Farhana Sultana is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary scholar whose work spans the topics of nature-society relationships, political ecology, water governance, climate change, post-colonial development, sustainability, social and environmental justice, transnational feminism, citizenship, human rights and decolonizing academia. Farhana Sultana received a B.A. (Honors) in geosciences and environmental studies from Princeton University, graduating cum laude. She obtained an M.A. and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota, where she enhanced her interdisciplinary training, and was a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow as well as an International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Fellow. Farhana served as a programme officer at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) responsible for managing a $26M environmental management program in Bangladesh. Through this experience, she worked with a wide variety of international organizations, government agencies and NGOs, and obtained a keener understanding of environment-development issues in theory, policy and practice. Relocating to the U.K., Farhana was a Visiting Fellow at the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester and then a faculty member in the Geography Department at King’s College London. Farhana moved across the pond again to join the Department of Geography and the Environment at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, where she has been since 2008.
Farhana Sultana is a broadly trained interdisciplinary scholar with research interests that generally fall under scholarships in nature-society relationships, political ecology, post-colonial development, urban studies, citizenship studies, feminist theories, water governance, climate change, natural hazards, human rights, social justice. Farhana’s research projects are critical, interdisciplinary and intersectional, where she investigates complex multi-scalar, multi-process issues, combining her insights and background in the natural and social sciences as well as in the policy world. In exploring the socio-ecological dynamics of international discourses and policies, Farhana is particularly focused on how these are articulated, negotiated and lived in everyday lives on the ground, especially on issues such as water, climate, sustainability and vulnerabilities. Her research thus sits at the confluence of a range of theoretical and epistemological framings, with the goal to inform and encourage social and environmental justice across a range of scales. Farhana has written extensively on these issues for a variety of interdisciplinary audiences inside and outside of academia. She is keenly interested in research that pushes the boundaries of existing scholarship, in order enrich conceptualizations and theorizations in geography and beyond. She works to decolonize the academy and pedagogy, introduce non-Eurocentric scholarship in Anglo academia, and thereby transform academic scholarship and knowledge production. Farhana collaborates with policymakers, practitioners, civil society, community groups and scholars from around the world in research and dissemination.