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Pavithra Vasudevan


CWGS Core Teaching FacultyPh.D., 2018, Geography, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Assistant Professor in CWGS and AADS
Pavithra Vasudevan

Contact

Biography


Pavithra Vasudevan is an Assistant Professor with the Department of African & African Diaspora Studies and the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies, and a faculty member of the University of Texas Feminist Geography Research Collective. Her scholarship and teaching are concerned with how racialized peoples and landscapes are devalued in capitalism and the abolitional possibilities of collective struggle. As a critical and feminist geographer, her work examines structural oppression through the embodied experiences, everyday lives and political practices of communities threatened by hazardous environments.

Dr. Vasudevan earned her Ph.D. in Geography in 2018 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She was awarded dissertation fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Society of Women Geographers, and the Center for the Study of the American South. She received the Graduate Education Advancement Board’s Impact Award for her research on the racialized burden of toxicity in the aluminum company town of Badin, North Carolina. Her approach to engaged scholarship is rooted in Critical Performance Ethnography, utilizing arts-based methods to develop collaborations with affected communities. Her book manuscript in progress, Exposing Aluminum: Death and Desire in Racial Capitalism, centers Black feminist and decolonial theory in examining the lived experiences of workers and their communities who constitute the global production network of aluminum.

Dr. Vasudevan is particularly interested in collective knowledge production that bridges critical thought and political organizing. Her work is deeply informed by her background in community organizing, as well as lifelong study of movement practices, including Bharata Natyam and Odissi dance forms, the martial art of Aikido, and yoga. Prior to graduate school, Dr. Vasudevan worked in New York City for seven years as a professional dancer, and developed programs and curricula for high school youth.

Dr. Vasudevan has published in Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography(forthcoming), Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Area, and Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts. In addition, she co-edited a special issue on “Race, Biopolitics and the Future” in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space and has co-authored chapters for the Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice and the Routledge International Handbook of Gender and Feminist Geographies.

Courses


WGS 305 • Intro To Women's & Gender Stds

44730 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 2.128
CD

Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that asks critical questions about the relationships between sex, gender, society, and our own experiences as political acts. In this course, students will come to understand key differences between sex, gender, and sexuality; define feminism both broadly and personally, particularly in relationship to race, class, and other intersectional aspects of identity; learn about queer and trans histories and experiences; explore women’s experiences in international contexts; and investigate the body and its representation as a way to uncover gender norms and expectations. We will also discuss and write about recent social controversies (such as bathroom legislation, bias incidents, the exclusion of groups from the Women’s March on Washington) as moments that reveal and critique the cultural codes of gender. An emphasis will be placed on self-identified women, LGBTQA+ individuals, and people of color.

WGS 340 • Race/Capitalism/Environment

45624 • Spring 2019
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM PAR 306
CDGC (also listed as AFR 372C, GRG 356T)

Please check back for updates.

WGS 393 • Feminst Geopol: Race/Empire

45747 • Spring 2019
Meets W 2:00PM-5:00PM CAL 221

Interdisciplinary topics relating to Women's and Gender Studies.  Seats restricted to WGS MA and Portfolio students during early registration.  Check cross-listings for home departments and originating field of study.

WGS 305 • Intro To Women's & Gender Stds

46000 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.134
CD

Women’s and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that asks critical questions about the relationships between sex, gender, society, and our own experiences as political acts. In this course, students will come to understand key differences between sex, gender, and sexuality; define feminism both broadly and personally, particularly in relationship to race, class, and other intersectional aspects of identity; learn about queer and trans histories and experiences; explore women’s experiences in international contexts; and investigate the body and its representation as a way to uncover gender norms and expectations. We will also discuss and write about recent social controversies (such as bathroom legislation, bias incidents, the exclusion of groups from the Women’s March on Washington) as moments that reveal and critique the cultural codes of gender. An emphasis will be placed on self-identified women, LGBTQA+ individuals, and people of color.


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  • Center for Women's & Gender Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    Burdine Hall 536
    2505 University Avenue, A4900
    Austin, Texas 78712
    512-471-5765