Faculty & Staff

photo of Elora Chowdhury

Elora Halim Chowdhury, PhD

  • Associate Professor and Chair of Women's and Gender Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Telephone: 617.287.6764
  • Office Location: Wheatley Hall-05-059

Areas of Expertise

Transnational feminisms, Critical development studies, Gender violence and human rights advocacy with an emphasis on South Asia


PhD, Clark University

Additional Information

Elora Halim Chowdhury is an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, and a faculty affiliate to the Asian Studies Program, and the Asian American Studies Program. She received her PhD in Women’s Studies from Clark University, Massachusetts (2004). Her teaching and research interests include transnational feminisms, critical development studies, gendered violence and human rights advocacy with an emphasis on South Asia. She is the author of Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh (SUNY Press, 2011). Her book was awarded the National Women’s Studies Association Gloria Anzaldua book prize in 2012.

She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals as well as in edited anthologies. These include venues such as Meridians: Feminism Race Transnationalism; International Feminist Journal of Politics; Women’s Studies International Forum; Gender, Place & Culture; Violence Against Women; Journal of Bangladesh Studies; Cultural Dynamics; Asian American Literary Review; Gender & Development; Human Rights Quarterly; Journal of Asian and African Studies.

Her creative essays and fiction have been published in Catamaran; Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies; and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Her current projects include an edited volume on dissident cross-cultural feminist alliances, and a manuscript exploring representations of violence, trauma, agency and justice in nationalist film and fiction in Bangladesh.

In 2005, Elora was awarded a Mellon-Future of Minority Studies Fellowship at Cornell University, and in 2006 she was a Future of Minority Studies Post-doctoral Fellow in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Syracuse University. In 2007, she served as a co-principal investigator to a multi-year grant from the Ford Foundation for the project, “Engaging Islam: Feminisms, Religiosities & Self-Determinations.”

Prior to joining UMass, Elora held appointments at the Gender Resource Center, and the Rural Development Program in BRAC (1996 – 1997), and the Education, Knowledge and Religion Program at the Ford Foundation, New York (2000 – 2004).  She also served as a feature writer for the Daily Star in Bangladesh.

Courses taught:

Women in Global Perspectives

Introduction to Human Rights

Transnational Feminisms (Honors Program)

Asian Women in the U.S.

Becoming South Asian

Gender Development & Globalization

Gender Religion and Politics in South Asia

Women of Color

Gender, Nation, Politics (Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies)

Feminisms and Islam (Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies)