Faculty Biography

Parminder Bhachu

Parminder Bhachu, Ph.D.

Department of Sociology
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Office: Jefferson 410
Phone: (508) 793-7599
Email: pbhachu@clarku.edu

Ms. Bhachu was born in Tanga, Tanzania and received her B. Sc. in Anthropology from University College, London in 1973. She did post graduate work at the school of Oriental and African Studies at London University where she earned her Ph.D. in 1981. She came to Clark in 1991 from UCLA. Ms. Bhachu served as Director of Women's and Gender Studies at Clark University from 2000 - 2001. She is also affiliated with the programs in Communication and Culture and Race and Ethnic Relations. Ms. Bhachu was also a Henry R. Luce Professor of Cultural Identities and Global processes for nine years from 1991 - 2002.

Current Research and Teaching

Dangerous DesignsMs. Bhachu is interested in emergent cultural forms and cultural identitities in border zones and niche markets innovated from the margins by multiply-moved new global citizens. Her work deals with the production, circulation, and marketing of cultural products and commodities in multiple sites around the globe and their interpretation in local contexts. Her latest book deals with diaspora cultural and commercial economies generated through the politics of fashion, subversive style, and diaspora images innovated through women's entrepreneurship in global economies. Her future research will examine the cultural landscapes generated by diasporic expressive forms and cultural producers. These research topics build on her long term interests in immigrant enterprises, multiple migrations and diasporas, race and ethnicity, cultural nationalisms, and consumer and popular cultures in global markets.

Selected Publications

It's Hip to Be Asian: Diaspora Cultural Producers. forthcoming.

Dangerous Designs: Asian Women Fashion the Diaspora Economies. Routledge, London and New York, 2004.

"Distinction and Co-construction: Diaspora Asian Fashion Entrepreneurs in London"
Article in Claiming Individuality: The Cultural Politics of Distinction edited by Vered Amit and Noel Dyck, Pluto Press, 2006.

"Designing Diaspora Markets: London Fashion Entrepreneurs Create New Markets," for Globalization of Asian Fashion , Edited by Sandra Neissan, Carla Jones and Ann Marie Leshkovich, Berg Publishers, in press.

"Multiple-Migrants and Multiple Diasporas: Cultural Reproduction and Transformations among British South Asian Women in 1990s Britain." In The Expanding Landscape: South Asians in the Diaspora . Carla Peteivich, (ed.) Association of Asian Studies Monograph Series, University of Michigan Press, 1999.

Immigration and Entrepreneurship: Culture, Capital and Ethnic Networks. Jointly edited with Ivan light, Transactions Press, Rutgers University, New Jersey, Summer 1993.

Enterprising Women: Ethnicity, Economy & Gender Relations. Jointly edited with Sallie Westwood. Routledge, London and New York, 1988.

Twice Migrants: East African Sikh Settlers in Britain. Tavistock, London and New York, 1985.

Selected Courses

Global Cultures and Identities/Lecture, Discussion. Explores the impact of local, national and international forces in the formation of cultural identities at a time of rapid social changes. Focuses on contemporary cultures to examine cosmopolitan identities as they are globally determined. Emphasizes the elastic and the plastic nature of cultures and the importance of time, place and context to understand the emergence of new culturally diverse economies. Examines the social and cultural changes in the new landscapes of our times.

Routes and Roots: Immigrants, Diasporas and Travel/Lecture, Discussion. This course examines immigrants and borders they cross. Also covered are the established older diasporas and the new ones immigrants create through voluntary and forced migration and travels.  How do borders, journeys, migration shape the identies of individuals, groups, cultural objects and commodities?

Global Ethnographies This course focuses on emergent ethnographic concerns that attempt to capture fluid cultural processes and connections as they unfold in the late 1990s global arenas. It deals with multiple-sited ethnography of movement, displacement and replacement, and the global traffic in culture. In this class, students examine transnational connections and commodity circuits that most people are part of in the late 20th century. It is offered every other year.