SM Rodriguez

SM Rodriguez

Assistant Professor of Gender, Rights and Human Rights

Department of Gender Studies

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English, Spanish
Key Expertise
Anticarceral Feminism, Social Justice, Africana Studies, Sexual Politics

About me

SM Rodriguez joined the Department of Gender Studies as Assistant Professor of Gender, Rights and Human Rights in September 2021. Prior to this appointment, they were based in New York, USA, as Assistant Professor of Critical Criminology in the Department of Sociology and Director of LGBTQ+ Studies at Hofstra University. They also previously lectured in Sociology and Africana Studies at Stony Brook University and State University of New York – Old Westbury. 

Dr Rodriguez’s research joins anti-carceral, Black, and trans feminist approaches to interrogate sex as a political projection unto the body and as an action, especially as related to criminal law and “correctional” practices. Centring African Diasporic people and places, they question global and transnational structures of racialisation, punishment, and movement-making.

In their first monograph, The Economies of Queer Inclusion: Transnational Organizing for LGBTI Rights in Uganda (2019), Dr Rodriguez analyses the effects of transnational advocacy on Ugandan LGBTI (kuchu) organising during the four-year period in which the Ugandan government considered the “Kill the Gays Bill”. The work situates kuchu activism in the simultaneous navigation of domestic, anti-gay criminalisation and global inequalities reinforced by international human rights apparatuses. Using interviews, ethnography, and an analysis of fourteen years of Ugandan parliamentary records, Dr Rodriguez explores the impact of transnational financing on antigay ideologies, gay rights movement-making, and legislating morality. The Economies of Queer Inclusion was shortlisted for the American Sociological Association Distinguished Book Award Honorable Mention (2021).

Dr Rodriguez currently researches and writes on penal abolition, healing justice, and transformative change-making in queer of colour communities.

Member of the PhD Supervisory team of Alanah Mortlock and Ting-Sian Liu.

Expertise Details

Transnational Social Movements; Penal Abolition; Sexual Politics; Queer Theory; Crip of Color Critique; Disability Justice; Human Rights; State Violence; Transformative Justice



Forthcoming - Abolition in the Academy: Scholar-Activists in the Global Movement for Penal Abolition

The Economies of Queer Inclusion: Transnational Organizing for LGBTI Rights in Uganda (2019)

 The Anti-Homosexuality (dubbed “Kill the Gays”) Bill of 2009 propelled Uganda to the forefront of global media. In its initial manifestation, the Bill threatened to penalize “aggravated homosexuality” with the death penalty. The media attention earned by the proposed legislation opened avenues for transnational cooperation and communication between US-based Human and LGBTI Rights organizations and kuchu (or LGBTI) Ugandans. The Economies of Queer Inclusion focuses on this transnational relationship and the complications that arise when international currency and professionalization transform grassroots organizing.

This book excavates how transnational advocacy, which aims to empower LGBTI rights activism, actually restructures and, in some cases, limits local movements. With interview and ethnographic data with activists in Kampala, Uganda and New York City, the research highlights how the introduction of international attention and funding causes organizations to restructure their movement goals and strategies in order to best attract desired partners. The funder-funded relationship causes both local discord and transnational divestment from alternative forms of organizing.

  • American Sociological Association Sexualities Section Distinguished Book Award, Honorable Mention.

Sexualities: Identities, Behaviors, and Society (2014)

Featuring a variety of readings, this interdisciplinary anthology addresses such key questions as: How are sexualities socially constructed? Why are sexualities more than just natural "urges" or "drives"? and How are sexualities personal, social, and political? Sexualities: Identities, Behaviors, and Society, Second Edition, focuses on gender, using multiple disciplines, international populations, and theories to explore sexualities. The book was equally co-edited by the Stony Brook Sexualities Research Group of which SM Rodriguez was a member. 

Journal Articles:

2023 African Feminisms for Abolitionist Futures: Archival Hauntings in a Speculative Geography. Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity

2023 Forging Black Safety in the Carceral Diaspora: Perverse Criminalization, Sexual Corrections and Connection-Making in a Death World. Social Justice (Forthcoming, Accepted)

2023 Caring in the Classroom: The Hidden Toll of Emotional Labor of Abolitionist Scholar-Activism. Contemporary Justice Review

2023 Depathologization as Healing Justice. Co-authored with Liat Ben-Moshe, Kennedy Healy and H Rakes. QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking 

2022 Black Dreams, Electric Mirror: Cross-Cultural Teaching of State Terrorism and Legitimized Violence. Teaching Sociology 50(4): 1-7.

2022 Queers Against Corrective Development: LGBTSTGNC Anti-Violence Organizing in Gentrifying Times. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 28(2): 165-184.

Journal Editor 2022    racialization.spectacle.liberation. A Special Issue of Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies. Co-Edited with Chriss Sneed

2020    Carceral Protectionism and the Perpetually (In)Vulnerable. Co-Authored with Liat Ben-Moshe and H Rakes, Criminology and Criminal Justice, 20(5):537-550.

2018    Challenging Perspectives on Street-Based Sex Work. Contemporary Sociology, 47(6): 715-717.

2017    Homophobic Nationalism: The Development of Sodomy Legislation in Uganda. Comparative Sociology, 16(3): 393-421.

Publications in Pipeline

  • Enforcing the “Unnatural Offence”: Sodomy Legislation and Anti-Queer Panoptic Policing in Uganda (journal article, revise and resubmit)


Publications in Edited Volumes

2021    Not Behind Bars: The Rippling Effect of Carceral Habitus and Corrective Violence on the Family and Community Life of Prison Guards. Co-Authored with Brittany Clark (Undergraduate Student), in Contesting Carceral Logic: Knowledge and Praxis in Penal Abolition. Michael Coyle and Mechthild Nagel (eds). London: Routledge.

2021    Queer Abolitionist Alternatives to Criminalising Hate Violence. The Routledge International Handbook on Penal Abolition. Michael Coyle and David Scott (eds). London: Routledge

2021    LGBT Identity, Race and Justice. Race, Crime and Justice: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic. Delores Jones-Brown and Christine Barrow (eds.). Greenwood Publishing, Santa Barbara. 

2020    LGBTIQ Rights in Africa. Co-Authored with Marc Epprecht and S.N. Nyeck. Understanding Contemporary Africa (6th ed). Lynne Rienner Publishers. Peter J. Schraeder (ed).

2020    Invisibility Matters: Queer African Organizing and Visibility Management in a Transnational Age. Feminist and Queer Theory: An Intersectional and Transnational Reader. Barbara Shaw and L. Ayu Saraswati (eds). Oxford University Press

2020    On Freddie Gray. The Encyclopedia of Racial Violence. Sowande Mustakeem and Douglas Flowe (eds). ABC-CLIO Publishing. ISBN: 9781440852428


Other Publications

2022    Against the Colonial Carceral Diaspora Disembodied Territories.

2021    The Brilliance of Black Lives Matter. International Sociological Association, Global Dialogue, 11(1).

2020    The Thorned Roses of Uganda’s Stella Nyanzi. The Conversation – Africa


Programme director for MSc Gender (Rights and Human Rights)

Courses: 2023-24