Karen Buenavista Hanna

Karen Buenavista Hanna

Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies

Joined Connecticut College: 2019

B.A., Brown University
M.S., Mercy College
M.A., University of California at Santa Barbara
Ph.D., University of California at Santa Barbara


Social Movements

Filipinx Studies

Women of Color and Transnational Feminism

Diaspora Studies

Disability Justice

Queer of Color Critique

Radical Pedagogy

Decolonial Praxis

Karen Buenavista Hanna earned her Ph.D. in Feminist Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018. An interdisciplinary queer feminist scholar and oral historian of transnational social movements, Hanna is interested in questions of movement building, decolonial praxis, and how we hold ourselves and each other accountable for harm without re-inscribing oppression in the work that we do for societal change. Greatly inspired by the writing of women of color feminists, Hanna’s personally grounded narratives illuminate the intersections of hetero-patriarchal racial capitalism, disability, migration, spirituality and the family in their emphasis of resistance, survival and connection.

Prior to her doctoral studies, from 2003 to 2011, Hanna was a New York City public school teacher, pre-GED instructor with the Brooklyn Public Library, and community organizer working alongside Filipina/o/x immigrant youth and domestic workers. These experiences inform her approaches to research and pedagogy. That is, she encourages students to interrogate how they study history and theory and re-imagine the classroom and writing as sites to enact dreams for liberation and healing. At Connecticut College, Hanna teaches courses including Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality Studies, Queer Theory and Activism, Contemporary Feminist Thought, and Social Movement Praxis. She has previously taught courses on student movements, queer migrant critiques of U.S. empire, women of color feminisms, and gender, culture and society. Fiercely devoted to building queer- and trans-inclusive self-actualized spaces of healing and solidarity for womxn and femmes of color, she founded Brown University's first women of color student organization, the Women of Color Writing Circle, in 2002, and co-founded UC Santa Barbara’s Women of Color Circle in 2012.

Hanna is currently working on her first book manuscript entitled, Revolutionary Intimacies: The Makings of a New Filipina/o Left in the United States. This book offers a queer diasporic reading of a new Filipina/o anti-imperialist left formed in the United States during and after the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines and activists' changing application of political ideas across time and space. Her writing has been published in numerous academic journals, anthologies and popular media, including Alon: Journal for Filipinx American and Diaporic Studies, Amerasia, American Quarterly, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, CUNY Forum, Hyphen Magazine, and the Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader. Before her position at Connecticut College, Hanna was an Ann Plato Postdoctoral Fellow in American Studies at Trinity College. She has been awarded fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Sciences, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Sociologists for Women in Society, and the American Association for University Women.

Contact Karen Buenavista Hanna

Mailing Address

Karen Buenavista Hanna
Connecticut College
Box #Blaustein
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320