Jill M. Williams

About Jill M. Williams

Dr. Jill M. Williams is the Director of the Women in Science and Engineering Program and an Assistant Research Social Scientist with the Southwest Institute for Research on Women.  A feminist political geographer, Jill’s research broadly examines the way in which state actors and agencies negotiate shifting national and transnational responsibilities, the spatial frameworks produced and contested in this process, and the implications these efforts have for differently situated populations.  Since 2007, she has explored these issues through the lens of contemporary border and immigration enforcement policies, primarily along the US-Mexico border.  Her dissertation research examined the humanitarianization of contemporary border enforcement policies, illustrating how efforts to provide, oversee, and regulate the corporeal care of migrants increasingly functions as a technology of border enforcement through which distinctly gendered, aged, and racialized ideologies of victimhood, threat, and protection are reproduced.  Her current research project turns attention to the political and affective economies shaping contemporary struggles over immigrant family detention in the US southwest and aims to unpack the way in which gendered, aged, and racialized discourses of appropriate compassion intersection with economic calculations of profit maximization and capacity to influence detention practices and their impact on unauthorized migrant families and their social and familial networks.

As the Director of the Women in Science and Engineering Program, Jill works to increase outreach and student engagement opportunities that foster interest and diversity in the fields of natural and social science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine.  To find out more about WISE programs and opportunities, visit our website at wise.arizona.edu

Assistant Research Social Scientist, Southwest Institute for Research on Women

Affiliate Faculty, School of Geography & Development and Department of Women’s and Gender Studies




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Contact Information

Jill M. Williams
Director, Women in Science and Engineering Program
Telephone: 520-626-9152
Office: GWS Building, 202a


Ph.D., Geography, Clark University, 2013

M.A., Women’s Studies, University of Cincinnati, 2008