Devaleena Das

Associate Profesor, Department of Family Medicine, & Biobehavioral Health
Associate Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexualty Studies, College of Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences


Devaleena Das's intellectual and pedagogical labor focuses on transnational analysis of gender, sexuality, health, race, and human bodies across borders of cultures, disciplines and geography. Das earned a PhD in Australian Feminist and Aboriginal Studies from the University of Calcutta, M.A. in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Calcutta, and B.A from the University of Calcutta. Before joining UMD in 2018, she served as Assistant Professor at Delhi University (2012-14), worked on her postdoctoral research project at University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014-17) and was also a lecturer of transnational feminist studies at Northern Arizona University (2017-18). A body studies theorist, Das in her transdisciplinary research problematizes idealization of human biology and prioritization of individual choice influenced by technologies of race, gender, transnationality, medicalization and political economy.

Research Summary

Devaleena Das's research explores alternative theories of human bodies based on real life narratives, ethnography, field research, literature, art, religious myths, and performances to initiate an ethical and respectful understanding of marginalized bodies and contributes toward corporeal justices in healthcare system. She investigates the dilemma of transhumanism that brings in the hope to eliminate disease, aging and miseries, but also reduces corporeality to a “data body” or information profile in clinical practice and security surveillance. Das practice multidisciplinary methodologies: from traditional critical analysis of textual and visual narratives, oral history, ethnographical field research, to non-traditional autobiographical story-telling, experiential and applied learning, and creative participation. She endorses decolonizing methodologies by questioning invisible power structures in research findings between the researcher and researched; challenging Western Eurocentric regimes; critically thinking diverse perspectives; encouraging personal experiences as a resource for academic inquiries; and involving consciousness raising process that engenders creativity and results in transformative community praxis. Her area of research includes Body and Embodiment, Transnational Study of Public Health, Race and Sexuality, Medical Humanities, Queer Ecology, Critical Disability Studies, Feminist and Queer Research Methodologies, Migration and Diaspora Studies, New Materialism, Politics of Knowledge Formation, Aboriginal Feminism, and South Asian Cultural Studies

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

Das, Devaleena, Malalai Joya, A Transnational Feminist Perspective on the U.S. Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan: in Conversation with Malalai Joya John Hopkins University Press, 106-126.
Das, Devaleena, (Under contract with State University New York Press Anatomophilia: The Liberation of the Body State University New York Press,
Das, Devaleena, In Kama Maclean, and the editorial board of South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.Ar (Ed.), Taylor & Francis, 1019-1040. United States:
Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: Critical Perspectives Pencraft International,
Das, Devaleena, What Transnational Feminism(s) Has Not Disrupted Yet: Toward Quilted Epistemology Duke University Press, 240-266.
Das, Devaleena , Dasgupta, Sanjukta (eds, Claiming Space for Australian Women’s Writing Palgrave Macmillan,
Das, Devaleena, Morrow, Colette. (eds), (Foreword by Nawal el Saadawi. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press). Unveiling Desire: Fallen Women in Literature, Culture, and Films of the East Rutgers University Press, 218-268.



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Administrative Contact

Katie Johnson,