Tara Tran

My research interest is the ethics of hospitality in the form of human rights, humanitarianism, and development across the historical and contemporary post-colonial Global South, intersected with the study of women, gender, sexuality, and race. I approach this in my dissertation by examining the imperial and international politics of prostitution, birth, and rape in French colonial Cambodia. Shaped by theories and feminist critiques of hospitality, alongside histories of gender, race, and empire, this project puts forth an applied humanities objective: to open conversation among researchers, practitioners, and activists about the ethics of women’s bodies as the objects and subjects of humanitarian values across the post-colonial developing world. Using theory and history, my research examines the interventions of modern states and institutions in colonial spaces during the nineteenth and twentieth century, and it proposes the concept of women’s bodies as hospitality engendered. This project evolved from my work with an international non-governmental organization on health and hygiene programs for women and their families.

Before beginning at Hopkins, I spent a year in Cambodia as a Fulbright U.S. Student Scholar, working on Kbach Untitled, a project on story and memorials in Khmer society and culture since the genocide.

Thesis Title: "Hospitality Engendered: Women's Bodies, Empire, and Humanitarianism in Colonial Cambodia"

Main Advisor: Professor Shepard