Professor Chaudhry is excited to make herself at home in LC's vibrant community.
Photo courtesy of Suparna Chaudhry

IA welcomes human rights and international law expert

In January, it was announced that the tenure-track position vacated by former Associate Professor and Chair of International Affairs Heather Smith-Cannoy, who left Lewis & Clark for Arizona State University, would be filled by Assistant Professor Suparna Chaudhry.

Prior to teaching at LC, Chaudhry received her bachelor’s degree in history from St. Stephen’s College at the University of Delhi in India. After gaining an interest in studying international relations, Chaudhry then applied to programs in the U.S., France, England and Japan before deciding to attend the University of Chicago where she earned her master’s degree. She later received a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. Chaudhry has taught at institutions including Dartmouth, Yale and, most recently, Christopher Newport University, a public liberal arts school in Newport News, Virginia. 

Not only has Chaudhry attended and taught at renowned institutions, she has also won multiple academic awards and is an affiliated scholar of the International Justice Lab (IJL) at the College of William & Mary’s Global Research Institute. The IJL conducts research on human rights, transitional justice and international law and courts. Its mission is to find and share research that can be used by practitioners, policymakers and civil society advocates.

This semester, Chaudhry is teaching Introduction to International Relations and Human Rights in International Relations, the latter of which examines the core ideas, practices and controversies surrounding human rights and what tools are utilized by organizations to report and intervene in situations of human rights abuse. Next semester she will be teaching International Law along with the aforementioned Intro class. Since classes are being taught in a hybrid format this semester, Chaudhry noted that she has invited a number of speakers specializing in a variety of topics, including the International Criminal Court, cybersecurity and more.

When asked about her goals at LC, Chaudhry expressed interest in teaching about the effects of colonialism on South Asian countries, leading the India study abroad trip and teaching a course about war and conflict through graphic novels.

“I love that (graphic novels) combine certain aspects of fiction, but at the same time the books I have in mind now are by authors who have lived through these experiences … civil wars and these conflicts,” Chaudhry said. “I really want to combine the two and appeal to more majors who may be on the fence because I feel like I’m able to reach a broader audience.”

Though Chaudhry is very enthusiastic about the potential of such a course, when it will be taught has not yet been established, so those who are intrigued should keep an eye out on Webadvisor.

Chaudhry’s specialties are international law, human rights and non-governmental organizations. She has conducted research in….and has published articles in the Washington Post. Chaudhry has also conducted research with fellow new Visiting Assistant Professor of International Affairs Matt Scroggs, entitled “How Rebellion Shapes Military Recruitment During Civil War” which has been accepted by the Journal of Peace Research. This was done alongside Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University, Sabrina Karim. 
Outside of her research and teaching she enjoys a variety activities including baking, powerlifting, and running. And having moved to Portland at the end of July, Chaudhry is looking forward to her time at LC and exploring the Pacific Northwest, especially Portland, before the rainy season rolls in.

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