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Rumya S. Putcha

Rumya Putcha
Assistant Professor
  • LAAH 204
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A scholar working in the fields of critical race theory, gender, sexuality, and queer theory, media and performance studies, ethnomusicology, dance studies, and popular music studies, Rumya S. Putcha is an assistant professor in the Department of Performance Studies and an affiliated faculty member in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program as well as the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute at Texas A&M University. Her first book, Mythical Courtesan | Modern Wife: Feminist Praxis in Transnational South Asia​, examines the relationship between epistemologies of music and dance, gender and sexuality, rape cultures, raciality, and sex work in South Asian media economies. Dr. Putcha is currently working on a project titled, “Refrains of a Hillbilly Elegy: Country Boys, Social Media, and the Affective Politics of 21st Century White Supremacy,” which examines constructions of race, citizenship, and post-9/11 American cultural politics within country music publics. Her second book project, “Namaste Nation: Commercial Yoga Industries and Neo-Orientalism in 21st Century America” extends her work on South Asian dance cultures to critical analyses of commodified yoga practices within neocolonial discourses of body, race, and citizenship.

As an Indian classical dancer trained in both the Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi styles, Dr. Putcha has conducted many years of ethnographic research on dance and yoga in India as well as the United States. She is also a professional soprano, performing in chapel choirs in both Boston and Chicago.

A.B., 2003, The University of Chicago
Ph.D., 2011, The University of Chicago

Recent Publications:
2015 “Dancing in Place: Mythopoetics and the Production of History in Kuchipudi.” Yearbook for Traditional Music 47: 1-26
2013 “Between History and Historiography: The Origins of Classical Kuchipudi Dance.” Dance Research Journal 45(3): 1-20.