Durba Mitra and Sreeparna Chattopadhyay discuss Durba’s book, Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought. They explore how British authorities and Indian intellectuals develop ideas about deviant female sexuality to control and organise society in colonial India. They also discuss the legal and societal implications of these ideas that continue to shape Indian society to this day.
Dr. Durba Mitra is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and Carol K. Pforzheimer Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. Mitra works at the intersection of feminist and queer studies. Her research and teaching focus on the history of sexuality, the history of science and epistemology, and gender and feminist thought in South Asia and the colonial and postcolonial world.
Dr. Sreeparna Chattopadhyay is an independent researcher currently based in Bangalore. She has an A.M. and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology and the Population Studies Training Centre at Brown University and a B.A. in Economics (Honours) from St. Xavier’s College, Bombay. Her research in the last twelve years has focused on the ways in which gender disadvantages interact with socioeconomic inequities, shaping women’s life trajectories including impacts on health, education and exposure to violence.