Ajay Parasram

photo of Ajay Parasram

Associate Professor, Dalhousie University. Cross Appointed to departments of International Development Studies, History, and Political Science.

PhD Political Science (2017) with specialization in Political Economy. Subfields: International Relations and Comparative Politics.

I spent my first year as a mild-mannered professor during the day and full-time panicked graduate student at night until I defended in March 2017. I’ve enjoyed getting into a delightful range of trouble, pushing the bar on academic freedom by doing all the things I did as a grad student but with the added privilege and obligations of being securely employed. I’ve been studying the colonial present, or the many imbrications of historical colonial encounters and how they continue to structure the contemporary world in ways that are poorly understood. Most recently this has taken the form of work on structural white supremacy and decolonization. I run a monthly YouTube show with Fernwood Publishing and my colleague Alex Khasnabish (Mount Saint Vincent University) called “Safe Space For White Questions” and am working on a book due out for Fall 2022 called How To Talk To Your Racist Uncle: A Manual For Racial Resilience. I also developed and run (with Gaynor Watson-Creed) a White Fragility Clinic in the Faculty of Medicine at Dalhousie. I’m a Founding Fellow at the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance and a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (NS Office).

My time as a grad student at Carleton has profoundly shaped my life as a scholar, but also just as a human being. Building a postcolonial/decolonial reading group with inspiring professors and other grad students, working closely on the editorial board of the Leveller newspaper, and being a part of the vibrant grassroots activist community in the city of Ottawa are experiences that I would never wish to part with.