Assistant Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies
Fumilayo Showers joins UConn as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Africana Studies Institute. Her research focuses on the study of U.S. immigration; immigrant labor and entrepreneurship; the organization of long-term health care; and the reproduction of race, class, and gender inequality. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Ethnic and Racial Studies, International Affairs, and the International Journal of Care and Caring. Her work has also been published as book chapters in edited volumes.
Showers’ current book project, Immigrants Who Care: West Africans in the U.S. Long Term Care Industry, chronicles the lived experiences of African immigrants as direct care workers as well as labor brokers in health care provision in the U.S. Through an examination of immigration and health care funding policies in the United States; racialized demands in the health and domestic care industries; as well the social networks, businesses, and communities formed by African immigrants, she unearths the creation of an ethnic niche of employment in health care by African immigrants. Another line of research that examines migration aspirations among college students enrolled in medical and nursing schools in Ghana, West Africa, has been funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York through its African Diaspora Fellowship Program.
Showers completed her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in sociology at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA.
Q&A with Fumilayo Showers
What are your research interests?
My current central research project examines African immigrants as direct care workers in U.S health care institutions. I am also interested in migration aspirations among young college students.
How did you become interested in this type of work?
My interest in migration comes from my background. I moved to the U.S when I was 18. My interest in immigrant labor and health care was sparked by observing the struggles of members of my family.
What courses will you be teaching this year?
I will teach Sociology of Health and Intersections of Race, Gender and Work.
What drew you to UConn?
I was thrilled to join a research university with a commitment to and support for research innovation. My position, which is a joint position, allows me to be part of two great intellectual communities. I was also excited by the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborations, and for the opportunity to work with graduate students and to continue to engage undergraduates.