Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
aas masthead
Sharmila Rudrappa, Director BUR 480, Mailcode A2200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6427

Sharmila Rudrappa

Associate Professor Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sharmila Rudrappa

Contact

Biography

Sharmila Rudrappa, a South-Asian-American Studies Scholar, is also a sociologist who specializes in gender and immigration issues. Her book, Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship (Rutgers University Press, 2004), is an ethnography of a shelter for battered South Asian American women, and a cultural organization in Chicago. The book contextualizes immigrant race politics within the larger cultural turn we see in the sphere of American politics in the late 20th century. A companion article, "Radical Caring In An Ethnic Shelter: South Asian American Women Workers At Apna Ghar, Chicago," was recently published in Gender and Society.

At present, Dr. Rudrappa is working on how globalization affects the social rights of citizenship. Her project is tentatively titled "Techno-Braceros, Indian Mothers and Other Such Phenomena: Conceiving Citizenship in 21st Century United States." She was in India during the summer 2003 conducting preliminary research for the project. She was a recipient of the Humanities Institute Fellowship for the fall 2003.

Courses Taught:

  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 340: Asian American Issues: Family Politics
  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 340: South Asian American Experience -W
  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 340: South Asians in the U.S.: Race/Work/Family
  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 322: Special Topic in Race: Nation/Citizen

Current Research Projects:

Dr. Rudrappa is currently working on two research projects: Indian information technology/immigrants in the U.S., and the cultural politics of assisted reproductive technologies in India.

NIH Biosketch

Interests

Comparative Race and Ethnicity, Feminist Theory, Labor, Immigration, and Citizenship.

AAS 330 • Sociology Of Race And Work

36527 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CLA 1.106
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

Description

Asian American scholar Lisa Lowe notes that contrary to liberal and Marxian notions, labor is never abstract. Instead, individuals’ racial and gender characteristics deeply shape how labor markets emerge, the ways by which workers get slotted into the world of work, and how skills are evaluated. This perspective shapes the backbone of this undergraduate seminar, which is a critical examination of work over the 20th and 21st centuries through a gendered, racial lens. Jobs are gender segregated; men and women’s work is evaluated differently; and, women’s work—often as important as that of men—is remunerated at lower levels. And in all of this, race matters.

Note: The purpose of this course is to sociologically examine concepts such as labor markets, globalization, care work, sex work, and gender/ racial segregation of the work place. This course is cross-listed with Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies.

Tentative list of books to be used:

Rene Almeling, 2011. Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm.

Evelyn Nakanon Glenn, 2010. Forced to Care: Coercion and Caregiving in America.

Pamela Stone, 2008. Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit and Head Home.

Excerpts from books (tentative):

Judith Shklar, American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion

David Roediger, Wages of Whiteness.

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation.

Marx on alienated labor.

Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts. Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.

Documentary films to be watched in class (preliminary list; more to be included):

Arthur Dong, 1982. Sewing Woman.

Zippy Frank, 2009. Google Baby.

Sonali Gulati, Nalini by Day Nancy by Night

 Case studies examined in class (through articles/ book excerpts/ documentary films/ popular articles):

The Garment Industry

Care Work

Assignments:

Take home exams (two) 50%

Group presentations 30%

Student groups work on case studies (one industry or job type—teaching, lawyers, gynecology, construction, etc.), conduct library research, and present their racialized/ gendered analyses of the industry to the rest of the class. There is no paper requirement.

Class discussion 10%

AAS 330 • Feminist Theory

36045 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BIO 301
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 350 )
show description

Course description

While the words “race, Third World, or transnational” do not appear anywhere in this title, this introductory feminist theory undergraduate seminar is deeply comparative, tackling gender from a racialized, transnational perspective.

The readings are organized into “theme” modules. For example, we will start the semester through reading about testimony. The issues surrounding testimony are vast, but our focus is on what testimony means, under what conditions testimony is possible, and how does testimony tie to the possibilities for full citizenship for women? Over the course of the semester we will examine SIX themes to introduce fundamental feminist concepts such as the body, choice, motherhood, sexual violence, citizenship, rights and work. As you will see, these are particular theoretical/ political perspectives on the issues, and not the only way to approach them.

These readings are not meant to give you a comprehensive knowledge of feminism; instead, ours is only a partial investigation on gender with the aim of pushing you into thinking through the importance of feminist theory in research and social change on very specific issues; my hope is that you will extend these sorts of analyses into other realms of intellectual production, and everyday life.

Readings

1. Books:

Saba Mahmood, 2005. Politics of Piety: Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton University Press.

2. The reading package on Blackboard. Please bring print-outs to class for discussion purposes. This is a class REQUIREMENT.

 

 

AAS 330 • Sociology Of Race And Work

36070 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 134
(also listed as SOC 321K )
show description

 Description

This course is an exploration of how social characteristics of individuals—race, class, gender, sexuality, (dis)abilities —affect their capacities to enter specific labor markets. Over the course of the semester we will sociologically unpack what work means, the creation of labor markets, and finally, how race and employment are interrelated. Jobs are gender segregated; and in all of this, race matters. We will critically examine work over the 20th and 21st centuries through a gendered, racial lens to get at how race and gender work in the labor market. The purpose of this course is to sociologically examine concepts such as labor markets, globalization, care work, sex work, and gender/ racial segregation of the work place. This course is cross-listed with Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies.

The readings are organized around key questions/ issues, which form course modules. These course modules are the following:

1)    What is labor?

2)    What are labor markets?

3)    How are race, labor and citizenship tied?

4)    Gender and work

5)    Case study: Garment work

6)    Case study: Caring work

7)    Case study: Surrogacy

Readings

Course package

Grading and Requirement

Class attendance

Attendance to class is mandatory.  You may miss up to two classes, without affecting your grade.  Subsequently, for every class you miss your grade will fall by 1/2 a grade.  For example, if you miss four classes, you grade will change from an A to a B.

Participation: 20%

Four Short Papers: 80%

 

AAS 330 • Feminist Theory

35880 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 306
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

Course description

This undergraduate seminar in feminist theory is an introduction to the ways in which the body—that material reality of our lives— is conceptualized in the social sciences. We will read broadly, right from the deep suspicion of the body in Cartesian thought, which inaugurated the modern scientific method, to the re-birth of the body in social thought with Foucault. This course is not meant to be a comprehensive examination of the topic; instead, it is only a partial investigation with the aim of pushing you into thinking through the importance of feminist theory—so deeply engaged with the materiality of the body—to social theory. The bias in this course is that I am a sociologist, which informs my theoretical orientations.

 Tentative reading list :

1. Elizabeth Bernstein, Temporarily Yours

2. Patricia Hill Collins, Fighting Words

3. Arlie Hochschild, The Managed Heart: The Commercialization of Feeling

4. Michel Foucault, Discpline and Punish: Birth of the Modern Prison

5. Munoz, Cruising Utopia

6. Melissa Wright, Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism

Course Expectations And Grading

Class attendance: Attendance to class is mandatory.  You may miss up to two classes, without affecting your grade.  Subsequently, for every class you miss your grade will fall by 1/2 a grade.  For example, if you miss four classes, you grade will change from an A to a B.

Participation: 30%

Participation in class makes huge a difference. I encourage you to ask questions, express doubts, answer your classmates’ questions, and engage intellectually. I urge you to complete all readings so that we can have active participation. Our collective success this semester hinges on your individual participation; participation is crucial for not just your own learning experience, but also your classmates’ learning in the classroom.

Book reports (three): 30%

Final Paper: 40% (10% for paper outline) Your final paper, due at the end of the semester, is based on a topic that interests you. The expectation is not that you do extensive readings outside of the course; instead, the hope is that you will use the readings from class, and supplement that with at least two other books, and a few articles from peer-reviewed journals. Web sources may be used, but only for empirical purposes. Internet resources are generally not accepted for citation purposes (though there are exceptions).

AAS 330 • Sociology Of Race And Work

35885 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 136
(also listed as SOC 321K, WGS 322 )
show description

Description

Asian American scholar Lisa Lowe notes that contrary to liberal and Marxian notions, labor is never abstract. Instead, individuals’ racial and gender characteristics deeply shape how labor markets emerge, the ways by which workers get slotted into the world of work, and how skills are evaluated. This perspective shapes the backbone of this undergraduate seminar, which is a critical examination of work over the 20th and 21st centuries through a gendered, racial lens. Jobs are gender segregated; men and women’s work is evaluated differently; and, women’s work—often as important as that of men—is remunerated at lower levels. And in all of this, race matters.

Note: The purpose of this course is to sociologically examine concepts such as labor markets, globalization, care work, sex work, and gender/ racial segregation of the work place. This course is cross-listed with Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies.

Tentative list of books to be used:

Rene Almeling, 2011. Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm.

Evelyn Nakanon Glenn, 2010. Forced to Care: Coercion and Caregiving in America.

Pamela Stone, 2008. Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit and Head Home.

Excerpts from books (tentative):

Judith Shklar, American Citizenship: The Quest for Inclusion

David Roediger, Wages of Whiteness.

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation.

Marx on alienated labor.

Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts. Mae Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America.

Documentary films to be watched in class (preliminary list; more to be included):

Arthur Dong, 1982. Sewing Woman.

Zippy Frank, 2009. Google Baby.

Sonali Gulati, Nalini by Day Nancy by Night

 Case studies examined in class (through articles/ book excerpts/ documentary films/ popular articles):

The Garment Industry

Care Work

Assignments:

Take home exams (two) 50%

Group presentations 30%

Student groups work on case studies (one industry or job type—teaching, lawyers, gynecology, construction, etc.), conduct library research, and present their racialized/ gendered analyses of the industry to the rest of the class. There is no paper requirement.

Class discussion 10%

Publications

Publications

Dr. Rudrappa is completing “Braceros and Techno-Braceros: Foreign Workers in the United States, and the Commodification of Low Wage and High Wage Labor.” in Transnational South Asians: Identity, Culture, and Belonging in a Neo-Diaspora, edited by Susan Koshy and R. Radhakrishnan. Forthcoming from the Oxford University Press.

  • Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship. (Rutgers University Press, 2004).
  • “Law’s Culture and Cultural Difference,” In Body Evidence: Intimate Violence Against South Asian Women In America, edited by Shamita Das Dasgupta, (Rutgers University Press, 2007).
  • “The Efficacy of Legislative Measures in Addressing the Issues that Accompany Offshore Outsourcing,” Proceedings from the conference, “Working Borders:  Linking Debates about Insourcing and Outsourcing of Labor and Capital.” Texas International Law Journal, Vol. 40 (2005): 759-66.
bottom border