Anupama Rao, associate professor, has research and teaching interests in the history of anti-colonialism; gender and sexuality studies; caste and race; historical anthropology, social theory, and colonial genealogies of human rights and humanitarianism. Her book, The Caste Question (University of California Press, 2009) theorizes caste subalternity, with specific focus on the role of anti-caste thought (and its thinkers) in producing alternative genealogies of political subject-formation through the vernacularization of political universals. She has also written on the themes of colonialism and humanitarianism, and on non-Western histories of gender and sexuality. Professor Rao is currently working on a project titled Dalit Bombay, on the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in colonial and postcolonial Bombay.
Rao received her BA, with honors, from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from the interdepartmental program in anthropology and history at the University of Michigan.
Her work has been supported by grants from the ACLS; the American Institute for Indian Studies; the Mellon Foundation; the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the SSRC. She was a Fellow-in-Residence at the National Humanities Center from 2008-09, and a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford during 2010-11. In 2014-2015, she will be a fellow at REWORK (Humboldt University, Berlin).
She is co-convenor of a project on “Subaltern Urbanism,” supported by the Heyman Center for the Humanities, and by the project on “Women Creating Change,” hosted by Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference; co-convenor of a project supported by the Mellon Foundation and the International Institute of Asian Studies (Leiden), on “Asian Spatialities”’ and Senior Editor, Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Schools: Barnard College, School of the Arts