Gender and Women's Studies

  • Welcome back to Spring Semester!
  • Gender & Women's Studies
  • Ni Una Menos
  • Double Major with Gender and Women's Studies

Sheena Malhotra

Side shot of Sheena Malhotra smiling
(818) 677-7217
Office location:
JR 340C


Sheena Malhotra is a Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies as well as Director for the MA in Humanities Program at California State University, Northridge. 

She received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico (1999) in Communication Studies with an emphasis on gender, media, and intercultural communication. Her academic research and articles focus on the intersections of gender, media, technology and global culture, with a postcolonial analysis of media in India and the diaspora. Her research interests range from Hindi films and call centers in India to racialized implications of silences and bridgework.

Dr. Malhotra has experience in the Indian film and television industries. Prior to earning her Ph.D. degree, she worked as an Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor of Programs for BiTV (Business India Television), one of the alternative, private television networks in India. She has also worked in the Indian film industry as an Assistant Director to Shekhar Kapur (director of Bandit Queen and Elizabeth). Dr. Malhotra began teaching as an Assistant Professor in the Women's Studies department at CSUN in Fall, 2000. She teaches courses on women and popular culture as well as general GWS classes. Dr. Malhotra often teaches complete or partial online courses for the department.

Dr. Malhotra is presently the Director of Queer Studies (2019-present) and Academic Director of the MA in Humanities Program (2012 to present). She is also the Faculty Lead for the CSUN Collaboration with the American University of Bahrain. In the past, she served as the Associate Dean of the College of Humanities (2017-2019), Special Assistant to the Dean (2016-17) and as the Chair of the Gender and Women's Studies from 2009-2013). She was the Founding Director of the Queer Studies Program (serving from 2008-2012) and has also directed the Women's Resource and Research Center, served as advisor to the Women's Studies Student Association (WSSA) and Violent Acts Grounded (VAG).  Dr. Malhotra was the GWS Departmental Advisor for many years (2004-08, 2013-17, and 2019-21) and is the current Advisor for the QS Program (2019 to present). She also served on the Board of Satrang, a community organization that serves the South Asian LGBTQ community in Southern California.


Dr. Malhotra has co-edited an anthology on feminism and silence with Dr. Carrillo Rowe, Silence and Power: Feminist Reflections at the Edges of Sound (2013) (Palgrave MacMillan).

Silences, Feminism, Power book coverSilence, Feminism, Power: Reflections at the Edges of Sound interrogates the often-unexamined assumption that silence is oppressive, to consider the multiple possibilities silence enables. The equation between voice and power informs feminist theory and activism, creating an imperative that the oppressed must 'come to voice.' Alternately, this volume explores the diverse and complex ways that differently situated groups and individuals deploy power through silence. Authors engage questions like: What forms of resistance and healing do silence make possible? What alliances might be enabled by learning to read silences? Under what conditions is it productive to move between voice and silence? The book is thematically organized to explore: Intersectionality, Privilege, and Alliances; Academia and Knowledge Production; Community, Family, and Intimacy; Memory, Healing, and Power. Essays feature diverse feminist reflections on the nuanced relationship between silence and voice to foreground the creative, healing, meditative, generative and resistive power our silences engender.

She has also co-authored a book with Aimee Carrillo Rowe and Kimberlee Perez entitled Answer The Call: Virtual Migrations in Indian Call Centers (2013, University of Minnesota Press).

Answer the Call book coverAnswer The Call asks what the personal and political consequences of being a "virtual American" in India are.

Drawing from interviews with agents, trainers, managers, and CEOs at call centers in Bangalore and Mumbai, Answer the Call shows that workers in call centers are not quite in India or America but rather in a state of “virtual migration.” Encouraged to steep themselves in American culture, the agents come to internalize and perform Americanness for Americans—and each other.

Answer the Call takes on the investigation of call centers in India and uses that case study to help us to theorize, in more supple and nuanced ways, the multiple shifts in consciousness and social imaginaries that contemporary globalizing forces enable.

—Jane Desmond, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Sheena Malhotra's Publications (.pdf)