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." Wiley Blackwell Companion to Urban Anthropology. Ed. D Nonini. Wiley Blackwell, 2014.

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

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

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

Wilson, A. "Thailand and Sex Tourism." The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History. Ed. Iriye, A and Saunier, P-Y.: Palgrave Macmillan. February 15, 2009. (Essay)

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

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

Wilson, A. "Feminism: International and Global Institutions and Networks." The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Ed. Smith, BG.: Oxford University Press. 2008.

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


Wilson, A. "The infrastructure of intimacy." Signs 41.2 (December 1, 2016): 247-280. Full Text

Wilson, A. "Intimität. Eine nützliche Kategorie transnationaler Analyse." Feministische Studien 32.1 (January 1, 2014). Full Text

Wilson, A. "National Economy and Bodily Scales: Medical Tourism in Thailand." Ed. 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 18.1 (April 1, 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. "The sacred geography of Bangkok's markets." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32.3 (September 15, 2008): 631-642. Full Text

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

Wilson, A. "Feminism in the space of the world social forum." Journal of International Women'S Studies 8.3 (April 2007): 10-27.


"The empire debate: Hardt and Negri's anthropological encounter." Ed. Wilson, A. Focaal 64 64 (2012). (Special Issue)