Dr Carisa R Showden

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

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Senior Lecturer

Research | Current

  • Constructions of agency
  • Theories of commodification
  • Sex work policies
  • Contemporary and feminist political theory
  • Queer theory
  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Law and society

Teaching | Current

SEMESTER 1, 2017:

GENDER 208 Thinking Gender

SOCIOL 324 Special Issues in Gender

SEMESTER 2, 2017 

SOCIOL 735 Current Debates in Gender and Sexuality


SOCIOL 215 Law, Inequality, and the State

Postgraduate supervision


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

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

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


Ti Lamusse, “Grieving Prison Death” (provisional title) (MA in Sociology, on-going)

David Ting, “Migration and Sex Work in New Zealand: A Qualitative Study” (provisional title) (MA in Sociology, on-going)

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


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)


Disciplinary Convenor for Gender Studies

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 critical constructions of agency, theories of commodification, and sex work policies.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Showden, C. R. (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. Related URL.
  • 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
  • Showden, C. R., & Majic, S. (Eds.) (2014). Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Showden, C. R. (2012). Theorising maybe: A feminist/queer theory convergence. FEMINIST THEORY, 13 (1), 3-25. 10.1177/1464700111429898
  • Showden, C. R. (2011). Choices Women Make: Agency in Domestic Violence, Assisted Reproduction, and Sex Work. Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA: University of Minnesota Press. Pages: 286.
  • Showden, C. R. (2010). Feminist Legal Theory. In G. T. Kurian, J. E. Alt, S. Chambers, G. Garrett, M. Levi, P. D. Mcclain (Eds.) The Encyclopedia of Political Science Set (pp. 582-583). CQ Press.
  • Showden, C. R. (2009). What's Political about the New Feminisms?. FRONTIERS-A JOURNAL OF WOMEN STUDIES, 30 (2), 166-198.
  • Showden, C. R. (2006). Domestic Violence. In J. Ciment (Ed.) Social Issues in America: An encyclopedia (pp. 548-561). M.E. Sharpe.


Contact details

Office hours

Wednesdays: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Social links

Web links