Debanuj DasGupta

photo of Professor DasGupta
Assistant Professor

Office Location

4711 South Hall


Transgender Studies, Queer Theory, Transnational Feminism and Sexuality Studies, Queer Migration Studies, South Asia Studies, International Development and Human Rights, Scholar & Activist Methodologies. 


PhD (2016) Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Graduate Minor in South Asia Studies The Ohio State University
M.A. (2008) Geography & Urban Planning The University of Akron
B.A. (1995) Sociology (HONS) Minor: Economics, Political Science Presidency College. The University of Calcutta


Areas of Study:

  • Racialized regulation of space
  • Immigration detention
  • Queer migrations and the global governance of migration
  • Sexuality
  • HIV.

Dr. Debanuj DasGupta is an Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies at UCSB. Debanuj’s research and teaching focuses on racialized regulation of space, immigration detention, queer migrations and the global governance of migration, sexuality, and HIV. Debanuj serves on the political geography editorial board of the Geography Compass and is Board-Co Chair of the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies: CLAGS at the City University of New York.  He is the recipient of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) funded Junior Scholar Award in Transregional Studies: Inter Asian Contexts & Connections; Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Award, The British Department for International Development, Ford Foundation funded New Voices Fellowship, American Association of Geographers and National Science Foundation funded T. J. Reynolds National Award in Disability Studies, and the International AIDS Society’s Emerging Activist Award.

Her scholarly work has been published in journals such as Human Geography, Women’s Studies in Communication, Disability Studies Quarterly, Contemporary South Asia, SEXUALITIES, Gender, Place & Culture, Emotions, Space, and Society, and the Scholar and the Feminist (S&F online). She is the co-editor of Friendship As Social Justice Activism: Critical Solidarities in Global Perspective (University of Chicago Press), and Queering Digital India: Activisms, Identities and Subjectivities (University of Edinburgh Press).

Debanuj is presently working on two book projects. The first is tentatively titled as Trans/Detention: Politics of Trauma and Trans/Migrant Justice this monograph length project investigates how transgender detainees and asylum seekers are subjected to trauma within detention centers and asylum courts in the US, and how transgender immigrant rights activists are transforming trauma into creative political action that seeks to disrupt the national security state. The second monograph is tentatively titled as Sexing the Region: Cross Border Trans/Activisms in South Asia. This monograph opens up questions about how border conflicts between nation-states in South Asia is felt at the scale of the transgender body, and argues for a regional, inter-scalar understanding of transgender lives in South Asia.

Debanuj self identifies as Koti/Gender Queer. S/he loves traveling, spending quiet time by herself, and is an avid foodie.


Recent Grants & Awards:

2018-2019 Junior Fellowship in Transregional Studies: Inter-Asian Contexts & Connections. Social Science Research Council
2018-2019 Salzburg Global Fellow. The German Government GZ
2019 Global Challenges Research Fund. UK. Government. “Water Security Across the Gender Continuum.”
2018 Scholarship Facilitation Fund. Office of the Vice President for Research. University of Connecticut.

[Continued in CV]


Peer Reviewed Articles

DasGupta, D. 2019. “The Politics of Transgender Asylum and Detention.” Human Geography: A New Radical Journal. Vol 2:3. Appears at

DasGupta, D. 2019. “Trauma, Desire, and Trans/Gender Detention Politics in the US.” Women’s Studies in Communication. Vol 41. (3). 324-328.

DasGupta, D. and DasGupta, R.K. 2018. “Being Out of Place: Non-belonging and Queer Racialization in the U.K." Emotions, Space, and Society. Vol 27. 31-38.

DasGupta, R.K. and DasGupta, D. 2017. “Intimate Subjects and Virtual Spaces: Rethinking Sexuality as a Category for Intimate Ethnographies” SEXUALITIES. Vol 21 (5-6) 932-950.

Di Feliciantonio, C. Gadelha, B. K & DasGupta, D. 2017. “‘Queer(y)ing’ Methodologies: Doing Fieldwork and Becoming Queer” Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography (24) 3: 403-412. First published online May, 2017.

Nagar, I & DasGupta, D. 2015. “Public Kothi, and Private Love: Section 377, Religion, Perversity, and Lived Desire.” Contemporary South Asia 23 (2): 426-441.

DasGupta, D. 2014. “Cartographies of Friendship, Desire, and Home; Notes on Surviving Neoliberal Security Regimes” Disability Studies Quarterly 34 (4): 1-21.

DasGupta, D. 2013. “Towards a Politics of Pleasure Knowledge.” Scholar & Feminist Online. 12 (1-2). Special issue “Activism and the Academy,” Fall 2013/Spring 2014. Barnard Center for Research on Women.

DasGupta, D. 2012. “Queering Immigration: Perspectives on Cross Movement Organizing.” Scholar & Feminist Online 10 (1-2) Special issue “A New Queer Agenda,” Fall 2011/Spring 2012. Barnard Center for Research on Women.

Encylopedia Entries

Hijras in the SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies. (Under Review)

Book Chapters

DasGupta, D. Siker, J. & Asgar, A. “COVID-19 and the Politics of Transgender Survival in Dhaka, Bangladesh.” In COVID Assemblages: Queer and Feminist ethnographies from South Asia Edited by Banerjea, N.

DasGupta, R.K. & Boyce, P. Routledge Publications. (Under Review)

Edited Books

Banerjea, N. DasGupta, D. DasGupta, R.K. and Grant, J. Eds. Friendship As Social Justice Activism. University of Chicago Press.

DasGupta, D & DasGupta. R.K. Eds. Queering Digital India: Activisms, Intimacies, and Subjectivities. The University of Edinburgh Press.