Angelia D’Souza is using the lens of her life experience to analyze whether representations of South Asian women in popular culture perpetuate harmful stereotypes or whether they are introducing newer, more productive narratives.
In her research project, D’Souza pays special attention to narratives involving identity, religion, class, feminism, gender and sexuality, nation and belonging.
“Most of the narratives surrounding South Asian American women tend to uphold the model minority myth, which strategically positions Asian Americans as intelligent, self-reliant, submissive hard workers who never rock the boat and do as they are told,” she says.
“However, South Asian Americans are not a monolith, and we should not be pigeonholed into a stereotype that neither accurately represents the diversity of the diaspora, nor acknowledges the racist origins of this divide that pits us against other black and brown communities.”
D'Souza, a native of Dublin, California, is a member of the Class of ’24 who is majoring in English and Cultural Anthropology.
“I'm grateful for the opportunities given to me as a former member of Creighton’s Global Scholars Program, and as a current Honors student,” she says. “I am excited for my final year at Creighton, and I can't wait to see where this project takes me.”
D’Souza’s project is titled “Beyond the Color Lines: An Autoethnographic and Literary Analysis of South Asian American Femininity in Popular Culture.”