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Diversity and Community Studies - Judy Rohrer

Dr. Judy Rohrer

Dr. Judy Rohrer

Assistant Professor



Note:  Judy Rohrer is on leave from WKU in Spring 2017.  She is working on new research through an Affiliated Scholar position with the Beatrice Bain Research Group (BBRG) at UC Berkeley.  More about Dr. Rohrer’s research can be found here.

Judy Rohrer earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i in 2005, and her B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College in 1989.  After the completion of her B.A. and during her graduate studies, she worked for progressive nonprofits and activist organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She is an interdisciplinary scholar with interests in indigenous studies, critical race studies, feminist theory, LGBTQ studies/queer theory, and disability studies. 

Dr. Rohrer’s third manuscript, Staking Claim: Race and Indigeneity in Hawaiʻi, was released in spring 2016 through The University of Arizona Press.  It brings together an analysis of racial formation and colonization in the islands through a study of legal cases, contemporary public discourse, and Hawai’i scholarship.  In it, Rohrer argues that the dual settler colonial processes of racializing native Hawaiians (erasing their indigeneity), and indigenizing non-Hawaiians, enable the staking of non-Hawaiian claims to Hawai’i.

Queering the Biopolitics of Citizenship in the Age of Obama, Dr. Rohrer’s short monograph, was released in September 2014 through Palgrave MacMillan.  It furthers an evolving discussion of what it means to be an American citizen in the Obama era and demonstrates the importance of developing an understanding of the machinations of governmentality and biopolitics in the (re)production of the (proper) citizen.

Dr. Rohrer’s first book, Haoles in Hawai’i, was published in 2010 through the University of Hawai’i Press.  It is the first volume in a series on race and ethnicity in Hawai’i.  The text strives to make sense of haole (white person/whiteness in Hawai‘i) and “the politics of haole” in current debates about race in Hawai‘i.  Recognizing it as a form of American whiteness specific to Hawai‘i, Rohrer argues that haole was forged and reforged over two centuries of colonization and needs to be understood in that context.

Judy Rohrer has also published on race and colonization in Hawai’i, gay marriage, disability studies, and citizenship in Racial & Ethnic Studies, borderlands, Feminist Studies, The Contemporary Pacific, American Studies, and American Quarterly.

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 Last Modified 1/25/16