Biography

 

Anchita Dasgupta, hails from the east Indian city of Kolkata and completed her MPhil in Law with distinction at St Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford. She researches on Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and the epistemological decolonisation of the discipline of international law. Her dissertation, supervised by Dr Shreya Atrey at the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights, lies at the cross-section of subaltern studies and critical legal theory, and examines the question of subaltern agency within international law. Through a study of resistance in the postcolony during collective self-determination movements, the dissertation attempts to construct an alternative, agency-centric, and critical framework of international human rights law, that democratizes international law and pushes forward the ulterior goal of its decolonisation. At the Oxford Law Faculty, Anchita acts as a co-convenor for the Decolonising the Law discussion group, hosted by the Bonavero Institute for Human Rights. Anchita also works as a part time researcher for the Oxford Pro Bono Publico.

Anchita graduated with honors from Brown University in Rhode Island, United States where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Middle East Studies. Sponsored by the Middle East Studies Undergraduate Fellowship, her undergraduate thesis research examined two legal cases in Palestine and Kashmir in which resistance actors weaponized the “occupier’s law” to claim victories within the streamlined process of the law. In turn, they threw light upon the existence of subaltern agency within the institutional and statist framework of the law. Her thesis won the Brown Center for South Asian Studies Thesis Prize for 2021. 

Anchita has worked as a research assistant to a senior advocate to the Indian Supreme Court, Menaka Guruswamy, as well as renowned Palestinian historian and the current president of Birzeit University, Dr Beshara Doumani. She has also researched for the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition for Civil Society—a federation of grassroots actors and human rights advocates in Indian held Kashmir. Earlier, she worked as a speechwriter to the President and the Vice President of India at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. 

Anchita is an active organizer and advocate for Palestinian and Kashmiri human rights. She spearheaded the Brown Divest campaign in 2019 that lobbied the Brown Corporation to divest from its holdings in corporations that profited from the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Anchita also co-founded a student-run advocacy movement for justice in Kashmir—Brown University Kashmir Solidarity Movement. During her undergraduate studies, Anchita wrote and edited for several student-run political and academic publications. Her academic writings have been published by journals such as the Georgetown University Undergraduate Law Review, the Undergraduate Law Review at New York University, the Brown Undergraduate Law Review, the Duke Journal for Middle East Studies and the Brown Undergraduate Journal for Middle East Studies.

After wrapping up her degree at Oxford, Anchita has been working as a research associate at the Kashmir Law and Justice Project, as a research intern for the US based Cities for CEDAW initiative,  and as a research assistant to Gulika Reddy at the Stanford Law School’s international human rights law clinic. She is currently based in her hometown Kolkata. She aspires to continue her research on critical historical frameworks and approaches to international human rights law through a JD in law in the next year, followed by a PhD in intellectual history. 

 

Research Interests

Third World Approaches to International Law,  international law, international human rights law, subaltern studies,  postcolonial theory,  South Asia,  Middle East,  lawfare,  legal agency, social movements, self-determination, decolonisation, occupation, laws of occupation, international humanitarian law.

 

Research projects & programmes

Decolonising the Law