Ethnic and Race Studies
Office Hours: On leave, 2022-2023
Phone: +1 (212) 220-1371
Soniya Munshi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic and Race Studies where she teaches Asian American Studies and Gender + Women’s Studies. She taught Sociology as a member of the BMCC Social Sciences faculty from 2013-2020. Her classes at BMCC are part of the Open Education/Access Resources and Zero Textbook Cost programs.
From 2016-2018, Dr. Munshi co-directed the NEH-funded project, “Building Asian American Studies across the Community College Classroom.” She is a co-coordinator of the AANAPISI Bridge Initiative, a collaboration between BMCC and Hunter College to support the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander students.
Dr. Munshi is a member of the CUNY Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies Initiative (BRESI) Council, a member of the editorial board of Women’s Studies Quarterly, and an affiliate faculty member in the Critical Social/Personality and Environmental Psychology (CSPEP) program at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Dr. Munshi’s research, writing, and teaching interests include: health, illness, and disability in Asian America; public health; gendered violence; race/racisms, citizenship, law, and medicine; women of color, Black, indigenous, immigrant, queer and trans, transnational, abolition, and other feminisms; transformative justice; memoir; critical pedagogies; and, creative qualitative research methodologies.
Ph.D. in Sociology with Advanced Women’s Studies Certificate, The Graduate Center of the City of New York
B.A. in Women’s + Gender Studies and Psychology, Macalester College
- The Asian American presence from the mid-nineteenth century to the present is studied. Three periods, 1848 to 1943, 1943 to 1965, and 1965 to the present are examined. Topics are desigend to focus on the impact of historical processes on the cultural, economic, and political experiences of diverse Asian American groups in urban and rural communities. The multi-ethnic aspects of Asian American communities are explored.
- This introductory level, interdisciplinary course explores the basic concepts and perspectives of Gender & Women's Studies from an intersectional angle; that is, examining the ways in which gender intersects with race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexuality, sexual identity, disability, and other categories. The concepts of gender - the roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a society considers appropriate for men and women - privilege and oppression, intersectionality, and feminist praxis will be at the core of this course. After a background in the history and significance of Gender & Women's Studies as a field of study, you will learn to critically examine how institutionalized privilege and oppression shape individual lives and intersecting identity categories.
- The Gender and Womena??s Studies Capstone course will be a culmination and synthesis of studentsa?? work in the GWS program. Over the course of the semester, students will explore a topic in GWS in-depthI? they will sharpen their analytic abilities and critical thinking skills while engaging in an independent research and/or experiential learning project. Through course readings and individual and/or group work, students will apply interdisciplinary concepts, theories and methods to real life experiences, resulting in a research paper or project and a presentation to the class. Prerequisite: GWS 100 and two GWS electives
Research and Projects
Dr. Munshi’s research on the relationships between the carceral state, public health, gendered violence in migrant communities, and women of color feminist visions of abolition is grounded in over 20 years of organizing for 20 years of organizing for gender justice, primarily in South Asian, immigrant, people of color and/or LGBTQIA+ communities in New York City and beyond. She is currently working on a feminist memoir that explores how working in gender justice movements informed her experiences of caring for her terminally ill father.
Munshi, Soniya and Linta Varghese. Forthcoming. “Placing Asian American Studies: Teaching and Learning in the Community College Context.” In Teaching Asian America: Politics, Pedagogy, and Practice, eds. Cathy Schlund-Vials and Jennifer Hayashida. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Munshi, Soniya. 2021. “Feminist Engagements” in Our Stories, an Introduction to South Asian America, edited by the South Asian American Digital Archive.
Das Gupta, Monisha and Soniya Munshi. 2020. “Turning Points: South Asian Feminist Responses to Intimate Violence and Immigration Enforcement.” In Asian American and Pacific Islander Women’s History: Local and Global Dimensions, eds. Shirley Hune and Gail Nomura. New York: New York University Press: 338-354.
Munshi, Soniya and Linta Varghese. 2018. “Building Asian American Studies across the Community College Classroom: A Model.” In CUNY Forum of the Asian/Asian American Research Institute of CUNY 6.1.
Munshi, Soniya and Craig Willse. 2017. “Foreword.” in The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the NonProfit Industrial Complex, ed. INCITE!. Durham: Duke University Press: xii-xxii.
Munshi, Soniya and Craig Willse. 2016. “Introduction, Incorporation and Excess: Politics in and against Neoliberalism.” Scholar and Feminist Online 13.2.
Munshi, Soniya, Bhavana Nancherla, and Tiloma Jayasinghe. 2015. “Building Towards Transformative Justice at Sakhi for South Asian Women.” University of Miami Race and Social Justice Law Review 5.2.
Munshi, Soniya and Hyejin Shim. 2015. “Stand with Nan-Hui: Intimate Violence, Systemic Violence and Community Accountability.” Law at the Margins (http://lawatthemargins.com/).
Gehi, Pooja and Soniya Munshi. 2014.“Connecting State Violence and Anti-Violence: An Examination of the Impact of VAWA and Hate Crimes Legislation on Asian American Communities.” Asian American Law Journal 21: 5-35.
Munshi, Soniya. 2013. “Intertwined Violence: Implications of State Responses to Domestic Violence in South Asian Immigrant Communities.” in The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power, eds. Vivek Bald, Miabi Chatterji, Sujani Reddy, and Manu Vimalassery. New York: NYU Press: 251-273.
Honors, Awards and Affiliations
Fellowships and Grants (select)
Faculty Partner, Social Justice and Equity Center, BMCC President’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation, 2022-2024.
Principal Investigator, BMCC Faculty Development Grant, “Genealogies of Public Health: Domestic Violence, Migrant Survivors, and Citizenship Logics, 2020-2021.
Principal Investigator, Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship, “Cultural/Sane: Immigrant Domestic Violence Survivors, Mental Health, and Logics of Citizenship,” 2019-2020.
Faculty Fellow, Futures Initiative, Graduate Center, CUNY, 2019.
Principal Investigator, PSC-CUNY Research Award, “Mapping Safety Apparatuses: Gendered Violence, Immigrant Victim-Survivors and the Carceral State, 2018.
Faculty Fellow, CUNY Academic Commons Open Educational Resources, 2018.
Project Director, National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Initiatives at Community Colleges, “Building Asian American Studies across the Community College Classroom,” 2016-2018.
Project Director, New York Council for the Humanities Action Grant, “Re-imagining Safety: Visioning Justice for LGBTQ Communities,” 2015.
Principal Investigator, BMCC Faculty Development Grant, “From Exception to Center: Carceral Feminisms, Immigration Enforcement, and the Figure of the Immigrant Domestic Violence VictimSurvivor,” 2015.
Fellow, Faculty Fellowship Publication Program, CUNY, 2015.