Photo of Charmaine Chua
  • Assistant Professor of Politics
  • Rice Hall 208
  • 440-775-8061
  • 9–10 a.m., Monday; and
    4:30–5:30 p.m., Tuesday


  • BA (honors), Vassar College, 2008
  • PhD, University of Minnesota, 2018


Charmaine Chua is an assistant professor of politics. Her research and teaching interests are in critical international relations, international security, global political economy, postcolonial theory, supply chains, the technology and logistics of warfare and capitalism, and contemporary left movements.

Professor Chua’s current research focuses on the politics of global circulation: how things move, who moves them, and why systems that are supposed to provision life actually distribute inequality and death.

Her book project, “Logistics Leviathan: Circulation and Containment Along the US-China Supply Chain,” is a political ethnography of the transnational shipment of goods between the United States and China, which examines how efforts to secure the fast circulation of goods and things produces forms of 'slow violence' for vulnerable populations along the seams of supply.

She is also working on a secondary project on the blockade as a form of insurgent disruption. Her work has been published in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Historical Materialism, Political Geography, the Journal of Narrative Politics, and several edited volumes.

From 2019, Chua will be the review and open site editor for Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. She also is a member of the collective for Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics, and blogs at The Disorder of Things.

Special Issues
  • Chua, C., Danyluk, M., Cowen, D., and Khalili, L. (eds.) Turbulent Circulation: Towards a Critical Logistics Studies. Forthcoming in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space.
  • Chua, C.“Review Article. Deborah Cowen (2014), The Deadly Life of Logistics: Mapping Violence in Global Trade, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.” In Historical Materialism (Forthcoming).
  • Chua, C. and Danyluk, M. “Introduction. Turbulent Circulation: Towards a Critical Logistics Studies,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (Forthcoming).
  • Chua, C. “Coming Home Again.” Journal of Narrative Politics, September 2014, 1 (1), p. 41-43.
Chapters in Edited Volumes
  • Chua, C. “Logistics.” In Skeggs, B., Farris, S., and Toscano, A. (eds.), Handbook of Marxism, London: Sage Publications (Forthcoming).
  • Chua, C. “’Sunny Island Set in the Sea’: Singapore’s Land Reclamation as Colonial Project.” In Cowen, D., Mitchell, A., Paradis, E., and Story, B. (eds.), Infrastructures of Citizenship: Digital Life in the Global City, Montréal: McGill-Queens University Press (Forthcoming).
  • Chua, C. 2017. “Against Localization: Rethinking Compliance and Antagonism in Norm Dynamics." In Epstein, C. (ed.), Norming the World: Postcolonial Critiques of the Concept of ‘Norms’ in International Relations, New York: Routledge
  • Chua, C. “The Container: Stacking, Packing, and Moving the World.” In Lambert, L. (ed.), The Funambulist. Issue 6 (July-August 2016): Object Politics.
  • Chua, C. “The Smell of Wood: Recuperating Loss in a Country of Forgetting.” In Dauphinee, E. and Inayatullah, N. (eds.), Narrative Global Politics: Theory, History and the Personal in International Relations. New York: Routledge. 2016.

  • Steering Committee member, Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics
  • Editorial board member, Journal of Narrative Politics
  • Editorial Collective, The Disorder of Things

  • The Robert T. Holt Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Minnesota (UMN), 2016
  • Efimenco Fellowship, Department of Political Science, UMN, 2015
  • Andrew Dickinson Memorial Fellowship, Department of Political Science, UMN, 2014
  • Nomination, Teaching Excellence award, National University of Singapore, 2012
  • Ueland and Wolfsberg Fellowships, Department of Political Science, UMN, 2009

  • “Logistical Monstrosities: Megaships, Megaports, and Violent Infrastructure on the transPacific Supply Chain.” Invited Lecture, Asian-American Studies Speaker Series. Princeton University. December 2017.
  • “Logistics, Circulation, Chokepoints.” Seminar, Marxist Education Project summer school intensive. New York, NY. July 2016.
  • “Mapping the Cybernetic Supernode.” Panel presentation organized by Empire Logistics, David Brower Center. Berkeley, CA. November 2015.
  • “Really big ships: Infrastructural experiments in challenging the material limits of sovereignty,” at “Turbulent Circulation: Towards a Critical Logistics” workshop. University of Toronto, Canada. October 2015.


  • Charmaine Chua Gives Talk at Princeton Asian-American Speaker Series

    December 18, 2017

    Assistant Professor of Politics Charmaine Chua presented a talk on her current book project Logistics Leviathan: Containment, Mobility, and the Ship of State on December 7, 2017 at Princeton University as part of its Asian-American Speaker Series.