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Nafisa Tanjeem

Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Gender Race Studies, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Faculty Nafisha Tanjeem smiling at camera, outside

Personal website: http://ntanjeem.org 

Nafisa Tanjeem is an Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Gender, Race, and Sexuality Studies at Lesley University. She serves as a Visiting Scholar at the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program of Northeastern University for the academic year 2020-21.

Before joining Lesley, Nafisa taught at Rutgers University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Dhaka. She has been actively involved in community organizing and social justice activism. As Community Organizer of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), she designed and implemented local campaigns aimed at promoting poverty reduction, gender equity, and youth engagement among South Asian immigrant communities in Toronto, Canada. She was also an organizer of United Students Against Sweatshops in the USA and “Meye” (Women) network in Bangladesh.

Research and Teaching Interests

Nafisa’s research and teaching interests include transnational, postcolonial, and decolonial feminisms; critical race theory; globalization and feminist politics; critical community engagement; nonprofit industrial complex; critical university studies; and transnational social justice movements with a specific focus on the United States and South Asia.

Current research project

Nafisa's current book project examines transnational labor activism and activist discourses developed in relation to the deadliest garment industrial disaster in human history, the 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza - a factory building housing five garment factories in Savar, Bangladesh, and continued until the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Nafisa examines the gendered, racialized, classed, and (trans)national trajectory of labor organizing around the Accord, the Alliance, and the COVID-19 pandemic proposing diverging concepts of safety, security, and labor rights, and the challenges that arise when these concepts clash in various local, global, physical, and virtual organizing spaces. Drawing on seven-year-long physical and digital ethnographic observations and interviews, she specifically investigates what it means for grassroots labor organizers in the Global South, who are often restricted by national borders and neoliberal socio-economic-political forces, to engage in transnational solidarity building.


Ph.D. (Women's and Gender Studies), Rutgers University, USA, 2017

M.A. (Women's and Gender Studies), University of Toronto, Canada, 2009

B.A. (Women and Gender Studies), University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2008

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