Jiya Pandya


Jiya is a historian of disability and of colonial and post-colonial South Asia. Her dissertation focuses on disability, heirarchy, and social welfare from the 1930s to 1990s in India. Rather than taking "disability" as a bounded, defined term, she instead uses methodologies from feminist, queer, and crip theories of the archive to treat the concept as contextual and historical, changing depending on who is deploying it and why. In so doing, the project rejects binaries of Western "disability" and "authentic" Indian bodily alterity, instead focusing on the provincialized and hybridized definitions of "disability" in transnational welfare networks emanating to and from India. Firmly rooted in oral and social history practices, her dissertation also examines the interactions of "disability" as a concept with social hierarchies, particularly those of caste, class, and gender. 

Jiya strongly believes in non-Eurocentric and praxis-driven scholarship, and her teaching and academic service reflect this commitment. She has taught courses in global history, oral history, US history, and gender and sexuality studies to students in Princeton, incarcerated students in New Jersey, and to undergraduate and masters students at Al-Quds University in Palestine, the European Humanities Univerity in Belarus, and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. She serves on the boards of the Disability History Association, the Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative, and on Princeton's Ad-Hoc Committee on Sexual Climate, Culture and Conduct. On campus she has also run the Gender and Sexuality Studies Working Group, the Social Theory and Social Thought reading group, the Disability Studies Working Group, and the South Asia Graduate Workshop. She previously served as the UMatter Graduate Fellow, developing programs and resources to help graduate students prevent and navigate power-based violence, substance abuse, and mental health concerns.

She has upcoming publications in Disability Studies Quarterly, Lateral, and History of Anthropology Review. She has also been featured in the podcasts Disability Crosses Borders and En-Gender Conversations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she developed a #CripCOVID19Syllabus which was featured on the Visualizing the Virus digital humanities project.

Year of Study
Fifth Year
Area of Interest
(In alphabetical order)
Colonialism & Post Colonialism
Gender & Sexuality
Legal History
Public History
Race & Ethnicity
Social History
Home Department & Other Affiliations
20th Century
21st Century
United States