Skip to main content

Speaker Series: ABF Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • When: March 16, 2022
  • Where: Zoom: To register, contact Sophie Kofman at

Calendar event Add this event to your calendar (Outlook, iCal, etc…)

ABF Presents its 2021 Post-Doctoral Fellows


Hardeep Dhillon completed her doctorate in History with a secondary in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS) at Harvard University. Her dissertation examined the global development of U.S. immigration and border controls through the lens of Asian exclusion at the turn of the twentieth century. Hardeep’s multi-sited research across four continents was supported by the Fulbright Program, American Society of Legal History, American Historical Association, and multiple research centers at Harvard University. Her larger research interests include histories of law, mobility, empire, racial capitalism, and settler colonialism.

Hardeep has supervised an array of undergraduate theses and research projects in these fields of study while serving as academic counsel to Asian American, South Asian, and women’s organizations. Her teaching and supervision was recognized with outstanding distinction by Harvard University, and Hardeep served as the Stephen A. Walsh History Prize Instructor in the History Department in Fall 2020.

At present, Hardeep serves on the Academic Council at South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), as academic counsel to Asian American filmmakers, artists, and writers working on immigration and border issues, and is learning to bridge the divide between her academic research and more public-facing work.

Sonya Rao is a linguistic and legal anthropologist. She completed her PhD in Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles in June 2021. She examines courtrooms as workplaces, courtroom professionals as communication workers, and professional outlooks on language as working conditions. From 2014-17, she observed hearings in Immigration Courts and at the National Labor Relations Board for a dissertation, Privatizing Language Work: Interpreters and Access in Los Angeles Immigration Court, supported by the National Science Foundation program in Law and Social Sciences. The analysis focused on the impacts of private management of language services on courtroom practice and resulting labor organizing of court interpreters. At the American Bar Foundation, she will investigate the current state of legal training around cross-linguistic communication, and clinical legal education for working with interpreters informed by empirical knowledge about language and communication. Her work has been published in the Journal of Anthropological Research and Anthropology News.

« Return to ABF Research Seminars

Site design by Webitects

© 2022 American Bar Foundation (
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611-4403
(312) 988-6500
Contact Us
Contact the Fellows
Media Contacts
Privacy policy
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in ABF publications are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Bar Foundation or the American Bar Association. The AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, ABF and related seal trademarks as used by the American Bar Foundation are owned by the American Bar Association and used under license.