Sneha Krishnan 300Position

Tutorial Fellow, Brasenose College
Associate Professor, School of Geography and the Environment


BA (University of Madras)

MSc (Oxford), DPhil (Oxford)

Academic Background and Previous Positions
Sneha Krishnan (she / her) joined the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford as an Associate Professor in 2018. She is also a Tutorial Fellow at Brasenose College.

Sneha is a feminist historical and cultural geographer, whose work asks how emotions underpin projects of racial and gendered difference in the British colonial world. She is currently a British Academy -Wolfson Fellow, and her work has previously been funded through the John Fell Fund, and by a St John’s College Junior Research Fellowship.

Sneha is a coordinator of the Political Worlds Research Cluster with Amber Murrey, and a member of the steering committee for Intersectional Humanities at TORCH. Beyond Oxford, Sneha is an Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member of the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, and Asia Network co-chair for the European Social Science History Conference.

Sneha is committed to anti-racist, anti-caste, and trans-inclusive practices in all her work.

Undergraduate Teaching Areas
Sneha lectures on the Human Geography, and Geographical Controversies modules for the Preliminary Examination, and on the Space Place and Society and Geographical Thought modules for the Final Honours School. She also teaches an option course for third years on Childhood and Youth in the Global South.

At Brasenose, Sneha offers tutorials across the curriculum. She welcomes enquiries from undergraduates interested in writing dissertations in feminist, queer and post/decolonial geography, and on childhood and youth.

Graduate Teaching Areas
Sneha currently co-supervises two DPhil students at Oxford. Sneha also offers an elective in the MSc/MPhil in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance on Colonial Histories of Nature. She also welcomes enquiries on supervision from MSc and MPhil students who are interested in historical methods, feminist methods, and questions of coloniality, childhood, and emotions.

Sneha welcomes enquiries from graduate students with interests in the following broadly defined fields: feminist/queer studies, geographies of race, gender and sexuality, geo- and biopolitics, childhood and youth, colonial and postcolonial geographies, South Asia.

Research Interests

Sneha is currently working on finishing two monographs. The first, In Gilded Cages argues that hostels for girls – boarding houses for students and educated working women – are material expressions of enduring coloniality in urban India. The book’s main contribution is in locating debates on colonial carcerality not only in zones of social abandonment – prisons, brothels, asylums – but at the heart of middle-class life. The second, Murder in Madras draws outward from an Oxfordshire family’s history as educators in India to examine whiteness in Britain as inexorably linked to a fantasy of the moral empire. Sneha’s British Academy – Wolfson Fellowship will enable her to begin new work looking at girlhood in the early and mid-20th century in India, as a site where internationalist imaginaries were made material through practices of letter writing. Sneha also has ongoing collaborative projects on carceral domesticities (with Laura Antona), on youth and decolonisation (with Sara Smith, Mabel Gergan, and Stephen Young), and on creepiness and sexual harassment in British universities (with Laura Ludtke). For further details on Sneha’s current research, please see


Edited Collections

Forthcoming, ‘Young People as Agents of Decolonization’, special issue of Antipode [co-edited with Mabel Gergan, Sara Smith and Stephen Young].

2017, ‘Urban Emotions: Responses to the South Asian City, c. 1850 – 1950’, special issue of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. 27, no. 4. [co-edited with Megan Robb and Elizabeth Chatterjee].

Journal Articles

2019, Killing Us Slowly: Pre-Empting Suicide at a Women’s Hostel in Chennai, Antipode (In Press).

2019, ‘Clubbing in the Afternoon: Worlding the City as a College-Girl in Chennai’, City, Culture and Society (In Press).

2019, ‘Speaking from Other Demonic Bases of Partiality’, Dialogues in Human Geography, 9(2): 154-157.

2017, ‘Anxious Notes on College Life: The Gossipy Journals of Eleanor McDougall’. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 27(4), pp.575-589.

2017, ‘Feeling Modern: The History of Emotions in Urban South Asia’. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 27(4), pp.539-557 [with Megan Robb and Elizabeth Chatterjee].

2016, ‘Agency, intimacy, and rape jokes: an ethnographic study of young women and sexual risk in Chennai’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 22(1), pp.67-83.

Book Chapters

Forthcoming, ‘Dreaming of Addis Ababa: In the Afterlives of Inter-War Christian Internationalism’ in Kumarini Silva and Margaret Franz (eds.), Migration, Identity, and Belonging: Defining Borders and Boundaries of the Homeland, New York: Routledge.

2018, ‘Style-ish Girls and Local Boys: Young Women and Fashion in Chennai’ in Lewis, R. Begum, L. and Dasgupta, R. (eds.), Styling South Asian Youth Cultures: Fashion, Media and Society, London: IB Tauris [in press].

2018, ‘Bitch don’t be a lesbian: Selfies, Selves and Same-Sex Desire’ in Dasgupta, R. and Dasgupta, D. (eds.), Queering Digital India: Activisms, Identities, Subjectivities. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 151 - 164.

‘Responding to Rape: Feminism and Young Middle-Class Women in India’. In Alston, M. (ed.) Women, Political Struggles and Gender Equality in South Asia. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 19-32.

Encyclopaedia Entries

Forthcoming, ‘Children/Childhood’ in Kobayashi, A (ed.) The International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, London: Elsevier (second edition).

Other Papers

2018, ‘Doing Nothing: Gender, Respectability and Playing with Time’, Voices: Journal of the Association for Feminist Anthropology, 13 (1), pp. 62 - 73.

2017, ‘Tension’. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 40(2), pp.404-406 [with Nandini Gooptu].


‘Gay but not Homosexual: Issue in Focus - Gender, Sexuality and Performance’, In Plainspeak: A Digital Magazine on Sexuality in the Global South (September 1, 2018).

‘Consigned by Caste’, Review of Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla for Lekh Review of Books (21 May 2018)

‘The Labour Party’s Modi Problem: Ahead of the Indian Prime Minister’s Visit’, Oxford Left Review (November 13, 2015).


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