Sujatha Fernandes is a Professor of Political Economy and 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 research combines social theory and political economy with in-depth, engaged ethnography of global social and labor movements. Her first book, Cuba Represent! looks at the forms of cultural struggle that arose in post-Soviet Cuban society. Her second book, Who Can Stop the Drums? explores the spaces for political agency opened up for barrio-based social movements by a hybrid post-neoliberal state under radical left wing leader Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. In her third book Close to the Edge, she explores whether the musical subculture of hip hop could create and sustain a new global cultural movement. Her latest book is Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling. It looks at how the restructuring of personal stories as easily digestible soundbites mobilized toward narrow goals by non-profits, labor movements, the immigrant rights movement, and the state has been an obstacle to building deeper movements for social change in the US and globally. Her current research project is an exploration of migrant laboring lives and worker consciousness in global cities.
Fernandes has written about global forms of black popular culture, hip hop, and social movements in both academic journals and popular forums, including The New York Times, The Nation, The Huffington Post, American Prospect, Dissent, and Colorlines. Her work has been reprinted in several languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, and Chinese. She is an editorial board member of Transition: The Magazine of Africa and the Diaspora.
She has been awarded several distinguished fellowships, including 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 several awards from the Mellon Foundation and the SSRC.
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 email@example.com