Helena Zeweri

Assistant Professor of Global Studies (Global Security & Justice)

308 Brooks Hall

Helena Zeweri is an Assistant Professor of Global Studies in the Global Security and Justice track at the University of Virginia. Prior to joining UVA, Helena completed her PhD in Cultural Anthropology at Rice University in Houston and taught courses in the Anthropology department and Rice’s Program in Writing and Communication. At UVA, Helena teaches courses on global migration, immigrant-led political activism, and humanitarianism, and their intersections with race, gender, and culture.  

Helena’s research examines the politics of race and gender within immigrant-targeted social welfare programs in settler colonial states, with a focus on Australia, as well as refugee and diasporic-led politics. Her working manuscript titled “Between Care and Criminality: Marriage, Citizenship, and Family in Australian Social Welfare,” examines how the marital practices of immigrants become the latest frontier where social welfare in Australia becomes entangled with institutionalized Islamophobia, the racialized criminal justice system, and nativist ideas of good citizenship.

Helena has published articles in Feminist Formations and the International Journal of Feminist Politics on anti-Islamophobia politics in Australia and the politics of representation of Afghan women among US-based humanitarian and empowerment organizations. She also recently co-published an article on how immigrant women’s narratives around marriage, kinship, and obligation reveal conceptions of subjectivity, choice, and family that lie outside of dominant legal dichotomies of coercion and consent, in the Australian Journal of Social Issues

Selected Publications:

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles:

2021                                  “Centering Migrant Community Voices in Forced Marriage Prevention Social Policy,” Co-author with Sara Shinkfield. 2021. Australian Journal of Social Issues: 1-21.

2020                                  “Beyond Response and Representation: Muslim Australian Women Reimagining Anti-Islamophobia Politics, Feminist Formations 32(2): 111-135.

2017                                  “The Specter of Failure: Rendering Afghan Women as Sites of Precarity in Empowerment Regimes,” International Feminist Journal of Politics 4: 441-455.

Online Journal Articles

2020                                  “Managing Refugee Mobilities: Global Flows of Migration Deterrence Technologies,” Platypus: The Blog of the Committee on the Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Computing.

2020                                  “Casting out the Disabled and Ill Immigrant: The Legacies of Australia’s Immigration Restriction Act of 1901,” Today’s Totalitarianism.

2018                                  “Australia’s Values-Based Asylum Activism.” Anthropology News. 20 August 2018.

2017                                  “Encounters on the Shore: Geographies of Violence in Australia’s Contemporary Border Regime,” Rejoinder: The Institute for Research on Women-Rutgers University.