Dr. Annie Dandavati has been appointed director of women's studies at Hope College.
Dandavati has been a member of the Hope political science faculty and taught in the women's studies program since 1992. Her research emphases include women's rights overseas, and she teaches a number of courses on women's issues and development, gender and democratization, and topics including Asian politics, Latin American politics and international relations.
"Hope is fortunate to have someone like Professor Dandavati leading the Women's Studies Program," said Alfredo Gonzales, who is associate provost and dean for international and multicultural education at Hope. "She is well-published scholar, an award-winning teacher and a colleague whose deep love for students and passion for equality and justice make her the right choice to direct Hope's WS Program."
"As director, Professor Dandavati brings to our students and faculty a deep understanding of gender and justice issues in Latin America and in other parts of the world," Gonzales said. "Her perspective on the intersection of gender and justice, a perspective well-informed by her own research and upbringing, plus the ability to speak four languages, including Hindi and Punjabi - all areas of strength that will assist her engage students on issues pertaining to global feminism."
Hope established the women's studies program in the 1990s, initially offering a minor and expanding the program to include a major in 2005. The program is based in the political science office area on the second floor of Lubbers Hall, where Dandavati's office is also located.
The interdisciplinary program includes courses from multiple departments, including art, communication, English, history, modern and classical languages, music, political science, psychology, religion and sociology. The college's first director of women's studies was Dr. Jane Dickie, professor of psychology, who continues to teach in the program.
Dandavati joined the Hope faculty as an assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and to full professor in 2005. Her areas of specialization include comparative politics, Latin America and human rights.
Her publications include the books "The Women's Movement and the Transition to Democracy in Chile" (1996) and "Engendering Democracy in Chile" (2004). She is also author of the chapter "Women and the Reconstruction of Chilean Democracy," included in the book "Democratization and the Protection of Human Rights Challenges and Contradictions" (1998). She has also written many articles and papers for presentation at professional conferences.
In 1997, the college's graduating class presented her with the Hope Outstanding Professor Educator (H.O.P.E.) Award. She also presented the college's Commencement address in 1997. In 2004 she received the college's Multicultural Life Award and Outstanding Hope Woman Award.
In addition to her teaching on campus, Dandavati has led Hope study-abroad programs in Mexico and Chile, and is developing programs in Peru and Uganda. She has also served as advisor for a variety of Hope student organizations.
Born in India, she holds her bachelor's degree from Jesus and Mary College, her master's from Jawahar Lal Nehru University, and her doctorate from the University of Denver.