Sujatha Fernandes is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Sydney. She taught at the City University of New York for a decade and holds a visiting position at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Her academic, activist, and literary work explores social and labor movements, participatory media and art, global Black cultures, and migrant workers, with a focus on the Americas. Her writings are concerned with the stories of those erased by history, multi-racial working class encounter and solidarities, socialism, neoliberalism and colonial presence. Her book Cuba Represent! looks at the forms of cultural expression that arose in post-Soviet Cuban society. Who Can Stop the Drums? explores the spaces for political agency opened up for barrio-based social movements under radical left wing leader Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. In Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling, she looks at the uses of storytelling in a range of global movements, including campaigns by migrant domestic workers and undocumented youth in the United States, and Venezuelan barrio organizations. The book shows how the restructuring of personal stories toward narrow goals may limit social change. She currently holds an ARC Discovery Project grant to look at laboring lives and worker consciousness in global cities.
Her literary work includes a memoir of a global hip hop life Close to the Edge, a children’s book Don’t Throw my Teeth on the Roof, and a collection of essays entitled The Cuban Hustle. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, New Ohio Review, Maine Review, and Aster(ix), among other places. She is completing a collection of interlinked short stories about migrant workers in New York City entitled Shadow People. She is currently at work on a novel about Goan migrants in coastal Karnataka during the colonial wars of the eighteenth century. She is an editorial board member of the literary magazine Transition: The Magazine of Africa and the Diaspora.
She has been awarded several distinguished fellowships, including a three year Discovery Project grant from the Australia Research Council, a three year Wilson-Cotsen Fellowship from the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University and a Distinguished CUNY Fellowship at the Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) at the CUNY Graduate Center. In 2008, she was awarded the Felix Gross Award from the CUNY Academy for Arts and Sciences in recognition of outstanding research. She has also received awards from the Mellon Foundation and the SSRC. Her work has been reprinted in Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, and Chinese.
Fernandes has appeared widely in the media, including MSNBC, NPR, NY1, American Public Radio, BBC, CBC, Al Jazeera, ABC Australia, Radio Nation on Air America, the Michael Eric Dyson Show, GRITtv with Laura Flanders, Worldfocus with Martin Savidge, Columbia News Tonight, WBAI, WNYC, KALW’s Your Call, KPFA with Davey D, KERA’s Think, and Against the Grain on KPFA. She has appeared on international news stations such as Russia Today TV, CCTV America, and Spanish-language NTN24. She has been featured in New York’s Daily News and was the subject of a radio documentary on ABC Australia. Her work has been cited in the New York Times, LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, Chronicle of Higher Education, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera English, and CBS News. She has lectured widely at many universities, museums, film festivals, music festivals, and conferences.
Contact Sujatha Fernandes on firstname.lastname@example.org