Desiring infrastructure



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Infrastructure has been an object of political action in its form as public good. Kai Bosworth's article, ‘What is “affective infrastructure,”’ views political action as a result of infrastructure, that is, the kind of social infrastructure that fosters the critical affect that activism depends on. Beginning with an outline of the material-political concept of infrastructure, this essay engages Bosworth's theoretical formulation of affective infrastructure as a rubric for understanding the enduring progressive question of what enables and sustains progressive activism.





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Wilson, A (2022). Desiring infrastructure. Dialogues in Human Geography. pp. 204382062211435–204382062211435. 10.1177/20438206221143589 Retrieved from

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Ara Wilson

Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies

In my scholarly work, I am especially interested in two combinations: interpreting empirical research through theoretical reflection and connecting economic systems to sex/gender systems and sexuality. I've taken these bridging projects in a few directions:

  • ethnographic fieldwork in Bangkok, Thailand, with interest in the Southeast Asian region (on hiatus since Covid19); 
  • Science & Technology Studies (STS), e.g., projects on medical tourism, infrastructure, and standardization;
  • a political economy of sex/gender, or queer political economy (QPE)
  • rigorous conceptualization of keywords, such as intimacy, infrastructure, or the history of gender itself. 
  • histories of the scholarly fields of Anthropology and Women's Studies
  • transnational networks relevant to sex/gender, e.g., the UN-NGO orbit and the World Social Forum.

I have taught a range of undergraduate courses in Gender Studies and regularly teach Money/Sex/Power and for many years team-taught Nature/Nurture-Sex/Gender with a neurobiologist. I co-ran a project on Transgender Studies and helped initiate GSF's courses on Introduction to Transgender Studies and Digital Feminism.

At the graduate level, I have led seminars in core feminist areas (feminist theory; transnational feminist theory; research design; sexuality studies) as well as topical courses on Infrastructure; The 1970s; and Care Economies (team taught). When serving as the DGS for GSF, I enjoyed mentoring graduate students from various departments on dissertation writing and entering the unnerving market for jobs and fellowships.

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