• Associate Professor
Chaitanya Lakkimsetti


Professor Chaitanya Lakkimsetti’s work centers on gender, sexuality, law and citizenship. In her empirical and theoretical work, she employs transnational and intersectional approaches to study sexual and gender inequalities in a global context.

Her book Legalizing Sex: Sexual Minorities, AIDS and Citizenship in India (Forthcoming, NYU press) and related articles (published in Signs and Qualitative Sociology) examine how sexual and gender minorities demand legal and political citizenship in contemporary India. More particularly she examines how the global HIV/AIDS crisis has transformed the relationship between gender and sexual minorities and the Indian state. She deploys Foucauldian lens of biopolitics and postcolonial understandings of the state to understand these contemporary transformations. Her work brings to light contemporary struggles for social justice (including the successful struggles against the colonial era anti-sodomy law) undertaken by sex workers and LGBTQ groups in India.

Dr. Lakkimsetti’s second project on urban inequalities and intimate labor takes a transnational feminist lens to theorize marginalization of women from sexual labor in establishments called dance bars in the state of Maharashtra. Her work (published in Sexualities and positions: asia critique) highlights that that in the context of growing urban inequalities poor and marginalized women also experience “moral dispossession” as sexual labor is stigmatized and criminalized.

In collaboration with her colleague Dr. Vanita Reddy (English Department) she is working on a comparative project on #metoo movements in India and the U.S. The goal of this project is to develop comparative frame works to theorize feminist movements in a transnational context.


Courses Taught at Texas A&M

  • SOCI/WGST 207: Introduction to Gender and Society
  • SOCI/WGST 316: Sociology of Gender
  • SOCI/WGST 689: Sexualities and Gender in Transnational Perspective
  • WGST 200: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies



Dr. Chaitanya Lakkimsetti on Rethinking How We Perceive Sexual Labour

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Interests

    • Gender
    • Sexuality
    • Globalization
    • Law and Society
    • Political Sociology

Selected Publications

    • Lakkimsetti, Chaitanya. 2020. Legalizing Sex: Sexual Minorities, AIDS and Citizenship in India. New York: NYU Press.
    • Lakkimsetti, Chaitanya. 2017. ““Home and Beautiful Things”: Aspirational Politics in Dance Bars in India.” Sexualities 20(4): 463-481.
    • Lakkimsetti, Chaitanya. 2016. “Empowered Criminals and Global Subjects: Gender and the Paradox of Transnational Advocacy in India.” Qualitative Sociology 39: 375-396.
    • Lakkimsetti, Chaitanya. 2016. ““From Dance Bars to the Streets”: Moral Dispossession and Eviction in Mumbai.” positions: asia critique 24 (1). 205-230.
    • Lakkimsetti, Chaitanya. 2014. ““HIV is Our Friend”: Prostitution, Power and State in Postcolonial India.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 40 (1): 201-226.
    • Lakkimsetti, Chaitanya. 1999. “Legal Response to Rape: Case Study of a Women’s Court.” Indian Journal of Human Rights III (1&2): 135- 162.