Speaker Bios

Tithi Bhattacharya is a professor of South Asian History and the Director of Global Studies at Purdue University. She is the author of The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford University Press, 2005) and a long time activist for Palestinian justice. She writes extensively on Marxist theory, gender, and the politics of Islamophobia. Her work has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, South Asia Research, Electronic Intifada, Jacobin, Salon.com and the New Left Review. She is on the editorial board of Studies on Asia and the International Socialist Review.

She is currently working on two book projects.  She is editing a volume of essays on gender and labor, Mapping Social Reproduction Theory.  She is also writing a history of fear in colonial Bengal. Uncanny Histories maps the role Bengali ghosts and ghost stories have played in reconstituting “traditional” Indian religious thought and in bringing such thought into a new relationship with the science and religion of Europe.

Although she is a historian by training, she is an activist by choice.  She has been active in movements for social justice throughout her life, and in three continents. Last year Tithi was part of the organizing group for the March 8th Women’s Strike.

Rosemary Hennessy is the L. H. Favrot Professor of Humanities in English and the English Department Chair at Rice University She is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality which she directed from 2006-2015. Her publications include Fires on the Border: The Passionate Politics of Labor Organizing on the Mexican Frontera (2013), NAFTA From Below: Maquiladora Workers, Campesinos, and Indigenous Communities Speak Back (2006), Profit and Pleasure: Sexual Identities in Late Capitalism (2000), Materialist Feminism: A Reader in Class, Difference, and Women’s Lives (1997), and Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse (1993) as well as numerous essays and book chapters.

Her research and teaching interests include feminist theory, sexuality studies, US-Mexican border studies, affect theory, and twentieth and twenty-first century American literature. Her current research project, Radical Intimacies of a Forgotten Decade, considers the work of writers whose reportage and fiction of and about the 1930s challenges conventional understandings of time, labor, bio-regulation, eros, and love and have much to teach us about maintaining life in the 21st century.