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Jyoti Puri

Jyoti Puri
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Professor of Sociology
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Jyoti Puri writes and teaches in the areas of sexualities, states, nationalisms, and transnational feminist critiques. Her book, Woman, Body, Desire in Post-colonial India: Narratives of Gender and Sexuality (Routledge 1999), addresses how constructs of gender and sexuality are shaped across national and transnational contexts. A subsequent book, Encountering Nationalism, (Blackwell Publishers 2004), examines questions of nationalism and the state from a feminist sociological perspective. She co-edited a special issue on transnational feminist sociology for the journal Gender & Society (April 2005). A number of related articles and chapters are published in feminist journals and edited volumes on sexuality and gender.

Jyoti Puri is the recipient of fellowships and grants, including a Rockefeller Research Fellowship and a Fulbright Senior Research award. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Sexuality/State: Decriminalizing Homosexuality in India. This book documents the struggle to decriminalize homosexuality in India by changing the "unnatural sex law," namely Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. It analyzes the significance of sexuality for state governance of the broader population, or biopolitical governmentality. Another collaborative book project, Hometown: Space and Affiliation in the Current Century, is also underway.


Teaching Areas & Topics

  • Gender and Sexualities
  • Seminar on Gender/Cultural Studies
  • Re-envisioning the Third World
  • Queer/Transnationalism
  • Nationalism and States
  • Transgenderism and Transsexuality

Publications

Books

Encountering Nationalism. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2004. A critical introduction to the concepts and theories of nationalism and the state from a feminist perspective.

Women, Body, Desire in Post-colonial India: Narratives of Gender and Sexuality. New York: Routledge, 1999. Examines narratives of middle- and upper-class women on the onset of mestruation, sexual violence, erotic sexuality, marriage, and motherhood along the axes of nationalism and transnational cultural process.

Published Articles in Scholarly Books and Journals:

"Transgendering Development" in A. Lind (ed.) Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance, Routledge, forthcoming.

"Sexualizing the State: Sodomy, Civil Liberties, and the Indian Penal Code" in A. Chatterji and L. Chowdhury (eds.) Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia. Notes on the Post Colonial Present, Zubaan Books, forthcoming.

"Stakes and States: Sexual Discourses from New Delhi" in Feminist Review, Special Issue on Sexual Moralities, Volume 83, issue 1. August 2006.

"Sexual Significance of State and Nation" in S. Seidman, N. Fischer, Chet Meeks (eds.) Sex and Society: Introducing the Sociology of Sexualities. Routledge, 2006.

"Gay sexualities and Complicities: Rethinking the 'Global Gay.'" In K. Ferguson and M. Mironesco (eds.), Gender and globalization in Asia and the Pacific. University of Hawai'i Press, 2008.

"Nationalism has a lot to do with it: Unraveling questions of nationalism and transnationalism in lesbian and gay studies." In S. Seidman and D. Richardson (eds.), Handbook on Lesbian and Gay Studies, London: Paul Chapman, 2002.

"Concerning Kamasutras: Challenging narratives of history and sexuality" SIGNS: A Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Volume 27, no. 3. Spring 2002.

"Reading Romances in Postcolonial India." Gender & Society Volume 4: 434-452. August, 1997.

Selected Articles


Papers Presented

"Transgender Grammar: Personhood and Politics in the Indian Context." International Sociology Association, Barcelona, September, 2008.

"Sexual State: Biopolitics and Sodomy Law in India." Panel, A Foucault for the 21st Century, Fifth Social Theory Forum at University of Massachusetts, Boston, April, 2008.

"Defiant Bodies: Hijra Self-Photographs." Panel, The Body in South Asia, Annual Symposium at the South Asia Studies Center, University of Hawai'i at Manoa. 2008.

"Defiant Bodies: Re-framing Hijras and Development." Panel on How to Count the Multitude: Logics, Mechanisms, and Technologies, Association for Asian Studies, Boston, March, 2007.

"Queering States/Spaces." Panel on Space: Insurgent, Interstitial, and Imagined, South Asia Studies Conference, Madison, October, 2006.

Discussant, Panel on Gender and Violence in India and the Diaspora, South Asia Studies Conference, Madison, October, 2006.

Discussant, Panel on Labor Markets and Weddings: Global and Transnational Processes in Contemporary South Asia, South Asian Studies Conference, Madison, October, 2006.

Queering the State: Insights from India." American Sociological Association, Montreal, August, 2006.

Transgender/Transnational: Re-framing Hijras and Heteronormativity, American Sociological Association, Montreal, August, 2006.

"The Visible Body: Hijras in India." Eastern Sociology Meetings, Boston, February, 2006.

"Transgender/Transnational: Insights from India." Eastern Sociology Meetings, Boston, February, 2006.

"Sexualizing the State: Sodomy, Civil Liberties and the Indian Penal Code." Feminist Dialogs on Social Justice. University of Washington, Seattle, October, 2005.

"Queering, Legalizing: The State and the gay subject in India." Trans/positions: Transnational, transgender, transdisciplinary, transcultural, Purdue University, April, 2005.

"Between Home and Nation: South Asian Narratives on Hometown." South Asian Studies Conference. Madison, October, 2004.

"Identifying the Stakes, Doing Research Abroad." Eastern Sociology Society Annual Meetings, February, 2004.

"Making Visible LGBT Sexualities in Urban India." South Asian Studies Conference. Madison, October, 2003.

"Outing the Global Gay." Seminar on Postcoloniality, Law, Sexuality, Organized by the Centre for Feminist Legal Research, New Delhi, July, 2003.

"Rethinking the Links between Nationalisms and Sexualities." American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, August, 2002.

"Theorizing Sexuality Transnationally: Sexual Identities in Urban India and Urban South Korea." Korean Studies Association, Seoul, Korea, June, 2002.

Discussant, "Perspectives on Feminist Theory." New England Political Science Association Annual Meetings, May, 2000.

"Tensions of Sexual Respectability: Accounts of Sexual Aggression." American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, August, 1999.

"Challenging the Commonplace: Sex-education Texts and Middle-class Women in Postcolonial India." Association for Asian Studies Annual Meetings, March, 1999.

"Sex in English." New England Association for Asian Studies, October, 1998.

"Transnational Possibilities: Emergent Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Identities." Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meetings, August, 1997.

"Narrating Sexual Experiences of Middle-Class Women in Urban India." Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meetings, April, 1997.

"The Meaning of Menstruation: Examining the Narratives of Middle-Class Women in Postcolonial India." Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meetings, March, 1996.

"Just Like the Kama Sutra? Women's Sexualities in Post-colonial India." American Sociological Association Annual Meetings, August, 1995.

"The Gender and Sexual Socialization of Young Women in Urban India." Society Study Social Problems Annual Meetings, August, 1995.

"Gender, Sexuality and Social Change in India: Preliminary thoughts." Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meetings, March, 1995.

"Reflections on Doing Ethnography among Middle-Class Women in Urban India." Conference on Multiculturalism and Transnationalism, Lowell, MA, October, 1994.

"Subversive Practices: Women Reading Romance Novels in Urban India." American Sociological Association, Los Angeles, CA, August, 1994.

Sexuality and the State. Discussant, for the New England Political Association, Salem, MA, April, 1994.

"Maquiladora Program in Mexico." Regional Anthropology Meetings in Burlington, VT, March, 1990.


Affiliations/Professional Associations

  • American Sociological Association
  • Sociologists for Women in Society
  • Society for the Study of Social Problems

Awards & Honors

  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Advising, Simmons College
  • Simmons Faculty Research Award
  • Fulbright Senior Research Award

Education

M.A., Ph.D.
Northeastern University

B.A.
University of Mumbai

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