UMass Boston

Cinzia Solari

Grad Prog Dir/Assoc Professor
Wheatley Hall Floor 04

Areas of Expertise

Feminist intersectional theory; gender and migration; carework; transnational nation-state building; post-Soviet transformation; globalization and neoliberal capitalism; social theory; global ethnography; nonbinary and transgender kids. Regional expertise: Ukraine and the former Soviet Union, Italy and Europe, the United States.


PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

View Professor Solari's Curriculum Vitae

Go to Professor Solari's website

Follow Professor Solari on Twitter: @CinziaDSolari and #ShouldersOfGrandmothers

Current Research

Cinzia D. Solari is an Associate Professor of Sociology at UMass Boston. Her current grant-funded research focuses on nonbinary and transgender students to better understand how they navigate high school.

Her first book, On the Shoulders of Grandmothers: Gender, Migration, and Post-Soviet Nation-State Building, won the 2020 Best (Komarovsky) Book Award of the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS). Through in-depth interviews and ethnographic work with migrant grandmothers caring for the elderly in Italy and California and their adult children in Ukraine, Shoulders of Grandmothers shows that post-Soviet Ukrainian nation-state-building is occurring transnationally. By comparing the experiences of individual migrants in two different migration patterns—one a post-Soviet “exile” of individual women to Italy and the other an “exodus” of families to the United States—Solari exposes the production of new gendered capitalist economics and nationalisms that precariously place Ukraine between Europe and Russia with implications for the global world order. This is a must-read for those also interested in the larger context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Her second book with co-author Smitha Radhakrishnan, The Gender Order of Neoliberalism, is forthcoming in 2023 with Polity Press. In it, they argue that our western understandings of neoliberalism do not travel well because we have only acknowledged one of neoliberalism’s pre-histories, liberalism, and we must recover socialism and post-colonialism as part of the historical transnational networks that “cooked up” neoliberalism and our current world order. Placing three world regions in conversation—the US, the former Soviet Union, and South and Southeast Asia—reveals that gender is foundational to making the neoliberal global order work. The erasure of collective transnational organizing, and particularly the erasure of the Soviet Union from our collective knowledge, has made it seem there is nothing outside neoliberalism. The authors show that templates for feminist imaginings of an anti-capitalist, anti-racist world already exist and must be recovered to create a fairer future.

Solari is a first-gen scholar. She earned a B.A. in History and Italian Studies from Brown University in 1997 and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010.