Dr. Devaleena Das

Photo of Devaleena Das

Professional title

Assistant Professor

Bio

Education 

Devaleena Das's intellectual and pedagogical  labor focuses on transnational analysis of of gender, sexuality, and race  across the borders of cultures, bodily diversities, disciplines and geographical locations. As a corporeal feminist theorist, Das's scholarship expands from her early Ph.D work (University of Calcutta, 2012) on feminist studies of diverse female bodies in  postcolonial space as reflected in Australian women's writing to her later transnational analysis of female desires, body and sexuality ranging from Iran to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, China and Japan. In 2019, she was awarded the Faculty of Education and Humanities Visiting Fellowship at University of Newcastle, Australia to conduct her research on corporeal feminism in  Aboriginal women's art and dance, interact with Ph.D scholars regarding transnational feminist research methodologies, and for bridging academic collaboration between UMD and UoN.  Earlier, she was also awarded a Foreign Endowment Fellowship (2009) at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. Before joining UMD in 2018, she served as Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at Delhi University  (2012-14), completed  her postdoctoral research on corporeal feminism at University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014-17) and was also a lecturer of transnational feminist studies at Northern Arizona University (2017-18). Her pedagogical concern in classroom teaching is to demarginalize feminist praxis, by challenging the narrow dichotomies of academia vs activism, theory vs method, and individualism vs collaboration.

Research and Publications

Dr. Das's  research explores how and why we need to move beyond corporeal paradigms of fragmentation versus wholeness; biology versus technology; and individual versus collective cultural identity of the body. Central to her work is how to liberate corporeality from the asymmetric political and intellectual constraints of corporeal theory in Eurocentric mainstream feminist and queer studies. Das has also delivered various invited lectures, plenary and keynote addresses on transnational feminism(s)  and corporeal politics in Australia, India and America. Writing across transdisciplinary fields, her scholarship spans several geographical and cultural boundaries and her articles have been published in several peer-reviewed journals including Hecate, Families, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, among others. Four of her published books include 

  • Critical Study of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (Atlantic Publishers, 2014)
  • Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: Critical Perspectives (Pencraft International, 2016)
  • Claiming Space: Australian Women’s Writing (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  • Unveiling Desire: Fallen Women in Literature, Culture, and Films of the East (Rutgers University Press, 2018)

Her current book project Anatomophilia: A Transnational Approach to Liberation of the Body  aims to explore various feminist creative, alternative, and innovative strategies of representation of bodies and body parts in 21st century feminist and queer literature, visual art, dance and performances produced in Indigenous Australia, North America, France, Iran, Serbia, and South Asia that subvert the whole-fragmented debate about body.

Dr. Das is currently the editorial Board Member of Hecate: an interdisciplinary journal of women's liberation and serves as an external examiner of Ph.D dissertations related to gender studies at University of Queensland, Brisbane. 

Areas of Focus

  • Transnational Feminism(s) and Sexuality Studies
  • Corporeal Feminism
  • Feminist Research and Methodologies
  • Feminist Studies of Race and Postcolonialism
  • Migration and Diaspora Studies 
  • Gender and Terrorism
  • Religion and Sexuality 
  • Australian and South Asian Literary and Cultural Studies 
  • Medical Humanities

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Transnational Feminism(s)
  • Women, Race and Class
  • Feminist Theory 
  • Feminist and Queer Methods and Methodologies 
  • Transnational Perspectives of Gender, Body and Corporeal Feminism
  • Gender, Women and Cultural Representation
  • Inscribing the Body Through Life Narratives of Women
  • Women in Cross Societal Perspectives
  • Religion, Gender and Sexuality
  • Introduction to Women’s Studies
  • Women and Films
  • Advanced Seminar and Capstone Course

Webpage: http://devi-anatomophilia.space/