Posted in Uncategorized

Multinational Maids – Book Award

I just received word that my book Multinational Maids: Stepwise Migration in a Global Labor Market  was selected for the 2018 Thomas and Zaniecki Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s International Migration Section. I couldn’t be more pleased!!

Now I’m pumped to finish my second book project on Asian scientist migration!

Posted in Uncategorized

Global Studies Award for Article

An article I wrote with my student, Victoria Long, received the The Global Studies Journal’s annual award. I’m so pleased that it was recognized by peers within the global studies as offering something new to the conversation about scientist mobility and Asian science.

This is what I wrote about the article – “Where to Train: Shifts in the Doctoral Destination Advice Given to Asian Bioscience Students” – when I first heard about the award:

This article stems from an ongoing project of mine that looks at Asian bioscientist mobility and how Asian-born, Western-trained scientists determine whether to stay on in the West after their training is complete or return to Asia. For this project, I interviewed Asian bioscientists spread across multiple locations in Asia and also the West about their destination decisions. I also asked each of my interviewees about the destination advice they give their current students, both at the doctoral and postdoctoral level. This led to fascinating conversations about the state of scientific research systems in Asia today, how they compare with those in Western countries, and the nature of science more broadly speaking. Thanks to these conversations, I have begun working on my next book project which examines the intersecting mobility systems that exist for Asian bioscientists at various stages of their academic career and the impact these movements of people, knowledge, and norms have on Asian scientific research systems. The book project is very ambitious as it considers six Asian countries – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore – but this allows for interesting comparisons across the scientific research systems in each of these countries. I am hopeful that this book will help identify some of the common issues that Asian states encounter as they endeavor to develop their scientific research infrastructure and reputation, and also offer policymakers suggestions for addressing some of these issues. “

The journal was kind enough to make the article open access to anyone who wants to read it.


Posted in Uncategorized

Book Contract

Last month, I signed a contract to publish my book manuscript Multinational Maids with Cambridge University Press with an expected publication date of late summer 2017. I’m incredibly excited by this development but now I’m also feeling the pressure to finish the full manuscript by the end of this year.

Posted in Education, Publications

New Book Chapter – Just arrived!

I just received the physical copy of The Transnational Politics of Higher Education. My student, Victoria Long and I have a co-authored chapter in the book where we focus on the various human-capital strategies adopted by Asian national universities in the last couple of decades as they attempt to transform themselves into “world-class” research universities. Check out our chapter here.


Posted in Migrant Construction Workers, Publications, Singapore

Migrant worker poetry reading and book launch

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 10.17.46 PMBack in January 2016, I took a group of Yale-NUS faculty, staff, and students to a migrant worker dormitory at Mandai. There we met, Mukul Hossine, a Bangladeshi poet and novelist who is also a migrant construction worker in Singapore. Mukul has already published a collection of his poetry and a novel back in Bangladesh but now a Singapore publisher is publishing a new collection of Mukul’s poetry here in Singapore. The boo;, “Me Migrant” is going to be launched on May 1 at the Blue Room in Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane, from 230-430pm. I can’t wait!
If you want to attend, please RSVP to by 25th April 2016.

Posted in Education, High-skilled Migration, Hong Kong, Publications, Singapore

New Book Chapter Out

A chapter I co-wrote with a student of mine – Victoria Long – has just been published in an edited volume on higher education. The chapter looks at the various human capital strategies adopted by Asian national universities in their quest to become “world-class” research universities. I’m very proud of the work that Victoria and I did for this article. Once I get a hold of the pdf of the chapter, I’ll upload it here.

Citation: “Human-Capital Strategies to Build World-Class Research Universities in Asia: Impact on Global Flows.” Book chapter in The Transnational Politics of Higher Education: Contesting the Global / Transforming the Local, edited by Meng-Hsuan Chou, Isaac A. Kamola and Tamson Pietsch. London: Routledge.

Posted in Migrant Domestic Workers, Uncategorized

New article out in Social Forces

The journal Social Forces just published online my article “Negotiating Migration, Performing Gender.” It took a long time to get this article accepted and I’m so glad that it’s finally out there for people to read and comment on. Here’s the abstract for those of you who want to know more:

Increasing numbers of independent women labor migrants leave countries in the Global South every year to work overseas. However, our understanding of how exactly gender and migration intersect at the decision-making moment is still inadequate. The new economics of labor migration (NELM) argument that individual migration is a household-level decision has been criticized by feminist scholars for ignoring the gendered social norms and inequitable intra-household power distribution that can make it difficult for prospective independent female labor migrants to leave their homes to work overseas. To reconcile NELM with gender reality, I propose an explicitly gendered, “negotiated migration model” that separates the pre-migratory process into three parts: an individual-level aspiration, the household-/family-level negotiation, and only then, the migration decision. The intermediate negotiation phase is a dynamic, two-sided, discursive site where both the aspiring migrant and her relatives engage in gendering practices and gender performances to bolster their respective positions. Interviews with 139 Filipino migrant domestic workers reveal that successful female migrants win their families’ support by coopting gendered scripts prevalent in Philippine society. Rather than attempting to “undo” gender, these women reframe their migration aspirations as a duty, rather than a right, to migrate, and a logical extension of their traditional, supporting roles as daughters, wives, sisters, and/or mothers. Thus, even though these women migrants break gender barriers when it comes to their independent labor migration, they do so by “doing,” rather than “undoing,” gender.

Posted in Hong Kong, Migrant Domestic Workers

Catching up with old friends in Hong Kong


This past week I was in Hong Kong, meeting with various NGOs and activists in preparation for my Migrant Nation fieldtrip in May. I caught up with my old friend and migrant rights activist, Vicky, outside the Immigration Tower in Wan Chai. Vicky was waiting with other activists and a horde of journalists to hear the sentencing announcement in the case of the brutal treatment of Indonesian migrant domestic worker, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih.