Ohio State nav bar

Jennifer Suchland

Jennifer Suchland

Jennifer Suchland

Associate Professor



113C University Hall
230 N Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

Professional Website

Office Hours

I am on leave AY 2023-2024. You can contact me via email.

Areas of Expertise

  • Critical Human Rights | Trafficking Studies
  • Postsocialist Cultural Studies | Gender, Sexuality + Race
  • Transnational Feminist Studies


  • Ph.D. at University of Texas, Austin in Government and Women's and Gender Studies, 2005
  • M.A. at University of Texas, Austin in Government, 2005
  • B.A. at Southwestern University in Political Science (with honors), 1996

I am an interdisciplinary scholar jointly appointed in Slavic and East European Languages & Cultures and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies.  I teach and advise students in both programs as well as in the International Studies program (including with the Human Rights Minor).

My research, teaching and ethical commitments are to a robust study of rights, law and political discourses as they are culturally and geopolitically entangled. I have been interested in how rights categories emerge and evolve and what is at stake in those articulations. In my first book, Economies of Violence: Transnational Feminism, Postsocialism, and the Politics of Sex Trafficking (Duke University Press, 2015), I analyze the re-emergence of global anti-trafficking discourse at the end of the Cold War looking in particular at the kinds of anti-violence agendas that gained resonance through the racialized “white” figure of the postsocialist trafficking victim “Natasha.”  This real yet mythologized figure prioritized a the view that trafficking is primarily a sex crime unrelated to economic and political forces.  While framing trafficking, in particular sex trafficking, as a form of violence against women helped elevate the issue to a new global scale, the anti-trafficking apparatus that has taken predominance is largely stripped of a human rights agenda in which economic, sexual, and political precarity are central concerns.

Current work includes a book manuscript on the anti-trafficking moniker “modern day slavery,” research on sexuality and nationalism in Russia, and collaborative projects on public education and social justice.

Link to CV