Srila Roy

Faculty / Academic Staff
Intellectual Biography: 

My work to date has employed a postcolonial feminist lens to explore a number of themes pertaining to contemporary India and South Asia more generally. In particular, I have been concerned with how the intersections of gender, sexuality and class and the configurations of neoliberalism and developmentalism inform manifestations of subaltern politics and political subjectivity in India today, be they of the left, feminist or queer. My monograph, Remembering Revolution: Gender, Violence and Subjectivity in India’s Naxalbari Movement (OUP, 2012) takes up, for instance, Indian Maoism (the Naxalite movement) as a thoroughly gendered and sexualized construct, and offers a critique of violence from the standpoint of its gender and sexual politics. Two edited volumes on social movements in the region – one on women’s movements (New South Asian Feminisms, 2012) and another on contemporary subaltern politics (forthcoming) –attempt to locate critical conceptualisations of feminist theories and practices in larger socio-political processes especially to do with the interface between political mobilisations from below and the deepening of democracy. As a qualitative sociologist who is partial to ethnography, my site of analysis has always been the gendered and sexualized postcolonial subject as constituted in the context of social movements from below. The making of feminist subjects is the theme of my current project that turns to a Foucauldian ethics of care and self-mastery to explore, against narratives of feminist depoliticisation, the constitution of political subjectivity in the wake of India’ s economic liberalisation. My work has consistently explored a series of questions pertaining to a global political conjuncture – such as the upsurge of 1968 or neoliberalism – from the point of view of its articulation in the South, and in critical dialogue with postcolonial feminist perspectives. My recent arrival in South Africa (from the UK) provides exciting and sustained possibilities for developing critical social theory emanating from India on gender, sexuality, and subaltern politics in dialogue with the work of other scholars investigating similar developments in other (especially southern) contexts. Thus far my work has developed analyses and perspectives through an active north-south dialogue which I hope shall not only be expanded but fundamentally transformed through a more deliberate south-south theoretical engagement.

Orrells, D., Bhambra, G. K. and Roynon, T. (2011) African Athena: New Agendas , Oxford: Oxford University Press Bhambra, G. 2007. Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination Palgrave MacMillan: Basingstoke. Special Issue of Cultural Studies on Globalisation and the Decolonial Option (