Prof. Jhuma Sen

Associate Professor and Assistant Director, Centre for Human Rights Studies 
B.B.A. LL.B (Symbiosis Pune); LL.M. (University of California, Berkeley)

My research interests lie at the intersection of courts and gender, citizenship and constitutionalism and transnational feminist movements and law reforms. I interrogate the multiple ways in which courts and the legislature accommodate, negotiate, resist or facilitate the agenda of the postcolonial nation state. My current research has two broad themes. I use the framework of governance feminism to locate how gender is enframed in law at the ‘workplace’ and how ‘workplace’ is regulated and engendered by the courts and the legislature. More broadly, I also look at the women’s movement in India, and the feminist legal interventions in the 1970s and beyond that informed/transformed the processes of legal reform by the legislature and the courts.

I am also deeply interested in the legal history of the Indian subcontinent. More specifically this has two narrow focus– first, a gendered history of the legal profession in India and second, history of partitions, borders, migrations and citizenship formation that have constituted much of postcolonial India’s legal and constitutional order.

I am also the convener of the Indian Feminist Judgment Project, a project that situates writing alternative judgments to judgments that could have been written better or written differently by using a feminist lens.

I hold an undergraduate law degree from Symbiosis Law School (Pune), and a postgraduate law degree from University of California (Berkeley). I have also been an American Association of University Women’s International Fellow and a member of Translocal Law Research Group (King’s College, London) and a researcher with South Asia Institute (Harvard University) project titled ‘The 1947 Partition of British India: Humanitarian and Demographic Consequences’. I have been a Visiting/Research Fellow at Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode (Canada), Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Spain), Cornell Law School (USA), Erik Castren Institute (Finland), National University of Singapore (Singapore). More recently, I received the Future of Change India Research Fellowship at University of New South Wales (2019) where I spent a semester. I was an Asia 21 Young Leader in 2017 and was offered the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship at the Human Rights Program in Harvard Law School in 2019 (declined).

I am currently preparing my book manuscript (under contract with Pan Macmillan India), tentatively titled Breaking the Bar: Early Women Lawyers and the Legal Profession in India (forthcoming 2020/2021).