Cheryl Llewellyn faculty bio headshot photo

Cheryl Llewellyn, Ph.D.

Chair, Associate Professor

College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Dugan Hall - 2nd Floor


Gender, sexuality, migration, qualitative methods


  • Ph.D.: Sociology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, 2015, Dissertation: "Deciding What Counts as Persecution: An Analysis of Gender and Sexual Orientation Asylum Cases in the United States," 2015
  • M.A.: Sociology, American University Washington, DC, 2007
  • B.A.: Sociology, Stonehill College Easton, Mass., Summa Cum Laude, 2006


Cheryl Llewellyn, Ph.D., joined the faculty at UMass Lowell in 2015. Her work lies at the intersection of gender, sexuality, and migration, including three primary lines of inquiry: legal barriers for gender and sexual minorities accessing the U.S. asylum system; the everyday experiences of trauma and violence produced by the asylum application process for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) claimants; and the impact of media representations of refugee populations on U.S. politics. 

Her research has been published in Sexuality Research & Social Policy, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, and Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. In 2017, she co-edited a special issue of American Behavioral Scientist on the state of gender and migration studies across the disciplines. When she isn't teaching or writing, she is spending time with her rescue dog, Bell.

Selected Publications

  • Llewellyn, Cheryl. 2021. "Captive while waiting to be free: Legal violence and LGBTQ asylum applicant experiences in the United States." Sexuality Research & Social Policy. 18: 202-212. 
  • Llewellyn, Cheryl, Kyrie Kowalik, and Zayna Basma. 2020. "Receptive of Restrictive: A Comparative analysis of local refugee news coverage in the United States." Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies. Online First. 
  • Llewellyn, Cheryl. 2020. "(In)credible Violence: An analysis of post-Alvarado domestic violence asylum cases in the United States." Journal of Women, Politics, and Policy. 41(2): 170-193. 
  • Llewellyn, Cheryl. 2017. "Sex Logics: Biological essentialism gender-based asylum cases." American Behavioral Scientist. 61(10): 1119-1133. 
  • Donato, Katharine M., Laura E. Enriquez, and Cheryl Llewellyn. 2017. "Frozen and Stalled: Gender and migration scholarship in the 21st century." American Behavioral Scientist. 61(10): 1079-1085.