My dissertation analyzed the commercialized romance tour industry, an industry in which American men go on ‘romance tours’ to find potential wives in Colombia, Ukraine and the Philippines. The main attraction for the tours are the social parties, which feature a highly imbalanced gender ratio, in order for men to have the opportunity to meet literally hundreds of women. I argue that the romance tour industry is an important lens into the ways in which globalized hierarchies of race, gender, class and sexuality are shaped through individual emotions within intimate relationships. This is an important example of the ‘global intimate’ and challenges binaries that posit the body and the global as separate, unrelated scales.
I have started a new project with the international dating advice site, International Love Scout in order to promote more academic understandings of the industry. The research section that I will be curating for the site will introduce site visitors to various forms of research (journalistic, academic, and documentary) in order to provide them with a wide variety of sources and viewpoints regarding the industry. International Love Scout and I believe that spreading more knowledge about the industry will remove some of the stigma and introduce many of the complexities of cross-cultural relationships. Please feel free to explore the page and provide me with feedback.
My Huffington Post page features blogs about my research on the ‘mail order bride’ industry, as well as political issues that I believe are important to talk about, from the conflict in Kashmir to mass incarceration.