Faculty Profile

Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies, Distinguished Chair in Africana Studies (2009)

Contact Information

on leave of absence 2016-17

moonsamp@dickinson.edu

Althouse Hall Room G20
717.245.1894

Bio

Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. Her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of expressive culture, social activism, and the politics of representation and subjectivity in the post-colonial Caribbean. With funding from the National Science Foundation, she conducted fieldwork in Trinidad and Tobago, exploring the dynamic relationships that exist between people of African and South Asian Indian ancestry and documenting how these are expressed though performance. At Dickinson College, Dr. van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy teaches courses on the African Diaspora and the Caribbean, and continues to engage in research on performance, activism and identity politics in the Caribbean.

Education

  • B.A., San Francisco State University, 1986
  • M.A., University of Michigan, 2002
  • Ph.D., 2009

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

LALC 200 Race, Ethnicity, and Hybridity
Cross-listed with AFST 220-01. This course examines the constructions, lived experiences and politics of race, ethnicity and hybridity. The course will explore the historical evolution of the concept of race, the ways in which race and ethnicity are overlapping classification categories that are embedded in relations of power, and the social, cultural and biological outcomes of extended contact and mixture. Whereas the majority of scholarship on race and ethnicity considers the dynamics of these social scientific categories and processes of formation through the lens of interactions between a dominant group (usually occupying the racial category of white) and a subordinated or minoritized group (usually racialized as black or brown), this course shifts the gaze to the politics of race and ethnicity between historically oppressed ethnic groups—those of African ethnic origin and those of various Asian ethnicities. Using case studies mainly from the Caribbean, but also from the US and Africa, we will examine the anthropological, sociological, literary, musical and filmic documentation and analyses of Afro/Asian mixture and will explore how racial identities, interethnic relations, gender, sexuality, religious practices, politics, and festivity have been influenced by mixing and creolizing processes.

AFST 220 Race, Ethnicity, and Hybridity
Cross-listed with LALC 200-02. This course examines the constructions, lived experiences and politics of race, ethnicity and hybridity. The course will explore the historical evolution of the concept of race, the ways in which race and ethnicity are overlapping classification categories that are embedded in relations of power, and the social, cultural and biological outcomes of extended contact and mixture. Whereas the majority of scholarship on race and ethnicity considers the dynamics of these social scientific categories and processes of formation through the lens of interactions between a dominant group (usually occupying the racial category of white) and a subordinated or minoritized group (usually racialized as black or brown), this course shifts the gaze to the politics of race and ethnicity between historically oppressed ethnic groups—those of African ethnic origin and those of various Asian ethnicities. Using case studies mainly from the Caribbean, but also from the US and Africa, we will examine the anthropological, sociological, literary, musical and filmic documentation and analyses of Afro/Asian mixture and will explore how racial identities, interethnic relations, gender, sexuality, religious practices, politics, and festivity have been influenced by mixing and creolizing processes.