Professor of Practice
B.A., Philosophy, Cornell University, 1990
J.D., philosophy and social theory of the law, Harvard Law School, 1993
S.J.D., International law, Harvard Law School, 2000
Vasuki Nesiah teaches human rights, legal and social theory at NYU Gallatin where she is also faculty director of the Gallatin Global Fellowship in Human Rights. She has published on the history and politics of human rights, humanitarianism, international criminal law, reparations, global feminisims, and decolonization. Nesiah was awarded the Jacob Javits Professorship (2022), Gallatin Distinguished Teacher Award in 2021 and the NYU Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faculty Award in 2020. Her current book projects include International Conflict Feminism (forthcoming from University of Pennsylvania Press) and Reading the Ruins: Colonialism, Slavery, and International Law. A founding member of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), she is also co-editing TWAIL: A Handbook with Anthony Anghie, Bhupinder Chimni, Michael Fakhri, and Karin Mickelson (forthcoming from Elgar).
Vasuki Nesiah was appointed to the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professorship at NYU for the Spring 2022 semester. Nesiah teaches human rights and legal and social theory at Gallatin and is faculty director of the Gallatin Global Fellowship in Human Rights.
For the Spring 2022 semester, legal scholar and Gallatin faculty member Vasuki Nesiah has been appointed to the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professorship at NYU. Established in 2008 with generous support from The Marian B. and Jacob K. Javits Foundation, the Professorship honors the memory of the four-term US Republican Senator from New York, an alumnus of the NYU School of Law. Recipients are selected on the basis of their work with issues close to the late Senator’s interests, which include health, civil rights, labor, foreign policy, disability rights, education, fairness in employment, and economic security for working Americans. Nesiah teaches human rights and legal and social theory at Gallatin and is faculty director of the Gallatin Global Fellowship in Human Rights. As a part of her Professorship, Nesiah will deliver the Jacob K. Javits Visiting Professorship Lecture during the Spring semester.
Previous awardees include Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard University Graduate School of Education (Steinhardt School); David Oshinsky, Professor of History, FAS, and Medicine, School of Medicine; Pete Hamill, Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at NYU, FAS; Jorge Castañeda, NYU Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, FAS; Beth Noveck, Professor of Technology, Culture, and Society, Tandon School of Engineering; Anthony Bertelli, Professor of the Politics of Public Policy, Wagner School of Public Service; and Selçuk Şirin, Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Steinhardt School.
A legal scholar with a focus on public international law, Vasuki Nesiah areas of research include the law and politics of international human rights and humanitarianism, with a particular focus on transitional justice. Her most recent book A Global History of Bandung and Critical Traditions in International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which she co-edited with Luis Eslava and Michael Fakhri, reflects her continued interest in critical approaches to international law that find their intellectual and political home in the global South and in the grappling with decolonization. She is one of the founding members of the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and has continued as an active participant in this global network of scholars for over two decades.
Vasuki Nesiah was awarded a 2020 New York University Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award, an award that recognizes outstanding NYU faculty who exemplify the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through teaching excellence, leadership, social justice activism, and community building.
Bandung, Global History, and International Law: Critical Pasts and Pending Futures, edited by Vasuki Nesiah, Luis Eslava, and Michael Fakhri was published by Cambridge University Press.
international legal studies; human rights and humanitarianism; politics of memory and transitional justice; law culture and society; law and politics of violence; critical social theory; colonialism and postcolonial modernities; feminisms; globalization; development policy; jurisprudence of identity; South Asia
CONFERENCES AND LECTURES
In December 2017, Professor Vasuki Nesiah gave the keynote lecture at the 2017 Conference of the Law, Literature and Humanities Association of Australasia: Dissents and Disposition, Melbourne, Australia and the keynote lecture for the 2017 Legal Sciences Conference of Finland in Turku, Finland, in August 2017.
In January 2017, Professor Vasuki Nesiah collaborated with Anthony Anghie of National University of Singapore, convening a Workshop on Third World Approaches to International Law, University of Colombo Law Faculty, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Her co-edited volume, Bandung, Global History and International Law was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.
Other recent publications include the short article:
“A Double Take on Debt: Reparations Claims and Regimes of Visibility in a Politics of Refusal”, Osgoode Hall Law Journal Volume 59: Issue 1 (Winter 2022)
“Lawfare, CVE and International Conflict Feminism” in Lila Abu-Lughod, Rema Hammami and Nadera Shalhoub eds, in The Cunning of Gender Violence (Forthcoming with Duke University Press 2023)
“Feminist Approaches to International Law” with Karen Engle and Diane Otto in Jeffrey L Dunoff and Mark A Pollack, eds., International Legal Theory: Foundations and Frontiers, (Cambridge University Press July 2022)
“MIA: Disappearing Political Analysis in Transitional Justice” in Jennifer Heath and Ashraf Zahedi eds, in Book of the Disappeared: The Quest for Transitional Justice, (Forthcoming with University of Michigan Press 2023)
“Avabai Wadia: The Gentle Rebel of (other) Nations?” in Immi Tallgren ed., Portraits of Women in International Law, (Forthcoming with Oxford University Press 2023)
“Slavery’s Afterlives: Humanitarian Imperialism and Free Contract”, American Journal of International Law Unbound, Volume 117 (March 2023)
“Barbarians at the Gate: The NIEO and the Stakes of Racial Capitalism”, Third World Approaches to International Law Review (TWAILR) (16 February 2023); Originally published in Progressive International (January 2023)
“TWAIL Feminist Perspectives on Conflict”, Völkerrechtsblog (March 2022)
“Human Shields/Human Crosshairs: Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Wars," for American Journal of International Law Unbound, Volume 110 (2017).
and the following book chapters:
“The Politics of Humanitarian Morality: Reflections on ‘The Hazards of Rescue’” in Human Rights: Moral or Political?, edited by Adam Etinson (Oxford University Press, 2018)
"Indebted: The Cruel Optimism of Leaning-in to Empowerment” in Governance Feminisms, edited by Janet Halley et al (University of Minnesota Press, 2018)
“The Escher Human Rights Elevator: Technologies of the Local” in Sally Merry and Tine Destrooper eds., Human Rights Transformation in an Unequal World, edited by Sally Merry and Tine Destrooper (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018)
“Gender and Forms of Conflict: The Moral Hazards of Dating the Security Council” in Oxford Handbook on Gender and Conflict, edited by Fionnuala Ni Aolain, Naomi Cahn, Nahla Valji and Dina Haynes (Oxford University Press, 2017)
“‘Saviors, Victims and Savages on the Post-Conflict Circuit: The Field of Transitional Justice” in Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka, edited by Bhavani Fonseka (Center for Policy Alternatives, 2017)