IAS Fellow at Ustinov College, April – June 2024
Professor Mirza Taslima Sultana works in the Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. She has published on various topics, including, Discourses of Childlessness (in Roger and Clémence eds. book chapter Published by Oxford University Press, 2022), the Discourses of Motherhood (in Durham Anthropological Journal, 2013) and Bangladeshi migrants in the construction work in Qatar (Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Taylor and Francis, 2017) etc. She co-authored with Sadaf Noor-E Islam a book titled Chikitsha Bigyaner Odhine Naree Shoreer: Bhinno Bhinno Srenir Obhiggota (Women’s Body Subjected under Medical Science: Experiences from different Classes, UPL, 2007).
Professor Sultana did her Ph.D on Childlessness in the context of the advent of IVF in Bangladesh at the Center for Gender and Women Studies in Lancaster University, UK. Beforehand, she completed her undergraduate and Master’s in Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. She did a second Master’s in Comparative Studies in Women and Politics in Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Her book titled, IVF and Childlessness in Bangladesh: beyond motherhood, is in the process of being published with Routledge. Another co-edited anthology titled A Bangladesh Reader: state, nation and beyond is also in press with Routledge. Professor Sultana was involved in a project on “Women leadership in the trade union of RMG in the context of neo-liberal transformation in Bangladesh.” She has also been co-ordinating a chapter on a research project between the Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University and the Department of Anthropology, Manitoba University titled ‘Dried Fish Matter.’ Besides academic papers, she also publishes in newspapers and periodicals; and takes part in public discussions in the electronic media on contemporary issues. She is part of a collective named ‘Public Nribigyan [Public Anthropology]’ that publishes series aimed at the Bengali public outside academia and initiates debate using social media.
Professor Sultana has been working on ‘Trolling in Bangladesh’ for the last two years. One of her book chapters, co-authored with Nasrin Khandokar, titled -Online ‘Whorification’: the Shahbag movement in Bangladesh, its context and consequences’ is due to be published in The Routledge International Handbook of Online Deviance. She is nominated for the Fulbright programme 2023/24 in USA. There she will pursue research on gender trolling, in which she aims to compare the ethnography on trolled people and their agencies between the Bangladesh and the USA context. After finishing the programme, she will join the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University as a Fellow (May- July 2024). She will be researching trolling under the ‘Understanding Offence’ project led by Professor Patrick Zuk and Professor Helen Fenwick. In this study, Professor Sultana will work closely with Professor Nayanika Mookherjee on digital surveillance.
She will conduct an interdisciplinary study in the project that crosses the fields of Anthropology, Security Studies, and Computer Sciences to theorize on the formation of publics in Bangladesh and the UK, and to consider the various expressions of democracy and civil rights. She wants to create a project that combines cyberethnography, blog discourse analysis, and trolling social network analysis.