Stanley Thangaraj, Ph.D., joined the Stonehill College community in 2022. As the inaugural James E. Hayden Chair for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Social Justice, he leads the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Social Justice, an interdisciplinary hub supporting faculty and student research that examines how race, ethnicity, and other categories of difference are infused in structures of power. 

Thangaraj’s scholarship focuses on the ways in which race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class and citizenship shape the experiences of immigrant and refugee communities in the U.S. South. His 2015 book, Desi Hoop Dreams: Pickup Basketball and the Making of Asian American Masculinity (NYU Press), investigates the ways in which South Asian American men express their identities and cultivate a sense of belonging in the United States through sports. He has also been interviewed frequently to provide insights on the experiences of the Asian American community, particularly Asian American athletes. His two newest projects examine communities of color in the U.S. South. His most recent book examines Kurdish diasporas in Nashville and the northeastern US to examine how they manage stateless, race, and identity. Thangaraj’s third book project investigates the politics of race, class and sexuality through the relationships between civil rights museums, the city and processes of gentrification.   

Thangaraj comes to Stonehill from the City College of New York, where he served as an associate professor of anthropology, gender studies, and international studies. He worked with students, staff, and faculty on a Gender Task Force that played a pivotal role in the creation of the LGBTQI Center on campus. He served as chair of City College of New York’s Faculty Senate Diversity Committee, facilitating anti-racist dialogue to help recruit and retain students and faculty of color while addressing issues of accessibility, gender, sexuality, and ethnicity. He was also an active member of the City University of New York Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 


  • B.A., Anthropology and Political Science, Emory University
  • M.A., Social Sciences, University of Chicago
  • Ph.D., Socio-cultural Anthropology with a graduate certificate in Asian American Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of the U.S. South
  • Asian American Studies
  • South Asian American Studies
  • Kurdish America and Middle Eastern America
  • Gender Theory
  • Theories of Race
  • Anthropology of Sport 

Selected Publications

  • 2015 Desi Hoop Dreams: Pick-Up Basketball and the Making of Asian American Masculinity. New York: New York University Press
  • Forthcoming Montez de Oca, Jeffrey and Stanley Thangaraj. Athletic Activism.  Emerald Press. 
  • 2021 Ratna, Aarti, Erica Rand, Daniel Burdsey, and Stanley Thangaraj.  Leisure, Racism, and National Populism.  Abingdon: Routledge. 
  • 2019 Thangaraj, Stanley and Aynur De Rouen. (eds.) Kurdish Diasporas. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies 6(2)
  • 2018 Thangaraj, Stanley, Daniel Burdsey, Aarti Ratna, and Erica Rand. (eds.) Leisure and National Populism. Special Issue of Leisure Studies 37(6)
  • 2016 Thangaraj, Stanley with co-editors Constancio Arnaldo, Jr. and Christina Chin) Asian American Sporting Cultures.  New York: New York University Press.
  • 2014 Thangaraj, Stanley, Daniel Burdsey, and Rajinder Dudrah.  Sport and South Asian Diasporas: Playing through Space and Time.  Abingdon: Routledge.  
  • 2013 Burdsey, Daniel, Stanley Thangaraj, and Rajinder Dudrah.  Special Issue on “Sport and South Asian Diasporas” Special issue of South Asian Popular Culture 11(3)
  • Forthcoming “Woman” and Diasporic Kurdish Identity: Gender, Religion, Race, and Resistance in the United States. Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies
  • Forthcoming “Thind, Race, and Belonging Across the Edges of Time." Ethnic Studies Review
  • 2023 "'I Am Asian': Kurdish Diasporas, Interconnected Racial Geographies, and Asian America." Journal of Asian American Studies, vol. 26 no. 2, 2023, p. 167-173.
  • 2022 “Masculinities.” Feminist Anthropology 
  • 2022 ““We share the same ancestry”: US Kurdish Diasporas and the Aspirational and Ascriptive Practices of Race.” American Anthropologist 124(1): 104-117
  • 2022 "Historicizing Archaeological Epistemologies, Naturalizing the Nation, and Foreclosing Minoritized Lives." Current Anthropology 63(2)
  • 2021 “Racing the Muslim: Strategies for Teaching Race and Ethnic Studies in the Education Curriculum.” Urban Education 56(7): 1042-1066
  • 2020 ““I was raised Buddhist”: Tiger Woods, Race, and Asian-ness.” Sociology of Sport Journal 37(3)
  • 2019 “Kurdish Diasporic Matters: Signaling New Epistemologies of Diaspora.” Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies 6(2)
  • 2019 “Sporting Protests and Asian America: An Event Review of Sidelined.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas 5(1-2).
  • 2018 Thangaraj, Stanley, Aarti Ratna, Daniel Burdsey, and Erica Rand. “Leisure and the Racing of National Populism.” Leisure Studies 37(6)
  • 2015 “They said ‘Go Back to Afghanistan’: U.S. Publics, Playing Basketball, and Challenging the American Terror(ist)” Amerasia 41(2): 25-46.
  • 2013 Burdsey, Daniel, Stanley Thangaraj, and Rajinder Dudrah. “Playing through Time and Space: South Asian Diasporas and Sport.” South Asian Popular Culture 11(3)
  • 2013 “Competing Masculinities: Ethnic Sport Leagues and South Asian American Masculinity.” South Asian Popular Culture 11(3)
    • 2017 (Reprint) Physical Culture, Ethnography and the Body: Theory, Method and Praxis, (eds.) Michael Giardina and Michele Donnelly. New York: Routledge.
  • 2012 “Playing through Difference: The Black-White Racial Logic and Interrotating South Asian American Identity.”  Journal of Ethnic and Racial Studies 35(6)
  • 2010 “Liting it Up: Popular Culture, Indo-Pak Basketball, and South Asian American Institutions” Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 2(2)
  • 2010 “Ballin’ Indo-Pak Style: Pleasures, Desires, and Expressive Practices of “South Asian American” Masculinity.” International Review for the Sociology of Sport 45(3)
  • 2022 “9/11, Race, and South Asian America.” ABC-Clio High School Textbook Publishers
  • 2021 “Reppin’ American Studies: Asian American Studies and Popular Culture as Pedagogy.” In Teaching American Studies: State of the Classroom as State of the Field, (eds.) Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Joseph Entin, and Rebecca Hill. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Press.
  • 2021 Thangaraj, Stanley, Akshat Tewary, and Vasef Sajid. “Desi Basketball Diaries” In Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America. Philadelphia: SAADA
  • 2017 Ratna, Aarti, Samaya Farooq-Samie, Katherine Jamieson and Stanley Thangaraj. “Learning Lessons from the feminisms of ethnic ‘Others.’” Handbook of Feminisms in Sport, Leisure and PE. London: Palgrave-MacMillan. 
  • 2016 Thangaraj, Stanley, Constancio Arnaldo Jr., and Christina Chin. “Introduction: You Play Sports? Asian American Sporting Matters.” In Asian American Sporting Cultures. (eds.) Stanley Thangaraj, Constancio Arnaldo Jr., and Christina Chin. New York: New University Press.
  • 2016 “Managing Race, Class, and Gender: Atlanta’s South Asian American Muslims and the Localized Management of the “Global War on Terror.” Lexington Books, (ed.) Aparajita De.
  • 2015 “American Public Spaces and Gender: Muslim America, Sport, and Activism.” In Suad Joseph and Sarah Gualtieri, editors, Encyclopedia of Women in Islamic Cultures. Leiden: Brill.
  • 2014 “Liting it Up”: Indo-Pak Basketball and Finding the American-Ness in South Asian American Institutions.” Asian Americans in Sport and Society, (ed.) Richard King. Abingdon: Routledge 
  • 2014 Thangaraj, Stanley and Constancio Arnaldo Jr. “Asian American Sporting Cultures.” Asian American Society: An Encyclopedia, (ed.) Mary Danico.  New York: Sage Publications
  • 2014 Arnaldo Jr., Constancio and Stanley Thangaraj. “Asian American Athletes.” Asian American Society: An Encyclopedia, (ed.) Mary Danico.  New York: Sage Publications
  • 2014 “We’re 80% more Patriotic’: Atlanta’s Muslim Community and the Performances of Cultural Citizenship,” Routledge International Handbook of Race, Class, and Gender (ed.) Shirley Jackson.  Abingdon: Routledge.