Rupaleem Bhuyan

Associate Professor; Ph.D. University of Washington
Phone Number: 
(416) 946-5085
Research Interests: 
  • Political Social Work & Anti-Oppression Practice
  • Globalization, Migration, Citizenship and Social Rights
  • Anti-violence Advocacy & Social Movements
  • Post-structural, Feminist, Critical Race, and Post-Colonial theories
  • Interpretive Methodologies & Participant Action Research

Rupaleem Bhuyan is an Associate Professor in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She is a second-generation immigrant of Assamese/Indian heritage. She was born and raised in the United States and has lived and worked in the U.S., France and Thailand.

Dr. Bhuyan has an interdisciplinary background in International Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Social Welfare. Dr. Bhuyan’s research integrates interpretive policy analysis and community-based participatory action research to address the sociocultural and political context of domestic violence, migration, citizenship and social rights. She completed her doctorate in Social Welfare at the University of Washington, where she took part in several community-based participatory research projects in areas of HIV and domestic violence prevention and intervention.

Dr. Bhuyan’s current research explores how political pressure to deny immigrant access to public benefits impacts their response to domestic violence and related health sequelae. Since 1991, Dr. Bhuyan has been part of the anti-violence movement as a peer-rape prevention educator, domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, community educator and community-based researcher. She has worked closely with indigenous, immigrant and refugee communities in addition to collaborations with advocates in organizations serving the general population.

Dr. Bhuyan is currently the principal investigator for the Migrant Mothers Project, a participatory action research project in collaboration with Mercedes Umaña from Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre. This project builds upon Dr. Bhuyan’s previous study of how violence against women shelters respond to women with different types of immigration status (2009-2010). This research is supported through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Standard Research Grant; an award from CERIS-The Ontario Metropolis Centre, and the Connaught New Researcher Award from the University of Toronto. See the Migrant Mothers Project website for more information.

Dr. Bhuyan teaches courses in the first and second year of the MSW program. First year courses include: Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations and Foundations in Social Work: Knowledge, Theory, and Values. She also teaches courses in the Social Justice and Diversity Stream including: Social Exclusion, Marginalization and Resistance and Globalization & Trans-nationalization: Social Work Responses Locally & Globally (click the hyperlinks to check out previous course blogs).

Book Chapters: 

Bhuyan, Rupaleem, Woochan Shim and Kavya Velagapudi (2010). Domestic Violence Advocacy with Immigrants and Refugees. In Lockhart, Lettie L. and Fran Danis (Eds.) Domestic Violence Mosaic: Culturally Competent Practice with Diverse Populations. Columbia University Press.

Bhuyan, Rupaleem (2007). Navigating Immigration, Gender, and Domestic Violence: Domestic Violence Advocacy with Work Visa Holders. In Shamita Das Dasgupta (Ed.) Body Evidence: Intimate Violence against South Asian Women in America. Rutgers University Press.

Publications In Refereed Journals: 

Bhuyan, R., Osborne, G., Cruz J.F.J (In press). “Once you arrive, se te sala todo” (everything is salted): Latina migrants’ struggle for “dignity and a right to life” in Canada. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies.

Bhuyan, R., Jeyapal, D. Sakamoto, I., and Ku, J. (2015). Branding ‘Canadian Experience’ in Immigration Policy: Nation-Building in a Neoliberal Era. Journal of International Migration and Integration. Advanced online publication. DOI: 10.1007/s12134-015-0467-4.

Lee, E. and Bhuyan, R. (2013). Negotiating within whiteness in cross cultural clinical encounters. Social Service Review, 87(1), 98-130.

Bhuyan, R. and Velagapudi, K. (2013) From One “Dragon Sleigh” to Another: Advocating for Immigrant Women Facing Violence in the Midwestern United States. Affilia,  28(1), 65-78.

Bhuyan, R. and Smith-Carrier, T (2012). Constructions of migrants’ rights in Canada: Is  subnational citizenship possible? Citizenship Studies, Vol. 16(2), pp. 203-221.

Bhuyan, R. (2012). Negotiating citizenship on the frontlines: How the devolution of Canadian  immigration policy shapes service delivery to women fleeing abuse.  Law & Policy, Vol.  3(2), pp. 211-236.

Park, Y. and Bhuyan, R. (2012). Whom should we serve? A discourse analysis of social  workers’ commentary on undocumented immigrants. Journal of Progressive Human  Services, Vol.  23(1), pp. 18-40.

Bhuyan, R., Park, Y. and Rundle, A. (2011). Linking practitioners’ attitudes towards immigrants  with their social work education Social Work Education: The International Journal.  Available online October 2011. DOI:10.1080/02615479.2011.621081

Park, Y., Bhuyan, R., Richards, C. and Rundle, A. (2011). U.S. Social Work Practitioners’  Attitudes towards immigrants and immigration: Results from an online survey. Journal of  Immigrant and Refugee Studies, Vol. 9(4), pp. 367-392.

Bhuyan, R. and Smith-Carrier, T. (2010). Precarious migratory status in Canada: Implications for Social Work and Social Services Delivery. Canadian Social Work Journal, Vol. 12(1), pp. 51-60. 

Bhuyan, R. (2010). Reconstructing citizenship in a global economy: How restricting immigrants from welfare undermines social rights for U.S. citizens. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. .  Vol.  38(2), pp.63-85.

Bhuyan, R. (2008). The Production of the “battered immigrant” in public policy and
domestic violence advocacy. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Vol. 23(2), pp. 153-170.

Walters, Karina L., Tessa Evans-Campbell, Jane M. Simoni, Theresa Ronquillo, and Rupaleem
(2006) “My spirit in my heart”: Identity Experiences and Challenges among American Indian Two-Spirit Women. Journal of Lesbian Studies, Vol. 10 (1/2), pp 125-149.

Bhuyan, Rupaleem and Kirsten Senturia (2005). Understanding domestic violence resource
utilization and survivor solutions among immigrant and refugee women: Introduction to the special issue. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(8), pp. 895-901.

Bhuyan, Rupaleem, Molly Mell, Kirsten Senturia, Marianne Sullivan, Sharyne Shiu-Thornton
(2005). “Women must endure according to their karma”: Cambodian immigrant women talk about domestic violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 20(8). pp. 902-921.

Sullivan, Marrianne, Rupaleem Bhuyan, Kirsten Senturia, Sharyne Shiu-Thornton, Sandy Ciske
(2005). Participatory action research in practice: A case study in addressing domestic violence in nine cultural communities. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 20(8), pp. 977-995.

Nurius, Paula S., Rebecca S. Macy, Rupaleem Bhuyan, Victoria L. Holt, Mary A. Kernic,
Frederick P. Rivara (2003). Contextualizing Depression and Physical Functioning in Battered Women: Adding Vulnerability and Resources to the Analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 18(12), pp. 1411(21).