Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima
  • Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies Division in the School for Cultural & Social Transformation
  • Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies
  • Director, Office of Undergraduate Research
  • Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Asian Studies, University of Utah
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Center for Research on Migration and Refugee Integration
  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Latin American Studies


Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima is Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, and Associate Professor in the Division of Ethnic Studies with the School for Cultural & Social Transformation at University of Utah. For 2023, she is the Lead Fellow for the School for Cultural & Social Transformation Mellon funded Transformative Intersectional Collective (TRIC). In 2020 - 2021, she was a University of Utah Presidental Leadership fellow. Prior to joining the faculty of University of Utah, Dr. Fukushima was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University (2013 – 2015) with the Institute for Research on Women and the Department of Women and Gender Studies. She received her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is the co-lead for the Institute of Impossible Subjects project, "Migratory Times." She is also the Project Lead & Co-Principal Investigator for the Gender-Based Violence Consortium.

She is the author of the award-winning book Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the US  (Stanford University Press, 2019). https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=29061 Fukushima's book Migrant Crossings received the American Sociological Association (ASA) Asia and Asian America Section Book Award: Asian America (2020).

Migrant Crossings examines the experiences and representations of Asian and Latina/o migrants trafficked in the United States into informal economies and service industries. Through sociolegal and media analysis of court records, press releases, law enforcement campaigns, film representations, theatre performances, and the law, Annie Isabel Fukushima questions how we understand victimhood, criminality, citizenship, and legality.

Fukushima examines how migrants legally cross into visibility, through frames of citizenship, and narratives of victimhood. She explores the interdisciplinary framing of the role of the law and the legal system, the notion of "perfect victimhood", and iconic victims, and how trafficking subjects are resurrected for contemporary movements as illustrated in visuals, discourse, court records, and policy. Migrant Crossings deeply interrogates what it means to bear witness to migration in these migratory times—and what such migrant crossings mean for subjects who experience violence during or after their crossing.

"Migrant Crossings brilliantly dissects our understandings of the plight of Latina and Asian women trafficked into informal economies of sex and service. Combining original analysis of court cases, news accounts, and police reports with the author's experience as a volunteer counselor, Fukushima reveals a legal system that requires a survivor's story to fit the model of 'perfect victimhood' in order to cross into visibility and be deemed worthy of asylum."

—Evelyn Nakano Glenn, University of California, Berkeley

"Migrant Crossings critically examines the framing and impact of the U.S. anti-human trafficking movement. Annie Fukushima explores how our work in the movement is often at odds with our stated objectives and reveals how an individual's experiences are shaped by a racist, misogynistic, and colonialist history. A deeply important read for all of us working to realize the promise of human rights."

—Jean Bruggeman, Executive Director, Freedom Network USA

"Migrant Crossings offers a deeply insightful analysis of the structures of human trafficking. It illustrates linkages between labor migration and human trafficking while convincing readers that vulnerability to human trafficking belongs in a historical continuum of U.S. racial exclusion."

—Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, author of Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work

As an interdisciplinary scholar, she is committed to praxis, therefore she has worked at all levels of organizations, where her expertise is nationally recognized; she has served as an expert witness for human trafficking cases in courts in California, Colorado, and Utah, provided expert reports for immigration cases submitted to USCIS, and a consultant for national and local organizations in California, Massachusetts, and Washington.

She has authored multiple community based studies and scholarly articles that focus on: racialized and gender-based violence, human trafficking, labor, and migration. 



  • B.A., American Studies and English, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • MA, Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of California, Berkeley
  • Ph.D., Ethnic Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Research Summary

Research focus: racial and gender-based violence, labor, migration. Methodologies: ethnic studies, transdisciplinary methods, decolonial feminisms, transnational feminisms, sociolegal analysis, qualitative methods, mixed methods, visual studies and social movement theory.

Selected Works

  • Fukushima, A.I. and Vei, T.* (2022). “Decolonial Feminist Pedagogies: Entering into the ‘World’ of the Zombie as Praxis.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.. Published, 01/24/2022.
  • Fukushima, A.I., Hill, A., and Suchland, J., Eds. (2021). “Editorial: Anti-Trafficking Education: Sites of care, knowledge, and power.” Anti-Trafficking Review 17. https://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/article/view/573/424. Published, 09/16/2021.
  • Love, D., Fukushima, A. I., Rogers, T. N., Petersen, E.,* Brooks, E.,* & Rogers, C. R. (2021). “Challenges to Reintegration: A Qualitative Intrinsic Case Study of Convicted Sex Traffickers.” Feminist Criminology, doi:10.1177/15570851211045042. Published, 10/12/2021.
  • Fukushima, A.I., Hill, A., and Suchland, J., Eds. (2021). “Anti-Trafficking Education.” Anti-Trafficking Review 17. https://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/issue/view/28. Published, 09/16/2021.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2020). “Food Matters: Trafficked Transnational Migrant Experiences and the Matrix of Food (In)Security.” Journal of Human Rights Practice 12(2), pp. 364-386 https://academic.oup.com/jhrp/article-abstract/12/2/364/5861736. Published, 06/24/2020.
  • Fukushima, A.I. ‘Witnessing in a Time of Homeland Futurities’, Anti-Trafficking Review, issue 14, 2020, pp. 67-81, https://doi.org/10.14197/atr.201220145. Published, 04/27/2020.
  • Fukushima, A.I., & Heffernan, K. (2020). “What’s the Mission? Discursive Power and Human Rights Based Language in Anti-Trafficking Organizations.” Journal of Human Rights & Social Work 5, pp. 129 – 138, https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-019-00109-w. Published, 03/21/2020.
  • Fukushima, A.I., Gonzalez-Pons, K., Gezinski, L., & Clark, L. (2020). “Multiplicity of Stigma: Cultural Barriers in Anti-Trafficking Response.” International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare 13(2): 125 – 142. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-07-2019-0056. Published, 04/28/2020.
  • Alarcon, W., Benfield, D.M., Fukushima, A.I., Maese, M. Eds. (2020).Introduction: "World"-Making and "World"-Travelling with Decolonial Feminisms and Women of Color. Special Issue. Frontiers: Journal of Women Studies 41, 1. Published, 05/31/2020.
  • Fukushima, A.I. & Savelsberg, J.J. (2020). The Sociology of Human Rights and COVID-19. Vol. 48. Footnotes: A publication of the American Sociological Association. Published, 06/01/2020.
  • Gutiérrez, LA, Fukushima, A.I., Gaytán, M.S., (2020). "Essential Latinx Educators: Teaching in a Time of Pandemic," Latinx Talk, https://latinxtalk.org/2020/07/06/essential-latinx-educators-teaching-in-a-time-of-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR1lnvonuJMrBzJnpFBFoS1YuHRYb3AispIYsuc2TeaHCBz7Jk6OvPTQkd8. Published, 07/06/2020.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2020). A Survey of Child Welfare and Labor Trafficking in California: A White Paper. Utah: University of Utah. Published, 01/20/2020.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2019). Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the US. Publisher: Stanford University Press. Published, 06/26/2019.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2019). “Has Someone Taken Your Passport? Everyday Surveillance of the Migrant Laborer as Trafficked Subject.” Biography. Special Issue: Biographic Mediation: The Uses of Disclosure in Bureaucracy and Politics, Vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 561-585, https://muse.jhu.edu/article/742992. Published, 12/11/2019.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2019). "Fisheries, Farms and Factories: Human Trafficking and Tethered Subjectivities from Asia to the Pacific." In G. Beauregard, C. Schuland-Vials, & H. Lee (Eds), in The Subject(s) of Human Rights: Crises, Violations, & Asian American Critique. Temple University Press, pp. 144 - 160. Published, 12/06/2019.
  • Fantone, L. & Fukushima, A.I. (2018). Desires of Belonging and Betrayals: Narratives of “coming out” and the Terms of Recognition in (Un)documented migrants. VOCI (Voices): Human Sciences Semi-Annual. Special issue of sexuality. Anno XV: 30 - 55. Published, 12/31/2018.
  • Morris, K. & Fukushima, A. Grant Management Toolkit: Building Sustainable Anti-Trafficking Programs. Office on Trafficking in Persons: Administration for Children & Families and the National Human Trafficking Training & Technical Assistance Center. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/otip/final_grant_management_toolkit_building_sustainable_anti.pdf, February 2018. Published, 02/08/2018.
  • Fukushima, A.I., Gezinski, L., & Boley, E. (2018, Submitted). Violence Against Women Community Needs Assessment: Report, July 2018. San Francisco, California, Department on the Status of Women. Accepted, 07/01/2018.
  • Benfield, D.M & Fukushima, A.I. (Accepted, Submitted 2018). “Eight Scenes of Decolonial Feminist Aesthetic Praxis in Migratory Times.” In Decolonial Feminisms. Lugones, M. Ed. Publisher: Duke University Press. Accepted, 06/24/2017.
  • Fukushima A.I. (2017). “Human Trafficking.” Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks, Gender: War. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference, USA. Published, 09/27/2017.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2016). An American Haunting: Unsettling Witnessing in Transnational Migration, the Ghost Case, & Human Trafficking (W.S. Hesford and R. Lewis, Eds). Feminist Formations, Special issue, Mobilizing Vulnerability: New Directions in Transnational Feminist Studies & Human Rights 28(1): 146 - 165. Published, 03/01/2016.
  • Fukushima, A.I. & Hua, J. (2015). “Calling the Consumer Activist, Consuming the Trafficking Subject: Call and Response and the Terms of Legibility.” In L. Cuklanz and H. McIntosh (Eds.), Documenting Gendered Violence (pp. 45 – 66). New York, New York: Bloomsbury Publishing. Published, 02/2015.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2015). Anti-Violence Iconographies of the Cage: Diasporan Crossings and the (Un)Tethering of Subjectivities (R. Chevrette, C. Keating, A.H. Koblitz, K. Kuo, C.T. Lee, and H. Switzer, Eds.). Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies for the Special Issue on Transnational Feminisms 36(3). Project MUSE http://bit.ly/1mCbAkW JSTOR http://bit.ly/1ZNPGsZ. Published, 12/31/2015.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2014). “Beyond Supply & Demand: The Limitations of End Demand-Strategies.” In K.K. Hoang and R.S. Parrenas (Eds.), Human Trafficking Reconsidered: Rethinking the Problem, Envisioning New Solutions (pp. 91 – 101). International Debate Education Association. Published, 06/2014.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2014). “‘The Jammed’: Representational Politics and Racialized Narratives of the Trafficked Asian Diaspora.” In K. Liu and J. Huijing (Eds.), Changing Boundaries and Reshaping Itineraries in Asian American Literary Studies. China. Published, 11/2014.
  • Fukushima, A.I., Ginoza, A., Hase, M., Kirk, G., & Shefler, T. (March 11, 2014). Disaster Militarism: Rethinking U.S. Relief in the Asia-Pacific. Foreign Policy in Focus, Washington, DC. Published, 03/2014.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2014). Anti-miscegenation laws; Mixed race/ethnicity Intimate relations; Domestic violence; and LGBT communities. In C.A. Gallagher and C.D. Lippard (Eds.), Race and Racism in the United States: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic (pp. 63 – 64; pp. 366 – 368). Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio/Greenwood Press. Published, 06/2014.
  • Fukushima, A.I. (2013). Korean Immigrant Women in America; Role of Asian Americans in Anti-Human Trafficking Movement; Asian Americans and the Comfort Women Issue. In E.J.W. Park and X. Zhao, Eds. Asian Americans: An Encyclopedia of Social, Cultural, Economic, and Political History (pp 709 – 712; pp. 68 – 70; pp. 330-333). California: ABC-Clio. Published, 11/2013.
  • Fukushima, A.I. & Kirk, G. (June 17, 2013). Military Sexual Violence: From Frontline to Fenceline. Foreign Policy in Focus. Washington, DC. Published, 06/2013.
  • Fukushima, A. (2011). Coercion and Migration. In J.P. Rordiguez (Ed.), Slavery in the Modern World: A History of Political, Social and Economic Oppression (pp. 17 – 33). Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC. Published, 10/2011.
  • Fukushima, A.I. & C. Liou. “Weaving Theory and Practice: Anti-Trafficking Partnerships and the Fourth ‘P’ in the Human Trafficking Paradigm.” Human Trafficking is Global Slavery. Program on Human Rights, Stanford University. 2012. Published, 06/2012.
  • Fukushima, A. (2009). Comfort Women. In E. Chen and G. Yoo (Eds.), The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Contemporary Asian American Issues Today. Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2009. Published, 10/2009.
  • Fukushima, A. (Fall 2008). Beyond Moments of Disjuncture: The Visual Culture of the Sex Trafficked Asian (Woman). Praxis (formerly Phoebe): Gender & Cultural Critiques 20, No. 2: 15 – 34. Published, 08/2008.
  • Fukushima, A. (2008). Coerced Migration. In J. Warner (Ed), Battleground: Immigration. Connecticut: Greenwood Press. Published, 10/2008.