Hi, and welcome! My name is Shraddha Chatterjee, and my preferred pronouns are they/she. I am a Visiting Scholar in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Houston. Previously, I was a Vanier scholar in Gender, Feminist & Women’s Studies at York University, where I received my PhD and a diploma in Asian Studies in April 2023. At York University, I was a graduate associate at the Centre for Feminist Research and York Centre for Asian Research.
At the University of Houston, I teach one core course on queer & trans* studies per semester, and am advancing the ideas of my award nominated dissertation, which asked two overarching questions — how LGBTQ support for Hindu nationalism manifests in contemporary India, and whether it can be understood through homonationalism, which has been the dominant framework for theorizing queer and trans* complicity with nationalism for over a decade. Based on ethnographic research, I demonstrated how Hindu nationalist sentiment has been mobilized alongside transnational and globalized notions of LGBTQ liberalism to construct a "legitimate" LGBTQ subject in India. At present, I am expanding the scope of this project by theorizing queer and trans* psycho-social attachments to majoritarian and fascist ideologies globally.
I began my academic journey with a Bachelors degree in Psychology Honours from Delhi University and then completed a Masters degree in Psychology at Ambedkar University Delhi. My desire to bring my education in conversation with society led me to briefly work in organizations offering low-cost mental health before I aligned myself with queer activisms across India. Lessons learned in the academy, mental health institutions, activist collectives, and protest sites brought me to an MPhil degree in Women’s & Gender Studies jointly offered by Ambedkar University Delhi and the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, during which I was a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) scholar.
After my MPhil, I taught undergraduate courses in Psychology as an Adjunct Faculty at Ambedkar University Delhi while working on my first book, Queer Politics in India (2018), which focuses on queer politics in India through the lens of lesbian suicides. At York University, I was a Teaching Assistant for a foundational course that introduces undergraduate students to Women’s & Gender Studies. In 2023, I designed and taught a course on 'Queer Feminisms' at Trent University. I have also worked on several Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded projects as a research assistant, and have delivered guest lectures and invited talks at other universities.
Besides long term research and engagement with queer and trans* life and politics, I have published in Transgender Studies Quarterly, on trans* politics in a postcolonial setting; in the Journal of Gender Studies, on the epistemology of crises; and in Annual Review of Critical Psychology, on gendered epistemologies of knowledge. My other publications have focused on ethnographic praxis, friendship as kinship, and the gendered nature of mental health. I occasionally write public facing essays for newsletters and news outlets like The Wire. I have also always contributed to the institutional life of the universities I have been a part of, and find these spaces to be great avenues for learning.
Broadly, my research and teaching interests include Queer and trans* of color critique; Global South activisms; transnational feminist and sexuality studies; South Asian studies; psychoanalysis; authoritarianism and nationalism; interdisciplinary research methods; anthropology and sociology; crisis theory; cultural studies; postcolonial theory.
I continue to conduct research, teach, and develop my academic interests with the belief that the role of education, specifically in the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences, is to help develop freedom of thought and promote lifelong curiosity with the intention of promoting social transformation — this has been my own journey as a student, and this is my goal as a teacher.
Please feel free to scroll through this website to learn more about my research, teaching, and work in the public humanities.