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Harvard Professor Durba Mitra Named Walter Channing Cabot Fellow

Press Release

Harvard recently announced that 11 of its faculty members, including Indian American Durba Mitra, were recipients of a 2021 Walter Channing Cabot Fellowship.

The faculty members earned the fellowship honor for their achievements in “literature, history or art, as such terms may be liberally interpreted.” 

Mitra is the Carol K. Pforzheimer assistant professor at the Radcliffe Institute and assistant professor of studies of women, gender and sexuality. She was chosen for the work, “Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought.”

Mitra works at the intersection of feminist and queer studies. Her research and teaching focus on the history of sexuality, the history of science and epistemology, and gender and feminist thought in South Asia and the colonial and postcolonial world, her bio notes.

Mitra’s book demonstrates how ideas of deviant female sexuality became foundational to modern social thought. Her current book project explores the history of Third World feminist theory and South-South solidarity movements, the bio adds. 

She is a recipient of the 2019 Roslyn Abramson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Harvard, which recognizes teachers for “excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates,” and the 2020 Star Family Prize for Excellence in Faculty Advising.

Mitra is a faculty associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and is a member of the Asia Center Council and Steering Committee at the Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard.

She is the editor of “Books in Brief” for GLQ: Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, a member of the editorial board of the journal Signs, and a contributing editor for Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, it adds.

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