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Simanti Dasgupta

Professor; Director of the International Studies Program

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: International Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work


Email: Simanti Dasgupta
Phone: 937-229-2169


  • Ph.D., New School for Social Research, New York City, 2009
  • M.Phil., Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1997
  • M.A., Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, 1995
  • B.A. (Honors), Presidency College, University of Calcutta, 1993


Simanti Dasgupta is an associate professor of anthropology and serves as the director of international studies at the University of Dayton. Her overarching interest in the politics of citizenship and belonging in postcolonial and neoliberal nation-states link her works.

She is currently preparing a book manuscript tentatively titled, Prophylactic Rights: Sex Work, HIV/AIDS and Anti-Trafficking in Sonagachi, India, based on her ethnographic research with Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, a sex workers’ organization since 2011. She published this work in PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review; Anti-Trafficking Review, Open democracy: Beyond trafficking and slavery and The Conversation.

She previously authored BITS of Belonging: Information Technology, Water and Neoliberal Governance in India (Temple, 2015), which examined the emerging neoliberal politics in urban India at the intersection of Information Technology and water privatization. 

Academic Honors

  • Liberal Arts Scholarship Catalyst Grant, University of Dayton, 2019-20.
  • Liberal Arts Scholarship Catalyst Grant, University of Dayton, 2018-19.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Connections Planning Grant, Collaborator, 2018-2019.
  • Fellow, Human Rights Center, University of Dayton, 2015- .
  • Research Council SEED Grant, University of Dayton, June-August 2012 and June-August 2013, June-August 2014.
  • Peter McGrath Human Rights Fellowship, University of Dayton 2012-2013.
  • National Science Foundation, Dissertation Improvement Grant, Science and Technology Studies Program, 2004-2005.
  • American Institute of Indian Studies, University of Chicago, Junior Research Fellowship, 2004-2005.

Selected Publications


Dasgupta, Simanti. 2015. BITS of Belonging: Information Technology, Water and Neoliberal Governance India. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2019. “Of Raids and Returns: Sex Work Movement, Police Oppression, and the Politics of the Ordinary in Sonagachi, India.” Anti-Trafficking Review, 12:127-39. Watch the GAATW video below.

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2017. “Contagious Contestations: Sex Work, Medicine, Law in Colonial and Postcolonial Sonagachhi.” In Subjects, Citizens and Law: Colonial and Postcolonial India edited by C. Gunnel and S. Dasgupta pp. 60-77. New Delhi and London: Routledge.

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2014. “Sovereign Silence: Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act and Sex Work in Sonagachhi.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Vol. 37 (1):109–125.

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2012. “Rethinking Participation: Water, Development and Democracy in Neo-Liberal Bangalore.” Journal of South Asian Studies, 35 (3):520-545.

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2008. “Success, Market, Ethics: Information Technology and the Shifting Politics of Governance and Citizenship in the Indian Silicon Plateau.” Cultural Dynamics, 20 (3): 213-244.

Commentaries and Interviews

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2018. “Indian Bill to ‘protect’ trafficking victims will make sex workers less safe.” The Conversation.

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2018. “The Labor of ‘Risky’ Bodies: Sex Work, HIV/AIDS and the Politics of Well-being in Sonagachhi.” Anthropology News, Health and Well-Being Series.

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2016. Interview with Simanti Dasgupta, BITS of Belonging: Information Technology, Water and Neoliberal Governance in India”. New Books Network. Available at

Dasgupta, Simanti.2015. “Amnesty Proposal to Decriminalize Sex Work: Contents and Discontents” opendemocracy: free thinking for the world. Available at’s-proposal-to-decriminalise-sex-work-contents-and-discontents

Dasgupta, Simanti. 2014. “HIV/AIDS, policing sex work and public health in India: an interview with Simanti Dasgupta” Association for Political and Legal Anthropology, July 30 2014. Available at