Richa Nagar’s antidisciplinary and transgenre scholarship, creative writing, and cultural work in English and Hindustani has evolved across the borders of India, the U.S., and Tanzania. An anti-disciplinary border-crosser, she loves to agitate stabilized ways of knowing and telling through collective creativity and she strives to build enduring alliances with people’s struggles while engaging questions of ethics, responsibility, and justice. At the University of Minnesota (UMN), Richa has held the title of Professor of the College and enjoyed affiliations with Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Geography, Environment, and Society; Theatre Arts and Dance; Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; American Studies; the Institute on the Environment; and the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change. She also holds honorary appointments in Political Science at York University in Toronto, in Gender and Women’s Studies at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, and Sociology at Savitribai Phule Pune University. Her books include three works co-authored with the saathis of Sangtin Kisaan Mazdoor Sangathan (SKMS) in Sitapur District of Uttar Pradesh: संगतिन यात्रा: सात ज़िन्दगियों में लिपटा नारी विमर्श (2004, 2012), Playing with Fire: Feminist Thought and Activism through Seven Lives in India (2006), and एक और नीमसार: संगतिन आत्ममंथन और आंदोलन (2012). Her later books, Muddying the Waters: Coauthoring Feminisms Across Scholarship and Activism (2014) and Hungry Translations: Relearning the World Through Radical Vulnerability (2019) build on this work in journeys with SKMS and Parakh Theatre. Other works include: A World of Difference: Encountering and Contesting Development (2009), Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis (2010), the posthumously edited writings of the cultural worker, Dr. Sharad Nagar, in मैं और मेरा मन (2016), and over 200 articles, essays, plays, and poems in academic journals and literary outlets.
Richa’s many awards include the 2015 Gloria Anzaldúa Book Prize Honorable Mention, the 2019 James Blaut Award for Socialist and Critical Geography, the 2021 Global Development Studies Book Award, a 2000-02 McKnight Land Grant Professorship, and a 1989 MacArthur Scholarship at UMN. She has held visiting fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford University), the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study (Jawaharlal Nehru University), the Centre for Humanities Research (University of the Western Cape), and the Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre (Savitribai Phule Pune University). Her seminal work with Sangtin Writers, Playing with Fire, appears on The Rumpus’s 2019 list of ‘What to Read When You Celebrate Women’s History.’ Richa’s work has been translated into German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Marathi, Turkish, and Urdu. She is one of the founding editors of the online journal, AGITATE! Unsettling Knowledges.
As a co-creator of Parakh Theatre Group and its pedagogical approach and multi-sited vision, Richa has co-produced a number of plays with Tarun Kumar, including: Do Haath (based on Ismat Chughtai’s story by this name), Main Hindu Hoon (based on Asghar Wajahat’s story by this name), Hansa Karo Puratan Baat (based on a revisiting of Premchand’s story “Kafan”), Chup (written by Fawad Khan), Retelling Disappearing Tales (created with UMN students), Fractured Threads (created with UMN students), Aag Lagi Hai Jangal Ma (created with SKMS saathis), and Inquilab Hamre Dum Se Aayi (created with SKMS saathis). She has also acted in Do Haath, Retelling Disappearing Tales, and Fractured Threads, all directed by Tarun Kumar.