More than a Game: Sports, Race, and Masculinity in Diaspora w/ Vyjayanthi Vadrevu and Stanley Thangaraj


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In this episode we meet Dr. Stan Thangaraj, an anthropology professor at the City College of New York whose research includes immigration in the U.S, being interviewed by Vyjayanthi Vadrevu, a business anthropologist and ethnographer. Together, the two discuss basketball, community, identity, race relations and so much more. Stay tuned with us as you learn about why race relations are so important and the answers to the following questions:

  • What does sports and their global popularity reveal about race relations in the US?
  • What can we learn from the merging transnational identities?
  • How has the “Black Lives Matter” Movement impacted the nonwhite and nonblack communities?
  • What are the politics within the diasporic communities?
  • Why is it so important to continue research and teaching about these communities?

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Stanley Thangaraj is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the City College of New York (CUNY). His interests are at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship. He studies immigrant and refugee communities in the U.S. South to understand how they manage the black-white racial logic through gender, how the afterlife of colonialism takes shape in the diaspora, and the kinds of horizontal processes of race-making.His monograph Desi Hoop Dreams: Pickup Basketball and the Making of Asian American Masculinity (NYU Press, 2015) looks at the relationship between race and gender in co-ethnic-only South Asian American sporting cultures.

Vyjayanthi Vadrevu is an ethnographer/ design researcher and strategist with a background in anthropology, business development, and nonprofit administration. She works on social impact design projects as well as corporate technology projects, delivering insights to help clients better serve their end users and beneficiaries. Vyjayanthi is also a trained bharatantyam dancer, with additional experience in Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathak, and West African dance, and uses movement and choreography to connect to the deepest parts of the human experience.

Music: Epidemic Sound
Show notes: Xin Yao Lin, Elizabeth Smyth
Episode art by: Sara Schmieder

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