Sonja M. Thomas
Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
PhD: Rutgers University, '11
Areas of Expertise
- South Asian Feminisms/South Asian Diaspora
- Transnational Feminsms
- Caste in Christianity
- Rural Montana
- Tap Dance
Courses Currently Teaching
|WG101 A||Introduction to Women's, Gender,and Sexuality Studies|
|WG120A A||Race, Gender, and Sport|
|WG223 A||Critical Race Feminisms and Tap Dance|
|WG311 A||Feminist Theories and Methodologies|
Other Courses Taught
|WG493||Senior Seminar: Transnational Feminisms|
|WG484||Senior Honors Thesis|
|WG223||Critical Race Feminisms and Tap Dance|
|WG225||Gender and Politicized Religion|
|WG398||South Asian Feminisms|
|WG341||Gender and Human Rights|
Her other research interest is tap dance history. She has written articles on tap history, intersectionality and black vernacular traditions, and on blackface abroad (specifically in Asia). She teaches tap dance and black feminist thought in a class at Colby called “Critical Race Feminisms and Tap Dance.” Check out the video for the class here: Critical Race Feminisms and Tap Dance
Sonja is associate editor for South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. And interim secretary for the National Women's Studies Association.
She is currently researching and writing her second book project on Catholic missionary priests from India serving in rural Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. The project is tentatively titled: Indians and Cowboys: Indian Missionary Priests in Rural America. And conducting research on the 1961 Babe Ruth World Series hosted in her hometown, Glendive Montana.
“Cowboys and Indians: Indian Priests in Rural Montana.” Women’s Studies Quarterly Special
Issue: Asian Diaspora. Lili Shi and Yadira Perez Hazel, guest editors. Volume 47, Numbers 1 & 2, (Spring/Summer 2019): pp. 110-131.
Cowboys and Indians
"Can Syrian Christians be Black? Racialized Discrimination in Global South Asia," ALA: A Kerala Studies Blog June 30th, 2019. Issue 10
Can Syrian Christians be Black?
“Black Soundwork, Knowledge Production, and the “Debate” Over Tap Dance Origins” Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture, , 1, no. 4, (2021): pp. 412–421.
"Studying race in the ﬁeld of South Asian religions,"Religion Compass,15, no 4., (2021): pp 1-9.
"The Women's Wall in Kerala, India and Brahmanical Patriarchy," Feminist Studies 45, No1 (2019): pp. 253-260.
““This is America” and the Global Erasure of Black Vernacular Traditions” ASAP/Journal: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, Open-access platform, reviews. August
This Is America
“Educated Feets: Tap Dancing and Embodied Feminist Pedagogies at a Small Liberal Arts College.” Feminist Teacher, 28, no. 2-3. (Fall 2018).
“Education as Empowerment? Gender and the Human Right to Education in Postcolonial India”
in Human Rights in Postcolonial India. V.G. Julie Rajan and Om Dwivedi, eds. New York: Routledge, 2016.
“The “New” South Asian Feminisms.” Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial
Studies. 2 no. 2. (Fall 2014): 74-83.
“Gender, Macroeconomic Policy, and the Human Rights Approach to Social Protection.” Co-
authored with Dr. Radhika Balakrishnan. New Frontiers in Feminist Political Economy. Shirin M. Rai and Georgina Waylen, eds. New York: Routledge, 2014.
“The Tying of the Ceremonial Wedding Thread: A Feminist Analysis of “Ritual” and
“Tradition” Among Syro-Malabar Catholics in India,” Journal of Global Catholicism, 1, No. 1 (September 2016): 104-116
Ritual and Tradition
Public Intellectual Activities
Podcast "Cowboys and Indians": The East is a Podcast
The Uma Show interview with Rita Kakati-Shah: "Caste, Race and Domestic Violence in South Asian Communities" The Uma Show
Podcast “Why Are South Asians So Racist?” With Stanley Thangaraj on Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan, “Petticoat Ke Neeche” Rukus Avenue Radio Why Are South Asians So Racist
Malayalees for Black Lives Matter panel: “Casteism and Anti-Blackness” Casteism and Anti Blackness
Oklahoma City International Pentecostal Assembly: “Race, Caste, and Black Lives Matter,” Race Caste and Black Lives Matter
Panel discussion, St. Mary's Indian Orthodox Church, Suffern NY: “Justice and Equality” Justice and Equality
Operation Tap: “Tap Dance History” Tap Dance History
Nexis Initiative: "Keralan Allies" Keralan Allies
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