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Rukmini Sen

Associate Professor

PhD in Sociology, University of Calcutta

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School of Undergraduate Studies

Education & Research

Research methodologies, personal narratives and social science research, sociology of law, women’s movements, gender, sexuality and law, disability issues, human rights, social exclusion and social justice, sociology of everyday lives, institutional histories and memories.

Rukmini Sen has done her PhD from University of Calcutta, Kolkata and M.A. from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her teaching and research interests lie in the intersection between sociology, law, policy making, social movements and gender studies. Having been part of different women’s groups in Kolkata she has an experience of trying to connect activism with academics. Besides her academic pursuit, she is also a trained dancer. She has been the Joint Secretary of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies between 2008-2011, is in the panel of Experts of the National Commission for Women, New Delhi since 2011, reviewing various laws on women. She is also a member of the Indian Sociological Society and the Law and Social Science Research Network.


Teaching and Research Interests


Research Methodologies-- Using personal narratives for social science research Sociology of Law--Women’s Movements--Gender, Sexuality and Law--Disability Issues—Human Rights, Social Exclusion and Social Justice--Sociology of Everyday Lives—Institutional Histories and Memories



2008: PhD: University of Calcutta, Kolkata

Dissertation Title: Gendered Construction on Culture of Silence/Insignificant  Articulation


The doctoral work deals with exploring a culture of silence among Bengali women. The four main questions explored in the thesis are (a) Why are the women silent? (b) What are the different issues about which the women are usually silent completely or partially? (c) Who are the agents that silence women? (d) How do they negotiate with their silence? The autobiographies of twenty Bengali women born between 1809 and 1910 are the primary data in this research. There has been a qualitative content analysis of these autobiographies.


2000: M.A. Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (stood second in the batch) (Took Optional courses in Sociology of Education, Sociology of Knowledge)


1998: B.A. Sociology, Presidency College, University of Calcutta, Kolkata (stood first in the University)


Past Employment

Teaching and Research Experiences 

At WB National University of Juridical Sciences taught two compulsory Sociology courses to LLB and LLM students, in her seven years there between 2002-2009, besides offering courses on Disability and Law, Gender and Law, Law and Social Change, Law, Culture and Pluralism.

Taught courses in Feminist Methodology at the MPhil program in Women’s Studies at the Women’s Studies Resource Centre at University of Calcutta and a course on Sociology of Gender at the Department of Sociology, Jadavpur University between 2006-2009


Taught at Burdwan University, West Bengal, MA courses in Sociology of Development and Research Methodology between January 2002 and May 2002 Taught at Presidency College, University of Calcutta, Kolkata, BA Sociology courses, November and December 2000


Worked as Junior Fellow at the Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi between January 2010 and January 2011 working in a project on Changing Meaning of Violence in the Indian Legal System.



‘Women’s subjectivities of Suffering and Legal rhetoric on Domestic Violence: Fissures in the two Discourses’ in the Indian Journal of Gender Studies special issue on 

Violence, Law and Feminist Politics; 17 (3) 2010: 375-401


‘Law Commission Reports on Rape’ Women’s Studies Review, Economic and Political Weekly, October 30, 2010, Vol. XLV No 44 pp 81-87


‘Pawar and the Power of the Narrative: Resistance and Re-emergence’ Voice of Dalit, Vol. 3, No.1 Jan-June 2010 pp


‘Integrating Sociology in Law School Curriculum: Discontent, Dilemma, Direction’  (2010) in Chaudhuri, Maitrayee (ed.) Sociology in India: Intellectual and Institutional Practices Rawat Publications, Jaipur, India pp 197-214


‘Breaking Silences, Celebrating New Spaces: Mapping Elite Responses to the ‘Inclusive’ Judgment’ NUJS Law Review, Volume 2, 2009, No 3, pp 481-503


‘May Feel, Mustn’t Talk, Never Question: A Reading of Rashsundari and Binodini’s  Autobiographies’, in Critical Issues Number 2, February, 2009 Jadavpur University Journal of Sociology, pp 69-90

‘The Destruction of Caste Means a Notional Change’: Creation of Community and Identity in Ambedkar’s Writings in Voice of Dalit, Volume 1, No.1 January-July, 2008 pp 57-65


Atmakathar Nirabota: Bangali Mohilader Atmajiboni (Silences in Personal Narratives:

Bengali Women’s Autobiographies) (2008) in Chanda, Pulak (ed.) (2008)  Naribishwa, A Collection of Essays on Women Studies Gangchil, Kolkata ‘March 8, 2010: the Hundred
Years Moment’ available online at  ‘Legal regulation on surrogacy and reaffirming motherhood: Conflicts and Contradictions’ available online at

Select Conferences and Seminar Presentations (only between 2009-11)

April 2011 Breaking Silences, Creating New Languages: Reading an Inclusive Judgment at the Faculty of Law, University of Keele, Straffordshire, UK


April 2011 Morality impacting legality: Tracing sexuality Discourses of Indian Juridical System at a workshop on Sexuality and Legal Transformations organized at the                  University of Westminster, London


March 2011 (Un)Learning Disability: Reflecting, Debunking through Teaching at a conference organized by CSSS, JNU, New Delhi on Exploring Disability Experience in Social  Science Research


February 2011 ‘Using Autobiographical Narratives as Sociological Pedagogy:  Challenging Hegemonies, Locating Marginalities’ at a conference organized by CSSS/JNU, New    Delhi on Sociology in the 21st Century  India: Constraints and Possibilities


December 2010 “Juridical Responses to 'Violence' in Intimate Relationships: From Dowry Death to Emotional Abuse” at a conference titled Women’s Rights and the Legal            Systems: Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspectives organized by Centre for Women’s Studies, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh


June 2010  ‘Clinical Legal Education: Need Assessment and Directions’ at the Workshop on Challenges to Legal Education in Contemporary India, organized by Chityala     Ailamma Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, Hyderabad


May 2010  ‘Narrating Women in Politics/Movement: Claims and Entitlements’ at the Law and Social Science Research Network, Delhi Chapter, Panel Discussion, Centre  for Policy Research, New Delhi


December 2009 ‘A New Legal Regime of Intimacy: Sanitizing Family Ties’ at School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata conference on Re-negotiating Intimacy:   Marriage, Sexuality and Living Practices


January 2009 ‘Family endorsing silenced affliction and intervening sexual violence: disjuncture between legal rhetoric and subjectivities of suffering’ at the Inaugural              LASSNET Conference organized by the Centre for Studies in Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Professionl Activities/Awards

Academic Fellowships

Visiting Fellow at the School of Law, University of Keele under the PECANS fellowship on law, gender and sexuality between 3rd and 14th of April 2011 

Selected for the International Visitor Leadership Program of by the US State Department of Education and Cultural Affairs on Human Rights Awareness (only woman participant from India, among seven total participants) in February 2007. Visited and interacted in the states of Washington DC, Alabama, Tulsa, San Francisco with human rights organizations, government agencies, media houses, professors teaching human rights in US universities discussing US concerns and strategies on domestic and international human rights

 Participated at the inaugural workshop on Global Law and Economic Policy organized by the Institute of Global Law and Policy, Harvard Law School, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA in June 2010. It was an intense 10 day workshop on human rights and social justice, global governance, international monetary regulation, law and development and global constitutionalism


My Zone