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Ruiz, Elena, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Global Studies

vaw_icon_pdf_sm Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Ruíz is an assistant professor of Philosophy and Global Studies at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on theories of harm and human oppression. In particular, she examines the philosophical foundations of violence, the history of structural oppressions, and the nature of harms (epistemic, linguistic, and hermeneutic) that influence gender-based violence in the Global South. The goal of her research is to expand our current understanding of harms and violence, leading to the development of more inclusive conceptual frameworks for policy assessment and implementation of humanitarian aid programs, gender-based violence prevention programs, and advocacy legislation.

Alongside her research, Dr. Ruiz has worked domestically and abroad with Human Trafficking resource centers and policy initiatives. Currently, Dr. Ruíz is working on a project that conceptualizes the broad spectrum of harms involved in human trafficking beyond the current paradigms of economic, social, psychological, and physical violence. She has also pursued collaborative and cross-disciplinary research while working in Geneva, working to produce resource frameworks that track the impact of systemic, socio-structural abuses on individual victims of gender-based violence.

Select Publications

  • Ruiz, E. “Framing Intersectionality,” in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race, Linda Alcoff, Paul Taylor and Luvell Anderson (eds.), New York: Routledge. Forthcoming
  • Ruiz, E. (2012) “Theorizing Multiple Oppressions Through Colonial History: Cultural Alterity and Latin American Feminisms,” APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy, Vol. 11 (no.2), Spring 2012: 5-9.
  • Ruiz, E. (2010) “Feminist Border Theory,” in The Routledge International Handbook of Contemporary Social and Political Theory, G. Delanty and S. Turner (eds.), New York: Routledge, 2011: 350-361.

About RCGV

MSU’s Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence faculty and staff are dedicated to research and outreach initiatives related to ending and preventing gender-based violence and improving the community response to survivors. RCGV faculty are committed to mentoring the next generation of gender-based violence researchers by providing substantial educational and employment opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is a significant and widespread social problem internationally, devastating adults, children, families and societies across the globe. It includes any form of harm that is both a consequence and cause of gender power inequities. It can be physical, psychological, sexual, economic, or sociocultural, and includes but is not limited to sexual abuse, rape, intimate partner abuse, incest, sexual harassment, stalking, femicide, trafficking, gendered hate crimes and dowry abuse. Gender-based violence intersects with race-based, class-based or religiously oppressive forms of abuse, and cross-cuts many other social problems (e.g., poverty, substance abuse, mental and physical health, crime).

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