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Visiting Scholar Spotlight

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Ivana Isailovic is a Visiting Scholar in WGSS for the 2019-2020 academic year. Ivana received her PhD in Law from Sciences Po Paris Law School. There, she discovered that “boundaries between disciplines are very porous” and this concept of interdisciplinarity become one of the key aspects of her work. Her thesis focused on law, identity, and political recognition, ideas which “naturally drew [her] to questions of discrimination and gender equality.” Recently, her work has been more closely aligned with how lawyers think about notions of discrimination and

gender equality in a transnational context, the representation of gender that are entrenched in law, and how law creates inequalities based on gender.

In this upcoming year, Ivana has proposed working on “Family Law as a Site of Global Governance,” which will explore how family law doctrines, discourses, and practices are deployed to distribute resources and privileges globally based on gender, race, and citizenship and how family law perpetuates and is shaped by nation state building projects and neoliberal policies. She arrived at this topic after seeing the gap in legal scholarship. She recognized that while family law is usually understood as the domestic field, addressing the regulation of intimate and economic relationships between individuals, recently it has become evident that this is not the case, making the goal of her research “to bring together insights from scholarship in gender studies, history, and political economy, in order to propose a paradigm shift in the ways we understand the role and the effects of family law on society.”

When asked why her research is timely, Ivana said, “Globalization has disrupted how law is produced and how it is practiced, and family law today is at the heart of both emancipatory and more conservative changes, because it is tightly linked to gender, and sexuality norms, identity, and wealth distribution. Family lawyers will increasingly need to deal with the application of human rights norms, the effects of supranational norms, and foreign laws and this requires a more global approach to family law.”

Ivana has previously taught for the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department at Northeastern through classes on gender, social justice, and transnational activism, as well as teaching on comparative family law at the Northeastern Law School. “Conversations with students challenged the ways I think about identity, gender and law, and helped refine my arguments. These conversations inspired [her]…to further examine the links between neoliberalism, family law, and gender.” Ivana is excited to continue her work with WGSS and looks forward to the upcoming year in a program that “that values the diversity of critical voices, which is so crucial in the current political context.”

Published On: January 16, 2020