African and African Disapora Studies Department
African and African Disapora Studies Department

Natassja Gunasena


M.A., African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin, B.A., Minnesota State University Moorhead

Ph.D. Candidate
Natassja Gunasena

Contact

Interests


Queer afro-Asian femininities and the politics of beauty.

Courses


AAS 310 • Race, Immigration & Family

32150 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CMA 5.190
CD (also listed as AMS 315, WGS 301)

Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

Queer South Asian Feminisms: This class will interrogate the ways South Asian feminists conceptualize identity, belonging and sexuality within the context of nationalism, anti-blackness, colonialism, and diaspora. Through close-reading literary and theoretical texts, we will examine how nationalism constructs gender and femininity and the transformative potential of queer feminine desires. This class is designed as an introduction to key issues in South Asian feminist thought as well as how these feminisms interface with the larger project of women of color feminisms. Beginning with feminist perspectives on identity and the nation-state, we will consider what “queer” and “feminist” mean in the context of casteism, ethnic cleansing and forced migration. For the scope of this class, we will focus extensively on Sri Lanka and India and their diasporas. Some of the authors we look at include Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Shailja Patel, Ru Freeman and Gayatri Gopinath.

 

AAS 310 • Race, Immigration & Family

35985 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CMA 5.190
CD (also listed as WGS 301)

Flag: Culutural Diversity in the U.S.

Queer South Asian Feminisims This class will interrogate the ways South Asian feminists conceptualize identity, belonging and sexuality within the context of nationalism, anti-blackness, colonialism and diaspora. Through close-reading literary and theoretical texts, we will examine how nationalism constructs gender and femininity and the transformative potential of queer feminine desires. This class is designed as an introduction to key issues in South Asian feminist thought as well as how these feminisms interface with the larger project of women of color feminisms. Beginning with feminist perspectives on identity and the nation state, we will consider what “queer” and “feminist” mean in the context of casteism, ethnic cleansing and forced migration. For the scope of this class we will focus extensively on Sri Lanka and India and their diasporas. Some of the authors we look at include Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Shailja Patel, Ru Freeman and Gayatri Gopinath.

AAS 310 • Mixed Race Identities

35890 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.106
CD (also listed as AMS 315)

Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

What is “race,” and what does it mean to be “mixed”? What is the historical situation and tension of “mixing” in the United States, and why is it significant? What is the role of media in channeling fears, desires, and anxieties about “mixed” bodies? Why are “mixed race” bodies suddenly desirable and chic? This course is designed to provide students with language and critical tools to understand and discuss racial and ethnic representation in the United States. We will survey the history and evolving representations of race and ethnicity, with particular attention to the category of ‘mixedness’.  While a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches will be reviewed, critical and cultural studies approaches will be central. The course focuses on Asian American populations, with substantial attention to African American and Latino representations. In addition, there is significant emphasis on intersections of class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship with “mixedness” in racial formations. It carries the Cultural Diversity Flag.

 

Grade Breakdown

25%   Participation

20%   First research paper

15%   Quizzes

25%   Final research paper

15%   Blog posts and comments:

 

AAS 310 • Race, Immigration & Family

35805 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM GEA 127
CD (also listed as AMS 315, WGS 301)

Flag: Culutural Diversity in the U.S.

Queer South Asian Feminisims This class will interrogate the ways South Asian feminists conceptualize identity, belonging and sexuality within the context of nationalism, anti-blackness, colonialism and diaspora. Through close-reading literary and theoretical texts, we will examine how nationalism constructs gender and femininity and the transformative potential of queer feminine desires. This class is designed as an introduction to key issues in South Asian feminist thought as well as how these feminisms interface with the larger project of women of color feminisms. Beginning with feminist perspectives on identity and the nation state, we will consider what “queer” and “feminist” mean in the context of casteism, ethnic cleansing and forced migration. For the scope of this class we will focus extensively on Sri Lanka and India and their diasporas. Some of the authors we look at include Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Shailja Patel, Ru Freeman and Gayatri Gopinath.

Profile Pages