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Visiting Scholars Program

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Northeastern annually offers research associate positions to scholars researching issues related to women, gender, and/or sexuality in the humanities and social sciences. Visiting scholars work on their related projects while in residence for the semester or academic year at Northeastern University. Scholars must have their own financial support, but are provided with office space, library privileges, and support for photocopy, fax, and postage expenses related to research. Located in the heart of Boston, Northeastern University is ideally located for scholars. Beyond its proximity to Boston’s vibrant cultural and artistic life, Northeastern is near several major research libraries, including the Boston Public Library and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College, as well as numerous academic institutions that make the intellectual life of Boston one of the richest in the world.

Applications for the 2019-2020 academic year are now open! Click here for application details.

For a list of previous Visiting Scholars, please click here.

2018-2019 Visiting Scholars

We are pleased to welcome the following visiting scholars for the 2017-2018 academic year. Scholars will be in residence at Northeastern from September 2018 – May 2019, unless otherwise noted.


Zahra Lotfi, PhD
Assistant Professor, Shahid Rabani Education University, Kabul, Afghanistan

Zahra Lotfi holds a PhD from Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran, Iran in History of Iran in the Islamic Era. Noticing an absence of women’s voices and presence in historical resources, and dealing daily with women’s issues while writing her thesis in Afghanistan, Lotfi turned to the field of women’s studies: “I felt that the field of women’s studies could improve and promote the viewpoints, thoughts, and function of women activists as they defend women’s rights in Afghanistan,” Lofti says. After observing the prevalence of honor violence in Afghanistan in society and seeing videos of it on social networks, Zahra decided to focus her work on this critical issue, particularly on the disproportionate impact this cultural practice has on women. Zahra looks forward to sharing her work while at Northeastern with other scholars in the field.


Anna Piela, PhD
Assistant Professor, Leeds Trinity University, UK

Anna holds a PhD Major in Women’s Studies and a PhD Minor in Islamic Studies from the University of York in the UK. Her research focuses on the intersection of gender, Islam, and the media. She examines how the media represents gender relations in Islam, as well as how online forums construct and debate them. She is especially interested in exploring online discussion groups, where she can map and trace Islamic women’s arguments onto different interpretations of Islamic texts. Her monograph, Muslim Women Online: Faith and Identity in the Virtual World, demonstrates how the quest to better understand their religion has led Muslim women to speak with each other across political, sectarian, racial, and economic divides. Anna will be building on her research during her time at Northeastern to complete a manuscript titled Wearing the Niqab. The book will be based on interviews she’s conducted over the last five years with women who wear the niqab (an Islamic face covering) in the UK and the US. She hopes that her work will present an alternative voice in the public debate about the niqab.


Lauren E. Wilwerding, PhD
Visiting Lecturer, Tufts University

Lauren Wilwerding holds a PhD in English from Boston College. While her focus is English, Lauren constantly incorporates women’s and gender studies into her work, because she sees the two as inherently related to each other. While at Boston College she wrote and defended her dissertation, “Singular Plots: Female Vocation and Radical Form in the Nineteenth-Century Novel.” Lauren noticed that female characters in nineteenth-century British novels needed to make decisions between home and work, which often paralleled challenges that women face today. In Lauren’s research, the single woman emerges as a figure with uniquely and instructively particular relations to gender, marriage, work, and the form of the novel itself. As she develops “Singular Plots” into a book, she aims to ground its relevance in the present moment with all of its opportunities and challenges of feminism. Ultimately, she hopes to contribute to strengthening the connection between WGSS and literary studies.

Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow & Visiting Scholar in WGSS & DH

With support from the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, WGSS announced the creation of the Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Digital Humanities.– a first of its kind postdoctoral fellowship. The Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar was a two-year appointment, from 2014-2016, who taught courses in both WGSS and the Digital Humanities and who worked closely with the WGSS program and the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks. Moya Bailey joined Northeastern as the Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar in WGSS and DH beginning in July of 2014; she is now full-time faculty in both WGSS and the department of Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies.