Natasha Kumar Warikoo is Associate Professor of Education at Harvard University. She is an expert on racial and ethnic inequality in education. Her most recent book, The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities (University of Chicago Press, 2016), illuminates how undergraduates attending Ivy League universities and Oxford University conceptualize race and meritocracy. The book emphasizes the contradictions, moral conundrums, and tensions on campus related to affirmative action and diversity, and how these vary across racial and national lines. The book won multiple awards from the American Sociological Association, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, and American Educational Studies Association. Natasha’s first book, Balancing Acts: Youth Culture in the Global City (University of California Press, 2011), analyzes youth culture among children of immigrants attending diverse, low-performing high schools in New York City and London. Balancing Acts won the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s International Migration Section. Both of these projects involve extensive ethnographic research in the United States and Britain. In 2017-2018 Warikoo was a Guggenheim Fellow, studying racial change in suburban America. Her latest book, Rules of the Game: Asian Americans, Whites, and the Quest for Excellence in Suburban America, will be published by University of Chicago Press.
Natasha’s research has also been published in scholarly journals (American Journal of Education; British Education Research Journal; Educational Researcher; Poetics; Race, Ethnicity and Education; Ethnic and Racial Studies (also here); Review of Educational Research; Sociological Forum), edited books, and newspapers (The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and more), and she has won grants and awards from American Sociological Association, the British Academy, Guggenheim Foundation, National Science Foundation, Nuffield Foundation, and Russell Sage Foundation. Her recent articles can be accessed for free here.
At Harvard Natasha teaches courses on racial inequality and the role of culture in K-12 and higher education. Prior to her academic career Natasha was a teacher in New York City’s public schools for four years, and also spent time working at the US Department of Education and as a fellow with the Teachers Network Leadership Institute. Natasha completed her PhD in sociology from Harvard University, and BSc and BA in mathematics and philosophy at Brown University. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Ramesh Kumar and their three children.
Contact Natasha at: natasha_warikoo-at-gse.harvard.edu .