Profile

Anupama Rao has research and teaching interests in the history of anti-colonialism; gender and sexuality studies; caste and race; historical anthropology, social theory, and colonial genealogies of human rights and humanitarianism.

Her book, The Caste Question (University of California Press, 2009) theorizes caste subalternity, with specific focus on the role of anti-caste thought (and its thinkers) in producing alternative genealogies of political subject-formation through the vernacularization of political universals. She has also written on the themes of colonialism and humanitarianism, and on non-Western histories of gender and sexuality. Recent publications include: Discipline and the Other Body (Duke University Press, 2006); "Death of a Kotwal: Injury and the Politics of Recognition," Subaltern Studies XII; Violence, Vulnerability and Embodiment (co-editor, special issues of Gender and History, 2004), and Gender and Caste: Issues in Indian Feminism (Kali for Women, 2003).

Professor Rao is currently working on a book on the political thought of B. R. Ambedkar; as well as a project titled Dalit Bombay, which explores the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in colonial and postcolonial Bombay.

Rao received her BA, with honors, from the University of Chicago, and her Ph.D. from the interdepartmental program in anthropology and history at the University of Michigan.

She is co-convenor of a project on “Subaltern Urbanism,” supported by the Heyman Center for the Humanities, and by the project on “Women Creating Change,” hosted by Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference; co-convenor of a project supported by the Mellon Foundation and the International Institute of Asian Studies (Leiden), on “Asian Spatialities”; and Senior Editor, Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.