Sayantan Saha Roy

Assistant Professor



Ph.D., 2019, University of Chicago


Sayantan Saha Roy is a legal and political anthropologist broadly interested in the logics of postcolonial legal foundationalism in India and the emergent ideas of justice that mediate the relations among individuals, collectivities, and institutions. His current book project interrogates the proposition “right to life,” which has emerged as a central legitimating principle in Indian legal and constitutional discourse. He is also developing a shorter project on reproductive rights in India. Roy has published in Feminist Anthropology and two of his research articles are forthcoming in American Ethnologist and the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He received his doctoral degree in anthropology from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree from the University of Calcutta.

Research Interests

Legal and political anthropology, postcolonialism, south asia, anthropology of the state, sovereignty, affect, human rights, reproductive rights.


  • Social Anthropology (fall 2023)
  • Legal and Political Anthropology (spring 2023)

Selected Publications

How did the Female Fetus Speak? Abortion, Selection, and the Jurisdiction of the Future. Feminist Anthropology. Published Online 29th May 2023.

A Ritual of Indistinction: Affect and Hunger Strike in a State of Exception. American Ethnologist. Forthcoming.

The Grammar of a Hunger Strike: Biopolitics and Nonviolence in Manipur. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Accepted with minor revisions.

Sayantan Saha Roy
Contact Information
Office LocationBeach Hall (BCH) 403