Dr. Simmons is Associate Professor in Gender and Women's Studies and Honors Interdisciplinary Faculty at the University of Arizona. His research is highly interdisciplinary; employing theoretical, legal, and empirical methods to study social justice and human rights issues.
His recent book, Human Rights Law and the Marginalized Other (Cambridge UP, 2011) examines the potential for reinvigorating human rights law from the perspectives of marginalized peoples. It included in-depth analyses of a wide range of cases such as indigenous rights in Canada, the headscarf affairs in France and Turkey, the right to mental health in The Gambia, and the rights of adivasis confronting the building of the Sardar Sarovar dam in India.
From 2008 to 2010 Dr. Simmons mentored Chinese human rights professors and activists in interdisciplinary research methodologies as part of a joint initiative of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute in Sweden and the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. This project resulted in a book that he co-edited with Todd Landman and Rhona Smith entitled Human Rights in Our Time: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (originally published in Chinese).
With Carol Mueller he has edited Localizing Human Rights: The U.S.-Mexico Experience (forthcoming from Penn). With Michelle Téllez, he has researched sexual violence against migrant women and children. He has also published two law review articles and a book chapter on the femicides in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. And, in November 2010, he was invited to give presentations and engage in high-level talks with the Rafto Symposium in Bergen, Norway at the occasion of awarding Bishop Vera of Saltillo, Mexico the Rafto Human Rights Prize.
He has served as a consultant on human rights and social justice issues in The Gambia (West Africa), China, Mexico and the United States. While at Arizona State University, Dr. Simmons led the development and implementation of an innovative MA program in Social Justice and Human Rights that features a community-embedded, globally engaged, and learner-centered curriculum. He was also the lead coordinator of his campus’ signature annual Border Justice event as well as the organizer of numerous other social justice symposia.