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Stanley Thangaraj

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Stanley Thangaraj

Assistant Professor

NAC 7/113A
Phone Number: 

Stan Thangaraj is a Socio-cultural Anthropologist with interests in race, gender, sexuality, class, and ethnicity in Asian America in particular and in immigrant America in general. He is a former high school and collegiate athlete and coach who considers sport a key site to understand immigrant enculturation, racialization, and cultural citizenship. He is contracted with New York University Press for his monograph Brown Out, Man Up! Basketball, Leisure, and Making Desi Masculinity. His key communities of study are South Asian Americans. He also has a contract with New York University Press for the co-edited collection Asian American Sporting Cultures. In May 2014, his other co-edited collection Sport and South Asian Diasporas will be out from Routledge. He looks at the relationship between citizenship, gender, race, and sexuality as critical to understanding diasporic nationalism. Prof. Thangaraj has two new projects. His first project examines how Kurdish American communities embody, negotiate, challenge, and manage U.S. Empire. Instead of juxtaposing Muslim Kurdish women as victim of Islamic patriarchy, he is interested in how women assert agency and form identities on the ground while challenging mainstream U.S. racializations of them. The second project explores the spatialization of race, class, and sexuality in the construction of the Civil Rights narrative at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. In this project, he looks at the relationship between celebrating Civil Rights history, the propping up of heterosexual black nationalism and social movements, and the gentrification that follows this discourse. Stan Thangaraj takes his intellectual inspiration from Women of Color Feminism and Queer Theory. Professor Thangaraj was awarded the "Comparative Ethnic Studies Award" from the American Studies Association.


PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

MA in Social Sciences, University of Chicago

BA in Anthropology and Political Science, Emory University


Courses Taught

Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality


Anthropology of Asian America


Anthropology of Popular Culture


Intro to Anthropology


Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Research Interests

Stan Thangaraj's research interests include Masculinity Studies, Gender theory, Queer theory, Critical Race Theory, Race and Ethnicity, Diaspora Studies, Asian American Studies, American Studies, Refugee Studies, Kurdish America, Arab America, Black-South Asian relations, Comparative Racializations, Anthropology of Sport, U.S. Empire, Museum Studies, Southern Studies, and South Asian American Studies.



     (June 2015) Desi Hoop Dreams: Pick-Up Basketball and the Making of Asian

     American Masculinity.  New York: New York University Press.


Co-edited Collections

      (In process with co-editor Aynur DeRouen) Kurdish Diasporas.  Special issue of Diasporas



      (2016 with co-editors Constancio Arnaldo, Jr. and Christine Chin) Asian American  

      Sporting Cultures.  New York: New York University Press.


      (2014) Thangaraj, Stanley, Daniel Burdsey, and Rajinder Dudrah.  Sport and South Asian

      Diasporas: Playing through Space and Time.  Abingdon: Routledge.  




2015. ““They said ‘Go Back to Afghanistan’: U.S. Publics, Playing Basketball, and

      Challenging the American Terror(ist)” Amerasia 41(2): 25-46.


Chapters in co-edited collections


(In process). Ratna, Aarti, Samaya Farooq-Samie, Katherine Jamieson and Stanley


      “Learning Lessons from the feminisms of ethnic ‘Others.’”


       2016. Thangaraj, Stanley, Constancio Arnaldo Jr., and Christina Chin.

      “Introduction: You Play Sports? Asian American Sporting Matters.” In Asian American

      Sporting Cultures, (eds.) Stanley Thangaraj, Constancio Arnaldo Jr., and Christina Chin.

      New York: New York University Press.


      July 2015. “American Public Spaces and Gender: Muslim America, Sport, and

      Activism.” In Suad Joseph and Sarah Gualtieri, editors, Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic

      Cultures. Leiden: Brill.


      (2016) “Managing Race, Class, and Gender: Atlanta’s South Asian American Muslims

      and the Localized Management of the “Global War on Terror.” Lexington Books, (ed.)

      Aparajita De.


     October 2014. “‘Liting it Up’: Indo-Pak Basketball and Finding the American-Ness in South

     Asian American Institutions.” In Asian Americans in Sport and Society, (ed.) Richard King. 

     Abingdon: Routledge ​

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