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Neda Atanasoski

Dr. Atanasoski in a black sleeveless shirt in front of a bush that fills the frame

Professor and Chair, The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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Research Expertise

Critical Race Theory
Cultural Studies
Decolonial Feminisms
Feminist Science Studies
Media Studies
Postcolonial Feminisms
Transnational Feminisms
Visual Culture

Neda Atanasoski is Professor and Chair of the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.  She is the author of Humanitarian Violence: The U.S. Deployment of Diversity (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) and Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures (co-authored with Kalindi Vora, Duke University Press, 2019). She is also the co-editor of a 2017 special issue of the journal Social Identities, titled “Postsocialist Politics and the Ends of Revolution.” Atanasoski has published articles on gender and religion, nationalism and war, human rights and humanitarianism, and race and technology, which have appeared in journals such as American Quarterly, Cinema Journal, Catalyst, and The European Journal of Cultural Studies. She is currently the co-editor of the journal Critical Ethnic Studies. Previously, Atanasoski was Professor of Feminist Studies and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and the founding co-Director of the Center for Racial Justice at The University of California at Santa Cruz.


Surrogate Humanity Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures

In Surrogate Humanity Neda Atanasoski and Kalindi Vora trace the ways in which robots, artificial intelligence, and other technologies serve as surrogates for human workers within a labor system entrenched in racial capitalism and patriarchy.

The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Lead: Neda Atanasoski

Analyzing myriad technologies, from sex robots and military drones to sharing-economy platforms, Atanasoski and Vora show how liberal structures of antiblackness, settler colonialism, and patriarchy are fundamental to human---machine interactions, as well as the very definition of the human. While these new technologies and engineering projects promise a revolutionary new future, they replicate and reinforce racialized and gendered ideas about devalued work, exploitation, dispossession, and capitalist accumulation. Yet, even as engineers design robots to be more perfect versions of the human—more rational killers, more efficient workers, and tireless companions—the potential exists to develop alternative modes of engineering and technological development in ways that refuse the racial and colonial logics that maintain social hierarchies and inequality.

Humanitarian Violence The U.S. Deployment of Diversity

Exploring the transition from the old imperialism based on race to the new imperialism based on diversity.

The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Lead: Neda Atanasoski

Humanitarian Violence considers U.S. militarism—humanitarian militarism—during the Vietnam War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and the 1990s wars of secession in the former Yugoslavia. Neda Atanasoski reveals a system of postsocialist imperialism based on humanitarian ethics, identifying a discourse of race that focuses on ideological and cultural differences and makes postsocialist and Islamic nations the targets of U.S. disciplining violence.