Nafisa Tanjeem (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Studies and Global Studies at Lesley University. She is also serving as a Visiting Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) of Brandeis University.

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. Before joining Lesley, Nafisa taught at Rutgers University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Dhaka.

Nafisa is currently working on finishing her book manuscript that 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. The project 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 and global, physical and virtual organizing spaces.

Community Organizing and Public Scholarship

Nafisa has been actively involved in community organizing and social justice activism. She is a steward of the Lesley University Core Faculty Union, which is a part of SEIU Local 509. She is also an organizer of the Meye (“Woman” in Bangla) network, which is a voluntary, grassroots, and organic network of Bangla-speaking women advocating for women’s solidarity and leadership. In the past, she organized with the Rutgers chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) on the garment worker solidarity campaign in New Jersey, United States. She also worked as Community Organizer and Events Coordinator with the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) on poverty reduction, gender equity, and youth engagement among South Asian immigrant communities in Toronto, Canada. Nafisa recognizes the value of public scholarship and is a contributor to many American and Bangladeshi platforms, such as Common Dreams, the Daily Star, New Age, and Thotkata.


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