Photo of Manisha Desai

Manisha Desai

University of Connecticut
United States
Email Manisha.Desai [at] uconn [period/dot] edu

Manisha Desai works at the intersection of gender, globalization, human rights, and climate justice with a geographic focus on India. In particular she has examined subaltern struggles and transnational feminist efforts that range from gender and global justice to decolonizing knowledge production.



“Subaltern Movements in India: Gendered Geographies of Struggle Against Neoliberal Development.”  Routledge, 2016. [Sole Author].

Issue Brief

Special Issues of Journal

Co-editor, 2022. “Special Issue on bell hooks,” in Women, Gender and Family of Color.

Co-editor, 2022. “Special Issue on Crises and the (Re)Organizing of Gender and Work,” in Gender, Work, and Organization.

Desai M. & Rinaldo R. 2016. “Reorienting Gender and Globalization: Introduction to the Special Issue.” Qualitative Sociology.


Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

Desai M. & Roy R. 2022. “Intersectional Coloniality in 19th Century India: The Sociological Praxis of Savitribai Phule and the Women Activists of Satya Shodhak Samaj (Truth Seeker Society). American Sociologist.

Desai M. & Vo T. 2021. “Immigrant Southeast and East Asian mothers’ transnational postpartum cultural practices: A meta-ethnography.” Women’s Health.

Desai M. 2020. “Beyond the Global North South: Southasian Feminist Imaginaries.” Special Issue of European Journal of Women’s Studies on Global South Feminism.

Desai M. & Rinaldo R. 2016. “Reorienting Gender and Globalization: Introduction to the Special Issue.” Qualitative Sociology,  39(3):1-15.

Desai M. 2016. “The Gendered Geographies of Struggle: The WSF and its sometimes overlapping other worlds.” Gender & Society 30(6):869-889.



Book Chapters (peer-reviewed)

Desai M. & Rianka Roy. 2022. “Krantijyoti (Revolutionary Light) and Gyanjyoti (Education Light) Savitribai Phule.” In Chico Herbison and David Dickens, edited: Neglected Theorists of Color.

Desai M., Asmita Asaavari, Ruth Hernandez, Koyel Khan, & Rianka Roy. 2022. “Writing on self together: Collective Autoethnography as praxis of solidarity and  collective care during  the pandemic.” Ch. 6 in In Melanie Heath, Akosua Darkwa, Josephine Beoku-Betts, and Bandana Purkayastha, edited. Global Feminist Autoethnographies During Covid-19: Displacements and Disruptions. Routledge.

Desai M. 2021. “Dalit and Autonomous Feminisms in India.” In Josephine Beouku-Betts and Akosua Adomak Ampofo, edited, Producing Inclusive Feminist Knowledge: Positionalities and Discourses in the Global South. Advances in Gender Research, Volume 3, 65-78. Emerald Publisher.

Desai M. 2020. “Feminist Praxis and Globalization.” Pp: 357-372.  Wiley Companion to Feminist Studies.

Desai M. 2017. “Moments of Movements Intersection in India: Informing and Transforming Bodies in Movements.” 79-93. In Wendy Harcourt, editor, Bodies in Resistance: Gender Politics in the Age of Neoliberalism. Palgrave McMillan.

Desai M. 2016. “Exploring the Persistence of Gendered Geographies of Global Justice Movements.”  Pp: 121-131 In Jackie Smith, Michael Goodhart, Patrick Manning, and John Markoff, editors, Social Movements and World System Transformation.  Paradigm Publishers.

Desai M. 2016. “Gendering Democracy: Insights from Four Decades of Feminist Activism in India.” Pp: 93-114 In Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Alf Gunvald Nilsen, editors, Democratizing Indian Democracy? Social Movements and the State in Contemporary India. Palgrave McMillan.

Desai M. 2015. “Critical Cartographies, Theories and Praxis of Transnational Feminisms.”  Pp: 116-130 in Rawwida Baksh and Wendy Harcourt, editors, Handbook on Transnational Feminist Movements: Knowledge, Power, and Social Change.  Oxford University Press.

Desai M. 2013. “The Possibilities and Perils of Scholar Activism and Activist Scholarship: Reflections on the Feminist Dialogues.”  Pp: 89-107 in Jeffrey S. Juris and Alex Kashnabish, editors, Insurgent Encounters: Transnational Activism, Ethnography and the Political, Duke University Press.