Bahira Sherif Trask

Chair, Professor


111 Alison Hall West


(302) 831-8187



  • Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
  • B.A., Political Science, Yale University
Curriculum Vitae

Course Taught or Developed:

  • HDFS 202: Diversity and Families
  • HDFS 333: Development of Relationships
  • HDFS 855: Topics in Family Studies
  • HDFS 860: Diversity in Families and Human Development


My current research focuses on the relationship between family change, growing family complexity and globalization in Western and non-Western contexts, which I discussed at TEDxWilmington.  I also spoke at the TedXWilmingtonWomen event in 2016 on the topic of work life balance. Primarily I concentrate on how economic transformations are impacting gender roles and family change, how concepts of race, ethnicity and gender are changing through globalizing influences, and what kind of policies can assist and strengthen low income families. The April 2014 edition of UDMessenger featured an article exploring my recent work. I also have an interest in intergenerational relationships and workforce development for the 21st century. In April 2017, I delivered a keynote address at a UN meeting on Intergenerational relations in an ageing world. Over the last four years I have been invited to participate in a series of United Nations conferences where I have presented on these issues at expert group meetings (EGM) in various countries around the world. See for instance the expert group meeting in May 2016 on Family Policies and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda,  2015 Expert Group Meeting on Social Development and the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the 2014 Expert Group Meeting in Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the family which was convened in Mexico City, Mexico. My work on gender equality, working families was cited in the UN Secretary-General’s report on on the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Year of the Family. My involvement with the UN is examined in a February 2014 UDaily article and my presentation at the 2014 United Nations conference in Qatar is highlighted in another UDaily article. In June 2014, I was also invited to participate in the White House Summit on Working Families and in January 2015, I was awarded NCFR’s prestigious fellow designation, covered by this UDaily article. In the January 2017 issue of the NCFR Policy Brief, I discussed family-friendly workplace policies and how they can benefit both employees and businesses. For my perspective on the transformation of American families and the stagnation of social policies, see my editorial piece in the September 2015 Delaware’s News Journal.

I have authored and edited a number of books in the area of family change and globalization including Women, Work and Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities (2014), Globalization and Families: Accelerated Systemic Social Change (Springer, 2010), Personal Relationships (Cognella, 2011), Cultural Diversity and Families: Expanding Perspectives (Sage, 2007), and The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women’s Issues Worldwide, vol. 4 (Greenwood, 2003).

Much of my scholarship has been informed through participation on a number of national and community based research projects that focus on strengthening low-income families. Over the last five years I have worked with the Blueprints Initiative Delaware, a program funded through the Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and the Jesse Ball DuPont organization. Blueprints is a revitalization program that is supporting 8 Delaware communities.   I am also very involved with NCFR, the umbrella organization for scholars and practitioners who work in the family field. In the fall of 2014 I was invited to give the opening keynote address for the organization and I serve as a representative of NCFR to the United Nations NGO on the family. My involvement with Blueprints and NCFR reflects my belief that academics need to apply their scholarly knowledge in order to improve the lives of individuals and families.

In addition to my scholarly and community based work, I teach a wide range of undergraduate and graduate classes, including the introductory course to the major, Diversity and Families. My ultimate goal in teaching is to inspire students to become passionate about the material they are studying, to recognize that we all are part of a global community, and to become independent, reflective, life long learners.

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