Arpita Chakraborty | Law and Government

Arpita Chakraborty

Arpita Chakraborty has completed her PhD at the School of Law and Government. She was the first Ireland India Institute scholar to join Dublin City University, and was previously employed as an Editor with Sage Publications.


MA Media & Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai 2012
BA English Literature University of Calcutta 2010

Supervisor: Prof. Maura Conway

Thesis Title: 'Violence, Religion, and Masculinism in Contemporary India: An Analysis of the Writings of Vivekananda, Golwalkar, and Gandhi'


This project will analyse connections between religion, masculinity and political violence, specifically the use of Hindu religious concepts in upholding hegemonic masculinity. It situates itself within the intersection of dalit standpoint theory, postcolonial theory, and religious studies and looks at how masculinity and ideas of violence/non-violence have become interconnected through religion in certain societies. The role of colonisation in postcolonial countries have also made the political use of violence a masculine prerogative. Through a discourse analysis of the written works of three politico-religious leaders of India from early twentieth century: Swami Vivekananda, M.S. Golwalkar, and M.K. Gandhi, I show how the discourse of masculinity was firmly embedded in a religious discourse whose influence continues to this day.

These leaders are important as case studies because of their different positions in the spectrum of religiosity: while Golwalkar in known as the father of the extreme right-wing Hindu organisation RSS and allegedly admired Hitler, Swami Vivekananda wanted a rejuvenation of the Hindu religion through harmony with other religions, but if necessary, through forceful submission. Gandhi, however, has been a famed proponent of non-violence. Therefore, the intention of this project is to show that irrespective of extremity, religion can often work as the binder between masculinity and political violence. This project will help to locate how this association takes place in praxis.

Areas of Interest: Masculinity, Religion and public sphere, feminist theory, postcolonial studies

Teaching: 2018 - Co-created and co-taught the module ‘Interpreting India: Prospects and Challenges in the Twenty-first Century’ LG365


Masculinity in the Face of Colonialism: Conceptions of Masculinity in the Works of Swami Vivekananda, French Asian Studies Network Conference at Sciences Po, Paris, 26-28 June 2017.

‘Bunch of Thoughts': Construction of the Hindu Male Self and Others in the works of Golwalkar’, European Consortium of Politics and Gender (ECPG) Conference 2017 held at Lausanne, Switzerland.

Presented a paper titled ‘Choosing the worst one? Differentiating oppression in the Indian Women’s movement’ at the Glasgow College of Arts Postgraduate Conference 2016, held at the University of Glasgow, UK.

Presented a paper titled ‘‘Being a Man’ as Solution to Colonial Problems: The Idea of Masculinity in the Works of Swami Vivekananda’ at the Sibeal Feminist and Gender Studies Network Annual Conference, 18-29 November 2016 held at the University of Galway, Ireland.

Presented a paper titled ‘Wives as doorways of citizenship: The case of Bangladeshi enclaves in India’ at the Borderlands: Journal of Gender Studies Biennial Gender Research Conference, University of Hull, 23 November 2016.

X IASSCS Conference on Literacies and Sexualities in Cultural, Fictional, Real, and Virtual Worlds: Past, Present, Future Perfect? 17th to 20th June 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.


Forthcoming, 2020. Wives as doorways of citizenship: The case of Bangladeshi enclaves in India. In Suzanne Clisby (ed) Gender, Sexuality and Identities of the Borderlands: Queering the Margins (Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality). London: Routledge.

Forthcoming, 2019. “It was as if I was identifying myself”: Class, gender, and Bengali urban conceptualisation of masculinity in Suchitra Bhattacharya’s Dahan. In Susmita Roye (ed) 'Masculinity in Women's Literature'.

Forthcoming, 2019. Politics of #LoSha: Using Naming and Shaming as a Feminist Tool on Facebook. In Debbie Ging and Eugenia Siapera (eds) Gender Hate Online: Understanding the New Anti-Feminism. London: Palgrave Mcmillan.

Forthcoming. 2018. Decolonising Academia: Race, Gender, and Embodying the Imagined History. Special Issue, Religion and Gender.

‘Can Postcolonial Feminism Revive International Relations?’ 2017, Economic and Political Weekly 20 May . Mumbai, India: EPW.

Interviewed by the journal Cerebration on the socio-political condition of the Indo Bangladesh enclaves in present times, ‘On the Conflicted Space of "Chitmahals" between the Indo-Bangladesh Border’,

Summer Schools:

Attended ‘Critical Approaches to the Study of Religion and Gender: Postcolonial, Post-Secular and Queer Perspectives’ organised by the International Association of Religion and Gender at University of Maastricht, Netherlands, 17-21 May 2017.

Attended the Sexuality Summer School, organised by the International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society (IASSCS) in Dublin from 21-26 June, 2015.

Professional Societies:

Board Member, Sibeal Feminist and Gender Studies Network

Founding Member, Irish Association of South Asian Studies

Member, Standing Group on Gender and Politics, ECPR

Member, Graduate Studies Network, ECPR

Member, International Association of Religion and Gender

Twitter: @arp_chak