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Rita Dhamoon

Associate professor

Political Science

On leave
Office: DTB A339 250-721-6492
PhD (2005) UBC
Area of expertise:
Feminist and gender theory, critical race politics, anti-colonial and decolonial theory, Canadian politics



  • identity/difference politics and power
  • multicultural policies and theories
  • culture
  • nation-building
  • gender politics and feminism
  • intersectionality
  • critical race
  • post-colonial and anti-colonial politics
  • citizenship and democratic politics
  • Canadian politics

About Dr. Dhamoon

Rita Kaur Dhamoon received her BA (Politics with Social Administration) from the University of Loughborough, UK, and MA (British Politics) at the University of Essex, UK. Her PhD is from UBC (2005). Before joining the University of Victoria as an assistant professor in 2012, she held a position at the University of the Fraser Valley (2008-12), a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Victoria (2007-08) and a Grant Notley Memorial Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Alberta (2005-07).

Her research interests have centred on issues of identity/difference politics and power, including multiculturalism, culture, nation-building, gender politics and feminism, intersectionality, critical race studies, post-colonial and anti-colonial politics. As well as journal articles and book chapters, she has published a book called Identity/Difference Politics: How Difference is Produced and Why it Matters (UBC Press, 2009), and co-edited a book on Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice: Critical Perspectives in Theory and Practice with Barbara Arneil, Monique Deveaux, and Avigail Eisenberg (Routledge, 2007).

Her current research program is grounded in critical race feminism and includes a book project on critiques of inclusion politics and Sikhs in Canada; research on intersectionality politics and its political implications for solidarity and political transformation; and convergences and divergences of different colonialisms, especially as they impact South Asians and Indigenous people.

Dr. Dhamoon teaching courses on colonial politics, Canadian politics, BC politics, and race politics in Canada. A key tenet of her teaching practice is to integrate critical perspectives and Indigenous knowledge and worldviews. She is an active participant in the academic community and has co-organized anti-racism groups and activities.


Theorizing multiple colonialisms and racisms

This project explores both theoretical and practical issues that arise when we examine multiple colonialisms and racisms in relation to one another. This includes case studies, such as on relations between South Asians and Indigenous peoples; and developing conceptual tools such ‘the ship of empire’ in relation to Indigenous-developed concepts such as Jodi Byrd’s interpretive methodology of ‘cacophony’.

Problematizing Inclusion: Nation-Building & Sikhs in Canada

Drawing on Canadian cases studies, this project critically examines the notion that inclusionary practices and policies intrinsically expand and legitimize democracy. Through a critical race feminist lens she is exploring the ways provincial and federal government policies lead to exclusion or what she calls 'regulated inclusion', in ways that consolidate and expand hegemonic nation-building projects. This research will culminate in a book manuscript and journal articles.

Intersectionality & Solidarity Politics

This project focuses on the practical and political relevance of feminist intersectionality theories, specifically in the context of solidarity politics in Canada.

Workshop - Charting Imperial Itineraries, 1914-2014: Unmooring the Komagata Maru

2014 marked the centennial anniversary of the arrival and subsequent forcible return of the Komagata Maru and the ship’s 376 Sikh, Muslim, and Hindu migrants. Framed by three overarching academic themes – global imperial histories, local and global encounters of imperialism, and transnational legacies of the Komagata Maru across time – this workshop explored a number of interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary narratives that relate to the Komagata Maru’s history and experience. This workshop was held at UVic, May 15-16, 2014

Roundtable on Settler Colonialisms: Terrotorialities and Embodiment

Canadian Political Science Association annual meeting 2013, UVic. Organizers: Dr. Dhamoon and Dr. Bhandar (Trent).

Conversations on Theories and Practices of Anti-Racism, Anti-Colonialism, & Decolonization

Canadian Political Science Association annual meeting 2013, UVic: Organizer: Dr. Dhamoon.