School of Social and Political Science

Shaira Vadasaria

Job Title

Lecturer in Race and Decolonial Studies

Shaira Vadasaria

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research themes

Research interests

Race and Colonialism, Law and Regulation, Forced Displacement and Refugee Studies, Reparations and Redress, decolonial thought, Feminist Theory and Research, Palestine Studies

My research and teaching examines formations of race and racialization across law, social regulation, and settler colonial nation building. I enter these fields of inquiry through epistemological and methodological considerations, two of which have been central in my scholarship and teaching: First, how do we account for the continuity of race and racial violence as it changes in grammar and political form? Second, how do displaced and dispossessed communities make claims to life under on-going processes of social death and exclusion?

These two questions have given shape and content to my research program which engages with race and decolonial thought across multiple field sites and scholarly field debates, some of which include: The building of the ‘Museum of Tolerance, Jerusalem’ on top of Mamilla Cemetery, a Muslim burial ground in Jerusalem (see ‘Necronationalism: managing race, death and the nation’s skeletons,’ Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture); The epistemic tensions within securitization studies in addressing anti-immigrant racism and the securitization of immigration (see ‘Uninhibited Violence: race and the securitization of immigration,’ Critical Studies on Security); The state of the field of socio-legal studies in Canada and its engagement with race and colonialism (‘Race and Colonialism in Socio-Legal Studies in Canada, forthcoming), and the racial politics of humanitarianism and return in the early years of Palestinian expulsion (see ‘1948 to 1951: The racial politics of humanitarianism and return in Palestine,' Oñati Socio-Legal Studies, 2020).

My SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) funded doctoral research received the ‘Sociology Distinguished Dissertation Award’ issued by the Department of Sociology at York University and subsequently, received an additional award issued by the Canadian Sociological Association.

Currently, I am working on my book manuscript “Temporalities of Return: Race, Refusal and Claims to Otherwise in Palestine” which tends to the representational lives of return for displaced Palestinians from the Galilee to Gaza. I read these lived claims to return across law, aesthetics, sensory politics and land-based sovereignty movements.

Before joining SSPS, I held a Visiting Assistant Professor appointment at Al-Quds University - Jerusalem, Palestine and Carleton University - Ottawa, Canada.

Topics interested in supervising

Race and Colonialism; Law, Criminalization and Social Regulation; Forced Displacement, Critical Refugee Studies; Indigenous Sovereignty; Decoloniality; Feminist Theory and Research Practices; Cultural Studies; Critical Methodology; Palestine/Israel; Middle-East Politics; Political Imprisonment; Reparations and Redress; Sensory Ethnography

Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

By appointment

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Vadasaria S. 1948 to 1951: The racial politics of humanitarianism and return in Palestine. Oñati Socio-Legal Series. 2020 Jun 3;10(6):1242-1269.
Moffette D, Vadasaria S. Uninhibited violence: Race and the securitization of immigration. Critical Studies on Security. 2016;4(3):291-305.
Vadasaria S. Necronationalism: Managing race, death and the nation's skeletons. Social Identities. 2015;21(2):117-131.
Jahangeer R, Vadasaria S. Introduction: Violence in a Far Country: Other Women’s Lives. In Perera S, Razack SH, editors, At the Limits of Justice: Women of Colour on Terror. University of Toronto Press. 2014. p. 143-148
Vadasaria S. Anti-Colonial poetics: A methodology from and for Palestine. In Fogel C, Quinlan A, Quinlan E, editors, Imaginative Inquiry: Innovative Approaches to Interdisciplinary Research. Academia Press. 2013. p. 167-181