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Cynthia Gorman

Assistant Professor


World Regional Geography (GEOG 102 & GEOG 102 7D1)

Feminist Theory (WGST 330/530)

Women and International Development (WGST 345)

Migration and Human Rights (GEOG 312)

Gender, Society and Space (GEOG 612)


Research Areas

Feminist geography, legal geography, forced displacement, refugee and asylum law, gendered violence, refugee resettlement, human rights, critical border and migration studies.


Cynthia’s research examines changes in state governance in relation to global migration, international and national legal regimes and transnational women’s rights campaigns. Her doctoral work examined the development of gender-based asylum in the U.S. and the role of feminist lawyering in this expansion of  U.S. refugee-asylum law.  Her work analyzed how logics of border and immigration control shape legal recognition gender-based violence, highlighting both the promise and paradox of securing state protection for female victims of human rights violations. More recent work focuses on how forced displacement from Central America has shaped the evolution of U.S. asylum standards.


Cynthia’s current research examines the politics of refugee resettlement in Appalachia. With funding from the West Virginia Humanities Council and the West Virginia University Humanities Center, this includes a project on labor migration in rural communities with meatpacking industries and community responses to border enforcement events, such as workplace raids.



Gorman, C.S. Forthcoming. “Singled out: Scaling violence and social groups as legal borderwork in U.S. asylum law.” The Geographical Review.

Gorman, C.S. 2018. “Feminist Legal Archeology, Domestic Violence and the Raced-Gendered Juridical Boundaries of U.S. Asylum Law.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.


Gorman, C.S. 2017. “Redefining Refugees: Interpretive Control and the Bordering Work of Legal Categorization in U.S. Asylum Law.” Political Geography 58 (May): 36–45.

Cynthia Gorman's CV

Office hours by appointment.

Arnold Hall 

PO Box 6450

Morgantown, WV 26506-6450