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Majia Nadesan

Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 3051
Senior Global Futures Scholar
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 3051
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 3051

Majia Nadesan is a professor of communication in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. She received her doctorate in communication studies in 1993 from Purdue University after earning her bachelor's and master's degrees in the same subject from San Diego State University. Prior to joining the faculty at ASU's College of Human Services in 1994, Nadesan was an assistant professor at Syracuse University.

Professor Nadesan’s interdisciplinary research examines the ethical implications of societal governing logics and risk-management strategies.

She examined how expert understandings of autism shape how people diagnosed with the disorder are understood and treated in her book "Constructing Autism"  (Routledge, 2005). In "Governmentality, Biopower and Everyday Life" (2008, 2011, Routledge), she looked at how global economic logics and technological assemblages shape everyday life practices and opportunities for U.S. citizens. In "Governing Childhood," she examined how these same economic logics and technological infrastructures impact children’s daily lives, creating vastly unequal childhoods.

Professor Nadesan has looked at how politics and scientific uncertainty complicate risk assessment in "Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk" (2013, Palgrave Pivot) and addressed risks to democratic society through comparative risk analyses of three crises: the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the 2010 BP oil spill and the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis in "Crisis Communication, Liberal Democracy and Ecological Sustainability" (Lexington, 2016).

Most recently, she has addressed the populist response to the risk and crisis politics outlined in her earlier works with her edited collection with Amit Ron (2020) Mapping Populism (Routledge). She is currently exploring alternative assembleges of energy and politics that offer sustenance in the escalating crises of the anthropocene.

At ASU's West campus, Nadesan teaches courses that look at risk and communications, bio/ethics, economic and corporate communication, propaganda and social advocacy, and interpretive and critical methods.

  • Ph.D. Communication Studies, Purdue University 1993
  • M.S. Communication Studies, San Diego State University
  • B.S. Communication Studies, San Diego State University


Ron, A., & Nadesan, M. (Eds.) (2020). New Directions in the Study of Populism. New York: Routledge.

Nadesan, M. (2016). Crisis Communication, Liberal Democracy, and Ecological Sustainability. Lanham, MD: Lexington.

Nadesan, M., Boys, T., Wilcox, A. & R. Wilcox (Eds.) (2014). Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization. The Dispossession Press.

Nadesan, M. (2013). Fukushima and the Privatization of Risk. London: Palgrave.

Nadesan, M. (2011, 2008).  Governmentality, Biopower, and Everyday Life.  New York: Routledge. First published 2008. Reprinted in paperback and electronic forms with a 2011 Reprint edition publication date.

Nadesan, M. (2010). Governing Childhood into the 21st Century: Biopolitical Technologies of Childhood Management and Education. New York: Palgrave.

Nadesan, M. (2005).  Constructing Autism: Unravelling the “Truth” and Understanding the Social.  London: Routledge.

*Constructing Autism received the Arizona State University Award of Achievement in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity at the West Campus.

Book Chapters/ Encyclopedia Entries

 Nadesan, M. (2020). Revisiting constructing autism. L'autismo oltre lo sguardo medico. Critical Autism Studies. Volume 1. Erickson. ISBN: 9788859020912

Nadesan, M. (2019). Autistic ontologies and the open genome. In Tatyana El-Kour, Undurti N. Das, Neophytos Papaneophytou (eds.) Autism 360. Elsevier.

Nadesan, M. (2019). Governmentality: Genealogical analysis of modern logics of government. Sage Research Method Cases Pt.2

Nadesan, M. (2018). Radiophobia and the Politics of Social Contagion. In Breanne Fahs, Eric Swank, Sarah Stage, and Annika Mann (eds.). Transforming Contagion: Risky Contacts Among Bodies, Nations and Disciplines. Routledge.

Nadesan, M. (2018). “Radiation refugees and chronic low-dose exposure to ionizing radiation: The rights of the exposed.” In Brian V. Klocke, Robert Perrucci, and Jon Shefner (eds.) Justice 21, Global Projects 28. UK: University of Bristol Policy Press.

Nadesan, M. & Cheney, G. (2017). Workplace Democracy. In Craig R. Scott and Laurie K. Lewis (Eds.) International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication. Wiley.

Nadesan, M. (2016). Catastrophe, Transparency and Social Responsibility on Online Platforms: Contesting Cold Shutdown at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant. In Adam Lindgreen, Joëlle Vanhamme, François Maon, and Rebecca Watkins (Eds.,) Digital Social Responsibility [working title]. Routledge.

Nadesan, M. & Pasqualetti, M. (2016). Dispossession, Justice and a Sustainable Energy Future.  In Thijs Van de Graaf, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Arunabha Ghosh, Florian Kern, and Michael T. Klare Palgrave Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy, London: Palgrave. 585-619.

Nadesan (2014). Biopower.  In Thomas Teo (ed.) Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology CCXLVIII.. Springer Reference.

Nadesan, M. (2014). From Hiroshima to Fukushima. In M. Nadesan, T. Boys, A. McKillop, & R. Wilcox (eds.,) Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization (2-23). Dispossession Press.

Nadesan, M. (2014). Fukushima and Dispossession: The End of Liberal Democracy in Japan? In M. Nadesan, T. Boys, A. McKillop, & R. Wilcox (eds.,) Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization (100-129). Dispossession Press.

Nadesan, M. (2013). Neofeudalism and The Financial Crisis: Implications for OWS.  In Renee Heath, Courtney Fletcher, Ricardo Munoz (eds.) Understanding Occupy from Wall Street to Portland. Lexington (Rowman and Littlefield).

Nadesan, M. (2013). Autism: Profit, Risk, and Bare Life. In Joyce Davidson & Michael Orsini (eds.), Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Nadesan, M. (2013) The Demise of Liberal Biopolitics: Wealth Accumulation and Disposable Populations. In Claudio Colaguori (ed.) Security, Life and Death: Governmentality and Biopower in the Post-9/11 Era. De Sitter Publications.

Nadesan, M. (2013). Media Armageddons and the Death of Liberal Biopolitics. In Kelly Gates and Anghy Valdivia (eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies: Volume VI: Media Studies Futures (670-696). New York: Blackwell.

Nadesan, M. (2013). Deconstructing Dualisms in Autism Research. Conference Proceedings from the Current State of the Clinic: Theories, Diagnosis, Treatment, the University of Zurich. (Proceedings published in German)

Nadesan, M. (2012). Children, the Great Recession and Shifting Calculi of Risk. In S. Bialostok (Ed.) Education in the Risk Society: Discourse, metaphor, and risk identities in education contexts. Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

Nadesan, M. (2011). Transparency and Neoliberal Logics of Corporate Social Responsibility. In O. Ihlen, J. Bartlett, S. May (eds.) The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility (pp. 252-275). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Nadesan, M. (2009). Governing Autism. In M. Peters, A. C. Besley, M. Olssen, S. Maurer, & S. Weber (Eds.) Governmentality Studies in Education. Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

Nadesan, Majia (2007). Constructing Autism: A Brief Genealogy. In M. Osteen’s (ed.), Autism and Representation.  London: Routledge.

Nadesan, Majia (2006).  Organization, Identity and Space of Action.  In L. Putnam and K. Krone (eds.) Organizational Communication 5 Volume Set.  (Reprinted). Sage Publications.

Nadesan, Majia (2003). Transversing Dualisms and Situating the Embodied Self in  Organizational Theory and Practice.  In R. E. Ramsey & D. Miller (eds.), Experiences Between Philosophy and Communication: Engaging the Philosophical Contributions of   Calvin O. Schrag.  State University of New York Press.

Holmer-Nadesan, M. (1998). Time-Space Distanciation and Organizational Communication. In G. Barnett's (ed.), Organizational Communication:  Emerging Perspectives. Ablex Publishing Co.

 Holmer-Nadesan, M. & Elenes, A. (1998). Pedagogical Implications of Chantal Mouffe's Poststructuralist Model of Agency and Reflexivity. In M. Peter's (ed.), Naming the Multiple: Poststructuralism and Education.  Bergin and Garvey.

Putnam, L. L., & Holmer, M. (1992).  Framing, Reframing and Issue Development. In L. L. Putnam & M. E. Roloff (eds.), Communication Perspectives on Negotiation  (pp. 128-155). Newbury Park, CA:  Sage. 

Journal Articles

Nadesan, M. & Ron, A. (2020, November). Populism and Covid-19. Public Jurist: Hong Kong University Political Science Journal.

Nadesan, M. (2019). Nuclear governmentality: Governing nuclear security and radiation risk in Post-Fukushima Japan. Security Dialogue.

Poletaev, A. B. & Nadesan, M. (2017). About the drunkard and the keys which were not found. Journal of Vaccines and Clinical Trials 1(1) [2 page editorial]

McClellan, J., & Nadesan, M. (2015). Extending Critical Pedagogies: Attending to Economic Communication and Inspiring Critical Engagement. Management Communication Quarterly, 29.2, 3-42.

Nadesan, M. (2011). The Bio-politics of Transactional Capitalism. Media Tropes. Available

Nadesan, M. (Winter 2010-2011). Enterprising Narratives and the Global Financialization of Microlending. Women and Language, 33.2, 9-30.

Nadesan, M. (2008). Hurricane Katrina: Governmentality, Risk, and Responsibility.    Controversia, 5(2) 67-90.

Nadesan, M., & Zorn, T. (eds.)(2008). Forum on Meaningful Work. Management Communication Quarterly, 22(1).

Cheney, G., & Nadesan, M. (2008).  A Response to These Essays and a Prologue to Further Investigations. Management Communication Quarterly, 22(1).

Nadesan, M. (2006).  The Make Your Day Panopticon:  Neoliberalism, Governmentality and Education.  Radical Pedagogy, 8(1),

Nadesan, M. (2002).  Engineering the Entrepreneurial Infant:  Brain Science, Infant Development Toys, and Governmentality. Cultural Studies, 16(3), 401-432.

Nadesan, M. (2001).  Fortune on Globalization and the New Economy: Manifest Destinyin a Technological Age. Management Communication Quarterly, 14(3), 498-506.

Nadesan, M. (2001).  Post-Fordism, Political Economy and Critical Oganizational             Communication Studies Management Communication Quarterly, 15(2), 259-267.

Nadesan, M. & Trethewey, A. (2000).  Crafting the Entrepreneurial Subject:  Gendere Strategies of Success(?) Text and Performance Quarterly, 20, 223-250.  

Nadesan, M.  (1999a). The Discourses of New Age Corporate Spiritualism and Evangelical Capitalism: Capitalizing on Religion in the Entrepreneurial Age. Management Communication Quarterly, 13(1), 3-42.

Nadesan, M.  (1999b). The Popular Success Literature and `A Brave New Darwinian Workplace.'  Consumption, Markets & Culture, 3(1), 27-60.

Nadesan, M. & Sotirin, P. (1998). The Romance and Science of `Breast is Best': Discursive Contradictions and Contexts of Breast-feeding Choices. Text and Performance Quarterly, 18, 217-232.

Nadesan, M. (1997).  Constructing Paperdolls:  The Discourse of Personality Testing. Communication Theory, 7, 189-218.

Nadesan, M. (1997). Gender and Time in Interpersonal Systems. Symbolic Interaction, 20(1), 21-43.

Nadesan, M. (1997). Dislocating (Instrumental) Organizational Time.  Organization Studies, 18(3), 481-510.

Holmer-Nadesan, M. (1996).  Organization, Identity and Space of Action. Organization Studies, 16, 49-81.

Holmer, M. (1991).  Statism, Capitalism, and Marxism. Filosofska Misul (trans. Philosophical Thought), 6, 16-27.

Fall 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 414Crisis Communication
COM 415Risk Communication
DST 499Individualized Instruction
CMN 580Practicum
CMN 584Internship
CMN 590Reading and Conference
CMN 593Applied Project
CMN 599Thesis
Summer 2021
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 414Crisis Communication
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 415Risk Communication
CMN 551Democracy & Power in Orgs
CMN 580Practicum
CMN 584Internship
CMN 590Reading and Conference
CMN 592Research
CMN 593Applied Project
CMN 599Thesis
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
CMN 584Internship
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 414Crisis Communication
COM 415Risk Communication
CMN 580Practicum
CMN 584Internship
CMN 590Reading and Conference
CMN 593Applied Project
CMN 598Special Topics
CMN 599Thesis
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 320Communication and Consumerism
COM 382Classroom Apprenticeship
COM 499Individualized Instruction
CMN 584Internship
CMN 590Reading and Conference
CMN 593Applied Project
CMN 599Thesis
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 415Risk Communication
CMN 565Globalization and Advocacy
CMN 580Practicum
JHR 584Internship
CMN 599Thesis
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 414Crisis Communication
COM 415Risk Communication
CMN 580Practicum
STC 590Reading and Conference
STC 593Applied Project
STC 598Special Topics
CMN 598Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
COM 382Classroom Apprenticeship
COM 415Risk Communication
CMN 506Humanistic Inq/Field Rsrch/Com
CMN 590Reading and Conference
CMN 595Continuing Registration
CMN 599Thesis

Selected Examples of Professional Service

Editorial Board Membership          

  • Management, Communication, Quarterly 2006 to present
  • Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 2013 to present
  • Foucault Studies 2013 to present
  • Social History of Medicine 2013-2014
  • International Journal of Management Studies 2008-2013
  • Women’s Studies in Communication 2004 to 2013
  • Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies August 2008 to 2013

Grant Review

2017     Grant Review for the European Research Council

2016     Grant Review for the (French) Agence Nationale de la Recherche Département Sciences Humaines et Sociales - Human and social sciences

2014    Grant Review for the European Research Council Consolidator Grant

20100    Grant Review for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

2007-2006  Reviewed grants for National Science Foundation.

2006           Reviewed grant for the Marsden (Research Fund) for the Royal Society of New Zealand

2006                Reviewed grant for the Research Training & Development Directorate

                        Economic and Social Research Council, the United Kingdom

University Service            

2017-2016        University Promotion and Tenure Committee

2015                West Campus Sustainability Film Festival, PR and Facilitator

2014 (F/Sp):     University Library Search: Served as New College rep (with Todd Sandrin)

2014 Spring:     Represented New College on West Campus’ DRC Director Search

2012-2007         Faculty Advisor for the student club, Spectrum

2009-2005         TRIO’s Mentoring Program

*Silver Star Mentoring Award in 2002 awarded by Student Affairs                                     *Above and Beyond Mentor Award 2005

2008-06             Campus Senate Representative for the College of Human Services

2007                  Campus Grade Appeals Committee

2006-2004         Campus Promotion and Tenure--Member

2005-2002         Graduate Studies Advisory Council—Member

2004                   Senate ad-hoc Committee on Alternative Models for Univ. Development

2004/03             Served on two search committees for American Studies

2000-1999         Teaching and Research Integration Grant Committee—Member & Chair

1999-1997         Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activities Committee—Member/Chair

1997, Jan.          Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration--Facilitator

1996-1994          Campus Senate Personnel Committee--Member

1996-1995          Evaluated candidates for the ASU West Regents' Scholarship


College Service

2017-2016        New College Personnel Committee, Chair

2017-2015        Board Member Center for Critical Inquiry and Cultural Studies

2016-2015        NCUIRE Funding Committee, Member

2016                 Judge for the Undergraduate Student Research Expo April 2016

2015                 Disabilities Studies Committee

2015                 Committee for the Undergraduate Speaker, member

2015                Re-Boot Structural and Policy Changes Committee, member

2015                 Judge for the Undergraduate Student Research Expo April 15, 2015

2014-2015        New College Personnel Committee (on sabbatical fall 2015)

2013-2014        New College Associate Dean (Research Dean, P&T, etc.)

2013-2014        Chaired New College Search Committee for Associate Dean

2013-2010        New College Promotion and Tenure Committee, chair

2012                 ASU Road New Student Orientations Summer 2012 June 15 and July 13

2009                 College Outcomes Committee, member fall 2009

2009                 College Awards Ad-Hoc Committee, member spring 2009

2008                 College Personnel Committee, member spring 2008

  1.  College Curriculum Committee, chair in fall of 2006

2005-2002        Campus Representative for GSAC

2004                 College Internal Grants Committee

2000                 College Promotion and Tenure Committee

1998                 College Standards Committee

1999                 College Diversity Committee

1995-1994        College Strategic Planning Committee



Departmental Service


2017                 Search Committees and Graduate Committees (MACS and STC)

2016                 Social Technology & Communication Graduate Committee

2016                 Master’s in Communication Advocacy Graduate Committee

2016                 Assessment Outcomes Committee

2016                 Search Committee for Social Media Lines

2015-2014        Search Committee for Communication Studies Assistant Prof hire

2015                 Created Risk Communication course for the Risk Communication Certificate

2014                 Peer Review Committee for Probationary Review

2012-2011        SBS Faculty Liaison Committee        

2012-2010        SBS Personnel Committee (through spring of 2012)

2012                  Ad-Hoc Assessment Committee  (fall 2012)

  1. SBS Bylaws Committee, chair
  1. Ad-hoc SBS Bylaws review committee, fall 2009
  1. General Education Outcomes Committee, member fall 2009
    1. Search Committee Dept Chair—Member
    2. Bylaws Committee--Member
    3.           Program Review—Member
    4.           Peer Aspirant Committee--member

2007-1994          Fiscal Policy Committee—Chair

2004-2003          Undergraduate Studies Committee-Chair

2004-2001          Graduate Studies Committee—Member

2001-1998          Student Conference Planning Committee--Member                  

  1. Developed and implemented student portfolio project

1999-1998          Developed Departmental Assessment Program—Member

1999-1998          Search Committee (technology line)--Chair

1999-1998          Search Committee (cultural line)--Member

  1. Search Committee for faculty (intercultural line)—Chair

1998-1995          Department Curriculum Committee

  1. Search Committee for 2 yr lecturer—Chair

1997                   Rep. for the Arizona Communication Association’s Annual Conference

         1997-1995            Communication Studies Graduate Committee


Additional Professional Service

Ad hoc journal manuscript reviews for numerous journals and book publishers, including among others: Current Sociology, Journal of International Relations & Development, BioSocieties, Human Resources, Communication Monographs, Quarterly Journal of Speech, etc. Organization Studies, Security Studies, European Social Theory and Health Journal, and Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action Journal