Sreya Banerjea has recently obtained her PhD from the Gender Studies program in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She previously completed her Master of Arts (M.A) from York University in Toronto, Canada. Her research is situated in the areas of postcolonial studies; transnational studies; social anthropology; and feminist legal studies, with particular interest in gender and sexual politics in South Asia and in the Indian diaspora; identity, feminist epistemology, migration, marriage, law/culture/society and rights.
Her PhD research explored the political economy of marriage and family by analysing the shifts in social, political and economic structures, and their impact on gender, class, caste and age in rural India. A particular focus was placed on the emerging issue of 'bride trafficking' to investigate the changes in demands, expectations, rituals and processes of matchmaking, which shape women's struggles and experiences of marriage and migration. The central participants of this research were brides from Eastern regions married to grooms in Haryana and Rajasthan.
The primary aim of her study was to draw from existing contributions of postcolonial feminism, feminist legal studies, and feminist analyses of patriarchal family structures and kinship relations to further examine the way women's voices, perceptions and decisions are influenced and often constrained by coercive practices which are structurally constructed. From a legal studies point of view, the research investigated the rifts and potentials of transnational human rights approaches to conceptualize and address 'trafficking’ in marriage, particularly in the Indian context.