Rachel Silvey

Interim Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Geography




1 Devonshire Place, room 225N


Rachel Silvey is Interim Richard Charles Lee Director of the Asian Institute and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She is also a Faculty Affiliate in CTDS, WGSI, and the Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies Program. She received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Washington (UW), Seattle, and a dual B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Southeast Asian Studies. In 2016 she served as an Invited Professor at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne for The Cluster of Excellence in Territorial and Spatial Dynamics.

Professor Silvey is best known for her research on women’s labour and migration in Indonesia. She has published widely in the fields of migration studies, cultural and political geography, gender studies, and critical development. Her major funded research projects have focused on migration, gender, social networks, and economic development in Indonesia (PI, NSF, 2000–2003); immigration and employment among Southeast Asian-Americans in Colorado (PI, NSF, 2000–2002); migration and marginalization in Bangladesh and Indonesia (co-PI, NSF, 2004–2006); and religion, rights and Indonesian migrant women in Saudi Arabia (Fulbright New Century Scholars Fellow, 2004-2005; and as the PI, SSHRC, 2008–2012).  She has also organized and co-directed funded workshops on gender and globalization (Bellagio, Italy, 2013), the organization of intimate labour industries in Asia (SSHRC, 2013), and the dynamics of gendered mobility and immobility (SSHRC, 2016).

Her current work examines Indonesian and Filipino domestic workers’ employment in Singapore and the UAE (US National Science Foundation), and she leads the project on migrant workers’ labour conditions for the SSHRC Partnership Project, “Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives,” led by Professor Ito Peng.

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