Professor And Director Of School Of Women's Studies


Aishika Chakraborty is Professor and Director of the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University. Her research interests span from the gendered history of the Hindu widows of colonial Bengal to the many journeys of women dancers from colonial to postcolonial Bengal. Her areas of specialization are women's question in India, feminist performance and practices and popular and erotic performers of India.
Aishika has published articles and worked as guest editors of special issues of South Asian History and Culture and Economic and Political Weekly. She has contributed chapters in edited volumes and has written editorial articles for daily newspapers.
Her forthcoming monograph is Widows of Colonial Bengal: Gender, Morality and Cultural Representation (2022-23).
Her other publications include Ranjabati: A Dancer and her World ( edited, 2008), The Moving Space: Women in Dance (co-edited, 2017), while her Bengali monographs are Kolkatar Nach : Samakalin Nagarnritya (2018) and Kolkatar Cabaret: Bangali, Younata ebang Miss Shefali (2019).


Aishika presented her work widely both at national and international conferences. She presented her works at the Department of South Asian Studies at the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany (May and October 2011), International Conference of Bengal Studies, Bangladesh (2011), International Associations of Historians of Asia at Solo, Indonesia (2012), Congress on Research in Dance (DSA) at the University of Riverside, USA (2013), at the Global Meet of the World Dance Alliance held at Angers, France (2014), at British South Asian Annual Conference held at Nottingham University, UK (2017), at the International Federation of Theatre Research held at Belgrade, Serbia (2018), at Shanghai Theatre Academy, China (2019) and at the International Conference of Traditional Music at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (2019). She delivered special lectures at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (2013) and Royal Holloway College, University of London (2017) and Tagore Centre, London (2017). She presented lectures at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh (2019), Central Women’s University of Dhaka (2018), Bangladesh Itihas Parishat (2019) Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (2018) and International Theatre Institute, Bangladesh (2019).

Positions held

Aishika held the position of Director of the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University from September 2017 to September 2019 and from August 2014 to September 2016 and served the centre as its Joint Director from September 2013 to August 2014.


She has supervised MPhil and PhD theses on autobiographies of communist women from Bengal, women in the radio industry, queer politics and performance, women writers from colonial and postcolonial Bengal, Language, abuse and trauma, women performers of colonial India, women in the police force of India etc.


A former student of Dr. Manjusri Chaki-Sircar and Ranjabati Sircar, Aishika widely participated at major national and international dance festivals. She toured Scotland and England at the invitation of Tagore Centre London (1991) and worked with Oxford Independent Television.
As a choreographer she has collaborated with Dancers’ Guild and staged Jajnaseni (2008), Chitrangada (2012) and Agama Antara Parabare (based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, 2022). While Chitrangada was invited by the Embassy of India, Egypt to celebrate the Tagore Festival in Cairo and Alexandria (2017), the choreographic laboratory project (Agama…) is supported by the Italian Consulate in Kolkata and Kolkata Centre for Creativity.