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Rumya S. Putcha

Putcha Headshot
Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Assistant Professor

Rumya S. Putcha is an assistant professor in the Institute for Women's Studies as well as in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Her research interests center on colonial and anti-colonial thought, particularly around constructs of citizenship, race, gender, sexuality, the body, and the law. Her first book, The Dancer’s Voice: Performance and Womanhood in Transnational India, develops a critical race and feminist approach to Indian performance cultures and is forthcoming with Duke University Press. Her second book project, “Namaste Nation: Orientalism and Wellness Cultures in the United States” extends her work on transnational performance cultures to critical analyses of capitalist fitness industries. 


A.B., The University of Chicago, 2003 (History and Music)

Ph.D., The University of Chicago, 2011 (Music)

Selected recent publications:

“#yeeyeenation: Country boys and the Mythopoetics of White Public Culture,” DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race (2022), 1-16

“The Mythical Courtesan: Womanhood and Dance in Transnational India,” Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism (2021) 20(1): 127-150.

“Yoga and White Public Space” Religions (2020) 11: 1-14.

“The Modern Courtesan: Gender, Religion, and Dance in Transnational India,” Feminist Review (2020) 126: 54-73.

"After Eat, Pray, Love: Tourism, Orientalism, and Cartographies of Salvation,” Tourist Studies (2020) 20(4): 1-17    

Gender, Caste, and Feminist Praxis in Transnational South India” The Journal of South Asian Popular Culture (2019) 17(1): 61-79

“Dancing in Place: Mythopoetics and the Production of History in Kuchipudi” Yearbook for Traditional Music (2015) 47: 1-26

“Between History and Historiography: The Origins of Classical Kuchipudi Dance.” Dance Research Journal (2013) 45(3): 1-20

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