Salwa Hoque

Majority World Director

Salwa is a Resident Fellow (Postdoctoral Research Scholar) at the Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School, working as the Director of ISP's Majority World Initiative (MWI). She works at the intersection of law and technology, specializing in legal pluralism, databases, automation, and women's rights. Salwa is currently working on her book project – Automating Law: Locating (In)Justice and the Industrialization of Legal Reason – which bridges digital media studies and legal anthropology to rethink questions of AI, law, and justice.

Salwa has a Ph.D. and M.Phil. from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University (NYU). Her doctoral dissertation – Digitizing Law: Legal Pluralism and Data-Driven Justice – examines how algorithmic technologies discriminate against rural women in Bangladesh through a comparative analysis of how law is practiced in state courts and Islamic/customary courts. She has taught several courses at NYU, including Global Media and International Law, Theory of the Digital, Rise of Internet Media, Media Audience. Salwa’s research and teaching draw from her interdisciplinary academic background. She holds a Master of Arts in South Asia Studies (concentrations: Political Theory and History) from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and English (Honors) from the University of Washington.

Academic awards for Salwa’s research include winning the Society of the History of Technology's (SHOT) Joan Cahalin Robinson Prize (2022) for her paper-presentation of “Digital Databases: Colonial Legacies Reinscribed in Technologies.” She was awarded first place in the NYU Steinhardt Research and Showcase Competition (2022) for her doctoral dissertation. Her paper "Law and Digitality: Tracing Modern Epistemologies and Power" won the Asian Journal of Law and Society's Best Paper award in the Graduate Student Paper Competition (2021). Salwa was awarded the Certificate of Distinction as the Doctoral Student Speaker at the NYU, Steinhardt doctoral commencement ceremony (2024).

Grants and awards for her research include the Mellon-SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF), NYU Digital Humanities Fellowship, NYU Global Research Initiative Fellowship, and American Institute of Bangladesh Studies: Graduate Student Fellowship. Salwa was also awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award (2024) by NYU as well as Outstanding Service to the Department Award (2024).


Selected Publications:

“Neocolonial Digitality: Analyzing Digital Legal Databases Using Legal Pluralism,” Asian Journal of Law and Society (2023), 1-34