Faculty Profiles

Kum-Kum Bhavnani
Ph.D., Social and Political Sciences, King's College, Cambridge University, UK
Research Interests

Kum-Kum Bhavnani is Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Her research interest lie within development, feminist and cultural studies. She has published a number of books and articles including Talking Politics (1991, Cambridge University Press), Shifting Identities Shifting Racisms (Sage 1994: co-edited with An Phoenix), Feminism and 'Race' (2001, Oxford University Press) and Feminist Futures (Zed 2003: co-edited with Johan Foran and Priya Kurian). In 2006 she completed a feature documentary film, The Shape of Water (narrated by Susan Sarandon (http://www.theshapeofwatermovie.com) which spans three continents and was filmed over four years. Her next research documentary, also narrated by Susan Sarandon, premiered in 2012. Nothing Like Chocolate(http://nothinglikechocolate.com) narrates the story of an anarchist chocolate maker living in the rainforests of Grenada who creates world-renowned chocolate sustainably and ethically. Her 2014 documentary, Lutah (https://vimeo.com/87403939), focuses on an independent Santa Barbara-based architect, Lutah Maria Riggs, who, among other spaces, designed the Lobero Theater and the Vedanta Temple. In 2018, she premiered We Are Galapagos, a research documentary focused on the people in the Galapagos who work on innovative ways to save their islands, the wildlife and the planet. You Think you Can't Dance? premiered in February 2019. This short research documentary examined how and why ballroom dancing has become a significant pastime in the 21st century. She is presently working on her next documentary, Science for Nuns/Monks, (working title: funded by the John Templeton Foundation) which examines how and why Tibetan Buddhist monastics are learning astrophysics and neuro psychology alongside their study of Buddhist sutras. 

She also created a video to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the UCSB Department of Sociology (2015: https://vimeo.com/125096680_

Teaching Areas

156A:  Introduction to Women, Culture, and Development

156B:  Seminar in Women, Culture, and Development

185S:  Special Topics in Social Theory (Theories of Globalization)

212F: Feminist Methods

213: Critical Ethnography

265W:  Women, Culture and Development

Course Listing

Contact Information

Social Sciences and Media Studies Bldg 3024
office hours
On leave 19/20