UTS site search

Associate Professor Devleena Ghosh


Devleena Ghosh teaches in the Social Inquiry program in the Faculty of Communication. Her undergraduate courses include ones on Colonialism and on Ideologies. She has supervised a number of PhDs and Doctorates of Creative Arts to completion.

Her research interests lie in the fields of colonial, postcolonial, environmental and global studeis, specifically in the Indian Ocean region. Her projects include culture and commerce in the Indian Ocean region, intercolonial networks in the Indian Ocean, gender and citizenship among Muslim women in Sydney, cultural participation and community building in Western Sydney, connections between Indian and Australian women during the Cold War period, contestations around water and coal mining in India and Indian cosmopolitanism and religion.

Devleena has been on numerous advisory panels for the Australian Federal and NSW state governments, dealing specifically on issues relating to the Indian community. She was also a member of the boards of Urban Theatre Project and Powerhouse Youth Theatre


Devleena Ghosh is a member of the South Asian Studies Association, the Asian Studies Association of Australia, the Australian Historical Association and the Regional Editor of the Asian Studies Review. She is also the Director of the Indian Ocean and South Asia Research Network at UTS.
Image of Devleena Ghosh
Associate Professor, Social and Political Sciences Program
Core Member, CCS - Cosmopolitan Civil Societies
BA (Hons) (Delhi), MA (JU), PhD (Syd)
+61 2 9514 1963

Research Interests

Devleena teaches and researches in the following areas with a specific focus on the Indian Ocean region

Asian and Pacific Studies (especially South Asia and Fiji)

Diaspora, migration and transnational communities

Colonial and Postcolonial studies

Global Studies

The India Ocean
Feminism and women's studies (Asia)

Youth culture and participation (especially migrant communities)

Cosmopoltanism (especially in the Indian Ocean region)

Can supervise: Yes

Devleena teaches and researches in the following areas:

Colonial and Postcolonial studies

Global Studies

Environmental Studies (especially South Asia)

Gender and citizenship (especially in South Asian communities)

Cosmopoltanism (especially South Asia)

Youth culture and participation (especially migrant communities)


Gillen, P.A. & Ghosh, D. 2007, Colonialism and Modernity: Histories and Themes, 1, UNSW Press, Sydney NSW Australia.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This book outlines the intertwined histories and scholarly debates about them , and investigates some aspects in more detail


Ghosh, D. & Jain, A. 2017, 'Green marketing and green consciousness in India' in Green Asia: Ecocultures, sustainable lifestyles, and ethical consumption, Routledge.
Ghosh, D. & Jain, A. 2017, 'Green marketing and green consciousness in India' in Lewis, T. (ed), Green Asia: Ecocultures, sustainable lifestyles, and ethical consumption, Routledge.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2015, 'Arundhati Roy versus the State of India: The Politics of Celebrity Philanthropy' in Jeffreys, E. & Allatson, P. (eds), Celebrity Philanthropy, pp. 151-169.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. & Goodall, H. 2012, 'Unauthorised Voyagers across Two Oceans: Africans, Indians and Aborigines in Australia' in Toledano, Ehud & R (eds), African Communities in Asia and the Mediterranean: Identities between Integration and Conflict, Africa World Press, Trenton, New Jersey, pp. 147-168.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Considering movements of people between South Asia, Africa and Australia offers an opporrunity to rethink Empire and more broadly to question the way we have understood the meaning of land and landscapes. In Australia, until the mid-twentieth century, history focused on the distance between the colony of Australia and that of metropolitan Britain, tracing the impact that the enormity of that distance and the duration of travel had in shaping the colony. More recently, historians have focused attention on the links between settler colonies and the movements of ideology, policy, popular culture and people between these colonies of America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and even South America.
Ghosh, D. 2012, 'Shadowlines: Interrogating 'Woman' and 'Asia'' in Devleena Ghosh (ed), Shadowlines: Women and Borders in Contemporary Asia, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-on-Tyne, pp. 1-12.
Ghosh, D. 2012, ''Madhu pretends to be Mary': Gender, Labour and the Making of Meaning in Bangalore Call Centres' in Devleena Ghosh (ed), Shadowlines: Women and Borders in Contemporary Asia, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle-on-Tyne, pp. 120-144.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
When Kwame Anthony Appiah and Homi Bhabha discussed the relationship between postcolonialism and postmodernism over a decade ago, they differed in their analyses of the problem. As Mustafa Bayoumi points out, Appiah considered postcolonialism to be in an ambivalent relationship with postmodern commodification while Bhabha located it as a reconfiguration of postmodern contingency via a type of wily agency. Both scholars noted the importance of disestablishing the primacy of the Self-Other division in this equation and championed the circulations and hybridities of contemporary cultures. Appiah's conclusion was, 'we are all already contaminated by each other' (Bayoumi 2001: 146). This shuttling back and forth between various worlds works not in terms of opposition but of epistemic complicity within an environment of disorder and chaos, subverting the order supposedly imposed by technology. The postcolonial notion of Indianness in the global context demands traditional and predictable markers of identity-names, accent, style-from which call centre workers are supposed to depart in their service of international customers.
Ghosh, D. 2010, 'Sweet Dreams are Made of This: Bollywood and Transnational South Asians in Australia' in Hassam, A. & Paranjape, M. (eds), Bollywood in Australia: Transnationalism & Cultural Production, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, pp. 159-176.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
About ten years ago I wrote an article that examined the domestic cultures of young Indo-Fijians who had migrated to Sydney after the coups in Fiji. At that time, I remarked that many of the parents of my interlocutors identified the viewing of Hindi films as essential to feeling Indian. Ninety per cent of my informants watched at least one Hindi film per week, usually at the weekend. and as a family practice. Most families had large electronic collections of Indian films and episodes of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, legal or pirated, and Hindi film music and song formed by far the largest category of popular music in the Indo-Fijian community. TV and DVD viewing appeared to offer powerful representations of both Indian and Australian culture for the Indo-Fijian community and the DVD player seems to have been appropriated by many parents as a means of recreating cultural traditions, though their efforts appeared to be both subverted and diverted by young people.
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2009, ''The Fisherman's Lot': popular responses to the Indian Ocean in economic and ecological crisis' in Ghosh, D., Goodall, H. & Donald, S. (eds), Water, Sovereignty and Borders in Asia and Oceania, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 72-86.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D., Goodall, H. & Muecke, S. 2009, 'Introduction - fresh and salt' in Ghosh, D., Goodall, H. & Donald, S. (eds), Water, Sovereignty and Borders in Asia and Oceania, Routledge, London, UK, pp. 1-13.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2008, 'Coda: Eleven Stars over the Last Moment of Andalusia' in Allatson, P. & McCormack, J. (eds), Exile Cultures, Misplaced Identities, Rodopi, Amsterdam, New York, pp. 277-287.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Nixon, D.A. & Ghosh, D. 2008, 'Fires in the Kangra: A british Soldier's Story of Partition' in Roy, A.G. & bhatia, N. (eds), Partitioned Lives: Narratives of Home, Displacement, and Resettlement, Pearson Education, Delhi, India, pp. 174-191.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2008, ''I didn't eat the baby, the dingo ate the baby':' in Lee, H. (ed), Ties to the Homeland: Second Generation Transnationalism, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle UK, pp. 181-196.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2008, 'Performing Outside One's Comfort Zone: India@Oz' in As others see us: the values debate in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne Australia, pp. 125-136.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2007, 'India@Oz: The Curry Pacific' in Lawson, S. & Peake, W. (eds), Globalization and Regionalization: Views from the Pacific Rim, Editorial Centro Universitario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Universidad de Guadalajara, Guadalajara Mexico.
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2007, 'Natural Logics of the Indian Ocean' in Cultures of Trade: Indian Ocean Exchanges, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, pp. 150-163.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2007, 'Introduction' in Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. (eds), Cultures of Trade: Indian Ocean Exchanges, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, UK, pp. 1-9.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2005, 'Re-Crossing a Different water: Colonialism, Indigenism and Indo-Fijian migration' in Globalization, Regionalization and Social Change in the Pacific Rim, Editorial Centro Univeritario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Guadaljara, Mexico, pp. 284-315.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2005, ''Harem women seem the happiest to me' Novel women, fictions of domesticity and national development in India' in Mikula Maja (ed), Women, Activism and Social Change: Stretching Boundaries, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 157-178.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2004, 'Commerce and Culture in the Pre-Colonial Indian Ocean' in Iwabuchi, K., Muecke, S. & Thomas, M. (eds), Rogue Flows: Trans -Asian Cultural Traffic, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong, China, pp. 13-30.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2003, ''I can make chutney out of anything': young Indians growing up in Sydney' in Butcher, M. & Thomas, M. (eds), Ingenious: emerging youth cultures in urban Australia, Pluto Press, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 66-84.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2000, 'Home Away from Home: the Indo-Fijian Community in Sydney' in Ang, I., Chalmers, S., Law, L. & Thomas, M. (eds), Alter/Asians: Asian-Australian Identities in Art, Media and Popular Culture, Pluto Press, Sydney Australia, pp. 68-86.
Ghosh, D. 2000, 'A Place called Home' in Bissoondayal, U. (ed), Decolonisation, Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius.
Ghosh, D. 1999, 'The Best-Seller and the Media Empire: the Case of Bengal 1947-1983' in Brendon, D. (ed), Essays in Honour of Yasmine Gooneratne, Argus Publications, London.


Goodall, H., Ghosh, D. & Todd, L. 2006, 'Behind the back of Empire: people, technologies and ideas 'jumping ship' India and Australia 1788 - 1948', Culture, Identity and Performance, CAPSTRANS, University of Woollongong.
Barclay, K., Ghosh, D. & Goodall, H. 2005, 'Water and Borders - Oceanic Cultures', Theory and Project Workshop, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, UTS.
Maclurcan, D., Ford, M., Cortie, M.B. & Ghosh, D. 2003, 'Medical Nanotechnology and Developing Nations', Proceedings of the Asia Pacific Nanotechnology Forum 2003, Oz Nano, World Scientific Publishing Co, Cairns, Australia, pp. 165-172.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS

Journal articles

Ghosh, D. 2016, 'Burma–Bengal Crossings: Intercolonial Connections in Pre-Independence India', Asian Studies Review, vol. 40, no. 2, pp. 156-172.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016 Asian Studies Association of Australia The large-scale movement of people between Burma and Bengal in the early twentieth century has been explored recently by authors such as Sugata Bose and Sunil Amrith who locate Burma within the wider migratory culture of the Indian Ocean, the Bay of Bengal and Southeast Asia. This article argues that the long and historical connections between Bengalis and Burmese were transformed by the British colonisation of the region. Through an analysis of selected literary texts in Bengali, some by well-known and others by obscure writers, this article shows that, for Indians, Burma constituted an elsewhere where the fantastic and superhuman were within reach, and caste and religious constraints could be circumvented and radical possibilities enabled by masquerade and disguise.
Ghosh, D. 2016, ''We don't want to eat coal: Development and its Discontents in a Chhattisgarh district in India', Energy Policy, vol. 99, pp. 252-260.
View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016 Elsevier LtdIndia's energy needs and development imperatives mandate an increase in power generation which at the current time is largely dependent on fossil fuel. The discourses surrounding development in these contexts subsume the rights of forest dwelling people to the necessities of power generation and therefore to coal mines. This article discusses the responses of a community of adivasis in Chhattisgarh to the imminent takeover of their land for new mines. The article then discusses the ramifications of ignoring the displacement of these people and the loss of their land and livelihoods and sets out some policy recommendations to remediate the impact of land acquisition through the strengthening of already existing laws and Government Acts. It calls for a holistic look at India's energy sources, methods to ensure compliance with compensation awarded, clarification of some parts of the Lands Acquisition Act and the speedy implementation of Community Forest Rights under the Forest Rights Act.
Goodall, H. & Ghosh, D. 2015, 'Beyond the 'poison of prejudice': Indian and Australian women talk about the White Australia policy', History Australia, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 116-140.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This article opens two new inquiries into Australia–India relations. First, substantial existing analysis of the White Australia policy after the Second World War begins from Australian perspectives and sources: this article starts from the Indian side. It focuses on Indian women – on what they were reading in public media and what they said in speeches – because Indian women's personal and political contacts with Australia increased during the Cold War. Secondly, we explore the contemporary potential of cross-cultural collaboration – between researchers from Australian and Indian backgrounds – to identify the dissonances in our interpretations and ask why those differences have arisen
Ghosh, D. 2013, ''Who is Grace?': Affect, Work, and Gender in Bangalore Call Centres', Globalisations, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 397-409.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Call centre workers are expected to `listen' and provide both practical assistance and emotional support to customers across the world. At the same time, they are supposed to subscribe to cultural and social traditions that ensure that they remain within family and societal control. This article discusses gender and work transformations of call centre workers in the context of the networks they create in their engagements, not only with their managers and co-workers but with their invisible clients and families and communities.
Ghosh, D. & Osuri, G. 2012, 'India/cinema: an archive of politics and pleasure', Continuum Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 799-802.
Ghosh, D. 2011, 'Under the Radar of Empire: Unregulated Travel in the Indian Ocean', Journal of Social History, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 497-514.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This article explores unregulated circulation of people from South Asia to Australia and argues that these movements constitute both an integral and a destabilizing element in the conceptualization of the nation state and diasporic movements in the19th and 20th centuries. Differential mobility for populations, depending on race, class, and gender, meant that attempts by imperial and colonial governments to control the movements of their subjects met with indifferent success. Such unregulated journeys were hard to monitor, difficult to police and, ultimately, impossible to regulate within the expanded imperial networks of communication and transport, which opened up new ways for people, ideas, and technologies to circulate under the radar of Empire
Ghosh, D. & Garcia, B.C. 2011, 'Health and Borders across Time and Cultures: Introduction', PORTAL Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 1-6.
Berger, M. & Ghosh, D. 2010, 'Geopolitics And The Cold War Developmental State In Asia: From The Culture Of National Development To The Development Of National Culture In Independent India', Geopolitics, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 586-605.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Contrary to the view of some observers who insist that the Cold War was of limited or no relevance to the transition from colonies to nation-states after 1945 we argue that the geopolitics of the Cold War played a crucial role in shaping the character an
Ghosh, D. & Davidson, S. 2009, 'Ocean of Stories: An Introduction', Transforming Cultures, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1-5.
Goodall, H., Ghosh, D. & Todd, L. 2008, 'Jumping Ship - Skirting Empire: Indians, Aborigines and Australians across the Indian Ocean', Transforming Cultures eJournal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 44-74.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Relationships between South Asians and Australians during the colonial period have been little investigated. Closer attention to the dramatically expanded sea trade after 1850 and the relatively uncontrolled movement of people, ideas and goods which occurred on them, despite claims of imperial regulation, suggests that significant numbers of Indians among others entered Australia outside the immigration restrictions of empire or settlers. Given that many of them entered or remained in Australia without official sanction, their histories will not be found in the official immigration records, but rather in the memories and momentos of the communities into which they might have moved. Exploring the histories of Aboriginal communities and of maritime working class networks does allow a previously unwritten history to emerge: not only of Indian individuals with complex personal and working histories, but often as activists in the campaigns against racial discrimination and in support of decolonization. Yet their heritage has been obscured. The polarizing conflict between settlers and Aboriginal Australians has invariably meant that Aboriginal people of mixed background had to `choose sides to be counted simplistically as either `black or `white. The need to defend the communitys rights has meant that Aboriginal people had to be unequivocal in their identification and this simplification has had to take precedence over the assertion of a diverse heritage. In working class histories, the mobilization of selective ethnic stereotyping has meant that the history of Indians as workers, as unionists and as activists has been distorted and ignored.
Ghosh, D. 2006, ''Women' in 'Asia': An Interrogation', Portal: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1-12.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The articles in this special issue section of PORTAL had their first iteration as presentations in the Eighth Women in Asia Conference held at the University of Technology Sydney in 2005, the theme of which was `Shadow Lines. The concept `Women in Asia is problematic since some of the major debates in gender or womens studies have focused on the diversity of womens life worlds and beings and the contested nature of the term `Asia. As a theme it has the potential to become a holdall phrase for scholarship, research and activist work `from Suez to Suva. However, reflecting on these difficult terms can be a creative and rewarding process. The attempt to locate Australia within the region, rather than within a putative `west, and to deal with her geography rather than just her white history, can be an effective way of challenging many current `white blindfold discourses. At the same time, gendered analyses of society, politics and culture that attempt a re-insertion of `herstories into academic discourses have to be sophisticated enough to demonstrate the intrinsic gendering of all-embracing, supposedly `neutral, ideas such as race, nationalism, ethics, and the state, rather than simply `adding in women. The marginalised spaces of womens activities have to be legitimated as crucial elements of all social relations, highlighting the intimate relationships and connections between men and women. These concerns animate the papers collected in this issue.
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2006, 'Natural Logics of the Indian Ocean', Cultural Studies Review, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 118-131.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2005, 'It's time to foster the future that lies to our west', Sydney Morning Herald.
Ghosh, D. 2004, 'Re-crossing a different water: colonialism and Third Worldism in Fiji', Third World Quarterly, vol. 25, pp. 111-130.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Ghosh, D. 2001, 'Indigeneity and Indenture: Land and identity in Fiji', UTS Review: Cultural Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 29-44.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. 2001, 'Water out of fire:novel women, national fictions and the legacy of Nehruvian developmentalism in India', The World Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 951-967.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2000, 'Indian Ocean Stories', UTS Review, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 24-43.
Ghosh, D. & Muecke, S. 2000, 'Editor's Introduction', UTS Review, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 1-5.


Narayan, Jakubowicz, A., Bebawi, S., Middleweek, ghosh, D., sun, W., khamis, S. & vatsikopoulos, H., 'Shock horror: the big end of town has finally discovered Australia's media is a whitewash'.

Devleena Ghosh has worked with following external partners:

Kings College London

University of Bergen, Norway

University of Aarhus, Denmark

Freie University, Berlin

University of Aix-Marseille, France

University of Chicago

University of Delhi

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Indian Institute of Science Bangalore