Advancing Anti-disciplinary Transnational Feminisms

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Richa Nagar first came to the University of Minnesota in 1989, as a Ph.D. student in Geography and a fellow in the MacArthur Program for Peace and International Cooperation (now, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change) during that program’s inaugural year. She worked with Susan Geiger and Philip Porter as her co-advisors, and with Eric Sheppard, Helga Leitner, Ron Aminzade, and Prabhakara Jha as her committee members as she undertook her feminist ethnographic and archival research in Tanzania and wrote her dissertation, Making and Breaking Boundaries: Identity Politics among South Asian Communities in Postcolonial Dar es Salaam (1995). After spending two years as Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Nagar returned to the University of Minnesota in 1997 to join the faculty of the Department of Women’s Studies (now Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies) as it prepared to launch its Ph.D. program in Feminist Studies in 1998 under the chairship of Jacquelyn Zita, with Mary Jo Maynes serving as the program’s first Director of Graduate Studies. Nagar and Amy Kaminsky served as co-Directors of Graduate Studies after Maynes, and Nagar co-advised with Kaminsky, UMN Feminist Studies’ first Ph.D. graduate, Amanda Swarr (now a professor at the University of Washington-Seattle). With Swarr, Nagar also published several works including the article, "Dismantling Assumptions: Interrogating “Lesbian” Struggles for Identity and Survival in India and South Africa" in SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (29:2:491-516, 2014) and the co-edited volume, Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis (SUNY Press, 2010).