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Ara Wilson

Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies
117 East Duke Bldg., 90760, Durham, NC 27708


My work is especially interested in two combinations: combining empirical research with theoretical reflection and connecting economic systems to gender and sexuality. I've taken these bridging projects in a few directions:
  • ethnographic fieldwork in Bangkok, Thailand, with interest in the Southeast Asian region (on hiatus since Covid19); 
  • Science & Technology Studies (STS), e.g., projects on medical tourism, infrastructure, and standardization;
  • a political economy of sex/gender, or queer political economy (QPE)
  • rigorous conceptualization of keywords, such as intimacy, infrastructure, or the history of gender itself. 
  • the history of the scholarly fields of Anthropology and Women's/Gender/Feminist Studies
  • transnational networks relevant to sex/gender, e.g., the UN-NGO orbit and the World Social Forum;

I have taught a range of undergraduate courses in Gender Studies and regularly teach Money/Sex/Power and Nature/Nurture-Sex/Gender, team taught with a neurobiologist. I co-ran a project on Transgender Studies and helped initiate GSF's courses on Introduction to Transgender Studies and Digital Feminism.

I have taught graduate seminars in core feminist areas (feminist theory; transnational feminist theory; research design; sexuality studies) as well as topical courses on Infrastructure; The 1970s (team taught); and Care Economies (team taught). While serving as the DGS for GSF for a number of years, I enjoyed mentoring graduate students on dissertation writing and entering the unnerving market for jobs and fellowships.

Office Hours

Generally by appointment; I also try to respond promptly to work emails during the semester.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies · 2007 - Present Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology · 2020 - Present Cultural Anthropology, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Affiliate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society · 2014 - Present Duke Science & Society, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

City University of New York · 1997 Ph.D.
City University of New York · 1992 M.Phil.
Vassar College · 1984 B.A.