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Shampa Biswas

Shampa Biswas

Judge and Mrs. Timothy A. Paul Chair of Political Science and Professor of Politics, Co-Chair of Politics

Shampa Biswas is an international relations theorist specializing in postcolonial theory and nuclear politics. She has written and taught extensively on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, global security, race in international relations, global development, nationalism, globalization, and gender, and South Asian politics. She is currently working on a project on nuclear memorialization and the global story of Fat Man (the bomb dropped on Nagasaki) that connects uranium mining in Belgian Congo; plutonium production in Hanford, WA; the Trinity atomic test in New Mexico; and the bombing of Nagasaki.

Shampa Biswas currently serves as Chair of the Social Sciences. She has recently published several essays on higher education. She also serves on the Advisory Board of The Consequences of Radiation Exposure, a Washington state-based NGO.

Ph.D. Political Science
University of Minnesota

M.A. International Relations
Maxwell School of Citizenship, Syracuse University

M.A. Economics
Dehli School of Economics
University of Dehli, 1988

B.A. Economics
St. Stephen's College, University of Dehli

International Politics (Pol 147)

International Political Economy (Pol 179)

The Politics of Globalization (Pol 232)

Global Security (Pol 320)

The Politics of International Hierarchy (Pol 331)

International Political Theory (Pol 347)

Gender and International Hierarchy (Pol 359)


Nuclear Desire: Power and the Postcolonial Nuclear Order. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

Torture: Power, Democracy, and the Human Body, Co-edited with Zahi Zalloua. Seattle: University of Washington Press, in association with Whitman College, 2011.

Margins, Peripheries and Excluded Bodies: International Relations and States of Exception. Co-edited (with Sheila Nair) volume, London: Routledge Press, 2010.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

“The Call of the Shadows: From Nuclear Colorado to Nuclear Washington.” Society and Space, June 12th, 2023: https://www.societyandspace.org/articles/the-call-of-the-shadows-from-nuclear-colorado-to-nuclear-washington

“Masculinist states, radioactive contamination, and transnational nuclear justice: a conversation on building bridges across borders.” International Feminist Journal of Politics, 23.1, 2021.

“Postcolonialism” in International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity (5th edition), edited by Tim Dunne, Steve Smith and Milja Kurki. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Contributor to Robbie Shilliam (ed.) “Race and racism in international relations: retrieving a scholarly inheritance,” International Politics Reviews (2020) 8:152–195.

“Nuclear Harms and Global Disarmament,” in John Ikenberry and Michael Grodin (ed.) Global Hiroshima: The History, Politics and Legacies of Nuclear Weapons. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.

““Made in China,” or When Solidarity Goes to Die,” Journal of Narrative Politics, 6.1, 2019; 22-25.

“Iran v “The International Community”: A Postcolonial Analysis of the Negotiations on the Iranian Nuclear Program,” Asian Journal of Political Science, 26.2, 2018; 231-251.

“Stories of Hegemony: The Political Stakes of the Rise and Decline of U.S. Power,” Journal of Asian Studies, 75.4, 2016.

“Postcolonialism” in  International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 4th edition, 2015.

“The Undervalued Labor of Curricular and Substantive Diversity”, Editor, “Conversations” in International Feminist Journal of Politics, 16.3, 2014.

“Nuclear Weapons in South Asia” in Edward Ramsamy, Andrea L. Stanton, Peter J. Seybolt, and Carolyn Elliott (ed.), Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa: An Encyclopedia, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2012. </p

“Postcolonial Security Studies” in Laura J. Shepherd (ed.),  Critical Approaches to Security: Theories and Methods. Routledge Press., 2012.

“Aid Effectiveness, Transaction Costs and Conditionality”, Co-authored (with Richard Ashford), International Journal of Educational Development, Volume 30, Issue 5, 2010.

"Empire and Global Public Intellectuals: Reading Edward Said as an International Relations Theorist," Millenium: Journal of International Studies, Vol. 36, Issue 1, January 2007.

"Patriotism in the Peace Movement: The Limits of Nationalist Resistance to Global Imperialism." in Naeem Inayatullah and Robin Riley (ed.), Interrogating Imperialism: Conversations on Gender, Race and War. New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2006.

"Globalization and the Nation Beyond: The Indian-American Diaspora and the Rethinking of Territory, Citizenship and Democracy", New Political Science, Vol 27, No. 1, March 2005.

"To be Modern, but in the ‘Indian’ Way: Hindu Nationalism", forthcoming in Robert Denemark and Maryann Tetreault (ed.), Gods, Guns, and Globalization: Religious Radicalism and International Political Economy (International Political Economy Yearbook, Vol 13), Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2004.

"W(h)ither the Nation State? National and State Identity in the Face of Fragmentation and Globalization", Global Society, Volume 16, No. 2, April 2002.

"Deconstructing the 'New Cold War': Religious Nationalisms, Orientalism and Postcoloniality". Chapter in Geeta Chowdhury and Sheila Nair (ed.) book titled Power in a Postcolonial World: Race, Gender and Class in International Relations. Routledge Press, 2002.

"'Nuclear Apartheid' Race as a Postcolonial Resource?" Article forthcoming in a special issue on Race and International Relations in Alternatives, Vol. 26, No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 2001.

“The lesson of this moment: Abolish nuclear weapons,” Op-Ed in The Seattle Times, March 24th, 2023: https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/the-lesson-of-this-moment-abolish-nuclear-weapons/.

Interviewed on Episode 1 of the Series “Taking Back the Narrative,” on the podcast Press the Button, Ploughshares Fund, April 18th, 2023.

“Teaching the War in Ukraine,” Op-Ed in The Edge, March 8th, 2023: https://www.theedgemedia.org/teaching-war-ukraine/

Interview with Ploughshares Fund: https://ploughshares.org/issues-analysis/article/seven-questions-shampa-biswas

Participant on webinar titled “How Do You Distinguish Yourself Through Your Curriculum” hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education on March 31, 2022.

“Teaching Curve,” Interviewed by Dr. Jamie Frueh for a pedagogy podcast series titled organized in collaboration with the Innovative Pedagogy Initiative of the International Studies Association, July 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onj42sKbrvA.

“A Theme for a Troubled Academic Year” in Insider Higher Education, September 24, 2021: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2021/09/24/educational-benefits-focusing-one-theme-throughout-year opinion#:~:text=Shampa%20Biswas%20describes%20why%20her,of%20the%20important%20educational%20benefits.

“A Pandemic Lesson for Higher Education Administration: Promoting Inclusive Education,” (co-authored with Richard Ashford) in Forum of the American Journal of Education, September 17, 2021: https://www.ajeforum.com/a-pandemic-lesson-for-higher-education-administration-promoting-inclusive-education/

“Lessons From a Course on the Pandemic,” in Insider Higher Ed, July, 2020: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2020/07/01/college-course-pandemic-offers-lessons-value-liberal-arts-education-opinion

“College Ranking Metrics Should Include Academic Rankings,” (co-authored with Richard Ashford and Mohan Dutta) in Insider Higher Ed, November 2019: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2019/11/06/why-academic-freedom-should-be-included-college-rankings-opinion

“Stop Trying to Cultivate Student Leaders,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, October, 2019: https://www.chronicle.com/article/stop-trying-to-cultivate-student-leaders/

“Advice on Advising: Mentoring Minority Students,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education, March-April, 2019: https://www.chronicle.com/article/Advice-on-Advising-How-to/245870.

“US-Iran Relations After the Nuclear Deal,” on Radio Program Wake with Luke Vargas, UN-based outlet Talk Media News: http://www.talkmedianews.com/wake/. August 17, 2018.

“Nuclear Ruins Through Time” in “Nuclear Ruminations,” Jadaliyya, August 24, 2017: http://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/34516/Nuclear-Ruminations.

“The Pedagogy of Peace” in “Nuclear Ruminations,” Jadaliyya, August 24, 2017: http://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/34516/Nuclear-Ruminations.

“Finger on the Nuclear Button: Gender, Responsibility, and Nuclear Custodianship,” E-International Relations, August 24, 2016: http://www.e-ir.info/2016/08/24/finger-on-the-nuclear-button-gender-responsibility-and-nuclear-custodianship/

“Finger on the Nuclear Button: Gender, Responsibility, and Nuclear Custodianship,”: http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/25005/finger-on-the-nuclear-button_gender-responsibility

Interview with Ezine, Jadaliyya, Nov 5, 2014: https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/31444

Blogpost titled “A Sustainable Planet is a Nuclear-Free Planet”, Oct 29, 2014: https://uminnpressblog.com/2014/10/29/a-sustainable-planet-is-a-nuclear-free-planet/

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