We are excited to announce that Queenie Sukhadia (English, The Graduate Center, CUNY) will be the first Writer in Residence for Distributaries at the Center for The Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY!

Writing for a wide readership through multiple platforms and media, Queenie’s role as the Writer in Residence for the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research will be to work closely with the cohort of faculty fellows, graduate students, and community partners to develop critical, creative, and constructive writing about public humanities practices, the institutionalization of such practices at CUNY and across New York City, specific projects underway as part of the seminar, and the broader social implications of the means and methods of their work.

“A deep public humanities commitment commands a radical re-haul—of our imaginations, implementation, and the systems that delimit and shape the work we do in the university.” - Queenie Sukhadia

Read Queenie’s first essay as Writer in Residence “Why the Humanities Need to Go Public, and the Ways in Which They Already Are” on Distributaries, our publication platform showcasing collaborative and creative work in the humanities at CUNY.

Kendra Sullivan, director of the seminar, writes, "We're so excited to be working with Queenie Sukhadia to craft and publicize writing that really invites readers into the process of developing and thinking through the possibilities and ramifications of public humanities practices in real time. Collectively thinking with and in expanded publics helps scholars work beyond the false binary of public and academic knowledge, invites transformative critique into the process as well as the "product" of their work, and ensures scholarship models and moves toward social justice. In this essay, I think Queenie effectively argues that scholars can and should promote social good through at least three primary means: sharing out knowledge and expertise beyond the academy, elaborating the ways in which public theory and analysis in action shapes academic work, and making academic spaces welcoming and hospitable to anyone who has a stake in higher learning—which is everyone."

This essay is part of an evolving publishing neighborhood at CUNY that amplifies work in the public humanities. Please stay tuned for news from the Center for the Humanities and PublicsLab at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

About Queenie Sukhadia

Queenie Sukhadia research is focused on the act of secondary witness—how we receive the narratives of those testifying to atrocities—in global human rights literature. Through her scholarship, she explores how we can read testimonial narratives in more equitable, empowering ways—outside of the frames made common-sense by structures such as the courtroom.

Apart from being a scholar, she is also a creative writer and published a collection of short stories, A City of Sungazers, in 2017. Queenie is also Managing Editor of the Graduate Center newspaper, the Advocate, and works with the PublicsLab as a Mellon Humanities Public Scholar. She holds a BA (with high honors) from Dartmouth College and an MA in English (with distinction) from Georgetown University.

Dissatisfied with how scholarly thought, capable of contributing to and enriching public discourse, remains contained within the university, she has recently launched a project on Instagram Academia for All @academiaforall to democratize the reach of these ideas. Queenie's goal is to extend the conversation around scholarly research into the public sphere, so that it can be drawn on as a resource to promote social justice in tangible ways.

Follow her on @academiaforall and look for forthcoming writing by Queenie here on Distributaries and various platforms and media from the Center for the Humanities.