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Dr. Debotri Dhar

Dr. Debotri Dhar was educated in India, the UK and the USA. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, India; a Master’s in Women’s Studies, with distinction, from the University of Oxford, UK; and a Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University, USA. She previously taught at Rutgers University, held a postdoctoral research position at Boston University, and is currently a Lecturer in Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, and Jeanne Campbell Visiting Scholar at its Center for the Education of Women. Dr. Dhar has authored peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and edited academic volumes such as Education and Gender (London/NY: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), as well as a study for the South Asian American NGO Manavi, for a series funded by a grant from the Office on Violence against Women, U.S. Dept. of Justice. Dr. Dhar has received several awards and honors, such as an Excellence Fellowship at Rutgers University, an Institute for Research on Women graduate fellowship, and a Gillespie Visiting Fellowship, College of Wooster. Courses taught by her include Feminist Theory; Transnational Feminisms; Knowledge and Power: Issues in Women’s Leadership; Women, Culture, Society; Social Justice: Literature and Politics; Gender and Bollywood; Doing Feminist Research: Theory and Practice; and others. She has also delivered conference papers, presentations and visiting lectures, at universities such as Harvard, Yale, Michigan, Delhi, Bonn, Boston, Princeton, and elsewhere.

An avid creative writer, Debotri juggles fiction with her day job as an academic. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines and anthologies worldwide such as Every Day Fiction (USA), Muse India (India), Indian Voices (Canada), StepAway Magazine (UK), Asia Writes (Singapore), and Mapping Me: A Landscape of Women’s Stories (New Zealand). The New York Journal of Books wrote of Debotri’s short story collection Postcards from Oxford: Stories of Women and Travel (London: Roman Books, 2013):“The women we encounter in her work seize the trajectory of the road and navigate it on their own terms. Elegantly written, with poise and control, they examine what it means for a 21st century woman to travel. Her stories are delightful wanderings, all senses on high alert.” Set in India and the US, her second novel The Courtesans of Karim Street (New Delhi: Niyogi Books, 2015) has received popular and critical acclaim. According to The Telegraph, “The novel meticulously documents the decline of North India's courtesan culture over the last century.” Says The Sunday Guardian “At a crucial interface of history, bloodlines and culture...the novel seeks to bring the suppressed histories of courtesans to the fore, while its postmodern lens brings out the elusive nature of truth amidst clashing accounts.” The Pioneer praises its “comprehensive view which brings together Oldenburg’s naturalism and Ruswa's portrayal.” Debotri’s other interests include Hindustani classical music, cooking, art, cinema, and mountain journeys in every sense.

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