Nafisa Tanjeem (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Gender, Race, and Sexuality Studies and Global Studies at Lesley University. She is currently serving as a Visiting Scholar in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program of Northeastern University in the academic year 2020-21.

Before joining Lesley, Nafisa taught at Rutgers University, the University of Toronto, and the University of Dhaka. She has been actively involved in community organizing and social justice activism. As Community Organizer of Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA), she designed and implemented local campaigns aimed at promoting poverty reduction, gender equity, and youth engagement among South Asian immigrant communities in Toronto, Canada. She was also an organizer of United Students Against Sweatshops in the USA and “Meye” (Women) network in Bangladesh.

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.

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 in 2020. It 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, global, physical, and virtual organizing spaces.


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