Debanuj DasGupta

photo of Professor DasGupta
Associate 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.

Debanuj DasGupta is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara. Debanuj’s research and teaching focuses on the global governance of migration, sexuality, and HIV. Debanuj utilizes collaborative scholar & activist research methods in order to write about the political potentials of trauma experienced by LGBTQ immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Prior to UCSB, Debanuj was Assistant Professor of Geography and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut (2016-2020). Debanuj served as Board Co-Chair of the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) at the City University of New York, between 2017-2022, and is on the editorial board of Geography Compass.

Debanuj is currently working on completing his monograph titled, Queer Migrations in Three Meditations that documents the entanglements between HIV/AIDS, the global War on Terror and the consolidation of the national-security state during the past three decades in the US. Debanuj is completing a graphic novel, tentatively titled COVID-19 Pandemic and Trans/Queer Life-Making in South Asia. The graphic novel is a collaboration with LGBTQIA+ activists from Kolkata, Imphal, Moirang, and Dhaka along with artists Jit Ray and Rima Ray from Mad Earth Designs. Debanuj’s new research is about queer gastronomy in contemporary urban India, and queer migrations in Argentina. As a feminist geographer, Debanuj remains interested in trans/queer place-making and world writing.

Debanuj’s scholarly work has been published in journals such as GLQ, Journal of Human Rights, Human Geography, Women’s Studies in Communication, Disability Studies Quarterly, Contemporary South Asia, SEXUALITIES, Gender, Place & Culture, and the Scholar and the Feminist (S&F online). She is the co-editor of Queer Then and Now: The David R. Kessler Lectures 2002-2020 (Feminist Press); 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).

He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards such as the Engaging the Humanities Research Award from the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI); Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Junior Scholar Award in Trans-Regional Studies: Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections; The Global Challenges Research Fund (UK) from the British Department for International Development (DFID); as well as fellowships from the Salzburg Global Forum, the United Nations Development Program and the German Government SZ. Debanuj is a survivor of the detention/prison industrial complex and has previously lived as an undocumented immigrant in the US for over a decade. Prior to joining academia, Debanuj has worked for over twenty years in movements for sexual liberation and migrant justice in both the US & India.



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.