Dr. Vanita Reddy’s second book project, Global Intimacies, explores the political possibilities and limitations for cross-racial political alliances from a queer, feminist perspective. Reddy goes beyond western socio-historical contexts to critique heteronormative and patriarchal frameworks that have remained dominant within comparative studies of race and migration. Her research connects global, large-scale social formations (e.g. human migration, capitalist expansion) to intimate, smaller social formations (e.g. the tactile and unseen, the erotic, the private, the body), arguing that the intimate can “more fully reveal political possibilities and limitations for challenging “the imperial legacies of racial separatism and insularity.”
Her 2015 article in Journal of Asian American Studies, “Afro-Asian Intimacies and the Politics and Aesthetics of Cross-Racial Struggle in Mira Nair’s Mississippi Masala,” develops some of the ideas in Reddy’s book. Reddy uses intimacy as a frame to critically examine South Asian American filmmaker Mira Nair’s 1991 groundbreaking film Mississippi Masala. The article argues that Nair’s film, which focuses on race relations between African Americans and Indian Americans in the US South, points to a set of intimacies between Black and Asian men that challenge heteronormative models of cross-racial alliance.
In Spring 2017, Reddy is teaching a graduate course cross-listed in English and Women’s and Gender Studies, ENGL 673: Global Intimacies. The course, like her book project of the same name, highlights relationships between racialized populations, colonial and late capitalist global migrations through the framework of the intimate. The course asks: How do we recognize intimacies (sexual and otherwise) that fall outside the bourgeois family? What is the impact of globalization on privatized notions of kinship? How do fractious intimacies between workers but also between workers and clients emerge through late global capitalist expansion? This course will appeal to students with interests in queer studies, globalization studies, women of color and non-western feminisms, critical race studies, film studies, anthropology, and literature.
Reddy is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is the 2016 recipient of the Aggie Allies Rainbow Award for Accountability, Climate, and Equity. Check out her first book Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Femininity, and South Asian American Culture here.