Dia Da Costa, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Policy Studies Dept


Professor, Faculty of Education - Educational Policy Studies Dept
(780) 492-7608
Education Centre - North
8730 - 112 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G5



Research Interests:

  • Feminist, Marxian, Post/Anti/Decolonial Theory
  • Critical Race, Anti-Caste, Indigenous Studies
  • Cultural Politics of State Violence and Development, and Nationalism
  • Performance, Political Activism, and Feminist Praxis
  • South Asia, South Asians in Canada

Research Project 1: Politicizing Creative Economy

SSHRC-funded research on activist performance and India's creative economy discourse and planning. Resulted in: 

A single-authored book manuscript entitled Politicizing Creative Economy: Activism and a Hunger called Theatre (2017, University of Illinois Press, Dissident Feminisms Series). 

'Sentimental Capitalism in Contemporary India: Art, Heritage, and Development in Ahmedabad, Gujarat' in Antipode (2015).

A conversation with Richa Nagar and Sarah Saddler on ideas emerging from my book: "The Perils and Possibilities of Creative Economy: A Conversation" in AGITATE!

Research Project 2: Cultural Production Under Multiple Colonialisms (with Alexandre Da Costa)

SSHRC-funded workshop on what counts as creativity under multiple articulations and relationships of colonialism in Asia and the Americas. Resulted in: 

Workshop held at the University of Alberta, April 27-29, 2017. Website: https://rce.ualberta.ca/ 

An Interview done by Scott Lingley. "Whose Creativity Counts"

Co-Edited Special Issue on workshop papers. Co-Edited with Alexandre Da Costa and Meaghan Frauts. 

"Introduction: Cultural Production under Multiple Colonialisms." with Cultural Studies. 

"Eating Heritage: Caste, Colonialism and the Contestation of adivasi Creativity." with Cultural Studies.  

Research Project 3: Unsettling Responsibilities: Caste and Indigeneity in a Transnational Frame

Application in process for an internal SAS grant and a SSHRC IG for a single-authored monograph on the responsibilities that emerge from structural complicities across colonized spaces in the contemporary world. Focusing on South Asian and South Asian Canadians, this book aims to conceptualize caste and indigeneity in a transnational frame.  

"Academically-Transmitted Caste Innocence" in Raiot Magazine

Research Project 4: Raising Insurance Awareness: Financial Education in rural India 

Queens University internal seed grant award for a project entitled Raising Insurance Awareness: Insurance, social protection, and risk in agrarian India to analyze the ways in which community-based organizations are educating rural citizens in financial education in order to successfully liberalize India's insurance sector, in tandem with the liberalization of the Indian agricultural system. This research resulted in:

The ‘Rule of Experts’ in Making a Dynamic Micro-Insurance Industry in India’ in Journal of Peasant Studies (2013). 40: 5: 845-65.


Supervisory Interests: 

I encourage graduate study applications interested in decolonial, anti-caste, anti-racist, and feminist pedagogy and politics, development and cultural practice, as well as students interested in the rigorous study of colonial and post/colonial history and contemporary society, development, education and politics, as part of their graduate training. 

I supervise in areas of political education, cultural production, feminist praxis, and the politics of development practice; ‘culture’ in the global political economy (e.g. creative economy); contemporary social and cultural theory; South Asia; North America and its colonial capitalist, imperialist and nationalist histories.

Courses Commonly Taught:

Qualitative Research Frameworks and Methodologies

Feminist Theories and Epistemologies

Education and Social Change

Cross-Cultural Studies in Education

International Development Education


EDPS 401 - Selected Topics in Educational Policy Studies

Prerequisite: consent of Department.

EDPS 524 - Feminist Theories and Epistemologies

This graduate seminar introduces students to key feminist contributions to explanations for social phenomena (i.e. theory) and key feminist debates on how we know what we know (i.e. epistemology). Feminists' key contribution to epistemologies has highlighted the power relations that shape the biases which inevitably inform any and all knowledge production. The course draws on Indigenous, Black, Dalit and anti-caste, Third World, and Women of Colour feminist theories to explore the variety of epistemological challenges these pose to canonical feminist theories and considers their implications for a variety of sites of education: from classrooms to policies and activism.

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