Sayantan Saha Roy

Assistant Professor

  • PhD in Anthropology, University of Chicago, 2019


Legal and Political Anthropology, South Asia, Human Rights, Reproductive Rights.


I am a legal and political anthropologist broadly interested in the logics of postcolonial legal foundationalism in India and the emergent ideas of justice that mediate the relations among individuals, collectivities, and institutions. My current book project interrogates the proposition right to life, which has emerged as a central legitimating principle in Indian legal and constitutional discourse. The book traces how right to life emerged in Indian legal discourse, the ways in which it is mobilized to make claims on the state, and the forms of power that it enables and disables. I am also developing a shorter project on reproductive rights in India.

Selected Publications

 A Ritual of Indistinction: Hunger Strike and Affect in a State of Exception (American Ethnologist, accepted).