Suchitra Samanta

Suchitra Samanta, Collegiate Associate Professor

Suchitra Samanta, Collegiate Associate Professor
Suchitra Samanta, Collegiate Associate Professor

Department of  Sociology
546 McBryde Hall 
225 Stanger Street 
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-7528 | ssamanta@vt.edu

Dr. Samanta is presently conducting interviews for a pilot study on Asians in Virginia community colleges. There is very little scholarship on this topic (across the US), which centrally addresses the value of the community college system for diverse Asians of low income (immigrants and citizens), across different ethnicities and/or nationalities. This is a qualitative study which enquires into, for example, “contexts of exit” from the country of origin, reasons for leaving, family background and levels of education, courses of study at the college, possible gender differences and constraints, socioeconomic status, sources of support (including financial aid, family, ethnic and religious communities) and centrally, the role of the American community college as this facilitates Asian aspirations in the USA. The study, at its inception, questions the “model minority myth” which stereotypes Asians in general, and seeks to understand the reality of those Asian that do not fit that model as they seek opportunity in the USA.

  • Feminist Activism
  • Global Feminism
  • Multiculturalism
  • India
  • Ph.D. University of Virginia
  • M.A. Univeristy of Virginia (Cultural Anthropology)
  • M.A. University of Virginia (Drama/Playwriting)
  • B.A. Lady Brabourne College
  • Jazz India, Kolkata Chapter, former Manager
  • Women's Resource Center, Radford, VA, former At-Large Member of the Board of Directors
  • 2012: SPORN award for teaching introductory subjects, Virginia Tech
  • 2012: Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series Scholarship
  • 2009: Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series Scholarship

Books

Samanta, S. “Sanctuary. Stories of Kolkata, its Gods, and its People.” [An anthology of my short fiction]. Kolkata, India: Dasgupta & Co./Dasgupta-Alliance (2012).

“Hauntings. Thirteen Stories from Bangla's Master Storytellers.” [An anthology of stories on the supernatural which foreground female protagonists, across 100 years of Bengali literature, translated and edited by myself]. New Delhi, India: Katha Vilasam (2000).

Journal Articles

Samanta, S. "Seeing Kali's City as "Insiders": Religious Diversity, Gender, Class, and Culture as "Textured" Learning for American Students." Practicing Anthropology, Journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology, vol.35 (3): 23-27. (2013)

Samanta, S. "Negotiating Tradition and Modernity: Muslim Women as Effective Role Models in a Kolkata Slum Community" in Women's Rights in the 21st Century, ed. by Caroline Schulz and Bogumil Terminski (Ashgate) (forthcoming, submitted 2012).

Samanta, S. "Immobility and 'Unfreedom': Dowry's Violence in the Lives of poor Indian Women." Sociologica Indica, Vol. 1 (2009).

  • 2019: Received Curriculum Globalization Grant, for globalizing Introduction to WGS course, Office of Global Education, Virginia Tech ($3,500)
  • 2017: Women and Minority Arts and Scholars Lecture Series Scholarship (WMASLS) to bring Dr. Ruha Benjamin to campus, for Gender Bodies and Technology Conference, as keynote speaker, to address issues of technology and ethics, May 2018
  • 2015: Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Niles grant for research on Asian/Asian American students at US community colleges ($3,650)
  • 2015: Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series Scholarship (WMASLS) to bring Mr. Pheng Thao to campus, for public lecture and workshop on training men (across race) on issues related to violence against women (scheduled, March 24th 2016)
  • 2012: Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Series Scholarship (WMASLS) for Dr. Shamita Dasgupta’s talk on Virginia Tech campus, and workshop on “In an Uneven World: Globalization, Advocacy, and the Need for Legal Change for Women’s Safety” (April 4-5, 2013)
  • 2009: Women and Minority Artists and Scholars Lecture Scholarship (WMASLS) for Dr. Elaine Enarson’s campus visit and lecture at Virginia Tech on Gender and Disaster (March 2009)
  • 2000: Hollins University Faculty Development Grant for research in Calcutta on health problems affecting education for Muslim girls (June-July 2000)
  • 1999: Hollins University Faculty Development Grant for research in Calcutta on Muslim girls and educational success (June-July 1999)
  • 1998: Hollins College Faculty Development Grant for educational programs for Muslim girls in Calcutta (June-July 1998)
  • 1992: Scholar in Residence, Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia
  • 1988: Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia, Dissertation Writing Fellowship
  • ($6,000)
  • 1987-89: Philip Du Pont Scholarships, University of Virginia
  • 1986: University of Virginia, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Grant for dissertation research in India on the goddess Kali and Bengali religious experience
  • 1982-84: Philip Du Pont Scholarships, University of Virginia

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