter on human rights in a new era. The content included in this newsletter responds to the context of a Trump presidency and its national and international implications; the contributors provide insights into human rights research, teaching, and advocacy nationally and abroad. The contributors paint a picture of the social and intellectual obligations of sociologists to contend with the human, notion of rights and human rights in this era.

Please see the final page of this newsletter for information on how to submit your pieces, and thank you in advance!

Annie Isabel Fukushima, University of Utah
Hollie Nyseth Brehm, Ohio State University

Table Contents

Human Rights (Section) In a New Era – Thoughts from Your Section Chair – by Joachim J. Savelsberg, University of Minnesota


“Human Rights Scholarship in the Time of Trump” by Michael Schwartz, Stony Brook University

“What Is To Be Done? Response to Schwartz” by Louis Edgar Esparza, California State University-Los Angeles

“The Mexico City Policy: An Impediment to the Achievement of Women’s Right to Life” by Elizabeth Heger Boyle, University of Minnesota

“In Defense of Public Goods” by LaDawn Haglund, Arizona State University

“Using Sociology to Promote and Protect Human Rights” by Erik Larson, Macalester College

“Creating Inclusive Human Rights Classrooms” by Marie Berry, University of Denver

“Untitled” By James Rule, University of California, Berkeley

“Developments in Monitoring and Measuring Human Rights Violations” by Christopher N. J. Roberts, University of Minnesota

“Persistent Tensions: Human Rights and National Sovereignty in Socialist Venezuela” by Timothy M. Gill, Tulane University

Awards & Anouncements

2016 Section Awards

Awards and Announcements


Newsletter Submission Information

Human Rights (Section) In a New Era – Thoughts from Your Section Chair

by Joachim J. Savelsberg, University of Minnesota

Human rights scholars, like many, have been in a state of shock as of late. A growing number of nations openly dismiss basic principles of democracy, international solidarity and human rights. Turkey, the Philippines, Syria, and Russia are among them, and the forces that threaten the same principles are gaining ground in Western democracies as well, including the United States.

We are in shock all the more, as many expected global scripts of rationality and human rights to spread into all corners of the globe. And indeed, recent decades have witnessed systematic efforts to build institutions in response to grave human rights violations, a “justice cascade,” and an unprecedented wave of apologies by heads of state for injustices done in the names of their countries. Yet, denial has also been rampant, at times strategically planned in response to acknowledgment, and supported by a calculated reluctance to intervene.

The shock is further intensified as new trends are not just imposed from above, but at times supported by grassroots movements and tolerated by large segments of the population in many countries. It seems to me that we are facing a popular revolt against elites (yes, including scholars) and technocrats by those who feel that massive structural changes leave them on a downward trajectory, those who cannot hold their own in times of massive economic globalization and technological change. These times remind me of the 19th century industrial revolution, the structural transformation it constituted, the displacements it caused and the at times violent reactions, like those described by German playwright Gerhard Hauptmann in his “Die Weber” (about the 1840s violent uprisings of displaced weavers in Silesia).

In these times policy programs and political rhetoric become widely accepted that (1) dismiss knowledge, replacing it by ideological falsehood, (2) denigrate minorities and (3) advance protectionism. All three trends repeat developments of the 1930s in Germany, the country in which I was born, raised and educated. The denigration of minorities, its catastrophic outcome, foremost against Jews, is well known; “attitude is everything; knowledge is garbage” became a slogan in institutions of higher education; and employees from industries that benefitted from protectionist trade policies joined the Nazi party more than others.

What can we do? Most of us are U.S. citizens. Many of us are also members of social movements. And to us as engaged citizens, President Obama gave good advice in his farewell speech in Chicago, just two days ago as I was writing this text. I recommend rereading his speech. There is much we may want to take to heart.

But what can we do in our special role as scholars of human rights? We, after all, have tools to our avail that others are lacking. We must use our tools of scholarship to continue to observe, measure, and explain human rights violations and responses to them. My first sociology professor at the University of Cologne in the 1970s was René König, German émigré to Switzerland during what he called the 12 years of the so-called Thousand-Year Empire (yes, it was a short period, but the destruction during short periods can be beyond imagination). He insisted that we confront ideology with rigorous scholarship and social scientifically based knowledge. There are certainly different ways of knowing the world out there, but a real world there is, a world with human joy and suffering. We have to decide what methods of knowledge production we want to trust more than others. This decision is value-based, and I made my decision. I follow René König by pleading for methods of scholarship. Especially as human rights scholars, the current times increase our raison d’être. We have to live up to our obligation to generate knowledge about human rights, their abuses and their protections.

On a personal note, while our lives will be affected by recent political trends in the US and around the globe, they will not be absorbed by them. I, for one, am determined to continue to appreciate the blessings of my private life, all while living up to my obligations as a scholar and as a world citizen and a citizen of this country.

For us as an association I see two ways forward. First, let’s tap into our collective imagination. Some of you have responded imaginatively to my request for ideas on the monitoring of human rights violations in a new age of uncertainty and threat. This edition of our newsletter presents those contributions we received to our membership. I consider this a start, a collection of ideas that may bear rich fruit if we all take them seriously and follow up.

Second, let’s carry on with our year-to-year business. We have good things to look forward to in the life of our section, its newsletter and the 2017 Annual ASA Meetings in Montreal.

Regarding the newsletter, we have been served superbly well by Rusty Shekha in recent years, and we owe him great thanks. Rusty had to step down at this point for reasons we surely respect. He will be succeeded by an outstanding new editorial team, consisting of Hollie Nyseth Brehm at the Ohio State University ( and Annie Isabel Fukushima at the University of Utah ( I profoundly thank Annie and Hollie for agreeing to take on this job. As we move forward, please send any postings, such as announcements of recent publications, awards, or conferences to the new editors, as they detail above.

Further, we joined forces with the Section for the Sociology of Law to offer two co-sponsored panels at the 2017 Annual Meetings in Montreal. The topic will be: Human Rights and Law from Above and Below – Comparative Perspectives. One of these is an invited session, the other was open to submissions. Together they form a mini-symposium. The organizer of the open submission session is Frank Munger—great colleague, section member in both Human Rights and Law, and former editor of the Law & Society Review. In addition, we will hold our customary roundtables. The organizer of the roundtables is Lynette Chua of the University of Singapore. We trust that these roundtables will be at least as engaging as they were last year. Great thanks to Lynette and Frank! Also at the Annual Meetings, we have joined forces with the Section for the Sociology of Law and the Section on Crime, Law, and Deviance to organize what promises to be a spectacular party on the terrace of an old hotel (Hotel William Gray), a very manageable and most interesting walk through old Montreal from the conference site. We owe Eran Shor at McGill great thanks for identifying this site.

Again, let’s continue to make our section grow in size and relevance. It is an honor serving as your chair.

Human Rights Scholarship in the Time of Trump

by Michael Schwartz, Stony Brook University

I hope there will be many responses to Joachim Savelsberg’s invitation for section members to apply their evidential and analytic expertise to the task of answering the threats to human rights emanating from the Trump Administration. This can be an occasion when social scientists fulfill the mandate first articulated by W.E.B. Du Bois: that sociology should have as its mission “unleashing social truths,” “empowering change,” and “liberating humanity.”[1]

Toward that end, I want to point to some very narrow and applied work that already looms as instrumental in protecting (and hopefully even extending) human rights in “the Time of Trump.” This is not work I feel I am qualified to do; but my idea is that we all should be thinking in this way, and hope that by circulating these ideas, they will reach other scholars with the energy and expertise needed to implement them. That is, we need to act collectively to “unleash the social truths” that social science has to offer, and therefore empower the practitioners and activists who need these insights to defend or extend human rights.

So here are a couple of ideas about what kind of scholarship might be immediately useful:

The Trump Muslim Ban is going to be the subject of a sustained struggle, despite the resounding February 10 repudiation of Trump’s draconian Executive Order by the Ninth Circuit Court.[2] We can expect a whole raft of future moments, including some or all of the following: the evidentiary hearing (where the specific cases will have to be made); the various future appeals (where more conservative judges may be key); the now looming almost-certainty of a new Executive Order, which will need substantive challenge and on-the-ground resistance.

Despite the heartening mobilization of protest, legal challenge, and even state governments against this, there is nevertheless a dangerous lack of precision—or in many cases a lack of general information—on who has been impacted by the ban and in what ways it has harmed or endangered their welfare. And—maybe more important—tracing out the harmful human rights consequences of this or of a modified ban for the concentric circles of people in the U.S. and globally.

At least some of us are equipped to fill this evidential and analytic void. And if we can provide some clear answers, this work will be utterly central to the legal dispute—the Circuit Court decision[3] specifically mandates an investigation and adjudication of the economic and personal damage of the ban (and a comparison with its “beneficial” impact on “national security”). Nevertheless, the State of Washington, the ACLU, and the growing army of lawyers working the many cases have dreadfully fragmentary evidence.

We are in a position to provide comprehensive information that could be crucial to the judicial process. And this same information would be invaluable to the individuals and groups who are in the line of fire, all the activists mobilized to protect those impacted, and the broader public which is looking for ways to resist Trump’s attacks.

Here are a few of the important measurement issues that someone (or a research team) with real skill and expertise could help to answer:

  • How many people are in the pipeline for visas from the seven outcast countries—have already applied, but not yet granted—and where are they located? Is Homeland Security continuing to process them now that court injunction has been validated; or are they—in some venues—illegally imposing the ban?
  • How many current residents of the United States are here on student, visitor, or work visas from the outcast countries; how has the ban (or its threat) impacted their safety and welfare; and how can they be forewarned or forearmed against current or pending dangers?
  • What is the magnitude of U.S. business and personal travel for people from these countries; what is the magnitude of business and personal travel of U.S. residents/citizens to these countries? How disruptive is the reality or threat of the ban to their safety and welfare? How can they be informed of agencies or groups they can connect to?
  • Can we use already-developed research strategies to measure and analyze the full extent of disruption (to commerce, personal lives) that this ban can or would accomplish? Looking at the direct impact on those banned, on their families, on their businesses or occupations, and then outward to the people who rely (personally or economically) on this set of concentric circles? One example I know of was the cancellation of an already-planned academic conference on Middle East history and culture, a disruption of the lives and scholarship of hundreds of scholars, most of whom were not the direct targets of the ban.

Careful (or even quick but accurate) research on these and all the related issues will be very useful for the lawyers active in the (already) myriad legal cases being contested; allow the people directly and indirectly to contact each other and act collectively; and provide useful tools for rallying the broad opposition by demonstrating that these human rights violations reach right into most people’s lives.

And here is another, quite different, but also urgent application of our research skills. As the media are starting to report (not enough to be sure), Homeland Security has begun an onslaught of raids into Latino communities (unfortunately pioneered and defended by the Bush and Obama administrations), summarily detaining and deporting long-time residents (many with young children who are U.S. citizens) who have done nothing to provoke their expulsion.[4] The terrorized  communities have been organizing resistance to these raids, and there is real promise that this resistance can become the enactment of the sanctuary movement.

Human Rights (and particularly immigration) scholars have a great opportunity to supply usable knowledge to this resistance/sanctuary movement. The U.S. has a long history of immigration exclusion, as well as a long history of civil disobedience as a strategy for resisting various forms of expulsion. This history needs to be mined for useful insights into what succeeded and what failed in the past, and how these lessons can be applied to the current situation. This kind of work is exemplified by the superb David Bacon article circulated to the section by Bryan Rich.[5]  But this is only a start on what we need to do. We need to cull more insight from this history, and all become analysts of the many moments of resistance going on right now. Our analytics skills are needed to transmit lessons learned from one locale to others, as they try to defend communities against this developing reign of terror.

As social scientists we don’t often have an opportunity to contribute to “empowering change,” let alone “liberating humanity.” But, this is one of those moments. What we have to contribute can make a difference. And I think that Du Bois would say that when the opportunity appears, it becomes an obligation.

So I thank Joachim for creating a forum in which we can contribute, and I hope that the folks in the Human Rights section treat the opportunity as an obligation.

[1] Aldon Morris, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. DuBois and the Birth of Modern Sociology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015).

[2] State of Washington et al v Donald J. Trump et al, “Motion for Stay of an Order…” Order No. 17-35105; D.C No 2:17-cv-00141 Filed February 9, 2017, found at

[3] Ibid.

[4] Democracy Now,  ‘ICE Raids Speed into Overdrive: Advocates Say Obama’s Deportations Reaching 100 MPH under Trump,” (February 2, 2017), found at .

[5] David Bacon, “What Donald Trump Can and Can’t Do to Immigrants,” NACLA Newsletter, (February 6, 2017), found at

What Is To Be Done? Response to Schwartz

by Louis Edgar Esparza, California State University-Los Angeles

The task of sociologists, and especially sociologists of human rights, has not changed, though it may now be more urgent. United States institutions violate international human rights standards and norms as a matter of course, though some may now worsen. Here I offer my colleagues suggestions for research, the classroom, and for us:

For Research:

Understand, conceptualize, and reconcile some well-known data regarding the US criminal justice system with international human rights standards, including the following stubborn trends:

  • The United States currently holds two million people behind bars;
  • That is more than any nation today;
  • That is more than any nation in history;
  • Of these, a disproportionate number are African American;
  • Work behind bars is remunerated below the federal minimum wage;
  • The United States continues to practice capital punishment;
  • The United States continues to practice solitary confinement;
  • The United States continues to hold individuals without trial;
  • The United States continues to collect personal data without a warrant;
  • The United States continues extrajudicial killing via drone strikes.

Use data on social indicators that reveal the place of the US among peers:

  • The United States ranks 24th of 36 OECD countries on share of women in government;
  • The United States ranks 29th of 36 OECD countries on life expectancy at birth;
  • The United States ranks 35th of 36 OECD countries on income inequality;
  • The US ranks 35th of 36 OECD countries on rate of poverty;
  • 75% of OECD countries grant some form of paternity leave. The US is not among these;
  • The United States is the only OECD country that does not grant maternity leave for at least 12 weeks.

For the Classroom:

  • Inform classrooms of resources for undocumented, refugee, and immigrant students;
  • Make time to listen to students who are processing the changes undergoing in our society;
  • Place domestic human rights abuses in the context of US human rights abuses abroad;
  • Provide instruction on media literacy.

For Us:

  • Provide an unambiguous and unqualified defense of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), especially for marginalized peoples;
  • If you are placed in a situation where you are instructed to violate the UDHR, do not follow it;
  • Practice self-care;
  • If you have the resources, you may choose to donate to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or similar groups of your choice in your local area.

To End:

Two hundred people were arrested at the president’s inauguration on 20 January 2017. Many – including six journalists[1] – faced felony rioting charges, up to $25,000 in fines, and 10 years in prison.[2] Some of these charges have since been dropped, but this is part of a long trend in the criminalization of protest,[3] which now includes journalists. Resistance to worsening trends could use all the assistance possible.



[3] Esparza, Louis Edgar and Rhiannan Price. 2015. “Convergence repertoires: anti-capitalist protest at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.” Contemporary Justice Review.

The Mexico City Policy: An Impediment to the Achievement of Women’s Right to Life

by Elizabeth Heger Boyle, University of Minnesota

In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 580 women die from pregnancy-related complications for every 100,000 live births. For women in this region of the world, the lifetime chance of dying from pregnancy complications is 1 in 38. This reveals a violation of women’s basic right to life.

President Trump’s reinstatement and possible expansion on January 23 of the 1984 Mexico City Policy exacerbates this problem. The Mexico City Policy bans US aid to any organization that provides abortions (broadly defined) or even refers to abortion as an option for women. The Mexico City Policy was initially introduced under President Reagan and has been reinstated by all Republican presidents since then. George W. Bush exempted various services, such as post-abortion emergency treatment, from the ban, but Trump’s Executive Order made no such distinctions.

Ironically, over time, regions with high exposure to the Mexico City Policy have tended to have greater abortion rates, likely because access to modern contraception goes down when the policy is applied. Furthermore, abortion rates have not significantly decreased in the Global South since Reagan first instituted the policy, but they have declined notably in the Global North where there are no such restrictions. Apart from a lack of access to modern contraceptives, Trump’s expansive Executive Order could mean less funding for many hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa, affecting public health in many other realms as well.

There is no reason for reinstituting the Mexico City Policy—the 1973 Helms Amendment already prevents the use of US tax dollars for abortion-related services or devices domestically and abroad. It is important that we continue to press the new administration to ensure rather than impede women’s basic human rights.


Bendavid, Eran, Patrick Avila, and Grant Miller, “United States Aid Policy and Induced Abortion in Aub-Saharan Africa,” Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Sept. 27, 2011 (online publish date): Vol. 89, pp. 873-880C,

Kaiser Family Foundation. 2017.

Sedgh, Gilda, et al. 2016. “Abortion Incidence between 1990 and 2014: Global, Regional, and Subregional Levels and Trends.” The Lancet 388(10041): p. 258-267.

Suh, Siri. 2017.

In Defense of Public Goods

by LaDawn Haglund, Arizona State University

With the election of Donald Trump to highest office in the United States, it seems a new era has dawned. As sociologists of human rights, the range and depth of threats posed by the new administration are breathtaking. We as a society have much to lose: decades of environmental protections guarding the rights of current and future generations, safety nets designed to prevent illness or hardship from sinking people into total despair, checks on the power of the rich to extract disproportionate resources from our shared societal wealth while restricting the rights and remuneration of workers, and a large body of regulations enacted to help prevent discrimination against non-majority populations.

Though analyses of how we came to this point continue to flood both professional and social media, I would like to focus on one aspect that is not new, but is often ignored: the assault on public goods. By public goods, I do not mean narrowly-defined “pure public goods,” which can only be provided by the state (think military and public infrastructure). I am referring to public goods that could potentially be privatized, though not in ways that are accessible in a just and equitable manner (think education, health care, social security, or meaningful remunerative work).

Scholars of human rights will immediately see the parallels with fundamental human rights. Societies create public goods to support the normative ideals embodied in human rights because without them, life for both individuals and the community as a whole is degraded, undignified, and at times lethal. Countless dedicated activists, communities, legal advocates, and public servants achieved these protections, safety nets, checks, and regulations over the course of generations of struggle.

Notwithstanding current shortcomings in achieving the ideals laid out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is still possible to acknowledge the threats posed by the all-out assault on public goods waged by Congressional Republicans, right-wing media and think tanks, corporate lobbyists, and wealthy donors. This campaign—which has existed since the New Deal but gained traction with the “rollback neoliberalism” of Reagan and the 1994 Republican-dominated Congress—would have us ignore legitimate motivations for pursuing public goods. Instead, we are urged to rally against “government waste,” “burdensome regulations,” and “restrictions on liberty” while demonizing human vulnerability. These framing strategies are designed to win the hearts and minds of a critical mass of people so that the idea of a useless and rapacious state becomes a self-evident, common sense maxim.

Unfortunately, this strategy has blossomed into a full-blown offensive against public goods, and its proponents are now at the helm of the battleship. Sociologists are—implicitly or explicitly—at the center of the political storm, given their expertise in analyzing inequality, injustice, power, and privilege as they manifest along cleavages of race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. This provides us with a unique opportunity to clarify not only how radical reversals of policy became possible, but also where and how they might be blocked, and how rights- and life-affirming alternatives might be advanced.

In Closing the Rights Gap, Robin Stryker and I asked several questions of relevance to this historical moment: “How is it that individuals and institutions come to accept a new set of norms or principles? When and why do they begin to act in ways that support these principles?” As with all social transformations, the current situation was brought on by identifiable actors who took concrete steps, utilizing a range of mechanisms and strategies, over time and in dialogue with existing political and institutional realities, to promote a set of norms reflecting their own goals, values, and interests. In this process, they sought to shape the perceptions and desires of the population at large around new normative frames that vilified state action, and to encourage people to act on those beliefs by supporting those who perpetuated the emergent discourses. From this point of view, our current situation did not originate with Donald Trump, nor is he the only agent of threat.

Similarly, the struggle to maintain the integrity of our hard-fought public goods, as well as to promote further spaces and processes where justice and dignity are upheld and fulfilled, is being waged by a range of actors intervening in analogous but opposite ways. Some of the mechanisms and strategies highlighted in our and others’ work include informational mechanisms geared toward providing evidence in support of a course of action (which, in the current zeitgeist, may include “alternative facts” and misinformation); symbolic mechanisms that employ framing or symbolism to inspire support (compare “Make America Great” baseball caps with “Pussyhats”); power-based mechanisms designed to mobilize pressure for change (lobbying and protest are common examples); legal mechanisms that utilize courts to uphold official norms; and cooperative mechanisms (such as dialogue and participatory spaces).

As sociologists, we have much to offer in all of these areas. As researchers, our role is crucial in asking the right questions, providing empirical evidence for the answers, and crafting solutions based on the best possible evidence. We can defend public goods by providing systematic, accessible evidence to the public, grassroots organizations, courts, Congress, and state legislatures that exposes the conditions that necessitate public goods, as well as documents the benefits they impart. While acknowledging the failings of our social institutions, we can illuminate the problems they are designed to address in ways that matter to people and appeal to our shared humanity. Otherwise, the dominant narrative of the rapacious state (and beneficent markets) will dominate.

Of course our work, and in fact much sociological inquiry, threatens those who benefit from existing injustices, and these actors have great incentives to cast aspersions on critics. As teachers, we must continue arming our students with critical reasoning skills and well-supported data and information, despite increasing attacks on the integrity of our scholarship by the media, “freedom schools,” and the privatization of education.

Yet, in the age of “alternative facts,” we can no longer expect our expertise to be enough. We also need counter-narratives to blanket assertions that the problem is the state. Policies and institutions such as the EPA, anti-discriminatory legislation, social safety nets, and shelters for vulnerable people – whether displaced, victimized, or otherwise at risk – did not arise out of thin air, or as some would have us believe, out of a desire to take money from hard working people. Moreover, creating a caring society is not the sole responsibility of charity organizations, but also of state actors and institutions working with communities. Alternative discourses of justice, compassion, and empathy that foreground the importance of public goods can restore the legitimacy of harnessing the state for societal wellbeing.

Narratives are also not enough, as our research indicates. Mobilization, legal challenges, and cooperative building of alternatives are also crucial. We are at a crossroads, where a multi-directional defense of public goods will be required to advance human rights. As scholars and teachers, we have much to offer in all of these areas, and a lot to lose if we stand by silently and watch our hard-sought knowledge be ignored, distorted, or dismissed. This period of crisis presents an opportunity to move beyond the glaring shortcomings of previous institutional and social arrangements to foster the emergence of a more just, inclusive, and rights-responsive society.

LaDawn Haglund is the author of Limiting Resources: Market-Led Reform and the Transformation of Public Goods (2010, Penn State Press) and co-editor (with Robin Stryker) of Closing the Rights Gap: From Human Rights to Social Transformation (2015, U.C. Press).

Using Sociology to Promote and Protect Human Rights

by Erik Larson, Macalester College 

The recent and potential dramatic electoral shifts fueled by right-wing populism in the United States and Europe pose challenges to human rights. Fundamentally, these outcomes challenge the universality of human rights, particularly as the basis for government action, favoring a more ethnonational understanding of rights protection and provision.

In such an environment, how can sociologists respond effectively? There are certainly instances in which our professional commitments correspond to human rights principles—threats to academic freedom such as silencing researchers from presenting findings among a community of scholars or denying scholars access to data are also instances of interfering with rights to opinion, expression, and assembly.

Beyond these instances, we may see our work of gathering and presenting data as vital to promoting the monitoring and realization of human rights. In doing so, we need not duplicate the efforts of organizations with core human rights missions. Their collection and documentation of violations and provision of this compiled information to organizations that review human rights practices will often be more efficient, immediate, and effective than what we as scholars could achieve through primary data collection.

Yet, we as individual scholars and a collective profession have much to offer. Drawing as much on the inspirational work of many colleagues as on my own research on the growth of indigenous rights as a transnational phenomenon, the following non-exhaustive list catalogs some of these contributions that sociologists can continue to make:

  • Examining primary data in illuminating ways. Whether drawing on methods of analysis that can help uncover unexamined relationships or deploying theoretical ideas to provide new explanations, sociologists studying human rights can generate insights that provide focus to understanding the situation of human rights.
  • Understanding social determinants of rights realization. Moving beyond the immediacy of rights violations, examining the conditions that result in achievements of human rights can reveal a range of mechanisms that affect how individuals pursue rights and how other actors, such as governments and corporations, structure activities in ways that more effectively consider the human and distributive consequences of action.
  • Viewing situations from a human rights framework. Connecting the social conditions that we study—the gaps and inequalities—to human rights ideals could demonstrate the connections between people in different situations that much contemporary political rhetoric seeks to deny.
  • Seeing organizational processes that affect human rights. Acknowledging that not only governments are relevant human rights actors and examining how private sector and civil society organizational processes connected to organizational environments, networks, and movements can uncover means through which unsupportive government actions can be countered effectively.
  • Finally, explaining how human rights have become more influential. The history of human rights shows both increasing institutionalization in the international environment and autonomy on the part of human rights experts, suggesting that there is potential for new alliances to continue to challenge threats to the well-being and dignity of people.

Creating Inclusive Human Rights Classrooms

Adapted from Sie Center QuickFacts “Creating Inclusive Classrooms in International Studies

by Marie Berry, University of Denver

We enter 2017 in a highly charged political moment. There are important conversations happening at universities across the U.S. about creating and preserving our classrooms and campuses as spaces where all students—regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, ability, immigration status, citizenship, or any other category of difference—feel welcome and encouraged to learn. At many colleges, it has also become apparent that international studies schools and classrooms face a series of unique issues related to inclusiveness and diversity—issues which likely apply to many human rights classrooms as well. These issues range from the fact that most students in international studies programs in the U.S. are from the West (and advantaged backgrounds), yet many aim to do work in the Global South among the most disadvantaged, to the fact that many international studies topics (e.g., development, human rights) have been accused of (neo)colonial orientations. While these issues have long been important, the current political environment has created an acute need to address them because many members of university communities—students, staff, and faculty—feel under threat.

Together with colleagues, I solicited feedback from a small group of current Master’s students on simple but potentially impactful ways that all faculty can begin to work towards creating inclusive classrooms where all students feel welcome and encouraged to learn about global issues. Based on the feedback from students, I offer this initial list with the recognition that it is not sufficient or comprehensive; rather it offers points of entry where faculty teaching on international issues can easily infuse principles of diversity and inclusion into their courses.

  1. Diversify assigned readings:

Work to ensure our course readings reflect a diversity of perspectives and authors from different backgrounds—including women, people of color, and scholars from the Global South. This is particularly important in international studies courses in order to actively disrupt the tendency to anoint Western scholarship and perspectives as the gold standard. Instead, ask whether there are places on our syllabi where local voices, scholars from marginalized groups, and scholars from the regions under discussion could be assigned. Even when these voices do not dispute traditional scholarship, normalizing diverse voices on our syllabi can allow more students to recognize their backgrounds as generating useful and legitimate perspectives on an issue. This tool is a useful way to get a quick estimate of diversity.

  1. Talk explicitly about inequality, power and privilege (without burdening those on the margins):

Many students of international studies—and human rights in particular—aspire to careers in the global arena. In order to do this work effectively, many are eager to better understand their own privilege and bias. One way to integrate these discussions into a variety of courses is to center the idea of intersectionality—the recognition that all people have multiple identities that are bound up with power hierarchies and that intersect and overlap in ways that create discrimination, advantage, or both in different situations. There are many resources to help facilitate these discussions, which require preparation (see here to get started and watch Kimberlé Crenshaw’s new Ted Talk). These conversations are important for white, Western students aiming to do work in the Global South in the current political environment. They are also important for students of color who may be interested in joining the Foreign Service or working for international human rights NGOs, where they may experience unique challenges related to their own identity (see an excellent related discussion here).

Further tip: be conscious of not putting the burden of this discussion on students with marginalized identities. This can make them feel like “tokens of diversity” being asked to do more emotional and intellectual labor than those occupying dominant identities, such as their white, cis-gender, straight, Christian, U.S.-citizen classmates.

  1. Bring current events—including domestic ones—into the classroom:

While most international studies (and many human rights) classes focus on the international, students are eager to bring recent domestic examples into the classroom as well. Perhaps more urgently than ever, what international studies faculty have been teaching for years—on fascism, authoritarianism, political violence, politicized ethnicity, populism, human rights, and so forth—can no longer pretend to only apply to “over there.” For instance, classes that highlight authoritarian regimes would do well to integrate class discussions on how current political discourse in the U.S. shares (or doesn’t share) similarities with the rise of authoritarian regimes elsewhere.

  1. Model inclusive language on your syllabi and in your lectures:

Language is a powerful tool for either facilitating or combating inequality, discrimination, and oppression. As such, here are some preliminary tips informed by suggestions from our graduate students:

  • Consider adding a note to our syllabi affirming all gender expressions and identities and encouraging students to reach out to us if they wish to be referred to by a different pronoun;
  • Avoid asking students questions about their race or ethnicity—questions like, “what are you?”—even if asked with good intentions—can make students feel singled out and uncomfortable;
  • Note any accommodations for students with differing abilities, medical issues, religious observances, and so forth. Invite students to talk to us if they feel unsafe or discriminated against in any way;
  • Avoid using phrases like, “Hi guys” or “us Americans” or “that’s insane” as each phrase is exclusionary or dismissive in certain ways;
  • While this may seem obvious, avoid referring to people as “illegals” or “illegal immigrants”; “undocumented” or “unauthorized” are preferred terms;
  • Look to work by Gary Howard and others for additional ways of approaching inclusive language.


These suggestions are intended as accessible “first steps” for faculty to create more inclusive classrooms. After the recent spate of Executive Orders, many students also now need specific resources, ranging from advice on their visas or work status, to guidance on whether they should participate in civil resistance efforts, to targeted mental health care resources like crisis hotlines or counseling services. Since faculty (and our syllabi) are often a first point of contact with students, we have an important opportunity to signal our willingness to serve as an ally and resource. Initiatives like We Stand With Our Students provide students the names and contact information of faculty allies and make coordinating efforts to support our students during these difficult times more straightforward, and I invite further suggestions.


By James Rule, University of California, Berkeley

For many Americans, the most catastrophic loss of innocence concerning their country’s human rights policies came in the spring of 2004, with publication of photos of Iraqi captives under military detention at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq.    Time will not soon erode the impact of those images—and I emphasize that images is what I have in mind here. The photo of the hooded prisoner forced to stand for hours in a precarious position, or the one of a female U.S. military guard holding an Iraqi prisoner on a leash—these stripped away all doubt about the lengths American forces were prepared to go in prosecuting their ill-conceived and ill-fated invasion of Iraq. Once these photos started appearing on front pages, everything changed. By all accounts, this country’s standing in world opinion suffered sweeping collapse—from which, some would say, it has never recovered.

Note the gap between the force of those images and that of other forms of intelligence about American actions in Iraq. Since at least the middle of 2003, reliable reports had been emanating from Iraq of unconscionable (and under international law, illegal) treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Among those making such reports was the International Red Cross. In July of that year Amnesty International cited the U.S. military for subjecting prisoners there to “cruel, inhumane and degrading” conditions. In November, AP distributed a report by reporter Charles J. Hanley documenting abuse of U.S. prisoners in Iraq, including at Abu Ghraib.

Early in 2004, the military itself began to acknowledge questions about such abuse. On January 13, one of the MPs in duty at Abu Ghraib reported abusive actions to military investigators. Three days later, the U.S. Command in Baghdad issued a one-paragraph press release on such an investigation. Three days after that Ricardo Sanchez, the Commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, ordered a criminal investigation. Things moved slowly. Sanchez later noted, under oath in Congressional testimony, that “Red Cross reports warning of abuse … [at] Abu Ghraib … became lost in the Army’s bureaucracy and weren’t adequately addressed.” But at the end of April, CBS’s “60 Minutes” and The New Yorker published the graphic photos that no one can forget. After that, the scandal, including both the original events and the subsequent reluctance to act on them, became national and international obsessions.

We social scientists seek out, document, and analyze empirical observations—often in the hope of convincing our fellow citizens that the things we focus on are not as they should be. Here we are not too different from investigative journalists, human rights workers, or activists representing disfavored groups. To pursue our roles, we put forward models of a better world, and we expect others to be as disturbed by discrepancies between these visions and the facts we document as we are. But if we are candid, we need to admit that we do not in any complete way understand why some of the discrepancies revealed by research ignite the public consciousness, and other are simply ignored. Nor do we know why images—or at least, the right images, at the right moments—galvanize publics in ways that the most thoroughly-researched reports often do not.

This is no counsel of despair, for I hold there is a positive conclusion to be drawn.    Shouldn’t we be paying attention to the complex social chemistry that determines what makes particular images—and for that matter, particular research studies—electrifying in particular contexts?  Can’t we find ways of analyzing what makes a particular image, or a particular report, capable of searing itself into public attention?  We know that moments exist when a single spark can set off a conflagration of public indignation or action. But we don’t know what distinguishes those moments.

Developments in Monitoring and Measuring Human Rights Violations

by Christopher N. J. Roberts, University of Minnesota

Monitoring and measuring human rights violations are among the most crucial—and challenging—of activities for human rights researchers. Human rights violations typically occur beyond the gaze of researchers, activists, and monitoring groups. They are often perpetrated in locations that are too dangerous, geographically remote, or politically inaccessible for the collection of “fresh” data on the ground as those abuses occur. But developments in digital technology, the ubiquity of camera-equipped mobile devices, and widespread access to the Internet offer new opportunities for the production, collection, and analysis of data surrounding human rights violations.

This commentary provides a brief overview of several new “open source investigation” initiatives that have already transformed the way that many journalists and human rights organizations investigate violations. Harnessing these developments in data collection and making use of them in the research context raises its own challenges. Still, there are enormous opportunities for sociologists of human rights to innovate in the theory, method, and analytic techniques associated with the monitoring and measuring of human rights violations.

Never before have individuals so isolated had such a large global audience to turn to for help. Today, people in conflict zones post videos, photographs, and offer narrative accounts of human rights abuses on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and WhatsApp. A number of organizations seek to offer guidance for those creating user generated content. WITNESS, for instance, is one such initiative that focuses its efforts on training citizen activists around the world in the safe and effective use of video to document and expose human rights violations around the world.

The ability to use such data to improve the lives of the abused and hold accountable the appropriate violators, however, depends on the intensive efforts of investigators who must authenticate, process, analyze, and interpret the staggering quantities of data that are now publicly available on the Internet. To date, journalism collaboratives and human rights organizations have taken the lead. First Draft News and the Verification Handbook, for instance, are resources for journalists, activists, academics, and aid providers for authenticating, handling and using user-generated content. Similarly, Citizen Evidence Lab is an initiative that offers a series of guidelines, publications and studies oriented towards advancing best-practice techniques for authenticating user-generated content. Its partner-organization Amnesty International has already employed digital verification techniques to authenticate user generated evidence and corroborate accounts of civilian killings in Syria as well as the existence of mass graves in Burundi.

Although it is increasingly common for journalists and activists to put to use user-generated digital content, one of the most innovative and noteworthy projects involving researchers and students is The Human Rights Investigations Lab at UC Berkeley. Students who participate in this lab learn cutting edge user-generated data authentication techniques from leaders in the field. Using specialized software and querying tools, they systematically gather and process evidence associated with human rights and humanitarian violations in order to be of use for researchers and criminal prosecutions.

These developments in data collection hold enormous promise for sociologists whose research involves the monitoring and measuring of human rights violations. At these early stages, however, a great deal of theoretical and methodological groundwork lies ahead for social scientists who wish to leverage successfully such data in their own research.

Persistent Tensions: Human Rights and National Sovereignty in Socialist Venezuela

by Timothy M. Gill, Tulane University

In 1998, Venezuelan citizens elected their first leader outside of the two-party system that dominated the country since 1958: Hugo Chávez. On the campaign trail, Chávez attracted support from the popular classes by promoting the construction of a new constitution that would recognize all sectors and racial/ethnic groups, and would endorse the idea of a participatory democracy. Chávez would also promise to tackle extensive socio-economic inequality. In office, Chávez would indeed construct a new Venezuelan Constitution; initiate missions designed to combat social problems including illiteracy and lack of access to health care; and he would eventually embrace socialism. Under the latter move, Chávez asserted that Venezuela must encourage a truly democratic and communal form of governance.

At the international level, Chávez trumpeted the creation of a multi-polar world-system that would reduce U.S. imperial influence. Indeed, U.S. global power especially concerned the Venezuelan president as dissident military officers and opposition activists temporarily deposed Chávez in April 2002. In its wake, Chávez would blame the U.S. for allegedly funding and providing support to the individuals that carried out the overthrow, and he would recurrently criticize the U.S. for violating Venezuelan national sovereignty by attempting to influence domestic political affairs. While the U.S. rejected the accusation that it supported the coup, it recognized that some groups that participated in the event had received some support from U.S. government agencies (OIG 2002).

Although citizens continued to elect Chávez, and then his successor President Nicolás Maduro, he faced a spate of criticism. Critics contended that the socialists stifled private enterprise, targeted opposition politicians, and, despite enacting several government missions, transgressed an array of human rights. Critics have also portrayed the socialists as paranoid autocrats that invent conspiracies in order to justify support for draconian policies.

In two recent publications, I have examined how the Venezuelan government sought to contain U.S. influence within the country by prohibiting foreign funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). First, I have shown how Venezuela has pursued legislation targeting NGOs since 2006 (Gill 2016). It would take the Venezuelan government until 2010, though, to pass legislation that criminalized foreign funding for NGOs that promote – ambiguously phrased – political rights. In that article, I show that Chávez had remained susceptible to criticism from foreign state leaders and domestic NGO representatives in 2006, and thus decided to shelve the law. In 2010, though, I show that Venezuela had become immersed within a global subfield involving countries that were also pursuing similar legislation, including Belarus and Russia, and this sort of maneuver had become normalized within this newfound global milieu. What is more, the Venezuelan government had severed relations with formerly critical countries and NGOs.

In a second publication, I have drawn attention to how Venezuela continues to deploy a discourse of national sovereignty and a discourse of human rights depending on particular goals (Gill 2017). As it involved legislation targeting NGOs, for example, the government utilized a discourse of national sovereignty. In defense of the legislation, Chávez quite plainly stated that that “[Venezuela is] a sovereign country … [and there are] political parties, NGOs, personalities of the counterrevolution that continue being financed [by] the US empire … I implore you to pass a very strict law to impede this.”

In recent months, President Maduro has continued to prioritize the idea of national sovereignty. Amid a food and medicinal shortage, Maduro has refused to accept assistance from several countries and institutions. And when criticized by, for example, the U.S. for its handling of the political-economic crisis, government leaders have demanded the U.S. respect Venezuelan national sovereignty and not meddle in its affairs.

Despite this continued emphasis on national sovereignty, I have also shown how the government has, at times, advanced a discourse of human rights. Venezuelan government leaders indeed routinely testify that no other country respects human rights more than Venezuela. Leaders also continue to use the language of human rights to criticize foreign governments, including Israel and the U.S. In July 2014, for example, Venezuela condemned Israeli military attacks within Palestine, and sent medicine and clothing to the country. President Maduro has also recurrently criticized U.S. foreign policy efforts in places such as Libya and Syria, as well as the extrajudicial murder of unarmed African-Americans throughout the country.

Tensions between human rights and national sovereignty visibly persist in Venezuela. The Venezuelan government has provided economic assistance to a number of countries throughout the world including Haiti and Nicaragua, yet it has guarded its own sovereignty so close that it has refused assistance amid its own crisis. The government has also rejected the notion that it hampers human rights by targeting NGOs, and has asserted that it must restrict NGO operations to bolster its own national sovereignty. At the same time, it has leveled human rights-oriented criticisms at a number of countries.

The existence of these tensions is not limited to Venezuela. The U.S. displays its own issues. It criticizes Venezuela, but it has failed to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as several senators assert that the U.S. should not answer to anyone outside its borders. These dynamics will undoubtedly persist well into the 21stcentury, and it will, first and foremost, behoove citizens to hold their domestic leaders accountable to the standards they set.


Gill, Timothy M. 2016. “The Venezuelan Government and the Global Field: The Legislative Battle over Foreign Funding for Nongovernmental Organizations.” Sociological Forum 31(1): 29-52.

Gill, Timothy M. 2017. “Unpacking the World Cultural Toolkit in Socialist Venezuela: National Sovereignty, Human Rights, and anti-NGO Legislation.” Third World Quarterly, forthcoming.

Office of Inspector General (OIG). 2002. A Review of U.S. Policy Toward Venezuela November 2001 – April 2002. Report Number 02-OIG-003.

2016 Section Awards

Best Graduate Student Paper Award

Roberts, Louisa. “Changing Global Attitudes Toward Homosexuality: The Influence of Global and Region Specific Cultures, 1981-2012.”

Gordon Hirabayashi Human Rights Book Award

Holzer, Elizabeth. The Concerned Women of Budburam: Refugee Activists and Humanitarian Dilemmas. Cornell University Press.

Best Scholarly Article Award

Teeger, Chana. 2016. “Both Sides of the Story: History Education in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” American Sociological Review 80(6)1175-1200.

Awards and Announcements

Manisha Desai was the Compact for Faculty Diversity’s 2016 Faculty Mentor of the Year, New England.

After spending several weeks as a Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Bandana Purkayastha completed her first month as a Fulbright-Nehru scholar at the University of Hyderabad. She is gathering data on her project Water, Inequalities and Rights.

Anjana Narayan and Bandana Purkayastha have been awarded a 2017-2018 Global Religion Research Initiative grant to set up an interdisciplinary, multi-country coalition of scholars who will study living Islam and Hinduism from an intersectional perspective. The scholars from the US, India and Pakistan will also examine appropriate methodologies for studying lived religions.

Annie Isabel Fukushima is a member of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects, a transnational feminist collective of artist, scholars, and activists. They were awarded $75,000 to implement research, pedagogies, and digital exhibitions entitled, “Migratory Times,” in the Colombia, Denmark, Philippines, South Korea, and the United States.


Adur, Shweta and Purkayastha, Bandana. 2017.  “Claiming ‘Tradition,’ Naming the Cause: Examining the Language of Social Identity among Queer South Asians in U.S.” Journal of South Asian Diaspora 9: 1-16.  Currently available at

Armaline, William, Davita Glasberg, and Bandana Purkayastha. 2016. “De Jure vs. De Facto Rights: A Response to ‘Human Rights: What the United States Might Learn From the Rest of the World and, Yes, From American Sociology.’” Sociological Forum. DOI: 10.1111/socf.12303

Desai, Manisha. 2016. “SWS 2015 Feminist Lecture: The Gendered Geographies of Struggle: The World Social Forum and its Sometimes Overlapping Other Worlds.” Gender and Society 30(6): 869-889.

Desai, Manisha. 2016. “The Gendered Geographies of Global Justice,” In Social Movements and World-System Transformation. Edited by Jackie Smith, Michael Goodhart, Patrick Manning, and John Markoff.

Desai, Manisha and Rachel Rinaldo. 2016. “Reorienting Gender and Globalization: Introduction to the Special Issue.” Qualitative Sociology, Dec. 2016.

Ferrales, Gabrielle, Hollie Nyseth Brehm, and Suzy McElrath. 2016. “Gender-Based Violence Against Men and Boys in Darfur: What is Gendered About Genocide?” Gender & Society 30(4): 565-589.

Fukushima, Annie Isabel.  2016. An American Haunting: Unsettling Witnessing in Transnational Migration, the Ghost Case, & Human Trafficking (W.S. Hesford and R. Lewis, Eds). Feminist Formations, Special issue, Mobilizing Vulnerability: New Directions in Transnational Feminist Studies & Human Rights 28(1): 146 – 165.

Fukushima Annie Isabel, Guest Contributor. (2016) “Why should human trafficking be countered through a critical human rights approach?” In John Vanek (Ed.), The Essential Abolitionist: What You Need to Know About Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery.

Hola, Barbora and Hollie Nyseth Brehm. 2016. “Punishing Genocide:  A Comparative Empirical Analysis of Sentencing Laws and Practices at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Rwandan Domestic Courts, and Gacaca Courts.” Genocide Studies and Prevention 10(3): 59-80.

Krase, Jerome. “The Italian American Contribution to Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban.”

Krase, Jerome. “The Rise of Italo-Trumpism.”

Krase, Jerome. “Intalo-Trumpism in NYC.”
Krase, Jerome and Judith N. DeSena. 2016. Race, Class, and Gentrification in Brooklyn: A View from the Street. Lexington Books.

Krase, Jerome. Keynote Lecture, “Seeing the Image of the City Change,” University of Central, Lancashire, United Kingdom, Fieldwork Photography Symposium, November 9, 2016.

Nyseth Brehm, Hollie, Christopher Uggen, and Jean-Damascéne Gasanabo. 2016. “Age, Gender, and the Crime of Crimes: Toward a Life-Course Theory of Genocide Participation.” Criminology 54(4): 713-743.

Waring, Chandra and Purkayastha, Bandana. 2017. “‘I’m a Different Kind of Biracial’: How Black/White Biracial Americans with Immigrant Parents Negotiate Race.” Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, Culture. Currently  available online at:

Wyrod, Robert. 2016. AIDS and Masculinity in the African City: Privilege, Inequality, and Modern Manhood. University of California Press.

Wyrod, Robert. 2016. “When Rights Come Home: The Intimate Politics of Women’s Rights in Urban Uganda.” Humanity 7: 47-70.

Yousaf, Farhan and Purkayastha, Bandana. 2016. “Social World of Organ Transplantation, Trafficking, and Policies.” Journal of Public Health Policy 37: 190-199.

Newsletter Submission Information

Please send the following types of submissions to Annie Isabel Fukushima and Hollie Nyseth Brehm at and To be included in the next issue, please send your submissions by May 31, 2017.

Feature Articles: Articles that highlight research, teaching, or engagement relevant to human rights.

Research Notes: Brief reflections on research studies related to human rights. Notes could focus on the methodology, the findings, the dissemination of findings, etc.

Teaching Notes: Brief reflections on teaching about human rights in undergraduate or graduate classrooms. Tips and classroom activities are especially welcome.

Grassroots Notes: Reflections, stories, and advice pertaining to engagement with local organizations, policymakers, and/or grassroots activists.

Publications and Announcements: Recently published a book, article, or paper that the human rights section members should read? Have news or an opportunity that you would like to share with the human rights community? Please send it our way!

Institute of Impossible Subjects: Flashreads

Check out my contribution to the IIS Flashreads:

Here I discuss, “Pedagogies & Teaching the ‘Illegal'”

Pedagogies & Teaching the “Illegal”

by Annie Isabel Fukushima

Ngai’s work is brilliant. Allowing for one to trace legal events where the making of the “illegal” goes hand-in-hand with the making of the US.

Here is a lecture I gave drawing upon Mae Ngai’s work. “What is an American? Genocide, Relocation, Citizenship and Making of the ‘Illegal’“ (September 23, 2016) at University of Utah. The class: 100 students, majority students of color with many who have migrant narratives in their own histories and/or their family histories. It was important that we had a conversation about the making of the term “illegal.” Ngai’s work has been seminal for understanding the legal construction of citizenship and the “illegal.“

During the election period, living in a conservative state, where migrant communities are an integral part of the Utah context, discussing migration is ever important.

Lessons learned:

1. The term “illegal” has so much history, that even when you trouble it for students, they may still find it challenging. The legacy of “illegal” being synonymous with migrant and/or the dominant anti-immigrant sentiment make this a term that is difficult to move through, for some students. However it is critical that educators contend with the uncomfortable as a site of productive possibility.

2. It was important for me as an educator to link sentiments of immigration with colonial contexts. There is a historical need to trace how as the “illegal” is sustained through notions of citizenship furthered, cannot be delinked from colonial systems of governance.

3. To teach about migration, legality, citizenship, and coloniality, requires ongoing self-reflexive teaching practices. This lecture is not a perfect how to. It is an offering of what I did in one class. What I would change – this could have easily been three lecture. In the race for time and the need to crunch as much in as possible, I am left with what does not stick with the students?

4. I always make my lectures available after class. That way students may return to the notes and ask questions.

We all read:

  • C. Matthew Snipp, “The First Americans: American Indians.” Margaret L. Anderson and Patricia Hill Collins, Eds. Race, Class & Gender. An Anthology. Ninth Edition. Cengage Learning. 34 – 40.
  • Mae Ngai. “Birthright Citizenship and the Alien Citizen.” Fordham Law Review 75(5): 2521 – 2529.
  • Marie Friedmann Marquardt, Timothy Steigenga, Philip J. Williams, and Manuel A. Vasquez. “Living Illegal: the Human Face of Unauthorized Immigration.” Margaret L. Anderson and Patricia Hill Collins, Eds. Race, Class & Gender. An Anthology. Ninth Edition. Cengage Learning. 157-163.

Link to the Prezi (edited for this public audience).

Flashreads are a fabulous way to experience dynamic responses to works – videos, art, thoughts, connections, writing, and teachings. Here is what IIS says about the flashreads.

Welcome to the discussion site for the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects public “flashreads.”
Join us by reading the text and submitting responses of writing, video, links, reblogs and images!
Submissions are moderated to assure relevance to the reading and posts will be published anonymously unless the submitter includes a name in the content of the submission.

Currently reading February 17 – 20, 2017, the Introduction to Mae Ngai’s “Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.”

The PDF can be found here:

Previous reads archived on this site include Rolando Vazquez, “Translation as Erasure: Thoughts on Modernity’s Epistemic Violence” and Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s “The Undercommons.”

Redefining Justice: Envisioning New Approaches to Anti-Trafficking Work


Freedom Network USA 15th Annual Conference, “Redefining Justice: Envisioning New Approaches to Anti-Trafficking Work”, April 5 – 6, 2017. 


Redefining Justice: Envisioning New Approaches in Anti-Trafficking Work,” the 15th Annual Freedom Network USA Human Trafficking Conference, will use a social justice lens to imagine what justice looks like in the anti-trafficking movement. To achieve justice is to talk about inequalities in our society and how injustices can create vulnerabilities to human trafficking and continue to disadvantage trafficking survivors. For the trafficked person, justice might look like the conviction of a trafficker, having access to various benefits, or the development of preventative efforts so that no one else experiences what they went through. What does justice look like to anti-traffickers? It might be through the criminal justice system, the civil legal system or restitution. It may be prevention or looking beyond the legal system or the development of new resources to protect survivors, victims, and potential victims. We look forward to exploring these issues during on April 5 -6, 2017 in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. Registration opened on December 2016.

CEUs are offered. It will be in Washington DC, which is great if folks need to meet with OVC, DOJ, or other government partners. We also invite them to our conference and OVC sponsors the conference

The Initiative For Transformative Social Work presents “Historical and Ongoing Impact of Colonialism: PROMESA Law Video Dialogue”

The Initiative For Transformative Social Work presents “Historical and Ongoing Impact of Colonialism: PROMESA Law Video Dialogue”
Students with the Initiative for Transformative Social Work (ITSW) organized this video dialogue in October, 2016, to explore a highly contested issue among Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and people in the U.S.: the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). Puerto Rico has been an unincorporated territory of the U.S. since 1917 and Puerto Ricans are the second largest Latino group in the United States. PROMESA grants a seven-member oversight board with the power to require balanced budgets and fiscal plans in Puerto Rico. The controversy of PROMESA has centered on what it can really promise and the kind of relationship it will solidify between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. This video dialogue provides insight into the history, protests, and challenging issues surrounding economic relations between the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Meet the speakers for the series:
Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima, University of Utah
Federico de Jesus, FDJ Solutions
Dr. Gisela Negron Velazquez, Universidad de Puerto Rico
Denis Nelson, Author, War Against All Puerto Ricans
Ani Robles, Experiential Scholar, ITSW
To view the video, visit:

To learn more about ITSW in the College of Social Work at University of Utah, visit:


American Studies Association: Contested Visions of Home: Asian/American Diasporic Subjectivities in the Media

American Studies Association 2016

Contested Visions of Home: Asian/American Diasporic Subjectivities in the Media

Sat, November 19, 8:00 to 9:45am, HYATT REGENCY AT COLORADO CONVENTION CTR, Level 3, Mineral Hall G

Session Submission Type: Paper Session: Traditional Format


Asian/American subjectivities are deeply shaped by the concept of home. For some, home is a place of stability and safety. Yet for diasporic subjects whose identities are marked by movement and displacement, home can be rife with contestation and disruption. Asian/American understandings of home cannot be delinked from systemic racism, gender oppression, and modern colonialism. Moreover, the troubled relationships that Asian/Americans have had to citizenship can make it difficult to speak up, voice their struggles, or navigate the violence and upheaval that have defined their experiences of home.

In this panel, we examine the creation of home through an interdisciplinary exploration of media representations, looking at the way Asian/American visions of home are created and overturned within film, radio, journalism, and digital media. Through interrogating these representations of Asian/American bodies, voices, and experiences, we seek to answer the questions such as, what does home mean for Asian/Americans when the home may be the site of violence? How do different forms of media provide access to Asian/American expressions of home, and how are opportunities for resistance both revealed and obscured through these stories? As Asians cross geographies, notions of how they belong in a given moment are deeply shaped by violence and sociopolitical instabilities. Violence takes on many faces: domestic violence, human trafficking, exclusionary policies, and histories of military engagement. Within the stories of Asian/Americans in the diaspora, we seek to unravel the various contested meanings of home that prevail in spite of this violence, and in doing so, have come to define Asian/American politics, social dynamics, and history.

Annie Fukushima will open our panel with an exploration of the violence against Asian migrants who have been trafficked into domestic servitude, asking how the concept of debt can help us to better understand their struggles. Through an analysis of legal court records and media circulations, she posits a form of unsettled witnessing as key to understanding the way that these populations are rewriting their understanding of home. Terry Park then explores the figure of Walt Kowalski in Clint Eastwood’s film Gran Torino (2009), asking how his history as a Korean War veteran impacts the relationship he builds with his Hmong American neighbors. The way that Kowalski polices the borders of his white picket-fenced home can be read in conjunction with Trans-Pacific circulation of Korean War and Cold War security practices that shape our definition of “home” and “not home,” ultimately revealing what it would take to transform those boundaries. Finally, Lori Lopez will present her research on the way that Hmong American women are using audio media in new ways that can begin to counter their long histories of displacement and disruption. She argues that Hmong American women are using these different media platforms to broadcast their collective voices and facilitate conversations by using their own cultural heritage as a strength, and in doing so, can create a diasporic space of belonging.

The Praxis of Decolonial Feminism at NWSA

I had a wonderful time in Montreal. And, what an amazing flow of ideas, research, and practice. Our panel centralized the work of Dr. Maria Lugones to discuss witnessing, pedagogies, sound, and heartbreak. What a beautiful group of people to be thinking with.

The Praxis of Decolonial Feminism

Sat, Nov 12, 5:00 to 6:15pm, Palais des Congrès, 519B (LCD)

Session Submission Type: Panel

Panelists: Cindy Cruz (UCSC), Wanda Alarcon (UT, Austin), and Anna Rios-Rojas (Colgate)

Sub Unit

  • General Conference / SUBTHEME FIVE: World-Making and Resistant Imaginaries


Witnessing Homosocial Violence Through a Decolonial Praxis

This presentation examines a genealogy of legal events, from the Hornbuckle sisters, Adriana Delcid, Agni Lisa Brown, “Jackie” Roberts, to state and federal legislation, to examine witnessing homosocial violence. Drawing upon decolonial feminist Maria Lugones, I call for new forms of witnessing. This witnessing embraces Lugones concept of “faithful witnessing,” a witnessing against power that is on the side of resistance. Through Lugones, I call for a witnessing that embraces decolonial praxis where the witness inhabits the complex, is unsettled by what they are seeing, and challenges normative visions. This decolonial theory and practice of witnessing is an “unsettled witnessing.”

Presenter: Annie Isabel Fukushima

Insurgent Legacy of Evelyn Nakano Glenn 11/3/16

I am so honored to have been a part of this program 11/3/16. It was an honor to be able to share my work on witnessing, migration, and transnational economies. What a dynamic panel with Dr. Grace Chang and Linda Burnham. But really, it was a privilege to be able to show my dissertation chair how her work has influenced my thinking, work, and endeavors of praxis.
The Insurgent Legacy of Evelyn Nakano Glenn
Thursday, November 3, 2016
12pm – 5:30pm
Multicultural Community Center, MLK, Jr. Student Union
UC Berkeley
(Location is wheelchair accessible.)
After 43 years of transformative scholarship, Center for Race & Gender Founding Director, Prof. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, retired from her faculty position last spring. Prof. Nakano Glenn’s fearless writing, multifaceted approach to social justice research, and commitment to mentoring scholarly leaders across disciplines continue to impact scholars and activists around the globe.  This symposium will provide an opportunity to honor Prof. Nakano Glenn’s insurgent legacy and her influential impact on race and gender scholarship. Don’t miss it!
12:00-12:10 – Welcome
Associate Director Alisa Bierria, UC Berkeley & Dr. Hatem Bazian, UC Berkeley, Zaytuna College
12:10-12:15 – Assemblymember Tony Thurmond’s Office District Director Mary Nicely
12:15-12:30 – Opening Remarks
Prof. Paola Bacchetta, UC Berkeley
12:30 – 2:00 – Adventures in Intersectionality
Prof. Ula Taylor, UC Berkeley, moderator
Prof. Priya Kandaswamy, Mills College
Prof. Elsa Barkley Brown, University of Maryland
Prof. Sara Clarke Kaplan, UC San Diego
Prof. Margaret Rhee, University of Oregon
2:00 – 2:20 – Excerpt from the documentary film, The Ito Sisters
Antonia Grace Glenn, Actor, Writer, Filmmaker, and Scholar
2:20 – 2:45 – Break
2:45-3:45 – Radicalizing Care & Labor Justice
Prof. Charis Thompson, UC Berkeley, moderator
Linda Burnham, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Prof. Annie Fukushima, University of Utah
Prof. Grace Chang, UC Santa Barbara
3:45-5:15 – Education Justice & Insurgent Citizenship
Prof. Elaine Kim, UC Berkeley, moderator
Prof. Nelson Maldonado Torres, Rutgers University (via video)
Marco Flores, UC Berkeley
Dr. Kevin Escudero, Brown University
Prof. Rick Baldoz, Oberlin College
5:15 – 5:30 – Closing Remarks
Prof. Juana María Rodríguez, UC Berkeley
3:30 – 6:30 – Book Signing: Eastwind Books
Several of Evelyn Nakano Glenn’s publications will be on sale from Eastwind Books. Her publications include Issei, Nisei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service (Temple University Press), Mothering: Ideology, Experience and Agency (Routledge),  Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizen and Labor (Harvard University Press) and Forced to Care: Coercion and Caregiving in America (Harvard University Press) and the edited volume Shades of Difference: Why Skin Color Matters (Stanford University Press).)
(Art by Micah Bazant)
Generously co-sponsored by Gender & Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, African American Studies, Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Department of Sociology, and the Multicultural Community Center

Historical and Ongoing Impact of Colonialism PROMESA Law Video Dialogue


Historical and Ongoing Impact of Colonialism PROMESA Law Video Dialogue

Thursday, October 13, 2016 2:00 pm MDT Live Video Streaming with Public Engagement

To join, RSVP to:

Puerto Rico has been a unincorporated territory of the U.S. since 1917 and Puerto Ricans are the second largest Latino group in the United States. This video dialogue will discuss a highly contested issue among Puerto Ricans, Latinos and people in the U.S.: the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). PROMESA grants a sevenmember oversight board with the power to require balanced budgets and fiscal plans in Puerto Rico. The controversy of PROMESA has centered on what it can really promise and the kind of relationship it will solidify between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Join students with the Initiative for Transformative Social Work (ITSW) to learn about the history, protests, and challenging issues surrounding economic relations between the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Panelists: Nelson Denis, author of War Against All Puerto Ricans, writer/director of Vote For Me!

Federico De Jesus, founder of FDJ Solutions

Dr. Gisela Negron Velazquez, director of the Universidad de Puerto Rico Social Work Dept

Download event flyer here: promesa

Hear from Ani Robles, one of the Experiential Scholars, conveying the importance of the event:

Three hires in the New School For Cultural & Social Transformation at University of Utah: Pacific Island Studies, American Indian Studies & African American Studies

Position in Pacific Island Studies,

University of Utah The University of Utah School for Cultural and Social Transformation, home to the Divisions of Ethnic and Gender Studies, invites applications for an open rank position in Pacific Island Studies. Tenure will be held in the School in either or both Divisions in consultation with the successful candidate. Applicants are encouraged to apply who engage in interdisciplinary or discipline-based research, feminist and/or gender studies, historical, or contemporary dimensions of the Pacific Islands/ Oceania Studies and diaspora. The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate a strong commitment to research and teaching. The University of Utah values candidates who will contribute to a vibrant scholarly climate. For more details please see: A PhD., MFA or other terminal degree is required by the moment of hire, July 1, 2017. Submit letter of application; curriculum vitae; publication sample; and names and contact information of three references. The position will remain open until filled. For full consideration, submit materials by October 15, 2016. For queries contact: Dr. Wanda Pillow

Position in American Indian Studies,

University of Utah The Division of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor or tenured open rank professor of American Indian Studies, beginning Fall 2017. Ethnic Studies seeks a candidate from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the University of Utah’s academic community. Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah, founded in 1976, is an interdisciplinary unit housed in the newly established School for Cultural and Social Transformation. Current job searches in the School include African American Studies and a Pacific Islander Studies joint-appointment with Gender Studies. For more details see Review of applications will begin November 1, 2016. Applications received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled. Please submit (1) a cover letter, (2) an updated curriculum vitae, (3) a sample of scholarly or creative work, not to exceed 40 pages, (4) and a list of three references. PhD, MFA, or other terminal degree in related field is required by start date. Inquiries may be directed to Dr. Lourdes Alberto ( The University of Utah is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and educator. Minorities, women, veterans, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified veterans. Reasonable disability accommodations will be provided with adequate notice. For additional information about the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and access see: The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.

Position in African American Studies,

University of Utah The Division of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor or tenured open rank professor of African American studies, beginning Fall 2017. Ethnic Studies seeks a candidate from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the University of Utah’s academic community. Preferred candidates will be engaged in Black sexualities and/or gender studies and other related fields of research on the African American experience. Tenure will reside in the Division of Ethnic Studies with potential for a joint appointment in the Division of Gender Studies. Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah, founded in 1976, is an interdisciplinary unit housed in the newly established School for Cultural and Social Transformation. Current job searches in the School include American Indian Studies and a Pacific Islander Studies joint-appointment with Gender Studies. For more details please see: Review of applications will begin November 1, 2016. Applications received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled. Please submit (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) samples of scholarly or creative work, not to exceed 40 pages, (4) and a list of three references. PhD, MFA, or other terminal degree in related field is required by start date. Inquiries may be directed to Dr. Wilfred Samuels ( The University of Utah is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and educator. Minorities, women, veterans, and those with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Veterans’ preference is extended to qualified veterans. Reasonable disability accommodations will be provided with adequate notice. For additional information about the University’s commitment to equal opportunity and access see: The University of Utah values candidates who have experience working in settings with students from diverse backgrounds and possess a strong commitment to improving access to higher education for historically underrepresented students.


At the Intersection: Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking

25th Annual Domestic Violence Conference

Moving Forward Together: 25 Years of Resilience

At the Intersection: Domestic Violence & Human Trafficking (Part 1 & Part 2)
This session offers theoretical and practical framings of how domestic violence and human trafficking intersect. The session facilitators will offer definitions, indicators, and case examples for how domestic violence and human trafficking intersect. The session will grapple with case examples regarding how someone sex trafficked into sexual economies and intimate partnership is deeply defined by power and control. The facilitators will disentangle when domestic servitude, an example of labor trafficking, intersects with domestic violence and demystify the assumptions surrounding human trafficking. Practical tools will be offered for service providers and advocates through theory and practices that center on a human rights and trauma-informed care approach to identify, serve and work in partnership to address human trafficking and intimate partner violence in our community. This is Part 2 of a 2 part presentation – attendance at both sessions is advised.

9AM – 12:15PM


The Insurgent Legacy of Evelyn Nakano Glenn

The Insurgent Legacy of Evelyn Nakano Glenn

11/03/2016 – 10:00am to 5:00pm
Multicultural Community Center, MLK Student Union Building, UC Berkeley


Save the Date:
The Insurgent Legacy of Evelyn Nakano Glenn
Thursday, November 3, 2016
12pm – 5:30pm
Multicultural Community Center, MLK, Jr. Student Union
UC Berkeley
(Location is wheelchair accessible.)
After 43 years of transformative scholarship, Center for Race & Gender Founding Director, Prof. Evelyn Nakano Glenn, retired from her faculty position last spring. Prof. Nakano Glenn’s fearless writing, multifaceted approach to social justice research, and commitment to mentoring scholarly leaders across disciplines continue to impact scholars and activists around the globe.  This symposium will provide an opportunity to honor Prof. Nakano Glenn’s insurgent legacy and her influential impact on race and gender scholarship. Don’t miss it!
Education Justice & Insurgent Citizenships
Adventures in Intersectionality
Radicalizing Care & Labor Justice
Paola Bacchetta, UC Berkeley
Elsa Barkley Brown, University of Maryland
Linda Burnham, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Grace Chang, UC Santa Barbara
Kevin Escudero, Brown University
Marco Flores, UC Berkeley
Annie Fukushima, University of Utah
Priya Kandaswamy, Mills College
Elaine Kim, UC Berkeley
Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Rutgers University
Cecilia Menjivar, University of Kansas
Margaret Rhee, University of Oregon
Juana María Rodríguez, UC Berkeley
Ula Taylor, UC Berkeley
Charis Thompson, UC Berkeley
Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, Colby College
(Art by Micah Bazant)

Special Issue: Mobilizing Vulnerability: new Directions in Transnational Feminist Studies and Human Rights

I am thrilled to announce the article I published with Feminist Formations, “An American Haunting: Unsettling Witnessing in Transnational Migration, the Ghost Case and Human Trafficking” is available to read. The special issue, “Mobilizing Vulnerability: New Directions in Transnational Feminist Studies and Human Rights” was co-edited by Wendy S. Hesford and Rachel A. Lewis. It features the works of Katie E. Oliviero, Heather Switzer, Emily Bent, Crystal Leigh Endsley, Leifa Mayers, Jane Juffer, Amy Shuman, Carol Bohmer, Alexandra Schultheis Moore, Sylvanna M. Falcon, and Rachel A. Lewis.

Volume 28, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Table of Contents

Special Issue: Mobilizing Vulnerability: New Directions in Transnational Feminist Studies and Human Rights


Mobilizing Vulnerability: New Directions in Transnational Feminist Studies and Human Rights

pp. vii-xviii


Vulnerability’s Ambivalent Political Life: Trayvon Martin and the Racialized and Gendered Politics of Protection

pp. 1-32

Precarious Politics and Girl Effects: Exploring the Limits of the Girl Gone Global

pp. 33-59

The “Orphan” Child: Politics of Vulnerability and Circuits of Precarity

pp. 60-85


Arte de Lágrimas

pp. 86-93

Can the Children Speak?: Precarious Subjects at the US-Mexico Border

pp. 94-120

The Uncomfortable Meeting Grounds of Different Vulnerabilities: Disability and the Political Asylum Process

pp. 121-145

An American Haunting: Unsettling Witnessing in Transnational Migration, the Ghost Case, and Human Trafficking

pp. 146-165

“Dispossession within the Law”: Human Rights and the Ec-Static Subject in M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong!

pp. 166-189

The Particularism of Human Rights for Latin American Women of African Descent

pp. 190-204

Queering Vulnerability: Visualizing Black Lesbian Desire in Post-Apartheid South Africa

pp. 205-232

Fall 2016: Initiative for Transformative Social Work Bootcamp

I recently stepped into the position as the Director for the Initiative for Transformative Social Work (website content coming soon, this role is a three year term 2016 – 2019). To kick of the 2016 year, I have organized The College of Social Work’s Initiative for Transformative Social Work (ITSW) inaugural ITSW Bootcamp next week.  The goal of this Bootcamp is to bring together a critical community of social workers for a collective investment in social justice visions and practice. 

Join the ITSW experiential scholars for this free, two-day workshop (August 3 – 4, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm).  Please find additional details in the flyer below.  Please RSVP by this Sunday, July 31st to Dr. Annie Fukushima, director of ITSW, at a[dot]fukushima@utah[dot]edu.
ITSW Bootcamp - Aug 2016

Secretary Treasurer for the Human Rights Section with the American Sociological Association

I am pleased to announce that I will be the Secretary Treasurer for the Human Rights Section with the American Sociological Association (Beginning August 2016). Pleased to join the leadership of ASA Human Rights Section.
  • Chair Elect Kiyoter Tsutsui, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Secretary Treasurer: Annie Fukushima, University of Utah
  • Council Members: Elizabeth Boyle, University of Minnesota; Robin Stryker, University of Arizona
  • Grad Student Representative: Vivian Shaw

Victimization, Human Trafficking and Immigrants

LSA Panel – Sat, 6/4  4:45 PM – 6:30 PM– NOLA Marriott, Galerie 3 (2nd floor) –

“Victimization, Human Trafficking and Immigrants: Mixed Methods analysis of the Perceptions of Victimhood in U.S. Courts, 2000 – 2015” – it’s a project that I am working on with Dr. Paul Baodong Liu.

Other session presenters: Edi Kinney (SFSU), Amy Cohen (OSU), Corey Shdaimah (University of Maryland), Rashmee Singh (University of Waterloo)

Law & Society Association, June 2 – 5, 2016.

New Orleans Marriott

2016 Student Global Health Initiative Conference Program


8:00am – 8:30am


8:30am – 8:40am


Michael Hardman PhD

Chief Global OfficerUniversity of Utah

8:40am – 9:25am

Keynote Address:Health Beyond Borders

Eduardo Banzon, MD

Senior Health SpecialistAsian Development Bank

9:25am – 9:55am

Local Refugee Community Leaders: Refugees Promoting Wellness

Gyanu DulalHajie GollValentine MukundenteAntoinette UwanyiugiraMODERATOR: Grant Sunada

Bhutanese CommunityLiberian CommunityBest of Africa LeaderCongolese CommunityMPH, Doctoral Student

10:00am – 10:15am


10:15am – 10:45am

Plenary 1:Human Trafficking & Immigration: Witnessing (De) Valued Subjects in a Post 9-11 Era

Annie Fukushima, PhD

Asst Professor, College of Social WorkUniversity of Utah

10:45am – 11:15am

Plenary 2:Where Respect and Pragmatism Intersect: Empowerment, Markets, and Refugee Camps

Dominic Montagu, PhD

UC San Francisco

11:15am – 11:45am

Student Research Panel

11:45am – 1:00pm

Lunch with Mentors/Student Poster Mingle

Ask the Expert: Global and Refugee Health





HSEB 2938

HSEB 2948

HSEB 2958

1:00pm – 1:45pm

Keri Gibson, MD OB/GYN

Mara Rabin, MD Medical Director, UHHR

Dominic Montagu, PhDUC San Francisco

“Culturally Competent Care for the Ob/Gyn Patient: Implications of FGM on Women’s Health”

Speaking the unspeakable: Important health considerations in the care of torture survivors

Private Healthcare in Developing Countries: Why, Where and For Whom

1:55pm – 2:40pm

Amelia Self, MSWUT State Health Department, Refugee ResettlementJi won ChangBioinformatics Data AnalystU of U Dept of Epidiology

Debra Penney, PhD , CNM, MPH, MSU of U College of Nursing

Melissa Moeinvaziri, MScU of U Law Student

Refugee Resettlement: Overview of Utah State Refugee Policy

Dealing with Difference in the Health Encounter: Muslim Encounters

Asylum, Deportation, and Human Rights: Intersections of law and health in the refugee context

2:50pm – 3:35pm

Amelia Self, MSWUT State Health Department Refugee Resettlement

Eduardo Banzon, MDSenior Health SpecialistAsian Development Bank

Local Refugee Community Leaders

Mental Health of refugees

Pursuing Universal Health Coverage in Asia and the Pacific

Refugees Promoting Wellness

3:40pm – 4:30pm

Final words, mixer, ice cream

Freedom Network USA 2016 Conference

Bridging the Gap: Building a Movement through Partnership, Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution

Palmer House, Illinois, Chicago
April 4-5, 2016

Human trafficking is a complex issue that impacts millions of individuals, families, and communities globally. Yet too often it is discussed as a solitary phenomenon without taking into consideration the multiple factors that create vulnerability or the composite response necessary to successfully address the needs of victims and survivors. This year’s conference embraces intersectionality: a framework that examines overlapping oppressions.

The Freedom Network’s 14th annual conference, Bridging the Gap: Building a Movement through Partnership, Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution, seeks to embrace this complexity and forge partnerships—taking trafficking out of its silo to explore its root causes and best practice interventions. We welcome current (and future!) anti-trafficking stakeholders to join us as we endeavor to better understand human trafficking as it intersects with a variety of systems, institutions and social concerns.

Register Today

Conference Details


Featured Speakers include: Survivors of Human Trafficking and Office for Victim of Crime Consultants; Attorneys of Immigrant, Worker, and Victim Rights; Representatives of Law Enforcement and Government Agencies; Medical Professionals; the Freedom Network Members, comprising of Advocates, Attorneys, Professors, Social Workers, and Experts working on Human Trafficking. Hear from 60+ different anti-trafficking experts, attend plenaries, panels and workshops, network with our members, and join the movement.

Conference Workshop Themes

  • Human Rights
  • Praxis and Research
  • Case studies of Individuals & Groups
  • Child Welfare
  • Culture & Difference
  • Disabilities & Human Trafficking
  • Domestic Violence  & Human Trafficking
  • The Drug Industry
  • Federal Overview and perspectives in Anti-Trafficking Endeavors
  • Freedom Network Training Institute
  • Legal and social perceptions of fraud
  • Healthcare responses
  • Housing First
  • Intervention courts
  • Investigation & Prosecution
  • Labor/Worker Rights & Labor Trafficking
  • Laws & Policy
  • Media Representation, Messaging, & Misinformation
  • Task Forces & Collaboration
  • Transgender People’s Experiences
  • Victim Compensation
  • Past, Present, and Future Directions of the Anti-Trafficking Movement: Reflections with the Freedom Network Founders and Survivors of Human Trafficking

Award Ceremony

We invite all conference attendees to join us for our Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award Ceremony on April 4th at 6:30PM.
For updates on the Program, visit:

Contact the Co-Chairs Annie Isabel Fukushima and Megan Mahoney or our National Coordinator, Melinda Smith  at

“At Risk Youth: Pathways to Delinquency and Sex Trafficking”

The Social Justice Student Initiative at the S.J. Quinney College of Law human trafficking symposium, “At Risk Youth: Pathways to Delinquency and Sex Trafficking”, on February 19, 2016. The Social Justice Student Initiative has partnered with the Global Law Center to host an event that will focus on bringing to light the harsh reality of at-risk, runaway, and homeless youth who are recruited, forced, and coerced into sex trafficking.
For further information, a detailed list of workshop descriptions, and to register for the symposium, click here. Please RSVP by February 15, 2016. If you have questions, contact at  
This event is 4.5 hours CLE (pending).
Social Justice Student Initiative 
Breakfast and Registration
Opening AddressTim Ballard, Founder and CEO, Operation Underground Railroad
Workshop A: Hot Topics: Ending Demand & Eliminating Criminalization of Minor Victims, Flip Sides of the Same Coin: Rachel Harper, Esq., Policy Counsel, Shared Hope International
Workshop B: Combatting Online Sexual Exploitation of Trafficked Children: Jennifer Fischer, Elizabeth Green, and Dustin Grant, FBI Special Agents
Workshop CHuman Trafficking — An Important Public Health Care Concern for the Youth of our State and NationDr. Kathy Franchek-Roa MD,  Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine
Workshop DIssues Faced by Trafficking Victims in the Juvenile Justice System: Pamela Vickery, Executive Director, Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys
Keynote Address: Faces and Shadows of Juvenile Sex Trafficking – Taking our Nation’s TemperatureRachel Harper, Esq., Policy Counsel, Shared Hope International
Workshop E: How Cultural Norms Contribute to Vulnerability & Predatory Behavior: Fernando Rivero, MPH, EMT-P, Captain, Unified Fire Authority
Workshop F: Disrupting Black & White Visions: Human Trafficking, Race, and Difference: Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima, Ph.D, Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies Program, College of Social Work at the University of Utah
Closing Reception

Anti-Violence Iconographies of the Cage

My article published with Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies is now available! Thank you to Institute for Research on Women, Nicole Fleetwood and Sarah Tobias, among other wonderful colleagues who offered this article feedback. I also want to say it’s amazing to be in a special issue with some very amazing people: Karen Leong, Robertta Chevrette, Ann Hibner Koblitz,Karen Kuo, Heather Switzer, Maylei Blackwell, Laura Briggs, MignonetteMinnie Chiu, Debjani Chakravarty, David Rubin, Hokulani Aikau, Maile Arvin, Mishuana Goeman, Scott Morgensen, Sonia Hernandez, & Anna Guevarra.

Full list of the special issue here:…/10.5250/fronjwomestud.36.issue-3

“Anti-Violence Iconographies of the Cage: Diasporan Crossings and the (Un)Tethering of Subjectivities” in Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies Volume 36, Number 3.

Project MUSE


Technology, Surveillance, and Transnational Trafficking: Securing the Nation Through Narratives of (In)security

Thank you for everyone who joined me at my presentation at the American Studies Association 2015 conference, The (Re)production of Misery and the Ways of Resistance, October 8-11, 2015, Toronto, Canada

Sat, October 10, 10:00 to 11:45am, Sheraton Centre, Chestnut West

Fukushima Abstract

“Technology, Surveillance, and Transnational Trafficking: Securing the Nation Through Narratives of (In)security” by Annie Isabel Fukushima

Technology impacts transnational economies and technocultures, Anne Balsamo’s concept of how culture shapes technology and vice versa (that the two are not in opposition). For the transnational migrant crossing U.S. borders, he/she is impacted by the innovations in technology. Technology shapes mobile subjects. What is the role of technology in human rights endeavors? In 2011, Google gave $10.5 million to anti-trafficking organizations, suggesting that in a post-9-11 era, the relationship between technology and anti-violence efforts is an important area to be further investigated where the implications are human, political and social. Technology is central aspect in human rights endeavors, in particular, in anti-trafficking efforts, including wiretapping as a form of surveillance for prosecutorial purposes, media circulated public service announcements as a form of prevention and outreach, and online forms and data collection to better serve victims, However, insecurities are also sustained for the vulnerable migrant who is constructed by dualities of victim/criminal, illegal/legal, and citizen/noncitizen. As national borders are militarized furthering the belief that the world is a dangerous place, transnational migrants trafficked in the U.S. are also shaped by discourses of (in)security. How are the discourse and practices surrounding technology and human rights shaped by notions of (in)security? The technologies range from technologies of mobilizing a human rights agenda through apps to surveillance of Asian massage parlors. I focus on a particular transnational subject: transnational Asian migrants constituted as trafficked in the United States. Through examining legal court records and media discussions surrounding technology and violence, I address the (in)securities reproduced through nationalist narratives of misery in the form of human trafficking. As anti-trafficking discourse and the reproduction of (in)security is furthered, new relations and subjectivities are also forged through and shaped by technology innovations and implementations to address violence and human trafficking. Take for example the use of technologies to control the U.S. borders, where migrant crossings are seen as victims to be rescued and criminals to be deported. And diasporic subjects are positioned as naturalizing settler narratives – migrants as deportable and foreign or victims on a path to citizenship who are to be rescued and restored. In this paper I will discuss the role of technology in human rights efforts as a central aspect of furthering notions of (in)security. Therefore, to reposition how one witnesses notions of rights and (in)security, I call for an unsettling witnessing of transnational subjects.

Here is the title and description of the panel. My wonderful co-panelists were Ayano Ginoza and Crystal Baik, moderated by Ju Hui Judy Han:

Contesting Inter/national Militarized Security in the “Asia Pacific” and Imagining An Otherwise


In this proposed panel, participants address the “Asia Pacific” in relationship to the intersecting histories of U.S. and Japanese militarized imperialisms— enmeshed (neo)colonial dynamics that scholars, including Naoki Sakai, Setsu Shigematsu, and Keith Camacho, refer to as the enduring “transpacific alliance.” Mobilizing the “Asia Pacific” as an analytic and a politics of knowledge rather than a fixed geographical region, panelists engage with a spectrum of transnational sites and spaces acutely impacted by Japanese and U.S. empire building projects sustained by militarisms in Korea and the Korean DMZ (Baik), the continental United States (Fukushima), and Okinawa and Japan (Ginoza).

Paying attention to the production of “disposable” subjects living on the fringes of national citizenship and heteronormative life, this panel explores a central conundrum: the ways in which neocolonial regimes (including but not limited to the United States) conceptualize misery, violence, and surveillance as central to and necessary for the contemporary projects of global humanitarianism, inter/national safety, and democratic freedom. Examining these interconnected spaces and sites as nodes located within an extensive militarized geography, this panel is particularly interested in the oppositional logics that guide and undergird the biopolitical project of inter/national security— necessity/expendability, paradise/militarism, legality/illegality. Yet, even as they examine the serious material consequences and ontological conditions associated with militarized imperialism, panelists also engage with local ways of resistance, emergent forms of affinity politics, and alliance building— ranging from cultural production to disidentification practices and transformative methods of witnessing—that have crystallized among militarized subjects. As discussed within the panel, such practices do not merely trouble or challenge militarized imperial logics. Rather, they labor toward a new understanding of “security” de-linked from nationalist and militarized sentiments, and consider the radical possibilities of demilitarization and decolonization.

The Essential Abolitionist

Please support the Essential Abolitionist by John Vanek,

The individuals who have offered to contribute to The Essential Abolitionist represent a wealth of knowledge in the fight against human trafficking, and bring years of experience in the investigation of trafficking incidents, serving victims, task force operations, research, and other topics.
* Jon Daggy, Detective Sergeant, Indianapolis Metro Police Depart., Human Trafficking Vice Unit
*Melissa Farley, PhD., Executive Dir. Prostitution Research & Education
*Susan French, Anti-Trafficking Consultant, (Former Federal Prosecutor)
*Annie Fukushima, PhD., Assistant Professor, University of Utah
*Benjamin Greer, Anti-Trafficking Consultant, Attorney
*Cindy Liou, Anti-Trafficking Consultant, Attorney, (Formerly with Asian/Pacific Islander Legal Outreach)
*Derek Marsh, Anti-Trafficking Consultant, Deputy Chief (Ret.) Westminster, CA Police
*Shamere McKenzie, CEO,, Trafficking Survivor
*Sandra Morgan, PhD., Vanguard University
*Lynett Parker, Supervising Staff Attorney, K&G Alexander Community Law Center
*Stephanie Richard, Policy & Legal Services Director, Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST)
*Mark Wexler, Executive Director, Not For Sale Campaign
*Kiricka Yarbough-Smith, Chair, North Carolina Coalition Against Human Trafficking
*Polaris Project, home of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and the National Human Trafficking Hotline

“‘The Jammed’: Representational Politics and Racialized Narratives of the Trafficked Asian Diaspora.”

Just found out that my article that appears in the anthology edited by Kuilan Liu and Elaine Kim is available for purchase. My article,“‘The Jammed’: Representational Politics and Racialized Narratives of the Trafficked Asian Diaspora” examines a drama film, The Jammed, directed by Dee McLachlan. It is a chapter in the anthology Changing Boundaries and Reshaping Itineraries in Asian American Literary Studies (November 2014) edited by Kuilan Liu and Elaine Kim (Website says Kuilan Liu and Jin Huijing). To purchase a copy of the book, visit Nankai University Press, Click Purchase.

Here are the other folks featured in the anthology:

Changing Boundaries and Reshaping Itineraries in Asian American Literary Studies

Part I: Reading Asian American Literature in New Frames

1. Toward a Bifocal View of Chinese American Literature

ZHAO Wenshu

2. Understanding the Ethnic and Universal Dimensions of Asian American Literature

LIU Kuilan

3. Commentary on Transnational Asian American Studies

Elaine Kim

Part II: Beyond Borders of Nation and Race

4. Asian American Realism and the Literature of Globalization: The Local and the Global in Jhumpa

Lahiri and Yiyun Li

Mark Chiang

5. Where Is Gary Locke in Chinese American Literature? Critiquing Chinese American Literary


PAN Zhiming

6. Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies: Individual Identity and the Imagined Nation

Stephanie Han

7. Debt, the Shifting Grammar of Life, and Manjula Padmanabhan’s Harvest

Jodi Kim

8. “The Jammed”: Representational Politics and Racialized Narratives of the Trafficked Asian Diaspora

Annie Isabel Fukushima

9. Re-presenting the Global Filipino: The Story and Songs of Apl de Ap

Ethel Regis Lu

10. Orientalism, Genre, and Transnational Korean/American Stars

Jane Park

Part III: Memories of War/Wars of Memory

11. On the Edges of Consciousness: Figuring Time in Joy Kogawa’s Obasan

Sunn Shelley Wong

12. Border-Crossing in the World Republic of Letters: South Korean and Korean American

Rearguard Fictions of the Korean War

Christine Hong

13. Writing in the Dark: Memory, Memoirs and Re-Membering After Genocide

Khartarya Um

Part IV: Ideas of Home and Family

14. Memories Without Borders, Borders Without Memories

Luis H. Francia

15. A Foreigner at Home: The Politics of Home in Francie Lin’s The Foreigner

Iping Liang

16. Family: The Site of Repression, Resistance, Empowerment, and Formation of Female Subjecthood


17. Transgenerational Trauma in Fae Myenne Ng’s Bone

XUE Yufeng


Gender & Precarity

Please view the video of an Institute of Impossible Subjects dialogue on gender and precarity.

Sunday, March 8 at 4 p.m. EST in light of International Women’s Day, IIS hosted a conversation on Gender and Precarity.…

Our facebook page with details for the event is at:

And the readings are posted on our tumblr site:

Multimedio Feb. 16 & 18

I feel so privileged to have witnessed an amazing multimedio.

Alanna Lockward was the facilitator.

It was an event that represented important border crossing. A recentering of decolonial actions through a dialogue that was intentional and moving. It made me think about how the U.S. portrays Haiti-Dominican Republic relations in ways that focus on the legacies of trauma and violence, as though it is delinked from U.S. imperialisms and colonization. The multimedio grappled with the killing abstraction of racism that has real implications – dividing people through the circulation of dominant narratives.  How does one walk across the multiple borders that are reified in categories reinscribed on the body, the land, and in the mind – and dualities of legal/illegal, us/them, citizen/noncitizen, victim/criminal, and human/nonhuman. Where are the possibilities of healing? This multi-medio inspired through reading, listening, speaking, and being together, the decolonial maneuvers of reaching out, to be together, even in times when narratives of violence and difference (i.e., the circulation of the lynching of a Haitian man), continue to hold the center. The multimedio was a intervening in these divides – a desire to come together, alliance, and the speaking to what resonates across boundaries.

An important part of the multimedio is a collective reading of a fragment of Jacques Viau Renaud’s epic poem “Permanencia del llanto” (The Permanence of Weeping). The idea is to document this collective reading of people in both parts of the island and elsewhere, in Spanish, French and English.

Monday February 16 @ 11 am, Saint-Domingue time / 5 pm Europe time
Wednesday February 18 @ 11 am, Saint Domingue time / 5 pm Europe time

New Tenure Track Position with University of Utah

Dear friends, I am happy to announce that I have accepted an offer for a tenure track position as an Assistant Professor with University of Utah Ethnic Studies Program and the The University of Utah College of Social Work. I have thoroughly enjoyed being with Institute for Research on Women – Rutgers University and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University. The mentorship, support, and opportunities that I have experienced here as a Mellon Fellow has been life changing. My intellectual work, growth, and personhood have been radically changed in this Rutgers space. Although it’s sad to leave New Jersey, I am very much excited about what is in store for me. Please like the programs on Facebook and connect with me if you are interested in collaborating.

Rethinking the Asia Pivot: Challenging Everyday Militarisms & Bridging Communities of Women

Rethinking the Asia Pivot: Challenging Everyday Militarisms & Bridging Communities of Women.

By Annie Isabel Fukushima, PhD

On November 25, the Institute for Research on Women, the department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and the Libraries at Rutgers University will host our first event of three events with regard to “Rethinking the Asia Pivot: Challenging Everyday Militarisms & Bridging Communities of Women.” The first event is aninternational webinar that brings together activists from Guam, Japan, Mexico, Okinawa, the Philippines, and South Korea. The activists will discuss the impact of militarisms on communities and how they work to build peace and genuine security in their communities. The event is in collaboration with the Center for Women’s Global Leadership to coincide with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign.

ASIAPACIFICPIVOTposter18x243The United States has had a long interest in the Asia-Pacific. From the illegal annexation of Hawaii (1898), the occupation of the Philippines and Guam (as well as Puerto Rico and Cuba) at the end of the Spanish American War, and the occupation of Japan, South Korea, among other countries during and after World War II. The United States has long been turning towards Asia. Whether it is for economic reasons, as seen in the development of Transpacific Partnerships, or the build up of military bases as seen in Jeju Island or Heneko, Okinawa, the U.S. has interests in Asia. The pivot to Asia is part of the U.S. military strategy tocontain China, and this intervention is commonly referred to as the “Asia Pivot.”

As the United States turns to Asia through military might and neoliberal economic maneuvers, what are its implications for the people, the land, and other species in the region?

There are lessons to be learned about military exercises; bombing in the Pacific has rendered Bikini Atoll unlivable. Others compare present-day Guam (or Guahan) to the Bikini Atoll. As people are displaced by military buildup, others are displaced by the environmental side-effects of buildup. And place between the Americas and Asia is a sea of islands with people, species, and land. Places where U.S. citizens settle are not immune. As tourists see places like Hawai`i as a vacation destination, the reality of Hawaii is its history and ongoing presence of the U.S. military that has led to the destruction of indigenous lands from Koho`olawe, to Makua Valley, and Pohakuloa. Indigenous peoples like Terri Keko`olani are speaking out about the human costs, impact on the land, and the rights denied due to military expansion and culture. Military exercises are known to leave behind contaminants such as depleted uranium. And some of the waste has yet to be unburied; Agent Orange was discovered in rusty barrels buried in cities in Okinawa – a legacy that the Vietnam War was not only about Southeast Asia. The health consequences of military contaminants are generational; the Alianza de Mujeres Viequenses has been at the forefront exposing the longterm effects of militarization even after demilitarization; Viequenses exhibit high rates of cancer, hypertension, asthma, cirrhosis, and other respiratory illnesses related to military contamination of environments.

The violence of military cultures is not only environmental, but also has material effects that come to the fore during crises. The International Women’s Network Against Militarism, a network of scholars and activists, was founded in 1997 in response to violence occurring on military bases. In particular, the rape of an Okinawan girl by U.S. military servicemen led to public outcry sparking the birth of an international women’s network to address human rights violations related to military buildup. As Cynthia Enloe has demonstrated, military violence that takes the shape of acts such as rape, cannot be seen as the actions of a “few bad apples.” Instead, sexual violence, rape, and trafficking must be contextualized by race, gender, and nation, that have visual, textual and material effects. Sexual violence has been a long-time concern for activists – from rape of military personnel to civilians; sexual violence is just as present on the frontline as it is on the fenceline of military bases. “Unknowable” numbers paint a picture of the politics surrounding U.S. actions and inactions towards rape, sexual violence, and trafficking – who is to be protected? Who and what is expendable? In fact the 21stcentury inheritance of war and sexual violence is not only a battle of weapons, but also history and memory. As Japan attempts to sweep its militarized sexual slavery under the rug, what do the visible narratives about U.S. military culture, rape, and (sexual) violence say about us? In 2006 Filipinas organized to raise visibility surrounding the rape by Lance Corporal Daniel Smith. The rape led to media and political discussions surrounding the Visiting Forces Agreement, Philippine sovereignty, gender-based violence, and military cultures. Gendered-base violence, such as the events surrounding rape cannot be disaggregated from the geopolitics of a U.S. turn to Asia as tied to neoliberal policies, military interventions, gendered and national subjectivities, and the transnational flow of people, goods, and ideas, in the region and to the U.S.

To call our event “Rethinking the Asia Pivot,” is to call for new interventions in thinking and practice. Therefore, the inspiration for the events include scholarly thinking and activism, as well as the role of the visual in (re)shaping how one may see (or not see) a military turn to Asia.

In 2013, I received an email regarding Sonoma County Museum’s “Camellia has Fallen.” The exhibit featured the works of artists reflecting on 1948, where the army executed thousands of residents on the island (~60,000) because the island was seen as Communist. From acrylic to video installations the artists uncovered histories of trauma. The exhibit is named for a “1991 painting of red camellias in the snow by South Korean artist Kang Yo Bae, recalling a folk story of the flowers falling like drops of blood in the massacre.” In late 2013, the artists and curators were looking for the next home for the exhibit. Where would these important works travel to next? Why not Rutgers? And so, we were able to bring some of the digital works to Rutgers.

At the time Obama was making plans to visit Asian countries to discuss the Transpacific Partnership, as military buildup continued on Jeju Island and Okinawa, and rape of military personnel by their peers made regular headline news. What does the turn to Asia mean for the people in Asia and the Pacific? What does it hold for the Americas?

Therefore, in late 2013, I convened a small committee: myself, Suzy Kim (author ofEveryday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945 – 1950) and Kayo Denda (head librarian, Margery Somers Foster Center, Douglass Library). We reached out to the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, and “Rethinking the Asia Pivot” was born. “Rethinking the Asia Pivot” at Rutgers University is possible due to the solidarity and organizing amongst women of color faculty at Rutgers in service to our community and students.

Our collaboration led us to ask important questions surrounding the Asia pivot: How will the pivot impact Asia and the Americas broadly (and how has it historically impacted the Americas)? How do women, scholars, activists, and political leaders respond to the changing climate of security and increased securitization through the military? What’s at stake for women, human rights, the environment, and nations? What are the health implications of militarisms from environmental impacts to physiological and psychological impacts of living near or on military bases? How are such health impacts gendered? What are the environmental consequences of natural disasters and the subsequent impact of disaster militarism on local communities? What are the generational impacts of military policies – for young people recruited, veterans, their families, local communities and nations?

Through digital works on display, transnational discussions in a webinar, and scholarly and activist discussions in panels, we hope to critically engage together with event participants “rethinking the Asia pivot.” The events comprise of artists, scholars, and activists from Denmark, Guam, Japan, Massachusetts, Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Okinawa, the Philippines, and South Korea. To kick off 16 Days of Activism Campaign, we begin with an international webinar on November 25, 6PM EST. On December 3, films will be screened. The films discuss the ghosts of Jeju that haunt the present, the migrations, dislocations and spectacles produced through the making of the Panama Canal, and the relation between water, sexual economies, and bases in the Philippines. Artist works featured include: Michelle Dizon’s Basing Landscapes, Dalida Maria Benfield’s Hotel Panama, Kakyoung Lee’s Burning Island, The Dawn of Jeju 4.3 by Manamongs, Im Heung Soon’s Sungsi, and Reiterations of Dissent by Jane Jin Kaisen. To rethink the pivot towards Asia requires conversations that bring in history, representation, policy, and practice. Therefore, the finale event occurs on December 4: it is our international symposium featuring Cynthia Enloe as the keynote. Panelists will discuss themes related to history, technology, visuality, narrativity, representation, strategies, policy and violence. To engage with the visual culture of the pivot to Asia, digital works will be on display throughout the entire day.

We invite you to join us during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign to address gendered-violence and human rights.

Please visit: for more information.

Sister events are occurring in New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.

Annie Isabel Fukushima is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute for Research on Women and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University (2013 – 2015). Dr. Fukushima’s chapters appears in Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisioning New Solutions (2014) edited by sociologists Rhacel Salazar Parrenas and Kimberly Kay Hoang and in Documenting Gendered Violence edited by Lisa Cuklanz and Heather McIntosh. Her work discusses an array of issues on race, gender, and sexuality with regard to trafficking, intimacy, violence, and militarisms. Currently she is revising her manuscript Migrant Crossings.

#rethinkingasiapivot #16daysactivism

Panel 1, “Crossings,” Center for Race & Ethnicity

Today I had the great pleasure of being on a panel with Dr. Walter Rucker, “Gold Coast Diasporas: Identity, Culture, and Power” and Dr. Bayo Holsey, “Tyranny of Freedom: Race, Power, and the Fictions of Late Capitalism.” I shared my manuscript in progress, Migrant Crossings: Unsettling Witnessing of Asian and Latinas/os in the United States. Powerful work was shared during our panel discussion titled, “Crossings.” This event was hosted by the Center for Race and Ethnicity as the 9th Faculty Forum on Race and Ethnicity. Dr. Ann Fabian offered great questions and contextualization for our diverse and intersecting works.

Our panel was followed by discussions on “American Inequalities” and panel presentations from Dr. Lisa L. Miller, Dr. Lauren Krivo, and Dr. Dweston Haywood; a discussion facilitated by Dr. Naa Oyo Kwate.

Thank you Mia Kissil for organizing the event.

More about the Center for Race and Ethnicity at Rutgers may be found here.

Feminist Pedagogies: Graduate Course, Spring 2015

PDF of Flyer: FeministPedagogies

Department of Women’s and Gender Studies



Tuesdays 2, 3
10:55 to 1:55 Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Bldg. 011

Feminist Pedagogies encompass epistemology, theory and practice surrounding feminist teaching and learning. Feminist pedagogies develop an understanding about knowledge production surrounding gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation.   In this graduate course, students will grapple with model feminist pedagogies in the classroom and the challenges instructors and professors navigate when discussing “difficult matters.” This class will engage with issues of power and authority, care, community in the classroom, as well as performance, resistance, difference, and dangerous memories. Our course will also include an applied aspect and will provide a platform for graduate students to receive peer and faculty feedback on feminist teaching with regards to facilitating class, structuring a syllabus, and teaching portfolios. This course is highly recommended for students who have teaching experience or who are teaching during spring semester 2015.

Rethinking Asia-Pivot

I am very excited about the international symposium, international webinar, film screenings, and digital display I am organizing with my colleagues at Rutgers (Kayo Denda and Suzy Kim).

I forgot how much fun I have designing/laying out and coordinating events.

I have created the website: 

I designed the poster using Kakyoung Lee’s work (courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery)

And I also designed the postcards

PostcardSide1 PostcardSide2

Marking Time

I am thrilled to be a part of the an exciting symposium happening at Rutgers right now:

Marking Time: Prison Arts and Activism Conference

Organized and Hosted by the Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers, New Brunswick
October 8-10 2014

Visit the conference website for a view of the entire program:

Join me at the panel I am moderating:

PANEL: Narrating Injustice: Youth and Mass Incarceration (BSF)

9:30AM – 10:45AM, Friday, October 10 at the Bloustein School Forum

Sean Saifa M. Wall (Independent Artist)
“Letters to an Unborn Son”

Richard Mora and Mary Christianakis (Occidental College)
“(Re)writing Identities: Past, Present, and Future Narratives of Young People in Juvenile Detention Facilities”

Beth Ohlsson (Independent Educator)
“Reaching through the Cracks: Connecting Incarcerated Parents with their Children through Story”

Moderator: Annie Fukushima (Rutgers-New Brunswick)


Asians in the Americas, October 1-3, 2014

Join me for the 2014 Asians in the Americas annual symposium, October 1 – 3, 2014.

To view information for the entire conference visit:

I will be moderating the “Comparative Ethnic Studies” Panel. Join me for what will be an exciting conversation.


Moderator: Annie Fukushima (Rutgers University-New Brunswick)

Julia H. Lee (University of California, Irvine)
Transnational Anna (intersection of Asian American subject formation and U.S. histories of empire in Asia in the figure and writings of Anna Chennault)
Kavitha Ramsamy (Rutgers University-New Brunswick)
Anti-Asianism in the United States: The ‘Dotbuster’ Attacks of the 1980s in Jersey City
K. Kale Yu (Nyack College)
Outside of Evangelical Mainstream: Jeremy Lin and Asian American Evangelicalism
Sayu Bhojwani (Rutgers University-New Brunswick) South Asian Panethnicity: Resonant Identity and Organizing Tool

December 4th: Rethinking the Asia “Pivot”

Save the date and follow this website. I am organizing with faculty at Rutgers a symposium that takes place on December 4th.

Rethinking the Asia “Pivot”: Challenging Everyday Militarisms & Bridging
Communities of Women
December 4th, 2014
Alexander Library, 4th Floor
Rutgers University, New Brunswick

An international symposium with a digital exhibit, international webinar, drumming, and speakers

Time/Space: Histories & Technologies of Militarism
Kornel Chang, Annie Isabel Fukushima, Chie Ikeya, Moderated by Suzy Kim

Visuality/Narrativity: Representations of Everyday Militarism
Dalida Maria Benfield, Michelle Dizon, Jane Jin Kaisen, Kakyoung Lee, Tammy Ko Robinson, moderated by Theodore Hughes

Strategy/Policy: Organizing against Militarism & Violence
Kozue Akibayashi, Zaire Dinzey-Flores, Ko Youkyoung, Suzuyo Takazato, moderated by Gloria Bachmann

Keynote Speaker, Cynthia Enloe, Ph.D., author of Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics (2000), Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives (2004), The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in The New Age of Empire (2004) and Globalization and Militarism: Feminists Make the Link (2007).

And an event preceding the symposium on November 25, International Webinar featuring Kozue Akibayashi (Japan), Corazon Fabros (Philippines), Lisa Natividad (Guam), Suzuyo Takazato (Okinawa), and Sunghee Choi (South Korea). Details coming soon.

Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic



Race and Racism in the United States:  An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic edited by Charles Gallagher and Cameron Lippard is now available for purchase. I wrote the bundle on “Intimate Relations”, covering a range of issues including anti-miscegenation laws, mixed race/ethnicity intimate relations, domestic violence, and LGBT communities. This encyclopedia holds a wide range of resources/information, that every library and educational institution should have.

There is also an e-book available; you may call the publisher to inquire about this.


Description from the publishers:

In the 21st century, it is easy for some students and readers to believe that racism is a thing of the past; in reality, old wounds have yet to heal, and new forms of racism are taking shape. Racism has played a role in American society since the founding of the nation, in spite of the words “all men are created equal” within the Declaration of Independence. This set is the largest and most complete of its kind, covering every facet of race relations in the United States while providing information in a user-friendly format that allows easy cross-referencing of related topics for efficient research and learning.

The work serves as an accessible tool for high school researchers, provides important material for undergraduate students enrolled in a variety of humanities and social sciences courses, and is an outstanding ready reference for race scholars. The entries provide readers with comprehensive content supplemented by historical backgrounds, relevant examples from primary documents, and first-hand accounts. Information is presented to interest and appeal to readers but also to support critical inquiry and understanding. A fourth volume of related primary documents supplies additional reading and resources for research.


Book Review: The Anti-Slavery Project: From Slave Trade to Human Trafficking

Click to access br2012_9-final.pdf

A. Fukushima/ Societies Without Borders 9:1 (2014) 132-134

Book Review

The Anti-Slavery Project: From Slave Trade to Human Trafficking By Joel Quirk

Annie Isabel Fukushima

Rutgers University

University of Pennsylvania Press

Joel Quirk’s The Anti-slavery Project examines the evolving political project of the anti-slavery movement. Quirk is wary of the separation between historical and contemporary slavery, therefore, grapples with developing an understanding of definitions concerning slavery, legal measures that impact the interpretation and practice of slavery, the limitations and strengths of the legal abolition movement, and terms that create connections between “classical slavery” and contemporary slavery. As such, Quirk disrupts the division between historical and contemporary slavery by offering a new concept: the “Anti-Slavery Project.” The Anti-Slavery Project is “an ongoing task, or undertaking which has gone through a number of phases, and to a distinct form of historical project” that is regularly compared to transatlantic slavery (5). Quirk investigates the discursive development of the anti-slavery movement in Britain, which has had international implications in the twenty-first century. An overarching argument in The Anti-Slavery Project is that little has improved with the implementation of legal abolition, as evidenced through the analysis of historical events including the legal abolition of slavery, history of the British anti-slavery movement and colonialism, and a discursive analysis of discrimination and debt. The existence of slavery and slave-like practices and the growth of human bondage are endemic to the failures of legal abolition. Quirk contends that the failure of legal abolition is due to ideologies that perpetuate difference and social discrimination. The method in The Anti- Slavery Project delineates that an interdisciplinary approach is central to conceptualizing slavery through history, the law, and politics. To read the rest of the review click.

The Escape & Rescued Memories: New York Stories (May 9th)

Join me on Friday.

At the end of the The Escape Rescued Memories: New York Stories  at Asia Society, there will be a panel. 

I will be on a panel discussing Lenora Lee’s performance with Song Kim ( Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund) and Purvi Shah (, moderated by Dan Bacalzo (NYU Drama Department),

FRIDAY, MAY 9, 2014 · 8pm
Asia Society
725 Park Avenue

General Admission & Asia Society members:
A/P/A Institute members:

Tickets: $15 general public, $10 Asia Society members, $12 students/seniors. Groups of 8 or more people can purchase at a discount. Email for group discount code. For tickets / info (212) 517-2742 or visit

The Escape Rescued Memories: New York Stories, Directed by A/P/A Institute at NYU Visiting Scholar LENORA LEE, is an interdisciplinary performance with dance, martial arts, film, text and music. Performed by an Asian American cast of 10 dancers and martial artists from San Francisco and New York City, these works utilize the interplay between live performance and film. The performance draws upon voiceover of first hand accounts, contracts and court documents found in the archives at Donaldina Cameron House and the Library of Congress, highlighting the lives of women who were at the forefront of the early Chinatown communities at the turn of the 19th century.

On May 9, Dan Bacalzo (NYU Drama Department and Hunter College Asian American Studies Program) moderates a post-performance conversation featuring Lenora Lee, Purvi Shah (non-profit consultant, anti-violence advocate, and writer), Annie Fukushima (Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Associate, Women’s and Gender Studies and the Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University), and Song Kim (Kirkland and Ellis Fellow, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund).

Description of the Performance (Full length description at Lenora Lee’s website:

American Studies COLLOQUIUM: An American Haunting: From Exclusions to the Ghost Case 4/30/14

COLLOQUIUM: An American Haunting: From Exclusions to the Ghost Case
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 11:45am – 01:15pm
Presented by Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima,
Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Associate in Women’s and Gender Studies
Response: Prof. Kathy Lopez, History and LHCS
Ruth Adams Seminar Room 018
Douglass Campus

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 | 11:45-1:15 | Lunch served | Paper will be pre-circulated

To RSVP, please email Liz Reilly

The paper is premised on Dr. Fukushima’s role as an expert witness in a case that has multiple names: “Chinese blessing fraud,” “Street scam” and the “Chinese Ghost Case.” Fukushima grapples with the ghosts that haunt anti-violence narratives through examining the “Ghost Case.” The Ghost case is a part of a genealogy of events  (i.e., exclusions, the coolie laborer, sexual slavery, human smuggling and Golden Venture, U.S. v. Kil Soo Lee, and Fang Ping Ding). Dr. Fukushima’s research employs media, legal, and sociological analysis of the ghosts in the media and legal coverage of human trafficking – the ghosts of immigration, human trafficking and violence.  As migrants cross into visibility in the U.S. legal system, their legibility is made possible by how they are witnessed, narrated, and tethered to being seen as victims/criminals, citizen/noncitizens, and illegal/legal.

Annie Isabel Fukushima, Ph.D. is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Associate in Women’s and Gender Studies and with the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University (2013 – 2015). Fukushima received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of California, Berkeley. More about Dr. Fukushima:


Location Ruth Adams Building 018 Douglass

Panel Presentation: Language in Asian/American Performance and Translation Studies

Join me at the Association for Asian American Studies Conference.

“Language in Asian/American Performance and Translation
Studies” (Cypress B)

Grand Hyatt, San Francisco

11:30AM – 12:45PM, Friday, April 18

Discussant: Evelyn Ho (University of California, San Francisco)
Annie Isabel Fukushima (Rutgers University) – Remembering
and Witnessing an American Haunting in the Chinese Ghost
Case / ‘Blessing Scam’
Bomi Yoon (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities) –
Homemaking for Transnational Adoptees in Sun Mee Chomet’s
How to Be a Korean Woman
Earl Yin-Wei Liao – The Present of the Detained Body: Poetic
Practice as Bridging Racial Form

General conference information, visit:

Roundtable: Teaching Militarism, Demilitarizing the Classroom

April 4, 2014 9AM – 10:30AM, CPM 102, Mills College, National Association for Ethnic Studies,

Annie Isabel Fukushima, Rutgers University
Rebekah Garrison, University of Southern California
Ayano Ginoza, University of California, Los Angeles
Gwyn Kirk, Sonoma State University

Our workshop provides a critical pedagogical space to think about teaching about militarism in colleges. The workshop engages participants to theorize and share models that are implemented in classrooms to engage college students in critical analysis, activist partnership and accountability for militarism and military violence. Our research, teaching, and methods are informed by our collective engagement with the International Women’s Network Against Militarism that presently includes scholars, activists, and students from the Guam, Hawai‘i, Japan, Korea, Vieques, Philippines, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.  We address: what challenges, opportunities, and assumptions occur through teaching demilitarization? What epistemologies and discourses shape student and teacher perceptions of milit arism? Reading materials, films, visual imagery, social media, performance, creative works, supplemental handouts, assignment samples, sample syllabi, and scholarly texts will be introduced and discussed.

Alumni Talk: Asian and Latina/o Migrant Crossings and an American Haunting: From Chinese Exclusions to the Ghost Case


3PM, March 20, 2014
Kuykendall 420, University of Hawaii, Manoa

Annie Isabel Fukushima’s manuscript Asian and Latina/o Migrant Crossings and the Invisible/Visible Paradigm of Human Trafficking examines homosocial violence and transnational migration and economies. This presentation offers insight into one of Fukushima’s chapters. The chapter is premised on Fukushima’s role as an expert witness in a case that has multiple names: “Chinese blessing fraud,” “Street scam” and the “Chinese Ghost Case.” Fukushima grapples with the ghosts that haunt anti-trafficking narratives through examining the “Ghost Case.” To examine the ghosts in anti-trafficking narratives Fukushima contextualizes the Ghost case in a genealogy of events (i.e., exclusions, the coolie laborer, sexual slavery, human smuggling and Golden Venture, U.S. v. Kil Soo Lee, and Fang Ping Ding). Fukushima’s research employs media, legal, and sociological analysis of the ghosts in the media and legal coverage of human trafficking – the ghosts of immigration and human trafficking. The ghost case was received as the human trafficking event that did, and did not happen (Beth Povinelli’s concept of a quasi-event) and is reflective of a particular anxiety that perseveres in the U.S. present around the transnational migrant who navigates U.S. legal systems; such migrants are positioned as inhabiting a particular threshold between criminality and victimhood, even before a sentencing occurs. As migrants cross into visibility in the U.S. legal system, their legibility is made possible by how they are witnessed as victims/criminals, citizen/noncitizens, and illegal/legal. Through examining how one crosses into visibility, what are the ghosts that haunt anti-trafficking legal, media, and sociological imaginaries?

Disaster Militarism: Rethinking Disaster Relief in Asia-Pacific

Also, picked up by Asia Times Online

Originally at:

Disaster Militarism: Rethinking U.S. Relief in the Asia-Pacific

By Annie Isabel Fukushima , Ayano Ginoza , Michiko Hase , Gwyn Kirk , Deborah Lee and Taeva Shefler , March 11, 2014 .

Disaster relief is not the military’s primary mission, role, or area of expertise. But disaster response missions facilitate military expansion and dominance. (Photo: cmccain202dc / Flickr)

March 11 marks the third anniversary of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake that shook northeastern Japan in 2011, triggering a tsunami in a dual disaster that killed more than 16,000 people. The earthquake and tsunami caused the worst nuclear disaster in history with three meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Three years after the catastrophe,136,000 people from Fukushima prefecture are still displaced, and numerous disaster-related deaths have resulted from stress-related illnesses and suicide. Because of the nuclear meltdown, highly radioactive material continues to leak into the ocean, presenting numerous technical challenges with no solution yet in sight. This environmental contamination, which has impacted residents, workers, and military personnel responders, will have a global effect. Lessons learned from Chernobyl suggest that all this is only the tip of the iceberg.

“The Great East Japan Earthquake” is just one of several massive disasters in the Asia-Pacific this past decade. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami took the lives of 230,000 people in 14 countries. Most recently, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ripped through Samar and Leyte in the Philippines, causing 6,000 deaths last November. The Philippines has witnessed several other devastating typhoons, including Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009 and Bopha (Pablo) in 2012. A rising pattern of intense storms and disasters in the Asia-Pacific region has led to the death and displacement of thousands of people and the destruction of essential urban and rural infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools, health centers, and workplaces.

Paralleling these disasters has been the disaster response of the U.S. military. According to this “disaster militarism”—which is a pattern of rhetoric, beliefs, and practices—the military should be the primary responder to large-scale disasters. Disaster militarism is not only reflected in the deployment of troops but also in media discourse that naturalizes and calls for military action in times of environmental catastrophes.

Justifying U.S. Military Presence

Military Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, such as Operation Damayan in the Philippines in 2013 and Operation Tomodachi (Friend) in Japan in 2011, have showcased the U.S. military’s “helpfulness,” legitimized its presence, and softened its image. Charles-Antoine Hofmann and Laura Hudson, researching this topic for the British Red Cross, note several factors driving the growing military interest in responding to disasters. Assisting relief efforts, they observed, can improve the military’s image and provide training opportunities. It is also a way for the military to diversify its role when armed forces face budget cuts.

Disaster relief has also become part of the justification for increased U.S. troop deployments in the Asia-Pacific region—even as the new military basing component of the “Pacific Pivot” has met with strong opposition in Okinawa, Japan and Jeju, South Korea. This massive permanent presence in the Asia-Pacific region has enabled the U.S. military to be the “first and fastest” to respond to sudden calamity. The Pacific Command boasts 330,000 personnel (one-fifth of all U.S. forces), 180 ships, and 2,000 aircraft in an area that spans half the earth’s surface and is home to half the earth’s population.

Disaster relief is not the military’s primary mission, role, or area of expertise. Nevertheless, disaster response missions facilitate military expansion and dominance. Yoshiyuki Uehara, the vice-governor of Okinawa at the time of the earthquake and tsunami, has opposed the plan to construct a new offshore U.S. Marine base on the island. “I hope we stop glorifying Operation Tomodachi,” he warned. “Our gratitude [for U.S. military assistance after the earthquake and tsunami] and U.S. military base problems are separate issues.” The core of Operation Tomodachi was Joint Task Force 519 from the United States Pacific Command. Arguably, the response to disaster was a perfect opportunity for the United States to demonstrate to China that an immediate U.S.-Japan joint military operation was possible.

The United States spent $80 million for this operation. Less than three weeks after the Fukushima disaster, Japan promised to increase its Host Nation Support from three to five years and to pay 188 million yen annually for U.S. military facilities in the country. The U.S. government used the rhetoric of disaster militarism to justify Japan’s dependence on U.S. military forces and the high concentration of U.S. bases in tiny Okinawa. The Okinawa Times argued that this was a clear “political exploitation of the earthquake disaster.”

This was not the first time that disaster relief was used to further larger geopolitical and military goals. The rapid mobilization of assistance using military capabilities from the United States, Japan, India, and Australia in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami “set the ball rolling for a four-way security dialogue a few years later,” former Australian diplomat Rory Metcalf has argued. Just weeks after Typhoon Haiyan, meanwhile, the Philippine and U.S. governments were touting relief efforts as justification for the need for a new long-term agreement for greater bilateral military cooperation and an increased U.S. military presence in the Philippines (the Philippine constitution currently bans permanent troops and bases). Washington has used disaster militarism as additional leverage to pressure the Philippine government to accept a mutual defense agreement.

The race to provide relief for political leverage is not limited to the United States. China offered its 14,000-ton floating military hospital, the Peace Ark, for Haiyan relief efforts—its first humanitarian response operation. Japan also sent military forces to the Philippines for relief work, in cooperation with the U.S. military, a political effort by the current Japanese government to secure a greater military role overseas.

The Contradictions of Disaster Militarism

The conflation of military power and disaster relief is highly problematic. It is not cost-effective, efficient, or transparent.Military operations exhaust limited budgets for humanitarian assistance, rehabilitation, and reconstruction activities. Confusion about the military’s role as soldiers or relief providers can lead to suspicion and fear, and some people may not access relief as a result. According to the Department of Defense, the Pacific Command offers not only aid to countries in the region dealing with disasters, but also “forms of advice and assistance, training, satellite imagery or intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support.” More troops on the ground offer greater opportunities for the gathering of intelligence. Revelations that a CIA-funded fake vaccination program in Pakistan was used to find and kill Osama bin Laden provide another example of co-mingling humanitarian relief and military operations, rightly contributing to civilian confusion, public distrust, and questions of transparency and accountability.

Disaster militarism does not address the underlying causes for the increasing number of intense storms and natural disasters. Nor can disaster militarism be separated from the U.S. military’s record as a the “worst polluter on the planet” for its “uninhibited use of fossil fuels, massive creation of greenhouse gases, and extensive release of radioactive and chemical contaminants into the air, water, and soil,” as a recent Project Censored story detailed. In times of disaster, the U.S. military positions itself as a “savior” and attempts to obscure its role as a major contributor to the rise of climate disasters.

There is certainly an urgent need for disaster preparedness, with trained emergency personnel in local communities as well as international teams. The first responders in disasters are families, neighbors, community groups, professional organizations, churches, international humanitarian organizations, and governments. Resources should go to these local institutions to strengthen their capacity to respond to disasters and continue the work when emergency teams have all gone home. Padayon sa Pag-laum (Hope After Haiyan or WEDPRO) and other local Philippine organizations focus their relief efforts on the needs of the most vulnerable sectors of society, especially women and children. Their longer-term goal is to co-create solutions for a more resilient, more sustainable, and more inclusive future for the communities affected by the typhoon.

Nor should we wait for climate disasters to hit before we respond. Long-term and sustained resources should be made available ahead of time, especially to countries like the Philippines that experience typhoons on a regular basis. This would make for greater local independence in allocating relief resources.

It would also lessen dependency on military operations. World military expenditure totaled a massive $1.75 trillion in 2012, with the United States and its allies responsible for the vast majority. These expenditures, which have made disaster militarism such a prominent feature of humanitarian relief operations, have not created more security for individuals, nations, or the planet. The alternative approach, human security, requires a physical environment that can support life, guarantees people’s material needs for livelihood, food, and shelter, and protects people and the environment from avoidable harm. To minimize the impact of climate disasters—and reduce the contributing factors to the uptick in hurricanes, typhoons, and big storms—the disaster militarism model must give way to the human security model as soon as possible.


Research Briefing: Fukushima Talk at Rutgers University, March 24, 2014

The presentation will provide a larger snapshot of my research and also include developments of a chapter in my manuscript that specifically examines Korean case studies that have been defined as human trafficking.

Human Trafficking Reconsidered – Publication

Sociologists Kimberly Kay Hoang and Rhacel Salazar Parrenas are the co-editors of an anthology titled, Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envision New Solutions. The anthology brings together a diversity of perspectives from a wide-range of disciplines (academic and beyond academia).

My chapter, “The Limitations of End Demand Strategies,” included in the anthology, examines the heternormative, gender, and race, limitations of current end demand strategies. My chapter is an invitation to think beyond supply and demand as a strategy in anti-trafficking efforts.

Third Woman Press Call for Submissions
Call for Submissions

An anthology, co-edited by five feminist scholars of color – Annie Isabel Fukushima, Rosalee Gonzalez, Layli Maparyan, Anita Revilla, and Matt Richardson – propels the mission of TWP by bringing together a variety of expertise and interests to this project and striving for an inclusive approach to sharing the experiences of people of color and Indigenous Peoples engaged in local and transnational social change.

About the Publisher
Third Woman Press (TWP) bridges transnational, Third World communities in resistance that understand and develop historical and site-specific thought as central to global decolonization. Third Woman Press strives to critique and dismantle hegemonic models of what counts as knowledge, its production, its circulation, and its interpretation. In doing so, the Press brings together an alter community of critical scholars, artists and activists committed to bringing many silenced voices from the margins to the center of knowledge production. TWP fosters, bridges, and expands access to the work of activist thinkers and actors invested in our decolonization. We acknowledge the power of the relationship between the writer/artist and the reader/viewer to invite and precipitate transformation in the material, physical and spiritual conditions of our existence. We encourage critical attention to not only the deepening of existing economic, social, cultural, civil, political, and spiritual injustices but also to the emergence of new ones. Third Woman Press is committed to the promotion of self-knowledge for Third World peoples and a dynamic language for self-authorized transfiguration.

The Co-Editors’ Goals
We situate this forthcoming anthology in conversation with a body of writers, artists, activists, and scholars who have over the years contributed to a genealogy of feminisms in collections such as This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981), Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (1983), Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings by and about Asian American Women (1989), Making Face, Making Soul/Haciendo Caras: Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Color (1990), this bridge we call home: radical visions for transformation (2002), among other collections of work. Historically, collections of women of color feminisms have radically transformed United States (U.S.) perspectives through centralizing the voices of women of color and Indigenous women within the U.S.

We continue the vision of producing critical writings and art that transform lives within the U.S. These cultural and theoretical productions form coalitions across nation-state boundaries through decolonial and/or transnational feminisms. As an editorial collective, we believe that the relationships built by and among women of color and Indigenous women in the U.S. has enabled multiple solidarities inspired by those forged within from Global South. 21st century feminisms produce important interventions such as: disrupting the border of the nation-state, disrupting hetero/homonormativities and dominant feminist ideologies, and reshaping epistemologies and knowledge about women, women of color, queer, queer of color, cis, transgender.

With this project, we wish to form connections amongst diasporic feminists, feminist/womanist, Indigenous feminists, queer people of color, and women of color across generations and locations. Because the alliances built by feminists and queers of color in the U.S. are deeply shaped by the global south/Third World perspectives, we extend an invitation to individuals and collectives in and outside of the U.S., including those that may offer a transnational perspective. We invite submissions from decolonial feminists, Indigenous feminists, queer of color feminists, transgender of color feminists, transnational feminists, women of color feminists, and womanists who address: What is a feminist epistemology, methodology and practice in the 21st century for radical queer and feminists of color? Recognizing that coalitions are forged across time and space, how are feminist knowledges of the present informed by history and visions of a new present? What new alliances have been forged that must be brought to the center, since the 1981 bridge built by radical feminists of color? What are the processes, contentions and achievements when building links that enable solidarity and social change?

Submit Your Work!
We encourage contributions that are in conversation (directly or indirectly) with the body of feminist/womanist works that have come before and that continue to shape queer and feminist of color epistemology and practice. We seek scholarly and creative essays, testimonials, poetry, and art that will contribute to our understanding and practices of social change, healing, and transformation.

We will address the hegemony of English in this text; therefore, we invite works that offer critical insight into language and queer, people of color, and Indigenous feminisms within the U.S. and beyond. Given our commitment to both local and transnational perspectives, we invite bilingual and non-English submissions. However, because our editorial collective is unable to represent all languages of the world, we invite non-English contributions to either submit a bilingual (translated) text or consider inviting a collaborator who can translate the work into English and the interpreter will be credited in the published anthology.

We strongly encourage the submission of works that bring into dialogue issues and concerns relevant to women of color feminisms, decolonial feminisms, Indigenous feminisms, womanisms, queer of color feminisms, and transnational feminisms. Submissions previously published in only journals will be considered. Submissions may be co-authored. Topics may include the following, but are not limited to this list:

· Women’s resistance and resilience
· Activism and organizing
· Activist scholarship and activist pedagogy
· Art and artivism
· (De)Coloniality
· Spirituality and spiritual practice
· Feminist and queer love
· Feminist genealogies
· Memory and haunting
· Queer and Trans people of color
· Violence, oppression, and resistance
· Healing and transformation
· Visual culture and decolonized aesthetics
· Womanism and womanist perspectives on social/ecological change
Submission Guidelines

Submit full essays as Word documents and/or high-resolution images of original artwork as JPEG files for consideration by May 15, 2014, 11:59 pm PDT. Include with the submission a 300-word abstract and 50-word biography (PDF or Word document). Manuscripts must not exceed 20 pages (5,000 words).

Please direct inquiries for the Third Woman Press anthology co-editors

Third Woman Press Call for Submissions