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Glenda Dickerson Collegiate Professor of Women's Studies;Professor of Women's Studies;Professor of Political Science
Office Location(s): 1122 Lane Hall734.763.2047
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Leela Fernandes studies the relationship between politics and culture through both qualitative empirical research and theoretical scholarship. Her research examines the ways in which cultural meanings, practices and identities shape political behavior and deepen our explanations of political conflicts and processes. She has pursued this research agenda through extensive field research on labor politics, democratization and the politics of economic reform in India. Her focus on identity, culture and politics has led her to work extensively on qualitative and interdisciplinary methods including ethnographic and interpretive methods.
A central dimension of Professor Fernandes' research is the study of gender in shaping cultural, economic and political processes. She has worked on theories of intersectionality and has also examined the gendered dimensions of nationalism and transnationalism. An ongoing foundation of Professor Fernandes' research is the study of social inequality with a particular emphasis on researching and theorizing class identity and inequality.
Leela Fernandes is currently working on two projects. She is completing a book on transnational feminism and interdisciplinary feminist theory. This work uses an analysis of the paradigm of transnational feminism to examine the relationship between ethics, politics and knowledge production and to analyze the project of interdisciplinarity. The second project is concerned with developing a historical and philosophical understanding of the relationship between religion, social movements and the state through a study of caste and the politics of religious conversion in India.
Professor Fernandes previously taught at Rutgers University, New Brunswick and Oberlin College and is currently the South Asia Editor of the journal Critical Asian Studies.
Center for South Asian Studies
School of Social Work Building1080 S. University Ave.Suite 3603
Ann Arbor, MI