Karen Buenavista Hanna

Karen B. Hanna
Ph.D. Year 2018
Postdoctoral Fellow
Connecticut College- Assistant Professor
Connecticut College


Race and Nations


Ph.D., Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara (2018) 
M.A., Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara (2013) 
M.S., Mercy College (2005) 
B.A., Brown Univ. (2003) 


Karen Buenavista Hanna is the 2018-2019 Ann Plato Post-Doctoral Fellow in American Studies at Trinity College. She is a feminist scholar and oral historian who uses interdisciplinary methodologies to understand the gender and sexual politics of anti-imperialist Filipina/o organizations across time and space. Her teaching encourages students to be more than mere spectators to history and theory, challenging them to consider how the classroom might be a site to enact dreams for liberation and healing. Her writing has been published in Hyphen MagazineHypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and is forthcoming in Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesCUNY Forum, and American Quarterly. She has held numerous fellowships, including awards from the Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS).


Comparative radical social movements; women of color, transnational, and indigenous feminisms, queer of color critique; anti-racist decolonial pedagogy; disability justice; critical university studies. Prior to her doctoral studies, from 2003 to 2011, Karen was a New York City public school teacher, pre-GED instructor with the Brooklyn Public Library, and community organizer working with Filipina/o immigrant youth and domestic workers.


Karen's dissertation, Makibaka!: A Feminist Social History of the Transnational Filipina/o American Left, 1969-1992, uses oral histories and feminist methodologies to examine the history of the anti-imperialist Filipina/o Left in North America, beginning with the political exile of activists during the Marcos period in the Philippines and traces the Left's ideological shifts over time and across space. Karen's research has investigated how contradictions emerge and are resolved within community organizations and how organizers and activists address intra-organizational conflict and find healing.


Hanna, Karen Buenavista and Mark John Sanchez, “Cultures of Empire and International Solidarity,” American Quarterly 71.1. Review of A Time to Rise: Collective Memoirs of the Union of Democratic Filipinos, eds. Rene Ciria Cruz, Bruce Occena, and Cindy Domingo. Women Against Marcos: Stories of Filipino and Filipino American Women Who Fought a Dictator, ed. Mila DeGuzman; Tibak Rising: Activism in the Days of Martial Law, ed. Ferdinand C. Llanes; Seams of Empire: Race and Radicalism in Puerto Rico and the United States by Carlos Alamo- Pastrana; A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America by Keith Feldman (forthcoming March 2019).

Hanna, Karen Buenavista. “Pedagogies in the Flesh: Building an Anti-Racist Decolonized Classroom.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (forthcoming May 2019).

Hanna, Karen Buenavista. “Being Gay in the KDP: Politics in a Filipino American Revolutionary Organization (1973 to 1986).” CUNY Forum (forthcoming).

Hanna, Karen Buenavista. “Confronting Feudal Hetero-Patriarchal Hierarchies: Filipino Movement Families in New York City.” In Tinipong Tinig ng Kababaihan: Priestesses to Presidents, Nenita Pambid Domingo, ed. University of the Philippines Press (forthcoming).

Hanna, Karen Buenavista, Teresa Hodges, and Maharaj Singh. “The Delano Grape Strike, 1965-1970.” In 25 Events That Shaped Asian American History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic, Lan Dong, ed. Greenwood (forthcoming).

Hanna, Karen Buenavista. “Centerwomen’ and the ‘Fourth Shift:’ Revolutionary Intimacies and a Study of Best Practices, 1972- 1992,” In Diasporic Dreams: The Filipino Second Generation in America, Robyn Magalit Rodriguez, ed. Brill Press (under review). 

Hanna, Karen Buenavista. “Strategizing Beyond Survival: Living With Chronic Illness as a Woman of Color PhD Student.” In Not White/Straight/Male/Healthy Enough: Being “Other” in the Academy, Kathryn Quinn-Sanchez, Michael Moreno, Michele Shaul, eds. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2018.

Hanna, Karen Buenavista and Marlo Buenavista Hanna. “Breaking Bones With My Mother.” In Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader, Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano and Tony Santa Ana, eds., San Francisco: Pawa, Inc., 2018, 152-160.

Hanna, Karen B. “A Call For Healing: Transphobia, Homophobia, and Historical Trauma in Filipina/o/x Activist Organizations.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 32, no. 3 (Summer 2017): 696-714. 

Hanna, Karen B. “Community and Grassroots Activism.” In Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies, Nancy Naples, ed., 1-5. Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell, May 2016.

Hanna, Karen B. “Living Beyond Survival: 11 Tips for Women of Color in Academia,” Hyphen Magazine, 29 (Fall 2015): 21-24.