Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Duke University Ranjana Khanna presented a lecture titled “Asylum and Disposability” on Feb. 23, discussing the changing definition of asylum and its implications for feminist politics.

“[Understanding post-globalization asylum is an] important mechanism for the advancement of feminism,” Khanna said.

She spoke of her latest research in the concept and practice of asylum, especially as the word relates to places of refuge, places of worship, homes for the insane with specific architectural designs and facilities for asylum seekers.

Khanna specifically looked at the notion of disposability and the various forms of dehumanization associated with asylums.

Khanna was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies at UR in 1994.

“UR was [my] first real institutional affiliation,” Khanna said.

Khanna’s focus is on Anglo and Francophone postcolonial theory and literature, psychoanalysis, film and feminist theory.

She is the author of “Dark Continents: Psychoanalysis and Colonialism” and “Algeria Cuts: Women and Representation, 1830 to the Present.”

He can be reached at

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