Dr. Rita Dhamoon

Dr. Rita Dhamoon
Assistant Professor
Political Science

PhD (2005) (UBC)


On leave

Office: DTB A339

On leave. Not accepting graduate students at this time.

Rita Kaur Dhamoon received her BA (Politics with Social Adminstration) 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 multicultural policies and theories, culture, Canadian nation-building, gender politics and feminism, intersectionality, critical race studies, post-colonial and anti-colonial politics, democratic 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 Sikhs in Canada and nation-building; research on intersectionality and solidarity politics between people of colour and Indigenous people; an intersectional analysis of the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, with Dr. Olena Hankivsky (SFU); research, as a collaborator, in a SSHRC Research-Creation grant for ‘Project Barca: New Architectures of Memory & Identity’ which brings together intersectionality politics and performance studies; and a collaborative project that explores how students learn and how instructors teach 'difficult' topics on race and racism.

Dr. Dhamoon is teaching courses on 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 served as Section Chair for the WPSA and CPSA, co-organized on-campus anti-racism groups and activities, and actively supports initiatives to indigenize.

For more information, see Dr. Dhamoon's Expertise Database profile.

  • 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
  • Workshop - Charting Imperial Itineraries, 1914-2014: Unmooring the Komagata Maru
    2014 marks 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 focuses – global imperial histories, local and global encounters of imperialism, and transnational legacies of the Komagata Maru across time – this workshop aims to explore a number of interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary narratives that relate to the Komagata Maru’s history and experience. This workshop will be held at the University of Victoria on May 15 and May 16, 2014. All welcome. For more information, including registration (required) please visit: http://www.chartingimperialitineraries.ca/.
  • Race, 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 with a focus on relations between people of colour and Indigenous peoples.
  • Intersectionality, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights & the Oppression Olympics
    This project, with co-researcher Olena Hankvisky (SFU), explores the controversies surrounding the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights, specifically to consider to the power relations at play between and among groups involved.
  • Barca: New Architectures of Memory & Identity (collaborator SSHRC Research-Creation grant)
    Project Barca explores the meaning and expressions of 'going west to find east' and 'going east to find west'. My role in this research-creation project – led by choreographer and researcher Dr. Henry Daniel (SFU) and in collaboration with Dr. Olena Hankivsky (SFU) and Owen Underhill (SFU) – is to bring intersectionality lens to Performance Studies, while also fostering interdisciplinary exchange. For more information, see http://www.sfu.ca/~hdaniel/.
  • Teaching & Learning about Race and Racism: How Students Learn
    This research collaboration with Dr. Adrienne Chan and Dr. Lisa Moy (UFV) explores the ways in which students learn about 'difficult' topics of race and racism, and how instructors of colour teach this material. Based on interviews and surveys, this research has led to a journal manuscript on the role of female instructors of colour.
  • "Roundtable on Settler Colonialisms: Terrotorialities and Embodiment"
    Canadian Political Science Association Annual meeting 2013, UVic. Watch it on Youtube. Organizers: Dr. Dhamoon (UVic) and Dr. Bhandar (Trent).
  • "Conversations on Theories and Practices of Anti-Racism, Anti-Colonialism, & Decolonization"
    Canadian Political Science Association Annual meeting 2013, UVic: Watch it on Youtube. Organizer: Dr. Dhamoon (UVic).

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

Teaching 2017-18

On leave

Previous course outlines
Previous courses
  • POSC 100: Introduction to Politics
  • POSC 120: Ideology & Politics
  • POSC 332: The Politics of Multiculturalism
  • POSC 333: On Indigenous Land: The Politics of Diaspora & Indigeneity
  • POSC 350: Gender & Feminist Politics


  • "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).

Book chapters:

  • "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:

  • 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:

  • "Exclusion & Regulated Inclusion: The Case of the Sikh Kirpan in Canada" (in progress).
  • "Navigating Settler-Colonialism through Intersectionality: Unsettled Solidarities" (in progress).
  • "Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism: The Role of Nonwhite Instructors", co-authored Rita Kaur Dhamoon, Adrienne Chan and Lisa Moy (under review).
  • "Which Genocide Matters the Most? The Problem with 'Oppression Olympics'", co-authored Rita Kaur Dhamoon & Olena Hankivsky (in progress).