Pictured: Dr. Anu, in Senegal (left) and in Ghana (right)
I’m a cultural in-between and go-between.
As the daughter of immigrants who has grown up between two cultures, I often draw on my personal experience as a way to connect with and amplify the voices of those who have historically not been heard. As a scholar and academic, I also know that racial equity work is challenging, emotional, institutional, and personal. I partner with clients for the long haul and strive to build inclusivity and collaboration, inviting as many people into the conversation as possible.
My work has been honored by a variety of awards and recognitions: I’ve received the University of Washington “Distinguished Teaching Award,” and Seattle Weekly’s “Best of Seattle” designation. My book Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World was selected as a Finalist for three book awards, and included on the Fodor’s Travel “Best Books of Spring” list for 2019. I’ve taught about global issues, race, gender, identity, and equity to thousands of students, presented at high-profile as well as more humble events, and collaborated with social change agents and innovative thinkers in 10 countries.
Courses that I teach are centered around global literatures and issues of identity, migration, race, sexuality, colonialism, feminism, ethical travel and inclusive pedagogy.
I’m currently serving my fourth term as a member of Humanities Washington’s statewide Speakers Bureau. I travel across the state to work with librarians, educators, retirement home residents, and many others interested in better understanding our complex world.
"I realize that I have worked on myself on an individual level, but I never thought about the work that I need to do on an institutional and instructional level. I’m ready to go further after [Dr. Anu’s] workshop.”
— Seattle Public School teacher
"The experience in your classroom was revolutionary! It opened my mind to entirely different concepts of teaching and learning. Truly, I was energized.”
— UW-Osher Lifelong Learning Institute participant
"I have been following Dr. Taranath’s work for years and continue to be inspired by what she offers to educators. The strategies and activities offered in all three of her books have made me a more engaged teacher and learner. I am so grateful to Dr. Taranath for sharing her brilliance in such a creative and caring ways."
-- Western Washington University professor
"I first came across Dr. Anu and Beyond Guilt Trips when I attended her book talk. It was a fascinating discussion and I got my signed copy immediately after the conversation... One of the best books I read in 2019!"
-- Graduate Student, UW Bothell
"Beyond Guilt Trips was an assigned reading for my class, and I am so glad it was. I think everyone should be reading this book. It is certainly not light reading, but the opportunity for guided reflection to sit with discomfort is freeing. Taranath’s book is helpful for anyone like me who feels like they have good intentions, but needs to be exposed to the reality that good intentions are not enough. While challenging the reader, it also offers tools and strategies to hold space for discomfort, pain, crisis of identity, and helps the reader move past feelings of guilt and onto productive conversations. Overall, Beyond Guilt Trips changed the way I look at the world. I highly recommend it!"
--Amazon reader review