University at Albany

Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Faculty - Wen LiuWen Liu

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Wen Liu is an assistant professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at University at Albany. She received her Ph.D. in Critical Social Psychology from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. As an interdisciplinary scholar based in Critical Social Psychology, she has focused her research on the engagement between global social movements and psychological theories on racial, gender, and sexual subjectivities, particularly at the intersection of LGBTQ and diasporic Asian American experiences.

Informed by feminist psychology, queer theory, critical race theory, and postcolonial studies, Dr. Liu's research investigates how psychological discourses have shaped global politics—from issues of LGBTQ identities and marriage equality to US police violence and militarism, from cultural imperialism to Orientalism—but also, in turn, how activist subjectivities that emerged from these sociopolitical events have transformed psychological knowledge around migration, culture, and identity. In her dissertation titled, "Cruising Borders, Unsettling Identities: Toward A Queer Diasporic Asian America" she examined how psychology as a scientific discipline has created Asian Americanness as a measurable, bio-cultural population through a Eurocentric gaze with the use of ethnography, narrative, archive, and discourse analysis. Dr. Liu's recent research looks at the productive bonds between affect and queer theory, particularly around the critical discussions of homonormativity, intersectionality, and the ontological turn. Her publications can be found in journals such as Subjectivity and Feminism & Psychology.

These scholarly endeavors are a result of not only Dr. Liu's theoretical engagement but also her activist involvement in various grassroots LGBTQ organizations that facilitate queer diasporic dialogue through art and scholarship between New York, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. In addition, she has been a dedicated educator who taught gender, sexuality, and social psychology seminars at Sarah Lawrence College and Hunter College, and the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at John Jay College for many years. As a committed activist-scholar, she has held various public lectures on topics of LGBTQ movements and queer theory from NYC, Taipei, Shanghai, to Beijing since 2012.


  • Ph.D., Psychology, Graduate Center, City University of New York (2017)
  • M.Phil., Psychology, Graduate Center, City Univerity of New York (2013)
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Washington (2009)


  • Transnational Sexualities


  • Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
  • Classism, Racism, Sexism: Issues



Liu, W. (2017). Restarting from shameful places: Toward a queer psychology of affect. In Special Issue: Affect & Subjectivity. Subjectivity, 10(1), 44-62.

Liu, W., Huang, A., Ma, J. (2015). Young Activists, New Movements: Contemporary Chinese Queer Feminism and Transnational Genealogies. In Special Issue: Young Feminists. Feminism & Psychology, 25(1), 11-17.

Liu, W. (2015). The Embodied Crises of Neoliberal Globalization: The Lives and Narratives of Filipina Migrant Domestic Workers. Women’s Studies International Forum, 50, 80-88.