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, Ara. “Invited Remarks on The Twilight of Cutting.” Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, and Anthropology (Online), 2019.

Wilson, Ara. “Urban Sexualities.” Wiley Blackwell Companion to Urban Anthropology, edited by Don Nonini, Wiley Blackwell, 2014.

Wilson, A. “Intimacy: A Useful Concept for Global Analysis.” The Global and the Intimate : Feminism in Our Time, edited by Geraldine Pratt and Victoria Rosner, Columbia University Press, 2012, pp. 31–56. Open Access Copy

Wilson, A. “NGOs as Erotic Sites.” Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance, edited by Amy Lind, Routledge, 2010.

Wilson, A. “Medical Tourism in Bangkok.” Asian Biotech, edited by Aihwa Ong and Nancy Chen, Duke UP, 2010.

Wilson, A. “Thailand and Sex Tourism.” The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History, edited by Akira Iriye and Pierre-Yves Saunier, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Wilson, A. “Plural economies and the conditions for Refusal: Gendered developments in Bangkok.” On the Edges of Development: Cultural Interventions, 2009, pp. 38–51. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9780203880449. Full Text

Wilson, A. “Plural Economies and Gendered Resistance in Bangkok.” On the Edges of Development: Cultural Interventions, edited by John Foran et al., Routledge, 2008.

Wilson, A. “Feminism: International and Global Institutions.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Wilson, A. “Feminism: International and Global Institutions and Networks.” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, edited by Bonnie G. Smith, Oxford University Press, 2008.

Wilson, A. “Diasporic agents and trans-Asian flows in the making of asian modernity: The case of Thailand.” Cambridge University Press, vol. 9780521877725, 2007, pp. 160–76. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511491375.009. Full Text Open Access Copy


Wilson, A. “Women's sports and the forgotten gender.” Law and Contemporary Problems, vol. 80, no. 4, Jan. 2017, pp. 8–23.

Wilson, A. “The infrastructure of intimacy.” Signs, vol. 41, no. 2, Dec. 2016, pp. 247–80. Scopus, doi:10.1086/682919. Full Text

Wilson, A. “Intimität. Eine nützliche kategorie transnationaler analyse.” Feministische Studien, vol. 32, no. 1, May 2014, pp. 63–77. Scopus, doi:10.1515/fs-2014-0107. Full Text

Wilson, A. “Anthropology and the radical philosophy of antonio negri and michael hardt.” Focaal, no. 64, Nov. 2012, pp. 3–15. Scopus, doi:10.3167/fcl.2012.640101. Full Text Open Access Copy

Wilson, A. “National Economy and Bodily Scales: Medical Tourism in Thailand.” Body and Society, edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Nancy Scheper-Hughes, 2011.

Wilson, A. “Post-fordist desires: The commodity aesthetics of bangkok sex shows.” Feminist Legal Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, Apr. 2010, pp. 53–67. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s10691-010-9145-2. Full Text Open Access Copy

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

Wilson, A. “Sexuelle Gerechtigkeit und die globalisierungskritische Bewegung.” Luxembourg., vol. 1, 2010.

Wilson, A. “The sacred geography of Bangkok's markets.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 32, no. 3, Sept. 2008, pp. 631–42. Scopus, doi:10.1111/j.1468-2427.2008.00801.x. Full Text

Wilson, A. “Queer Isles: Review, Tom Boellstorff, THE GAY ARCHIPELEGO.” Glq, vol. 14, 2008, pp. 659–63.


Wilson, A., editor. “The empire debate: Hardt and Negri's anthropological encounter.Focaal 64, vol. 64, 2012.