Suzanne Persard

Assistant Professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies
Office: CMC 202


Dr. Suzanne Caroline Persard (PhD, Emory University) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Florida and affiliate faculty at the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Persard is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research and teaching broadly engage questions of gender, sexuality and the colonial archive. A scholar with expertise on Indian indentureship to the Caribbean and its diasporas, Dr. Persard has published scholarship about feminist theories of decoloniality; queer archives and post-indenture visual culture; and Indo-Jamaican folk performance and historiography in the following publications: Feminist Review; Journal of West Indian Literature; Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies; and the Journal of Indentureship and Its Legacies. Her first manuscript, Queering Jahaji, is an interdisciplinary project that combines archival research; autoethnography; drag performance and political activism to theorize a genealogy of queer kinship in the midst of gender-based violence from the 19th-century Caribbean plantation to the 21st-century sidewalks of New York City.  

Dr. Persard has been profiled by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center for her work as an activist and founding member of Jahajee Sisters, the first non-profit in the U.S. committed to ending gender-based violence within Indo-Caribbean communities. She is the creator and curator of the interdisciplinary project, Queer x Indenture, a transnational series featuring queer scholars; visual artists; performers; and archivists supported by a Mellon Humanities PhD Interventions grant and Emory University. She is the creator of two Digital Humanities projects (Digital Diasporas and its corresponding Omeka open-access digital collection) featuring visual storytelling, oral histories and ephemera from descendants of the indentured Indian diaspora in Jamaica; Suriname; the Netherlands; Trinidad and Tobago; South Africa; Fiji; and Australia. Dr. Persard has also advised the archival acquisitions of the Indo-Caribbean Collection, which is the first collection of its kind in the United States, at the University of Pennsylvania.