I work and teach on transformative justice, community and state accountability, feminist-of-color anti-violence activism, carceral studies, and queer/trans* of color critique, abolition and praxis. I am largely interested in how we might trace and account for abolitionist and insurgent knowledge-making practices, processes and alternative "our"chives with tools such as participatory action research and collaborative ethnography. My latest research studies state technologies of control, carcerality, datafication and reform-based state partnerships of the late 20th century, and how this has shaped legal, cultural and social movement discourses and strategies concerning minority violence to hate crimes.
In the fall of 2017, I began as an assistant professor in the Department of Gender Studies and Critical Social Thought at Mount Holyoke College after completing my doctorate in Ethnic Studies from University of California, Riverside. My first book project examines Los Angeles as a transnational site, over the course of three critical decades (1980s-2010s), in which local law enforcement agencies dictated the priorities for LGBTQ/immigrant/ethnic communities through the establishment of state-sponsored "antiviolence" strategies, particularly what I argue as the carceral technologies of community-policing and datafication (e.g. enumeration of violence via hate crimes data, discourses and policy).
Additionally, I received my master’s degree in Asian American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. While residing in Los Angeles for eight years, I collaborated with organizations such as Dignity and Power Now (formerly the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in LA Jails), California Coalition for Women Prisoners-LA, Gender Justice Los Angeles, St. John's Transgender Health Program (South LA), UAW 2865 E-Board and Anti-Oppression Committee, and formerly Data Center-LA and Letsgo! Liberation Trans Legal Clinic (LGL).
Previous to living in Los Angeles, I resided in New York, NY, and served as a volunteer and community member of organizations such as Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE and Sylvia Rivera Law Project. These vital experiences of working within queer/trans* of color led community organizations continues to form and guide my pedagogy, community research and political investments and collaborations.
REN-YO HWANG currently resides in Western Massachusetts and teaches
in South Hadley, MA, Norwottuck tribal territory of the Pocumtuc native peoples.