Silke Heumann is a Sociologist and Assistant Professor (Senior Lecturer) in the Major Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Her areas of expertise and interest are Gender and Sexuality Studies, Social Movements, Latin American Politics, Discourse Analysis and Social Theory. She obtained her MA (2003, honors) and PhD (2010) at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), The Netherlands, and her Licenciatura at the Central American University (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua (1998, honors).
Before joining ISS, she taught at several Institutes and Schools of the University of Amsterdam, in the programs of Sociology; Gender and Sexuality Studies; (Medical) Anthropology; and Latin American Studies. In the 1990s, she lived in Nicaragua for a decade. During that time she studied and worked with NGOs, international organizations and public institutions in a wide range of areas, including sexual and reproductive health and rights; gender based violence; elections, democracy and regional autonomy; gender and microcredit, and awareness-raising about discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation, class and ethnicity.
Her teaching and research are characterized by an interest in interdisciplinary approaches, intersectionality, the relationship between power and knowledge, and the connections between personal and (inter)subjective processes, and broader socio-economic and political developments, particularly in the reproduction of structural relations of power.
The research on “Sexual politics and Regime Transition in Nicaragua” explored the relationship between the personal and political to explain debates and mobilizations around gender and sexuality in post-revolutionary Nicaragua, by tracing and comparing the histories, mobilizing strategies, as well as personal and public discourses of both the feminist and the ultra-conservative “pro-life” movements.
This concern with the intersections of sexuality, gender and social justice finds continuity in recent and ongoing collaborative work with sex workers’ organizations on work precarity in the sex industry and the adverse impact of anti-trafficking discourses and migration governance on sex workers’ working conditions and human rights.
At ISS Silke Heumann is a member of the Sexuality Research Initiative (SRI) and the Civic Innovation Research Initiative (CIRI), and an affiliate member of Governance, Globalization and Social Justice (GGSJ).
S. Heumann (2013). The Challenge of Inclusive Identities and Solidarities: Discourses on Gender and Sexuality in the Nicaraguan Women's Movement and the Legacy of Sandinismo. Bulletin of Latin American Research. doi: 10.1111/blar.12103
S. Heumann (2007). Die Sünde liegt im Skandal¿: Sexuelle Diversität in Nicaragua. Latein Amerika Nachrichten.
S. Heumann (2007). Abortion and politics in Nicaragua: The women's movement in the debate on the Abortion Law Reform 1999-2002. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 9 (3), 217-231. doi: 10.1080/13691050600859062
S. Heumann, S.V. Coumans, T. Shiboleth & M. Ridder-Wiskerke (2017). The Netherlands: Analysing shifts and continuities in the governing of sexual labour. In E. Ward & E. Wylie (Eds.), Feminism, Prostitution and the State: The Politics of Neo-abolitionism (Routledge Studies in Gender and Global Politics) (pp. 46-65). Abington, Oxon, UK: Routledge
S. Heumann, A.V. Portocarrero, C. Antillón Najlis, M.T. Blandon, G. Gomez, A. Larios, A. Quiros Viquez & J. Urbina (2017). Dialogue: Transgendered bodies as subjects of feminism: A conversation and analysis about the inclusion of trans persons and politics in the Nicaraguan feminist movement. In W. Harcourt (Ed.), Bodies in Resistance: Gender Politics in the Age of Neoliberalism (Gender, Development and Social Change) (pp. 163-187). London: Palgrave Macmillan
W. Harcourt, S. Heumann & A. Asya (2017). Introduction. In W. Harcourt (Ed.), Bodies in Resistance: Gender and Sexual Politics in the Age of Neoliberalism (Gender, Development and Social Change) (pp. 1-21). London: Palgrave Macmillan doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-47780-4
S. Heumann & K.A. Siegmann (2016). Towards new perspectives on labour precarity and decent work for sex workers. In K. Biekart, W. Harcourt & P. Knorringa (Eds.), Exploring Civic Innovation for Social and Economic Transformation (pp. 168-191). London: Routledge
S. Heumann & J.W. Duyvendak (2015). When and Why Religious Groups Become Political Players: The Pro-Life Movement in Nicaragua. In J. Jasper & J.W. Duyvendak (Eds.), Players and Arenas: The Interactive Dynamics of Protest (Protest and Social Movements) (pp. 251-274). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press
M. van der Werf, S. Heumann & E.M.H. Mitchell (2011). Community Involvement in TB Research. In C. Lienhardt (Ed.), Priorities in Operational Research to Improve Tuberculosis Care and Control (pp. 37-44). Geneva: WHO
S. Heumann & W. Harcourt (Eds.). (2015-2015) DevISSues, 17(1).
S. Heumann (2010, november 25). Sexual politics and regime transition: Understanding the struggle around gender and sexuality in post-revolutionary Nicaragua. UvA (334 pag.) (Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam) Prom./coprom.: Prof.Dr. W.G.J. Duyvendak.
S. Heumann (2010). From Silent Ambivalence to Open Hostility: The Contradictory Relationship between Sandinismo and Feminismo in Nicaragua. 29th International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association: Crisis, Response, and Recovery: Toronto (2010, oktober 6 - 2010, oktober 9).