College of Social Sciences Affiliations

Department of Ethnic Studies (ES)

  • Professor - Department Chair
  • Building/Office: George Hall 306
  • Phone: 956-2914
  • Fax: 956-9494

Department of Women's Studies (WS)

  • Professor
  • Building/Office: George 306
  • Phone: 956-2914

Non-College Affiliations

Center for South Asian Studies


PhD in Sociology

I joined UHM in 2002 as a joint appointment in Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies. Currently, I am also serving as the director of the Center for South Asian Studies. I received my PhD in Sociology at Brandeis University.

My involvement with various types of social justice movements in the United States, and my life as a migrant are central to my academic work. I study cross-border migration and migrant-led social justice movements. I bring a critical and feminist transnational perspective to these areas of specialization.

In Honolulu, I work closely with UNITE HERE! Local 5 and the Hawaii Coalition for Immigration Reform. During my time in the Boston area, I was a core member of South Asian Women for Action, which worked in alliance with local Asian American women's and domestic violence groups on a number of issues confronting South Asian immigrants. My involvement with these group were formative and has fueled the kind of research I do.

I grew up in Kolkata, India, where I did my undergraduate degree in Geography, and worked for a few years as a journalist. To learn more about my research and teaching, visit:


My areas of specialization are migration, transnationalism, labor, race relations in the United States, and social movements. I approach each of these areas from a transnational feminist perspective and my research methods are qualitative. I am currently working on a book project about the evolution of the immigrant rights movement since 2006. I am particularly interested in anti-deportation activism and direct action spearheaded by undocumented immigrant youth.


Fall 2015- WS/ES 390, Gender and Race in U.S. Society

I advise Asian Studies MA students who have an interest in South Asia.


WS 390 (Fall 2015) : Gender and Race in U.S. Society - Download
  Cross Listed: ES 390
   Course Website

ES 101 (Fall 2014) : Introduction to Ethnic Studies - Download
   Course Website

ES 390 (Spring 2014) : Gender and race in U.S. Society - Download
  Cross Listed: WS 390

WS 390 (Spring 2011) : Gender & Race in U.S. Society - Download
  Cross Listed: ES 390
   Course Website

ES 390 (Spring 2010) : Gender and Race in U.S. Society - Download
  Cross Listed: WS 390
   Course Website

ES 318 (Fall 2009) : Asian American Survey - Download
  Cross Listed: AMST
   Course Website

WS 390 (Fall 2009) : Gender and Race in U.S. Society - Download
  Cross Listed: ES
   Course Website

ES 101 (Spring 2008) : Introduction to Ethnic Studies - Download
  Section: 001
   Course Website

ES 390 (Spring 2008) : Gender and Race in US Society - Download
  Section: 001
  Cross Listed: WS 390
   Course Website

ES 339 (Fall 2007) : South Asian Migrants: Culture and Politics - Download
  Cross Listed: WS 339
   Course Website

ES 418 (Fall 2007) : Women and Work - Download
  Cross Listed: WS and Soc 418
   Course Website


"Don't Deport Our Daddies": Gendering State Deportation practices and Immigrant Organizing (2014) : Gender & Society 28(1): 83-105.

Abstract: New York based Families For Freedom (FFF) is among a handful of organizations that directly organize deportees and their families. Analyzing the organization’s resignification of criminalized men of color as caregivers, I argue that current deportation policies and practices reorganize care work and kinship while tying gender and sexuality to national belonging. These policies and practices severely compromise the ability of migrant com- munities to socially reproduce themselves. Furthermore, the convergence of criminaliza- tion and immigration enforcement renders the kinship ties of deportable men illegible, and justifies their separation from their loved ones. Since FFF publicly supports men with criminal convictions, it reveals that its members become targets of deportation precisely because they do not and cannot conform to heteronormative prescriptions.

  Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals
  Keywords: Anti-deportation organizing, Immigration Policy, Heteronormativity

"Imperial Plantations: Past and Present" (2010)
  Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals
  Co-Authors: Piya Chatterjee and Richard C. Rath

"Mexicans in Hawaii: Recent Flows and the Community’s Problems and Prospects" (2010)
  Type: Internal reports and other unpublished work

"Solidarity Work in Transnational Feminism: The Question of Class and Location (2009) : In Activist Scholarship: Radical Praxis and Emancipatory Knowledge edited by Julia Sudbury and Margo Okazawa-Rey. Boulder, Paradigm Publishers
  Type: Book Chapter
  Co-Authors: Linda Carty
  Keywords: Transnational Feminism

"Rights in a Transnational Era." (2008) : In Immigrant Rights in the Shadows of United States Citizenship edited by Rachel Ida Buff. New York: New York University Press
  Type: Book Chapter
  Keywords: Immigrant Rights, Civil Rights, Indigenous Sovereignty

"Rethinking South Asian Diaspora Studies" (2007) : Cultural Dynamics 19 (2-3):125-140.
  Type: Article
  Co-Authors: Gupta, Charu and Teaiwa, Katerina

Margins and Migration in South Asian Diasporas (2007) : Cultural Dynamics 19 (2-3).
Articles by:
Aisha Khan, Paula Richman, Katerina Teaiwa, Mohit Prashad (poems),Charu Gupta,Sharmila Rudrappa, S. Charusheela, Minal Hajratwala, and Brij Lal.
  Type: Journal: Special Issue
  Co-Authors: Gupta, Charu and Teaiwa, Katerina

Unruly Immigrants: Rights, Activism, and Transnational South Asian Politics in the United States (2006) : Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press
  Type: Book

“Bewildered? Women’s Studies and the War on Terror.” (2006) : In Interrogating Imperialism: Conversations on Gender, Race, and War edited by Naeem Inayatullah and Robin Riley. New York: Palgrave/Macmillan.

“Domestic Workers” and “Hate Crimes.” (2006) : Keywords of Contemporary America/Gendai Amerika no Kiiwaado edited by Mari Yoshihara and Yujin Yaguchi. Tokyo: Chuo Koron Shinsha.
  Type: Encyclopedia Entries

“Of Hardship and Hostility: The Impact of 9/11 New York City Taxi Drivers” (2005) : In Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11 edited by Nancy Foner. New York: Russell Sage Books.

“A View of Post-9/11 Justice from Below.” (2004) : Peace Review 16(2): 141-48.

“The Neoliberal State and the Domestic Workers’ Movement in New York City.” (2003) : Canadian Woman Studies 22 (3/4): 78-85.

“‘What is Indian about You?’: A Gendered, Transnational Approach to Ethnicity.” (1997) : Gender & Society 11(5): 572-596

Awards & Honors

Chancellor's Citation for Meritorious Teaching (2013)

Association of Asian American Studies (2008) : Best Book in Social Sciences

American Sociological Association Section on Asia and Asian America (2008) : Co-winner of Book Award