Dr Carisa R Showden

MA, PhD (Political Science) University of North Carolina; AB Syracuse University

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Senior Lecturer

Research | Current

  • Political activism among youth
  • Constructions of agency
  • Sex work & sex trafficking policies
  • Feminist and contemporary political theory
  • Queer theory
  • Gender and sexuality studies

Teaching | Current

GENDER 208 Thinking Gender

GENDER 301 Sex, Gender, and Commodification

SOCIOL 735 Current Debates in Gender and Sexuality

Postgraduate supervision


Fanqi Meng, Chinese Youth's Imagined Futures (provisional title, PhD in Sociology, on-going, second supervisor)

Emma Blackett, "‘Armed & Fabulous’: Women and the Facing of the NRA” (provisional title, PhD in Media & Communication, on-going, joint supervisor)

Shreya Gejji, “Identity and labour force experiences of migrant South Asian women in New Zealand.” (provisional title, PhD in Media & Communications, on-going, joint supervisor)

Natalie Cowley, “Understanding Depression: Personal and Social Interpretations.” (provisional title, PhD in Sociology, on-going, joint supervisor)

Suraya Dewing,  “Between Policy and Practice: The Placement of Transgender Prisoners” (provisional title, PhD in Sociology, on-going, second supervisor)

Anna Fielder, “A study of the narratives of women who decline routine ultrasound scans in pregnancy” (provisional title) (PhD in Sociology, on-going, joint supervisor)

Engy Farouk Abdel Baky, “A Study of Twitter Feminist Discourse in Egypt From a Critical Discourse Analysis Perspective” (PhD in Applied Linguistics, on-going, second supervisor)


Virginia Lambert, "Women, Borderline Personality Disorder and the Self" (MA in Sociology, on-going)

Jennifer Byrne, "Analysing Media Framing of Online Child Grooming and Internet-Related Situational Crime Prevention within New Zealand Online News Sources" (provisional title) (MA in Criminology, on-going)

David Ting, “Migration and Sex Work in New Zealand: A Qualitative Study” (MA in Sociology, 2018)

Ti Lamusse, “Grieving Prison Death” (MA in Sociology, 2017). Winner of the 2017 Roger Oppenheim Memorial Prize.

Rearna Hartmann. “Where to From Queer? Beyond Identity, the Future of Queer Politics” (MA in Sociology, 2016)


Chutchaya Siriwattakanon, ““You’re the shame of our family!”: The Experience of Family Violence Against Queer Youth in Thailand.” (co-supervisor, BA(Hons) dissertation in Development Studies, completed November 2018)

David Ting, "Indigenous Sex Wars in Canada: Where are The Youth?” (BA(Hons) dissertation in Sociology, completed June 2016)

Prudence Wilson, “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary?: Just How Different Are Sex Work And Surrogacy In Terms of Market Noxiousness in New Zealand?” (BA(Hons) dissertation in Sociology, completed February 2016)

Ti Lamusse, “Becoming-Queer or Queer Dissensus?” (BA (Hons) dissertation in Sociology, completed 2015)

MA thesis committee member for students outside of University of Auckland:

Lori Durham, “Feminism and Human Trafficking Debates” (MA in Women's and Gender Studies, completed 2015)

Marla Sutherland, “Creating an Ethical Politics of Kinship Care Through Coalitions” (MA in Women's and Gender Studies, completed 2014)


Deputy Head for Research, School of Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

I am a political theorist by training, doing interdisciplinary work that crosses contemporary and feminist political theory, queer theory, gender and sexuality studies, and law and society scholarship. My research and teaching are focused on contemporary feminist, queer, and gender theories; critical constructions of agency; sex work policies; and young people's political engagement.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Showden, C. R. (2020). The Future of Feminism and Sex Work Activism in New Zealand. In L. Armstrong, G. Abel (Eds.) Sex Work and the New Zealand Model: Decriminalisation and Social Change (pp. 61-86). Bristol University Press. 10.2307/j.ctv1453kvn.9
  • Nairn, K., Showden, C. R., Sligo, J., Matthews, K. R., & Kidman, J. (2020). Consent requires a relationship: rethinking group consent and its timing in ethnographic research. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODOLOGY, 23 (6), 719-731. 10.1080/13645579.2020.1760562
  • Ting, D. A. J.-R., & Showden, C. R. (2019). Structural intersectionality and Indigenous Canadian youth who trade sex: Understanding mobility beyond the trafficking model. AlterNative: an international journal of indigenous scholarship, 15 (3), 261-270. 10.1177/1177180119876679
  • Showden, C. R. (2018). Sexual harassment and assault on campus: What can Aotearoa New Zealand learn from Australia’s ‘Respect. Now. Always.’ initiative?. Women's Studies Journal, 32 (1/2), 73-80. Related URL.
  • Majic, S., & Showden, C. R. (2018). Redesigning the study of sex work: A case for intersectionality and reflexivity. In S. Dewey, I. Crowhurst, C. Izugbara (Eds.) The Routledge international handbook of sex industry research (pp. 42-54). London, UK: Routledge. Related URL.
  • Showden, C. R., & Majic, S. (2018). Youth who Trade Sex in the U.S. Intersectionality, Agency, and Vulnerability. Pages: 248.
  • Showden, C. (2017). From human rights to law and order: The changing relationship between trafficking and prostitution in Aotearoa/New Zealand policy discourse. Women's Studies Journal, 31 (1), 5-21.
  • Showden, C. R. (2016). Feminist Sex Wars. In N. A. Naples, R. C. Hoogland, M. Wickramasing, W. C. A. Wong (Eds.) The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.. 10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss434


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 9, Room 901
New Zealand

Web links