Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
China Initiative

Elena Shih

Postdoctoral Fellow in International Studies


Elena Shih received her MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and BA in Asian Studies and Women’s Studies from Pomona College. Currently a postdoctoral fellow in International Studies at the Watson Institute, she will join the faculty in Brown’s Department of American Studies in 2015 as an assistant professor of women's and gender Studies. Her research on transnational social movement and market responses to human trafficking in China, Thailand, and the United States, has received funding from the Social Science Research Council, American Sociological Association, Ford Foundation, Freeman Asia Foundation, and U.S. Department of Education. Shih’s dedication to community-based and participatory ethnographic research methods has been recognized by numerous grants and awards from the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Japanese American Community Services, the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women Constance Coiner Award for commitment to working-class, feminist issues and social change. She is a former Fulbright Fellow to the Zhongze Women's Legal Counseling and Service Center (formerly Beijing University Center for Women’s Law Studies and Legal Aid), and researcher for the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) China Office.