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Salwa Hoque

Visiting Fellow

Salwa engages with theoretical frameworks from political theory, digital media studies, and legal anthropology. Her dissertation – Law and the Digital: Data and Justice in the Global South – explores how digitizing law is a politicized process that is tied to modern epistemic frameworks and practices. She conducts a comparative analysis of urban secular state courts and rural Islamic/customary non-state courts (shalish) in Bangladesh to demonstrate how the construction of digital databases and the use of legal automation (AI Judges) can produce outcomes that are detrimental for marginalized communities in postcolonial states in the Global South.

Salwa is a recipient of the Mellon-SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship (IDRF). She is a Visiting Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and a Research Fellow at Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). 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). The paper explores how the construction of digital databases can prejudice against women in rural Bangladesh and distort or erase their socio-legal realities and standpoints. Her presentation based on this paper won first place in the NYU Steinhardt Research and Showcase Competition.

She holds a Master of Arts in South Asia Studies (concentrations: Political Theory and History) from Columbia University. Her M.A. thesis explores how the meaning(s) and development of secularism in Bangladesh is complex, and explains why the concept cannot be treated as a universal category – both in theory and in praxis. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and English (Honors) from the University of Washington.

Salwa is the lead instructor for several courses at NYU: Global Media and International Law; Theory of the Digital; Rise of Internet Media; Media Audience