Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Brown University
Elena Shih is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. Shih’s current book project, The Price of Freedom: Moral and Political Economies of Global Human Trafficking Rescue, is a global ethnography of the transnational social movement to combat human trafficking in China, Thailand, and the United States. Drawing on 40 months of fieldwork with faith-based and secular social movement organizations—ranging from grassroots evangelical Christian missionary projects, to sex worker rights cooperatives, to the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking—her book explores the mobilization of rights and morality in between the state and the market in the contemporary movement against human trafficking.
Shih teaches courses on human trafficking, labor migration and sex work, East and Southeast Asian borderlands, critical humanitarianism studies, and ethnographic methods. From 2015-2018, she is a Faculty Fellow at Brown’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, where she leads an interdisciplinary human trafficking research cluster. Shih earned a PhD in Sociology from UCLA, and BA in Asian Studies and Women’s Studies from Pomona College.