Bitopi Dutta

Bitopi Dutta

Assistant Professor

Profile Summary

Bitopi Dutta is one of the founding faculties of the School of Liberal Studies, and the programme lead for Sociology. She has a PhD from the School of Law and Government, Dublin City University, Ireland (2020), an MA in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai (2012) and a BA (Honours) in Sociology from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi (2010). Bitopi has been an Irish Research Council Awardee Scholar by the Government of Ireland (2017-2019), a Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne (2017) and has five books publications to her credit. Also into filmmaking, the first feature film called ‘Fireflies-Jonaki Porua’ produced under her production house Vortex films won the 67th National Films Award 2021, and has made history as the first queer feminist feature film from Assam. She is one of the pioneers of the queer movement in northeast India and was the co-organizer of the first Queer Pride walk in Assam in 2014.

Work Experience

Prior to joining UPES, Bitopi was working as an Assistant Professor in the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) (2020-21), Guwahati. She had also taught for brief periods at the Delhi School of Social Work at the University of Delhi, and Cotton University, Guwahati. Bitopi has also worked as a Research Consultant on gender and reproductive rights with Oxfam (India and Canada) (2019-21), and as a Research Associate at the North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC) in Guwahati (2012-15) with Dr. Walter Fernandes who is one of the pioneers of Development Induced Displacement Studies in India. It is during her work at NESRC that Bitopi developed a keen interest on displacement studies which went on to shape her doctoral project and future career trajectory. Currently she is working on displacement by hydropower projects in Uttarakhand, apart from working as one of the producers for the second feature film that her production house is co-producing with partners.

Research Interests

Gender and sexuality, Indigenous people, North East India, Development induced displacement, qualitative research.

Teaching Philosophy

Inspired by a pedagogical approach that integrates theory with praxis, Bitopi’s teaching philosophy strives on practice oriented teaching of academic concepts. She believes in student centric, peer to peer immersive learning methods complementing teacher driven classroom sessions. Creating an inclusive and safe space for students to be able to express themselves is central to Bitopi’s teaching philosophy.

Courses Taught

Gender and Society, Forced Migration and Displacement, Qualitative Research, Environmental Sociology, Sociological theory etc.

Awards and Grants

- Blackboard Catalyst Award for Teaching and Learning, 2022.

- Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship 2017-2019, awarded by the Irish Research Council, Government of Ireland.

- Full PhD Scholarship awarded from the Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, Dublin City University 2015-2019

- Recipient of the free Accommodation Scholarship awarded by DCU every three years for the bloc of 2015-2018.

- Full Scholarship for the 11th European PhD Workshop in South Asian Studies, Procida, Sept 2017.

- Awarded and recognised by the Director of TISS, Mumbai for excellence in academia, fieldwork and extracurricular activities, 2012.

- Rainbow leaders scholarship for the 4th Rainbow leaders program by RFSL, The Swedish Federation forLesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights, 2015

Scholarly Activities

Actively into research and publishing, Bitopi has extensively researched and published on Development Induced Displacement in India, apart from her work on activism that centres on gender and sexuality rights, especially the queer movement in Northeast India. Her book publications include Mining, Displacement Matriliny in Meghalaya: Gendered Transitions (2022), In The Name of Lighting My House: Displaced for Development, Arunachal Pradesh 1947-2015 (2023), Conflict Resolution systems in Tribal Societies: Legal Pluralism and Indian Democracy (2017), The Teesta on the Run: Development induced Displacement in Sikkim 1975-2010 (2016), and, The Development Dillema: Displacement in Meghalaya 1947-2010 (2017).