Jennifer Musto

Jennifer Musto
(781) 283-2993
Women's and Gender Studies
B.A., DePaul University; M.A., Ph.D., University of California (Los Angeles)
Personal Website:

Jennifer Musto

Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies

I am an Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College where I teach courses on gender, sexuality, race, technology, neoliberalism, and globalization.

An animating question that shapes my scholarship are the ways in which laws, technologies, and collaborative modes of governance are leveraged to address exploitation, intimacy, violence, and vulnerability, broadly defined.

My first book, Control and Protect: Collaboration, Carceral Protection, and Domestic Sex Trafficking in the United States (University of California Press) explores the meaning and significance of efforts designed to combat sex trafficking in the United States, with particular focus on the effects of anti-sex trafficking interventions on individuals and communities deemed “at risk.” Control and Protect further examines how partnerships forged in the name of fighting domestic sex trafficking have blurred the boundaries between punishment and protection, victim and offender, and state and nonstate authority.

My current research project is situated at the intersections of gender, sexuality, technology, and law. I am especially interested in the role that third party actors play in mitigating tech-facilitated harm and how data in general and data-driven interventions in particular are being leveraged to respond to it.

Before arriving at Wellesley College, I was an External Faculty Fellow at Rice University and a member of the Humanities Research Center Seminar, Human Trafficking Past and Present: Crossing Borders, Crossing Disciplines. I was also a postdoctoral researcher at USC’s Annenberg Center on Communication & Leadership Policy, a Visiting Scholar in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Northeastern University, and a Fulbright scholar affiliated with Utrecht University in the Netherlands. In 2011, I received my PhD from UCLA’s Department of Gender Studies.

I have lectured widely on the laws, policies, and technologies designed to respond to human trafficking and my work has been published in Social Politics, Dialectical Anthropology, Women’s Studies International Forum, and the International Feminist Journal of Politics.