Selina R. Gallo-Cruz

close up of a woman with long dark hair and light brown sweater in front of wooden doors

Associate Professor
Sociology and Anthropology

Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Latin American and Latino Studies
Peace and Conflict Studies


Ph.D. Emory University

Fields: culture; global political and economic change; social movements and peace movements; gender and women’s movements; NGOs; nonviolence; methods; social theory

Office Phone: 508-793-3468
Office: Beaven 202
PO Box: 214A
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I am a cultural and political sociologist working in the fields of globalization, conflict, and social movements studies. My research has focused on how changing narratives and belief systems fold into the development of political conflicts and movements for social change. My book, Political Invisibility and Mobilization, comparatively examines three women’s movements against state violence in Argentina, the former Yugoslavia, and Liberia. In this study, I identify the social attributes of political invisibility that significantly shape distinct mobilization outcomes in the face of repression and violence. The trajectories of these three movements illuminate how political and social regard, or lack thereof, can present unique opportunities to marginalized resisters, especially as they move into an international arena, where they experience amplified authority as human rights leaders. I have also conducted research on the role of international NGOs in the global spread of nonviolence, developments in US foreign military training in Latin America, a variety of women's and human rights movements, and I actively contribute to developments in cultural and global social theories.

My research has been published in Feminist Formations, International SociologyResearch in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change, Sociological Forum, Social Movement Studies, Sociology Compass, Sociology of Health and Illness, The International Studies Compendium, The European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, Interface: a journal for and about social movements, Advances in Medical Sociology, and Social Theory and Health, among other edited volumes. I have served as a Gender, Conflict, and Peacebuilding Fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at The University of Notre Dame and as a Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico. I earned my BA in Sociology from Wellesley College and my Master’s and PhD degrees in Sociology from Emory University where I held a Laney Diversity Fellowship and an American Sociological Association Minority Dissertation Fellowship. I have served on the councils of the Collective Behavior and Social Movements and Peace, War and Social Conflict sections of the American Sociological Association, I serve as the coordinator for the Global and Transnational Sociology Social Movements research cluster, and I am the book review editor for Humanity & Society.  I am delighted to be a Visiting Scholar with the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University for the 2020-2021 academic year.

At College of the Holy Cross I teach a number of courses on general and special topics in sociology, including a Montserrat first-year seminar on Global Inequality, The Sociological Perspective, Gender and Society, Developments in Social Theory, Social Movements and Social Change, and an upper level seminar entitled Women and Nonviolence. In 2017 my seminar students collected and contributed interviews with Worcester Women peace activists to Worcester Women’s History Project Oral History Archives housed at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University. I served as a member of the Steering Council of the Worcester Women’s History Project and directed Holy Cross students’ community-based learning with the WWHP from 2017 to 2019. In the 2019-2020 academic year, I began working with local community organizers to pilot a Mellon Scholarship in Action funded program to bring grassroots civics education to Worcester students. As part of this work, I facilitated a youth-organized climate civics club at St. Peter Central Catholic Elementary School and have worked with summer research students through the J.D. Power Institute for the Liberal Arts to develop an in-depth study of civics curriculum in public schools. I also currently serve on the board of Abby’s House, a shelter, housing, and advocacy organization for women in Worcester and am a member of Mothers Out Front, Worcester. I enjoy working with students at every level, from the first-year transition into college to the development of Honors theses, independent research, and preparation for professional development and post-graduate study.

Select Publications

Political Invisibility and Mobilization: Women against State Violence in Argentina, Yugoslavia, and Liberia.

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2021 “Marginalization and Mobilizing Power in Nonviolent Social Movements” Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change. Vol. 44: 91-115

Gallo-Cruz, Selina and Tulinski, Hannah. 2020. “Restaging Women’s Sexual Politics: Receptivity and Resistance to the Vagina Monologues” Feminist Formations. Vol. 32 (2): 207-234

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2019. “Nonviolence beyond the State: International NGOs and Nonviolent Mobilization” International Sociology 34(6): 655-674.

Gallo-Cruz, Selina.  2018. “American Mothers of Nonviolence: Action and the Politics of Erasure in Women’s Nonviolent Activism” in 100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment: An Appraisal of US Women’s Activism, edited by Holly J. McCammon and Lee Ann Banaszak, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cormier Nick, Gallo-Cruz, Selina, and Beard, Renée. 2017. “Navigating the New, Transplanted Self: Recipients Manage the Cognitive Risks of Organ Transplantation”
Sociology of Health and Illness 39 (8): 1496 - 1513.

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2016. “The Insufficient Imagery of Top Down, Bottom Up in Global Analysis” Social Movement Studies Vol 16 (2).

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2016. “More Powerful Forces? Gender, Nonviolence, and Mobilization” Sociology Compass. September (1-13).

Gallo-Cruz. 2016. “Weaving Political Fields: Nonviolent INGOs and the Global Grassroots” European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology 3(2-3): 243-279.

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2015. “Protest and Public Relations: The Reinvention of the US Army School of the Americas” Interface: a journal for and about social movements 7(1): 322- 350.

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2013. “Cleansing Our Hands of the Dirty War: The Colombian Domestication of Human Rights.” Pp. 181-196 in National Policy Making: Domestication of Global Trends, edited by Pertti Alasuutaari and Ali Qadir. New York: Routledge.

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2012. Organizing Global Nonviolence: The Growth and Spread of Nonviolent INGOs, 1948-2003. Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change, 34: 213-256.

Gallo-Cruz, Selina. 2012. “Negotiating the Lines of Contention: Counterframing and Boundary-work in the School of the Americas Debate” Sociological Forum 27 (1): 21-45.

Boli, John, Selina Gallo-Cruz, and Matthew Mathias. 2011. “World Polity Theory” in The International Studies Compendium Project, edited by Robert A. Denemark. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.