Research Agenda

The Center welcomes dialogue and intellectual collaboration across a range of subject areas. We are building collaborative research networks and pursuing grant-funded projects in five primary areas:

Labor, Work, and Economy

Areas of particular interest include discrimination laws and patterns, best practices enabling workplace equity, and dynamics of stratification. Our work is intended to identify and reveal opportunities for improvement in legislative and policy responses to employment exclusion or discrimination; to assist workers, families, labor unions, and employers in developing strategic plans for improving employment equity; and to analyze work and employment within the broader context of intersectional economic stratification in areas such as housing, mass incarceration and prisoner re-entry, and access to opportunities.

Violence and Exploitation

We concentrate on particular vulnerabilities to a variety of forms of violence, and to sexual exploitation, located at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, disability, socioeconomic status, citizenship, religion, and age. We are interested in the progression and consequences of vulnerability to violence throughout the life course, and particularly focus on legislative, criminal justice, social service, and communal responses to and interventions in systemic violence. Our attention to the issue of violence includes integrated recognition of systemic interpersonal violence and of institutional violence stemming from warfare and conflict, incarceration, and extreme economic vulnerability. We are also very committed to historically grounded and transgenerational projects that address the replication of systemic violence within families and communities.


Our efforts in the area of education encompass both K-12 and higher educational spheres. Areas of interest include standardized testing, affirmative action programs and policies, economic, social psychological and cultural factors affecting educational access and attainment, the “school-to-prison pipeline,” and systemic economic inequities in public education. We also attend to the intersection of legal systems affecting education, in areas including but not limited to educational standards, funding and distribution of resources, disability access, and integration politics.

International Law and Policy

Our interest in this area includes critical intervention in programs and policies that negate recognition of intersectional vulnerabilities and harms, development of dialogue between NGO and community stakeholders across geographical and national borders in areas related to gender, race, sexuality, age, religion, and disability policy, and in the areas of community economic development, post-conflict recuperation and justice, and human rights.

Health, Disability, and Health Disparities

We focus on health disparities, population health dynamics, and outcomes attentive to intersectional distribution of life chances, and also explore incidence of chronic illness and disabilities, and exclusion from or access to health care systems. We are particularly interested in the role of complex systems of subordination in generating and inflicting new or “emergent” disabilities or illnesses, and the role of law and policy in remedying, eliding, or exacerbating the problem.

The Methods Core

In addition to our collaborative research networks, the Center on Intersectionality and Social Policy hosts a think tank for scholars across academic disciplines and institutions, with an investment in rigorous research design and intersectional analysis in law, the social sciences, medicine, and the humanities. We are particularly interested in facilitating research collaboration and joint publication efforts involving interdisciplinary dialogue or projects, and in generating approaches to intersectional scholarship that translate well across academic disciplines and dialogues.