Balbir K. Singh

Balbir K. Singh

Assistant Professor


211 Major Williams
220 Stanger Street
Blacksburg, VA 24061



Department Membership

Religion and Culture


  • Women of Color Feminisms
  • Asian and Arab American Studies
  • Race, Religion, and Empire
  • Fashion and the Body
  • Anti-colonial and Decolonial Thought

Professional Activities

  • American Studies Association
  • National Women’s Studies Association
  • Critical Ethnic Studies Association
  • Association for Asian American Studies
  • Arab American Studies Association


  • Ph.D., University of Washington
  • M.A., University of Washington
  • B.A., SUNY Buffalo

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    • Embrey Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, 2017-18
    • Gender and Sexuality Studies Seminar, Scholl Center, Newberry Library, 2017
    • Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Departments of Asian American Studies and Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2016-17
    • Emerging Diversity Scholar, National Center for Institutional Diversity, 2016
    • Andrew R. Hilen Dissertation Fellowship, Department of English, University of Washington, 2015

    Selected Publications


    • Militant Bodies: Violence and Visual Culture Under Islamophobia.Book manuscript in preparation.


    • Singh, Balbir K. “The Commodity Fetish of Modest Fashion.” QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking, vol. 4, no. 3, 2017. 
    • Singh, Balbir K. “Unjust Attachments: Mourning as Antagonism in Gauri Gill’s ‘1984.’” What Justice Wants, special issue of Critical Ethnic Studies, vol. 2, no. 2, Fall 2016.
    • Singh, Balbir K. “On the Limits of Charhdi Kala: Oak Creek and Sikh Philosophy in an Age of Terror.” Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory. Taylor & Francis, 2013. 


    Additional Information

    Broadly, my scholarship interrogates the convergence of racial, gendered, and religious embodiment, with migration and policing under violent conditions of imperial and domestic security technologies. I am currently at work on my first book, “Militant Bodies: Violence and Visual Culture Under Islamophobia,” which is rooted in questions that center post-9/11 racial and religious hyper-policing of Muslims and Sikhs, especially as they relate to bodily comportment and the donning of religious garments. Additionally, I am beginning research on a second book project, “Whose Terror? Vexed Attachments and the Contradictions of Freedom” theorizing contemporary terror as a vexed political and affective attachment through an intersectional feminist lens.