Side Project: Diverse Study Group


Ugh I wanted to post last night but migraine struck again. I didn’t want to post without an image though, so today is the day! Maybe it’s my migraine hangover brain, but while rereading the rows of text confused even me, thus have some random keywords emphasized for (hopefully) readability.

The What & The How

So during the holidays I mentioned on twitter that I wanted to read up on current mostly academic nonfiction and asked if anyone wanted to join in. Loved that so many of you were interested, and hope you still are at the end of this post! 😀

I graduated last year, but have continued reading articles and nonfiction regularly, however I miss the exchange and discussion part of uni that generates understanding and new ideas. So that’s why I want to make this a regular thing and also involve you folks. Knowledge production happens in fiction and on social media, especially twitter, as well, so reading scholarly works would just be another, perhaps complimentary,  approach. I realize that these works might not be accessible to all, but perhaps the format of an informal study group encourages people who wouldn’t pick up these works by themselves. Disclosure: I’ve done grad school twice, but I had to work for it, my brain is super slow. I hope to have discussions that have space for non-academic folks and a context that is not competitive. As for actually getting our hands on these books, I can ILL many UP books (which takes 2-3 weeks) here and probably share 1-2 chapters as pdfs. We might also decide to read articles and I still have access to some databases. Perhaps between all of us, we’ll manage with most works, I’m hopeful.

Which brings me to another thing: This project would basically be a study group not a book club in that we would be reading chapters from books (and /or articles), perhaps several different books to get at several ways of approaching a topic. We could always later decide if we want to continue with a specific book all the way through, but the wonderful Social Justice Book Club does this and I want to join their reading whenever a book interests me 🙂 Let me know what you think! I know we all have lots of other books to read.

Also, I was thinking of reading and discussing 1-3 chapters a month, using a hashtag (#DivStGr for example). Or we could use a shared google document perhaps. We’ll need to see how the time-zones work out, but perhaps weekends with not quite live-tweeting would work.

Also, you’ll notice that this is a book list that is broad in topics and  lot of books are left out. That is because I finally have to luxury to read widely rather than in-depth to become an expert in one particular topic. However, my focus is clearly on ethnic studies, feminism and social justice and at the moment I’m mostly focusing on the these experiences in a Western context. So there’s several fields I want to explore, and that’s how I grouped books. Of course several books would fit more than one category, but this is easier for overview, I hope.

And finally, tons of books are missing from this list. I forced myself to post only a handful of books I want to read to start with, my initial list was embarrassingly long! But I’m sure you have suggestions, too, and when we decide on a fist topic we should do additional research as well. While my goal is to read newish research, I found that it might benefit discussion and understanding to go back more so that foundational and key texts can be added too. So the older works could be read if some of you are new to a concept or topic, or for comparisons and to find changes in directions of where the field is headed.

Fields of interest/ books to read from:

Intersectional Feminism, Solidarity, Disability


Are All The Women Still White?: Rethinking Race, Expanding Feminisms  (Janell Hobson)


Intersectionality (Patricia Hill Collins, Sirma Bilge)


Feminist, Queer, Crip (Alison Kafer)



Policing the Planet (Jordan T. Camp, Christina Heatherton, eds.)


From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation (Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor)

The Prison Industrial Complex


Global Lockdown: Race, Gender, and the Prison-Industrial Complex (Julia Sudbury, ed.)


Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (Eric A. Stanley, Nat Smith, eds.)


Are Prisons Obsolete? (Angela Y. Davis)

Sound Studies


The Sonic Color Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening (Jennifer Lynn Stoever)


Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda (Deborah R. Vargas)

Indigineity, Settler-Colonialism, Sovereignty


Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (Linda Tuhiwai Smith)


Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai’i (Candace Fujikane, Jonathan Y. Okamura, eds.)

Queer Studies


Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics (Naisargi Dave)


Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology (E. Patrick Johnson, Mae G. Henderson, eds.)

Critical Ethnic Studies


Critical Ethnic Studies: A Reader (Critical Ethnic Studies Editorial Collective)



Bioinsecurities: Disease Interventions, Empire, and the Government of Species (Neel Ahuja)


Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Alexander G. Weheliye)

Health, Medicine


Medicating Race: Heart Disease and Durable Preoccupations with Difference (Anne Pollock)


Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America (Anthony Ryan Hatch)

So, what do you think? Are you in? Let me know your thoughts on the project, books on your radar and directions you want to explore!

P.S.: I’m totally taking ideas on the name!

74 thoughts on “Side Project: Diverse Study Group

Add yours

  1. I’m down. I’m always looking for people to read and discuss academic works with! I love the books you’ve listed & several are already on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg yes please! I’ve been going back and forth about a list I wanted to make about the different books I wanted to find and read this year, but I’ve been feeling like I just want to read more non-fiction. Like you, I miss the discussions from school (as my family members aren’t big readers). I just found out about the social book club as well and this discussion group would be fantastic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG yessssss. I’m still in uni but this looks way more interesting than what I’m doing atm! I also want to read all of the books that you’ve listed, they look so interesting! I hope you’re feeling a bit better btw, migraines suck :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay awesome! Glad you’re in! 🙂 Heh I feel you there, some semesters the course selection is awesome, some not. And it’s a fun reading thing, so just join whenever you can manage with uni! Will update soon with details. Oh and thank you! Strong cuppa chai and the last of my migraine was gone 🙂


    1. Do you have specific questions? I’m first going to collect names, see who’s interested. Then discuss first topic and readings. Set dates for readings, set dates for discussion (Will probably happen in Twitter).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I definitely would have interest in this, although currently I only read about one academic work every six months, so I wouldn’t be able to participate every month. I especially want to read the Hawaiian book and Blood Sugar. Not sure if you are accepting suggestions, but I would respectfully submit A Child Shall Lead Them, especially given that the first chapter is available for free (scroll way down for the link at the very end of my review). Some other academic presses also do a free chapter for their works, so that option might be worth investigating.

    It might veer too much towards popular non-fiction rather than academic, but Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? is also a good book – I had a great discussion about it once with a mixed-race nonfiction book group and learned so much. The author has a Ph.D but it is written to be accessible to non-academics.

    Great list – I had only heard of one of these!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you’re in! 🙂 And no worries, it’s a fun reading project, so just join whenever you can manage. Definitely taking suggestions, I read Why Are and it was a fascinating read and A Child Shall sounds really good too!
      Oh yeah Iove that Duke UP puts out first chapters on Scribd! Need to check for other publishers. I’ll update with details and polls in a few days so stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m in. It’s been a long time since I was in school and would love to “brush up” on some of these subjects. Some of the books on the list might even be useful for my work (I’m a civil rights attorney at a nonprofit)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay, glad you’re in! 🙂 Yeah I think google docs will be helpful for sharing info, polls and such (I’ll be sharing a link for details in a few days) and likely twitter for discussions, people tend to engage more. Oooh like the sound of that one, will add it to the list, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE this idea! I’m always up for discussing academic research, and in need of people with a similar interest! Some of the subjects you mention are areas that I need to brush up on, while others I have stayed more up-to-date on. As for categories to explore that you haven’t already listed: a broader Environmental Studies topic, and Politics both interest me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay thanks for joining! 🙂 I’m basically down for discussing any lit at the intersection of race/gender/sexuality, seen some cool work on racism and environmental studies! 🙂 I’ll be updating with details in a few days, and I’ll leave space or suggestion in the poll, so definitely add your interests there too.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This sounds SO interesting. I’d definitely love to participate. I graduated from college 9 years ago, and I’ve seriously let the analytical, critical-thinking portion of my reading lapse. I’ve been starting to peruse university press catalogs for new releases in the last six months, so my brain is ready to re-engage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, glad you’re joining us, Shauna! 🙂 Sounds like I got you at the perfect moment then 😀 I was obsessively browsing Duke UP catalogues myself. Will be updating with more details in a few days, so stay tuned!


    1. Yay 🙂 I’ll be updating with more details in a couple of days, just add your info so you know what’s going on and just join whenever you have time or are interested in a particular topic 🙂


  8. I think this is an inspiring idea, but it’s not realistic for me to think I’m ready to contribute; I’ve just begun to get serious about a return to NF-reading, so I need to get that habit secured before I can imagine reimmersing myself in more academic works (even on a limited basis) and having something to offer to discussions. But it’s heartening to know there is so much interest and commitment on the matter from so many readers here: Brava and Bravo. Thrilling! I’ll enjoy reading along while slowly rebuilding my NF-reading muscles.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay yeah I was happy to see the interest, we’ll see who sticks around for who long 😀 Definitely follow along if you want, you can add your name to the list I’m posting soon, to just keep up. And if you find you want to get back into the swing of things at any point, happy to have you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is an excellent idea!! I’m still in college but already know that I’m going to miss the discussions about trying to deconstruct academic writing/apply those reflections to our realities. Thanks so much for putting this together – I’m eagerly keeping an open ear out for more details 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yay glad you’re joining in!😊 Haha yeah I can relate, I knew I’d miss this so I did Grad school twice🙈 Hope this project will be fun but less stressful 😁 Updating w details in a couple of days.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such a good idea, Bina. I’m glad people showed interest in this project! 😀 I’m not sure this kind of project is for me, but I will be happy to boost and let others know it’s going on. I may join sometimes depending on what y’all are reading. Some of the books you listed do sound really interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your support, Naz!💜 Haha yes I am bit overwhelmed I thought maybe one or two friends would wanna join me. We’ll see how this turns out, definitely exciting. I know it’s not for everyone but you can join in whenever something interests you, many will be doing that😊


  11. Finally! I got a chance to comment on the post. Though I saw your updates on IG and Twitter I was not able to visit the original post. I hope this project really takes off. As you know non fiction is not a strong genre of mine. But I am here to support you and spread the word. I will look forward to the reviews on the books you are including in the study group as well

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are the best, Resh, thanks so much for your support!😘 I know it’s not for everyone but love the support. I might be posting thoughts about the readings whenever they fit the blog😊


  12. I continue to admire your energy, drive, and innovation, Bina! Work it! Also – have you ever tried feverfew for your migraines? I don’t know if it is strong enough but it is herbal and holistic and I’ve found that it does help with other headaches.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I AM IN and in case I ever can help with gaining access to any of the chapters, I’d be happy to help out by ILLing some of the books etc. I don’t currently have a great idea for a title but I will have a think and see if I can think of anything clever.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yesss awesome, glad you’re joining us! 🙂 Also that would be super nice if I cannot get my hands on a book over here! Will post updates on this project this week 🙂


  14. Hi Bina
    Yes, please, I’d like to join. Your book suggestions all interest me; I’m particularly keen to read Angela Davis’ Are Prisons Obsolete? But I am absolutely open to whichever you/we choose. I’ll have to join Twitter for you! (Is it embarrassing that I’m not on twitter?!) Communicating through a googledoc seems like a good idea. Jay

    Liked by 2 people

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