Dr. Rita Dhamoon

Dr. Rita Dhamoon
Associate Professor
Political Science

On leave

Office: DTB A339

PhD (2005) (UBC)

Area of expertise

Feminist and gender theory, critical race politics, anti-colonial and decolonial theory, Canadian politics

On leave Fall 2023

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, and 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 https://www.routledge.com/Sexual-Justice---Cultural-Justice-Critical-Perspectives-in-Political-Theory/Arneil-Deveaux-Dhamoon-Eisenberg/p/book/9780415770927).

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.

  • 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
  • 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.


Dr. Dhamoon teaches courses on Canadian politics, race and gender politics.

Teaching 2023-24

Fall 2023: Not teaching this term

Spring 2024: Study Leave

Previous courses
  • POLI 101: Canadian Politics
  • POLI 338: Approaches to Political Analysis
  • POLI 367: The Politics of Race in Canada
  • POLI 433/533: Issues in Politics "The Politics of Colonialism" (Seminar)
  • POLI 465: BC Governance


  • A Cautionary Note on Reclaiming ‘Diasporicity’: Sikh Subjectivities and Colonial Perversions,” Sikh Formations, 2022, 18(3): 1-17.
  • Racism as a Workload and Bargaining Issue. Socialist Studies 14: 1, n.p. 2020
  • Co-authored with Katy Pal Sian “Decolonizing Sikh Studies: A Feminist Manifesto,” Journal of World Philosophies 2020 vol. 5 no. 2. 43-60.
  • "Relational Othering: Critiquing Dominance, Critiquing the Margins," Politics, Groups and Identities, 2019, 9(5): 873-892.
  • "Re-representing Genocide: The Canadian Museum of Human Rights and Settler Colonial Power." 2016. The Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 1(1): 5-30.
  • "A Feminist Approach to Decolonizing Anti-Racism: Rethinking Transnationalism, Intersectionality, and Settler Colonialism." 2015. Feral Feminisms, issue 4, 20-37.
  • "A Commentary on the Canadian Museum of Human Rights". 2015. Invited to contribute to Special Issue of Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies 37: 2-3, 261-263. Co-edited by Angela Failler, Peter Ives and Heather Milne.
  • "Metaphoric Representations of Women of Colour in the Academy: Teaching Race, Disrupting Power." 2014. Co-authored with Adrienne Chan, Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Lisa Moy. borderlands e-journal 13: 2.
  • "Unsettling settler colonialism: The discourse and politics of settlers, and solidarity with Indigenous nations”. 2014. Co-authored with Corey Snelgrove, Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Jeff Corntassel. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 3(2): 1-32.
  • "Which Genocide Matters the Most? The Canadian Museum of Human Rights and the Problem with 'Oppression Olympics'". 2013. Co-authored With Olena Hankivsky. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 46(4): 899-920. (Short-listed for 2014 John McMemeny Prize, CPSA). http://journals.cambridge.org/repo_A91j5Xfe
  • "Exclusion & Regulated Inclusion: The Case of the Sikh Kirpan in Canada." Sikh Formations (9:1, May 2013: 7-28).
  • "Considerations on Mainstreaming Intersectionality," Political Research Quarterly, (64:1, March 2011).
  • "Dangerous (Internal) Foreigners and Nation-Building: The Case of Canada," co-authored with Yasmeen Abu-Laban. International Political Science Review. (30: 2, March 2009).
  • "Shifting from Culture to Cultural: Critical Theorizing of Identity/Difference Politics," Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory. (13: 3, September 2006).
  • Identity/Difference Politics: how difference is produced and why it matters (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009).

Co-edited Books:

Book chapters:

  • Co-authored with Elaine Coburn, Joyce Green, Genevieve Fuji Johnson, Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark, and Gina Starblanket. “Anti-Racist Feminism and the Generative Power of Disruption.” Feministing Political Science, edited by Nisha Nath, Ethel Tungohan, Fiona MacDonald, Alana Cattapan. Edmonton: University of Alberta Press (forthcoming 2023).
  • "Contingent Journeys of Intersectionality?", RoutledgeCompanion Intersectionality, eds. Jennifer Nash and Samantha Pinto. (Forthcoming 2023)
  • "Sikhs and Multiculturalism,” The Sikh World, eds. Pashuara Singh and Arvind-Pal Mandair, Routledge. (forthcoming 2023).
  • "Itinerant Subjects of Empire: Unmooring the Komagata Maru," with Davina Bhandar. In Charting Imperial Itineraries, 1914-2014: Unmooring the Komagata Maru. Co-edited by Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Renisa Mawani, Davina Bhandar, and Satwinder Bains (UBC Press 2016/17 forthcoming)
  • "Feminisms" in Oxford Handbook on Gender and Politics, eds. Georgina Waylen, Karen Celis, Johanna Kantola and Laurel Weldon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Forthcoming 2013).
  • "'Wounded Predators': Navigating Ethics, Power, & Social Activism through Intersectionality," in I, We and the Other: Asymmetries of Moral Evaluation ed. By Ashok Vohra (Forthcoming 2013).
  • "Why the Theory and Practice of Intersectionality Matter to Health Research & Policy," co-authored with Olena Hankivsky in Health Inequities in Canada ed. by Olena Hankivsky. UBC Press (2011).
  • "Die konzeptuelle Verschiebung von "Kultur" zum "Kulturellen": Verortung der Intersektionen von Ungerechtigkeit," In: Castro Varela, María do Mar/ Dhawan, Nikita (eds.): Soziale (Un)Gerechtigkeit: Kritische Perspektive auf Diversität, Intersektionalität und Anti-Diskriminierung, Münster: LIT. 2011: pp. 138-157.
  • "Security Warning: Multiculturalism Alert!," in Ashgate Research Companion to Multiculturalism, ed. Duncan Ivison. Surrey, UK: Ashgate. (2010).
  • "Democracy and the Politics of Disruption," in Democracy in Crisis:Violence, Alterity, Community, ed. Stella Gaon. Manchester: Manchester University Press. (2010).
  • "Critical Race Perspectives: Towards a Post-Essentialist Form of Social Critique,” in Racism, Identity, and Justice: Dialogue on the Politics of Inequality and Change, ed. Sean Hier and B. Singh Bolaria. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Press (2009).
  • "The Politics of Cultural Contestation," In Sexual Justice/Cultural Justice, eds. Barbara Arneil, Monique Deveaux, Rita Dhamoon and Avigail Eisenberg. London: Routledge. (2007).

Book reviews:

  • Mary Hawkesworth. Gender and Political Theory: Feminist Reckonings(Cambridge, UK and Medford, MA: Polity, 2019). Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. 2020
  • Suchetana Chattopadhyay. Voices of Komagata Maru: Imperial Surveillance and Works from Punjab in Bengal. (New Delhi: Talika Books, 2018). Canadian Journal of Political Science. 2019
  • Cheryl Suzack, Shari M. Huhndorf, Jeanne Perreault and Jean Barman Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture. (Vancouver: UBC Press 2011). Canadian Journal of Law & Society, 20: 1 (2011).
  • Katherine Fierlbeck Political Thought in Canada: An Intellectual Tradition (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press 2006). Canadian Journal of Political Science, 40: 3 (September 2007).
  • Daiva K. Stasiulis and Abigail B. Bakan, Negotiating Citizenship: Migrant Women in Canada and the Global System (Toronto: UofT Press 2005). Labour/Le Travail, (April 2007).
  • Ronald Beiner, Liberalism, Nationalism, Citizenship: Essays on the Problem of Political Community. (UBC Press). University of Toronto Quarterly, 74: 1 (2004/05), 315-317.

Works in progress:

  • "The Problem with Inclusion: Sikhs in Canada
  • "Navigating Multiple Colonialisms through Intersectionality" (in progress).
  • "Cacaophony and the Ship of Empire: a Colonial study of the Komagata Maru".
  • "Racism as a labour issue".