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Lecturer in Gender Studies, UCCGS

Dr Bogdan Popa

Lecturer in Gender Studies, UCCGS

Dr Bogdan Popa


Ph.D. Political Science, Indiana University–Bloomington, USA

Ph.D. Philosophy, Cum Laude, University of Bucharest, Romania

M.A. Political Science, University of Bucharest, Romania

B.A. Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Romania

Research Interests

I am a political theorist with research interests in queer studies, critical race studies, Marxist theories of labour, history of political thought, and feminist theory and activism. My research focuses on an analysis of the relationship between shame and politics, with a focus on historical practices that challenge and disturb the status quo. My book, Shame: A Genealogy of Queer Practices in the Nineteenth Century, provides a radical re-framing of shame as a vital impetus of queer feminist activism. This manuscript is based on my dissertation, which won APSA's Best Dissertation Award in Sexuality and Politics, and it brings together Rancière’s techniques of disrupting inequality with a queer curiosity in the performativity of shame, to illuminate how nineteenth-century activists denaturalised conventional beliefs about sexuality and gender. 

I am currently working on two new book projects, which focus on the relationship between labour, race and political thought. Turning to the work of critical race and Afro-pessimist theorists ranging from W.E.B. Du Bois to Fred Moten and Saidiya Hartman, this genealogical study exposes the uneven racial politics of canon formation and offers new ways of reading it by drawing on the theories of the political produced by the African diaspora over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It centres on the figure of the slave—and its transformation through labour into a free individual. Alongside the writings of nineteenth and twentieth century Black authors, I read key texts in political theory in order to consider how the recognition of slave's humanity was also an instantiation of racial hierarchies and dissimulated the violence of chattel slavery.

The second book project, tentatively titled The New Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Formation of Romanian Nation, develops a conception of queer Marxist agency by exploring the intersection between property, identity, and labour in nineteenth century Romanian history and its permutations in contemporary activism. As a decolonial project, this book is interested in how the local struggles of workers, queers, and Roma can modify a hegemonic Anglo-American understanding of political activism.

Key Publications

Shame: A Genealogy of Queer Practices in the Nineteenth Century (May 2017), New York and Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press 

Shame Book Cover