Ara Wilson

Ara Wilson

Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

External address: 
117 East Duke Bldg., 90760, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 684-9179
Office Hours: 
Generally by appointment; I also try to respond promptly to work emails during the semester.


My work makes analytical and empirical contributions to the feminist study of globalization and to what I call queer political economy (QPE). Combining Science & Technology Studies (STS) approaches with materialist theories, I remain invested in empirical esearch, particularly ethnographically informed depictions of life under global capitalism. This direction also involved reflection on analytical categories and frameworks, such as intimacy, infrastructure, or gender. I have conducted long-term fieldwork in Bangkok, Thailand and short-term research on other transnational spaces, like NGO conferences.

I have taught a range of undergraduate courses in Gender Studies and regularly teach Money/Sex/Power and Nature/Nurture-Sex/Gender. At the graduate level, I have taught seminars on transnational feminist theory; research design; infrastructure; sexuality; and political economic approaches.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., City University of New York 1997

  • M.Phil., City University of New York 1992

  • B.A., Vassar College 1984

Wilson, A. "Urban Sexualities." In Wiley Blackwell Companion to Urban Anthropology,edited by D Nonini. Wiley Blackwell, 2014.

Wilson, A. "Intimacy: A Useful Concept for Global Analysis." In The global and the intimate : feminism in our time,edited by G Pratt and V Rosner, 31-56. New York: Columbia University Press, January 1, 2012. Open Access Copy

Wilson, A. "Medical Tourism in Bangkok." In Asian Biotech,edited by A Ong and N Chen. Duke UP, 2010.

Wilson, A. "NGOs as Erotic Sites." In Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance,edited by A Lind. Routledge, January 2010.

Wilson, A. "Plural Economies and Gendered Resistance in Bangkok." In On the Edges of Development: Cultural Interventions,edited by J Foran, K-K Bhavnani, P Kurian, and D Munshi. Routledge, November 2008.

Wilson, A. "Feminism: International and Global Institutions." In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Oxford University Press, 2008. (Chapter)

Wilson, A. "Diasporic Agents and Trans-Asian Flows in the Making of Asian Modernity: The Case of Thailand." In Everyday Politics of the World Economy,edited by JM Hobson and L Seabrooke, 160-176. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, November 15, 2007. Open Access Copy

Wilson, A. "Thailand and Sex Tourism." In The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Wilson, A. "Bangkok, the Bubble City." In Wounded Cities: Destruction and Reconstruction in a Globalized World. 2003.

Wilson, A. "The Transnational Geography of Sexual Rights." In Truth Claims: Representation and Human Rights,edited by M Bradley and P Petro, 251-265. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2002. Open Access Copy


Wilson, A. "The Infrastructure of Intimacy." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 41, no. 2 (January 2016): 247-280. Full Text

Wilson, A. "Intimität. Eine nützliche kategorie transnationaler analyse." Feministische Studien 32, no. 1 (May 1, 2014): 63-77.

Wilson, A. "National Economy and Bodily Scales: Medical Tourism in Thailand." Edited by E Roberts and N Scheper-Hughes. Body and Society (2011).

Wilson, A. "Post-Fordist Desires: The Commodity Aesthetics of Bangkok Sex Shows." FEMINIST LEGAL STUDIES 18, no. 1 (April 2010): 53-67. Full Text Open Access Copy

Wilson, A. "SEX AT THE FORUM: SEXUAL JUSTICE AND THE ALTER-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT." Scholar and the Feminist (Barnard) 7 (2010).

Wilson, A. "Queer Isles: Review, Tom Boellstorff, THE GAY ARCHIPELEGO." GLQ 14 (2008): 659-663. (Review)

Wilson, A. "The sacred geography of Bangkok's markets." INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF URBAN AND REGIONAL RESEARCH 32, no. 3 (2008): 631-642. Full Text

Wilson, A. "Feminism in the space of the world social forum." Journal of International Women's Studies 8, no. 3 (April 2007): 10-27.


"The empire debate: Hardt and Negri's anthropological encounter." Edited by A Wilson. Focaal 64 64 (2012). (Special issue)