UMass Boston

Elora Chowdhury

Women's Gender Sexuality Studi
Department Chairman
Wheatley Hall Floor 05

Areas of Expertise

Transnational feminisms, critical development studies, gender violence, human rights, narrative and film with an emphasis on South Asia


PhD, Women's Studies, Clark University
MA, Women's Studies, Ohio State University
BA, Women's Studies & Cultural Area Studies, College of Wooster

Additional Information


Professor Chowdhury's articles have appeared in Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism; International Feminist Journal of Politics; Feminist Studies; Feminist Formations; Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy; South Asia Chronicle; Fashion, Style and Popular Culture; Gender, Place and Culture; Journal of International Women's Studies; Women's Studies International Forum; Human Rights Quarterly; Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society; Cultural Dynamics; HAWWA Journal of the Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World; Journal of Bangladesh Studies and in numerous edited volumes.

Recent articles include:

  • “Ethical Reckoning: Human Rights and National Cinema in Bangladesh.” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism. Vol 20, No 1. Spring 2021. pp. 151-173.
  • “The Precarity of Pre-existing Conditions.” Feminist Studies. Vol 46, No.3, 2020. pp. 615-625.
  • “Muktijuddho Film as Disruptive Archive, Filmmaker as Witness.” South Asia Chronicle. Vol 10. Special Issue Focus: Bangladesh at 50 edited by Farhan Karim. Fall 2020. pp. 59 – 95.
  • "Reading Hamid, Reading Coates: Juxtaposing Anti-Muslim and Anti-Black Racisms in Current Times." Feminist Formations. Vol 30, Issue 3, 2018. pp. 63-78.
  • "Made in Bangladesh: The Romance of the New Woman." In Rethinking New Womanhood: Practices of Gender, Class, Culture and Religion in South Asia, Nazia Hussein, Editor. London: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers, 2018. pp. 47-70.

Professor Chowdhury is the Series Editor to the Dissident Feminisms Series at the University of Illinois Press.

Awards and Fellowships:
In AY 2021-22 Professor Chowdhury was a Fellow at the Newhouse Humanities Center at Wellesley College, MA. She is the past Vice President of the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), 2016 – 2018.She held a Senior Research Fellowship from the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies in 2019-20. In 2005, she 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, Professor Chowdhury 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 worked as a feature writer for the Daily Star national newspaper in Bangladesh.

She serves on the Editorial/Advisory Boards of Studies in South Asian Film and Media; Journal of Feminist Scholarship; Feminist Formations; and Journal of Bangladesh Studies. She is a Member of the Bangladesh Development Initiative.

Courses taught:

  • Gender in Global Context
  • Introduction to Human Rights
  • Advanced Topics in Human Rights
  • Gender, Human Rights, and Global Cinema
  • Transnational Feminisms (Honors College)
  • Asian Women in the U.S.
  • Becoming South Asian
  • Gender Development & Globalization
  • Gender Religion and Politics in South Asia (Honors College)
  • Women of Color
  • Gender, Nation, Politics (Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies)
  • Feminisms and Islam (Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies)