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Staff Profile

Associate Professor Srila Roy

QualificationsBA, MA, PhD
Phone 0117174466
Organisational Unit Sociology

I have a BA in Philosophy from the University of Delhi and a MA in Philosophy and Social Theory and a PHD in Sociology both from the University of Warwick, UK. Before joining Wits in 2014, I was a lecturer in sociology at the University of Nottingham, UK where I continue to be Honorary Assistant Professor.

I am an Editor of Feminist Theory, Associate Editor of the Journal of South Asian Development, on the editorial board of The Sociological Review, and the international advisory board of Feminist Dissent. I am council member of the South African Sociological Association and a member of the South African Young Academy of Science.

I have held visiting fellowships at the Delhi School of Economics, the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, the University of Johannesburg, the Universidad de Valparaiso in Chile, the University of Oslo, and taught on the summer school on development at the University of Bergen, Norway.

My long standing research interest is in the constitution of political subjectivity at the intersection of gender, caste-class, and sexuality in postcolonial contexts, especially India/South Asia. This is most manifest in my monograph, Remembering Revolution: Gender, Violence and Subjectivity in India's Naxalbari Movement published by Oxford University Press in 2012. One of the first books on the gender and sexual politics of Indian Maoism, it draws on women’s personal narratives collected through extensive field interviews alongside historiographic, popular and personal memoirs. The book contributes to feminist theorising of women’s relationship to violence besides crossing over key debates in the study of social movements, cultural memory-making, psychosocial studies of identity formation, and ethnographies of violence and conflict.

My current project draws on an ethnography of women’s and sexual rights movements in economically liberalized India to consider feminist self-making in neoliberal times. Globalization and the opening up of the Indian economy since the early nineties have promoted unexpected changes with respect to gender and sexuality especially via the growth of the development sector. The project - initially funded by the UK's British Academy - focuses on two themes that best represent current trends, namely, economic empowerment and sexual rights. Both case studies raise critical questions about the nature and effects of organizing around women’s and sexual rights–particularly through NGOs – in the global South besides making manifest the (un/intentional) manner in which feminist subjects are being produced in these contexts. As part of this project, I have edited a volume of essays on New South Asian Feminisms (Zed books), and co-edited a special issue of the postcolonial studies journal, Interventions on Modern Sexual Formations in India, and a volume of essays on New Subaltern Politics (OUP 2015).

I am one of five receipts of the prestigious Friedel Sellschop Award given to outstanding young researchers in the University. I have also recently obtained a joint grant from the NIHSS-ICCR to undertake a collaborative research project on understanding sexual violence in India and South Africa

Undergraduate: Contemporary Social Issues: Gender and Feminism; Human Behavioral Sciences; and Researching Social Life

Postgraduate: Development as Ideology and Practice



Roy, S (2012) Remembering Revolution: Gender, Violence and Subjectivity in India’s Naxalbari, Delhi: Oxford University Press


Nilsen, A and S. Roy (2016) Special Journal Issue on 'Globalizing Sociology’ for the International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 29(3)

Nilsen, A. and Roy, S. (2015) New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualising Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Roy, S. and S. Legg (2013) Special Journal Issue on ‘Emergent Sexual Formations in Contemporary India’ in Interventions: International Journal for Postcolonial Studies

Roy, S. (2012) (ed.) New South Asian Feminisms, NY; London: Zed Books

Roy, S. and Muller, N., (2012) Special Issue: Feminist and Women's Studies Association Annual Student Essay Competition, Journal of International Women's Studies.

Roy, S. and M. Addison (2011) Special Issue: Feminist & Women’s Studies Association Essay Competition, Journal of International Women’s Studies, 12(2)


Roy, S. (2017) Enacting/Disrupting the Will to Empower: Feminist Governance of ‘Child Marriage’ in Eastern India, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society

Roy, S. (2016) ‘Women’s Movements in the Global South: towards a scalar analysis’, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 29(3): 289-306

Nilsen, A. and S. Roy (2016) ‘Globalizing Sociology: an Introduction’, International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 29(3): 225-232

Roy, S. (2015) 'The Indian Women's Movement: Within and Beyond the NGOisation paradigm', Journal of South Asian Development

Roy, S. (2014) ‘New activist subjects: the changing feminist field of Kolkata, India’, Feminist Studies, 40 (3):628-56

Legg, S. and S. Roy (2013) ‘Neo-Liberalism, Post-Colonialism and Hetero- Sovereignties: Emergent Sexual Formations in Contemporary India’, Interventions: International Journal for Postcolonial Studies

Roy, S. (2013) 'Feminist 'radicality' and 'moderation' in times of crisis and change' in Alexander Smith and John Holmwood (eds.) Sociologies of Moderation: problems of democracy, expertise and the media, Sociological Review monograph, Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Roy, S. (2011) ‘Politics, Passion and Professionalisation in Contemporary Indian Feminism’ for the Journal of the British Sociological Association, Sociology, 45 (4): 587-602

Roy, S. (2009) ‘Melancholic Politics and the Politics of Melancholia: the Indian Women’s Movement’ Feminist Theory 10(3): 341-357

Roy, S. (2009) ‘The ethical ambivalence of resistant violence: notes from postcolonial south Asia’. Feminist Review: Special Issue on 'Negotiating New Terrains: South Asian Feminisms', 91: 135-153

Roy, S. (2008) ‘The grey zone: the “ordinary” violence of extraordinary times’, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 14 (2): 314-330

Roy, S. (2007) ‘The everyday life of the revolution: gender, violence and memory’, South Asia Research, 27(2): 187-204

Roy, S. (2006) ‘Revolutionary marriage: on the politics of sexual stories in Naxalbari’, special issue on ‘Sexual Moralities’, Feminist Review, 83 (1): 99-118


Roy, S. (2015) ‘Affective politics and the sexual subaltern: lesbian activism in eastern India’ in A. Nilsen and S. Roy (eds.) New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press

Nilsen, A. and S. Roy (2015) ‘Introduction: Reconceptualizing Subaltern Politics in Contemporary India’ in A. Nilsen and S. Roy (eds.) New Subaltern Politics: Reconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press

Roy, S. (2014) ‘New Subalterns? Feminist activism in an era of neoliberal development’ in Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Anne Kristine Waldrop (eds.) Transforming Gender in India: Anthropological Perspectives, Anthem Press

Roy, S. (2013) ‘Of Testimony: the pain of speaking and the speaking of pain’ for Adler, K. et. al. (ed.) Evidence and Testimony in Life Story Narratives, The Memory and Narrative series, Transaction

Roy, S. (2010) ‘Wounds and ‘cures’ in South Asian gender and memory politics’ in Hundt, G., Bradby, H. (eds.) Living Through Intended and Unintended Suffering: War, Medicine and Gender. Ashgate. pp. 31-50

Roy, S. (2009) ‘Testimonies of state terror: trauma and healing in Naxalbari’ in Parama Roy, Piya Chatterjee & Manali Desai (eds.) States of Trauma: Gender and Violence in South Asia, Delhi: Zubaan Books pp. 141-71


Roy, S. (2014) Review of Queer Activism in India, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography,

Roy, S. (2011) Review of Why Stories Matter: The Political Grammar of Feminist Theory by Clare Hemmings in Feminist Review 99(1), e4-e6

Roy, S. (2010) Review of Violence and gender in the globalized world: the intimate and the extimate in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 16: 405-454

Roy, S. (2009) Review of Indian Feminism by Geetanjali Gangoli in Feminist Theory 10(2): 251-67


Roy, S. (2016) ‘Breaking the Cage’, Dissent Magazine Roy, S. (2016) ‘The 2012 Delhi protests: towards a scalar analysis’,

Roy, S. (2016) ‘The 2012 Delhi protests: towards a scalar analysis’,

Roy, S. (2015) ‘Early marriage and the limits of freedom’, openDemocracy Roy, S. (2015) Lesbian existence and marginalisation in India,

Roy, S (2015) Understanding India’s Daughter in India and South Africa, Daily Maverick Roy, S (2015) Review of India’s Daughter, Firstpost

Roy, S. (2015) Lesbian existence and marginalisation in India,

Roy, S (2015) Understanding India’s Daughter in India and South Africa, Daily Maverick

Roy, S (2015) Review of India’s Daughter, Firstpost

- See more at:

Roy, S. (2013) Routine, Not Exceptional (on the Delhi gang rape), Warscapes Magazine. Available at: 

Roy, S. (2012) Cracked reflection, Times Higher Education. 

Roy, S. (2011) On SlutWalking in India, Tehelka: India’s Independent Weekly 25 July 2011 [reprinted in Polity brought out by the Social Science Association of Sri Lanka]

Roy, S. (2011) ‘Should men be allowed on the FWSA executive committee?’ FWSA newsletter, Issue 57, January

Roy, S (2010) Interview with Neera Chandhoke, Professor of Political Science at the University of Delhi in Network, the British Sociological Association newsletter

Roy, S (2010) Conference review: Feminist Theory and Activism in Global Perspective, SOAS for the FWSA newsletter, Issue 55

Roy, S. (11 March 2010) ‘Spare a thought for those broken and cast out of this hostile home’ in the Times Higher Education Supplement

Roy, S. (2005) ‘Sexual violence and the politics of memory in Naxalbari’, Jadavpur University Journal of Sociology.

Roy, S. (2004) ‘Oral discourse and the memory of pain’, paper published in the conference proceedings of the Thirteenth International Oral History Conference


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