Professor Krishnamurthy is a political philosopher who works on race, democracy, and social movements. She is currently writing a book (The Emotions of Nonviolence) and a series of related papers on Martin Luther King Jr.’s political philosophy. Her work is about King’s views on the role of the political emotions in motivation to end racial injustice. It explores how he used the various tactics of the civil rights movement (protest, images, letters, and oratory) to engage these emotions and to overcome some of the barriers to political action. This project is builds on her earlier piece on King, “(White) Tyranny and the Democratic Value of Distrust”, and its follow up, “Democracy Needs Discomfort and Distrust is a Political Virtue“.
Krishnamurthy is also writing on Indian political thinkers such as B.R. Ambedkar who are concerned with the nature of caste and casteism. She is especially interested in how thinking about caste can inform our thinking about race and racism in the United States. Relatedly, she is a contributing editor of a collection of critical essays on the political philosophy of the Black American Canadian abolitionist, Mary Shadd Cary, who was critical of “caste institutions” in the United States and encouraged emigration to Canada.