Sutapa Chattopadhyay

Sutapa Chattopadhyay

Assistant Professor
Mulroney Hall 3053

Her areas of interest are gender, migrations, development justice, social movements, political ecology and Indigeneity. Currently she pursues her research on migrant incarceration, borders, and autonomy in Rome, Italy with the support of SSHRC Institutional and Insight Development grants. An offshoot of this research is a co-edited a book on Migration, Squatting and Radical Autonomy with Routledge. Besides, she continues to write on Indigeneity, food sovereignty, emancipatory politics, and development justice. This research has manifested in a book on Politics of Development and Forced Mobility with Palgrave. She has lectured in many universities and research institutes across North America and Europe. She is an editor of Interface (a journal for and on social movements) and in the advisory board of ACME (a critical geography journal). She has published in Interface, ACME; Gender, Place and Culture; Population, Place and Space, Environment and Planning D, Geopolitics, and Capitalism, Nature, Socialism on Indigenous anti-colonial struggles, development-induced dislocation, colonial and post-colonial appropriation of bodies and nature, anarch/eco-feminist pedagogies, feminist research methodologies, migrant agency, and border politics. Along the way, she has volunteered in homeless youth shelters, migrant students/women’s centers, university union, and variously reviewed and supervised students’ writing projects. As a teacher and a researcher in development, feminism, and geography, her objective is to get educated on how and why the world has been organized the way it is and how can she contribute to transforming the world to a better and equitable place that extends respect to all.



2021 – 2023:

Social Science Humanities Research Council – Insight Development Grant – From Precarity to Autonomy: SOGIE South Asian Migrants in Rome, Italy (72,763CAD)



  • Social Science Humanities Research Council Institutional Grant (SIG): Project - Migrant Lives in Waiting, Borders and Action Research (CAD 7000)




Organization and panel discussant in Migration, Borders, Action Research panel

Activist and Scholar-activists from Atlantic Nova Scotia as participants.

Sponsored by SSHRC (Social Science and Humanities Research Council) SIG grant and Women’s and Gender Studies and Development Studies, St, Francis Xavier University.



Presentation, poster making, community engagement

St. Francis Xavier University, Women’s and Gender Studies and Antigonish Women’s Association

Presented a broad overview of the connections with Environmental/Climate Change and Feminism to students and community members.





Committee member, Frank McKenna Center for Leadership. St. Francis Xavier University.

To support students to engage with university life beyond the classroom, and to assist students in the development of bold, innovative, and creative solutions to the most pressing problems of our time. The board members decide on student grant applications to provide skills training, opportunities for professionalization and financial support for all students. Also, the board members are engaged in deciding on scholarly talks and seminars organized through the center.





‘Postcolonial development and Forced Mobility – Gender, Indigeneity and Ecology’.

This book is an offshoot of my dissertation on Indigenous forced dislocation due to a massive development project. The book details anticolonial struggles and postcolonial land-based resistance besides narrating socio-cultural and economic transformations of gendered Indigenous relocated communities.



‘Organizing amidst COVID-19’ with Interface, a journal for and about social movements (published April-May 2020). This work was collaborated with Laurence Cox and Lesley Wood. We received 38 papers, more than 50 authors, and from every continent.



Migration, Squatting and Radical Autonomy

This is a co-edited book with Pierpaolo Mudu. This book most significantly contributed to the squatting and migration connection drawing articles from close to 30 authors, 23 chapters and 4 sections. It is an interdisciplinary and intersectional intervention that is widely used by academic and activist people. The book has been widely cited and sold more than couple hundred copies.





·             Migration Panel with scholars and activist groups with Atlantic Canada

St. Francis Xavier University and Antigonish Public Library



·   Guest Speaker: Borders, Migration and Critical Political Theory

        CAPED, Collectif de recherche Action Politique et Démocratie, Montréal



·   Educational Forum: Speaker

        St. Francis Xavier University and Antigonish Public Library.


·   HIVE for Feminist Research: Speaker

        St. Francis Xavier University


·   McKenna Scholar in Residence Professor Adolph Reed: Panelist

        St. Francis Xavier University


·   Guest Speaker: Migration, Borders and Action research

        St. Mary’s University


Research Interests

1.    Migration and Border Studies (rigid borders, incarceration, autonomy, i/legality, precarity, racialized and sexualized migrants), 

2.    Development (social movements, political ecology, development politics and indigeneity)

3.    Regional Specialization (South Asia and Europe)

Recent Publications



1.    Chattopadhyay, Sutapa (forthcoming). ‘Postcolonial development and Forced Mobility – Gender, Indigeneity and Ecology’. Palgrave – Mobility and Politics Series. London: Palgrave.



2.    Sutapa Chattopadhyay and Pierpaolo Mudu. 2021. Accepted with changes. Introduction to the Editorial: Rethinking the ‘migrant position’ around Contested discourses and practices. Geopolitics. Taylor and Francis Group. Impact Factor 3.29. [Peer-Reviewed]


3.    Laurence Cox, Alberto Aaribas, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Anna Szolucha. 2021. In contract. Handbook on qualitative methods in social movements. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.


4.    Laurence Cox and Sutapa Chattopadhyay. 2021. Editorial – Open issue. Interface: A journal for and about social movement. 13 (1): 1-6. [non-Peer-Reviewed]



5.    Sutapa Chattopadhyay and James Tyner. 2020. Lives in Waiting. Geopolitics. Taylor and Francis Group. Impact Factor 3.29. [Peer-Reviewed]


6.    Johannah-Rae Reyes, Tina Miller, Raegan Gibbings, Amy Cohen, Adaeze Greenidge, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Levi Gahman. 2020. Activist Geographies. International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. London: Elsevier. [Peer-Reviewed]


7.    Johannah May Black, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Riley Chisholm. 2020. Solidarity in times of social distancing: migrants, mutual aid, and COVID-19. Interface: A journal for and about social movement. 12 (1): 182-193. [Open Access – Peer-Reviewed]


8.    Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Lesley Wood, Laurence Cox. 2020. Organizing amidst Covid-19. Interface: A journal for and about social movement. 12 (1):10-14. [Open Access, non-Peer Reviewed, Editorial]



9.    Chattopadhyay, Sutapa 2019. Borders re/make bodies and bodies are made to make borders: Storying migrant trajectories – Border Imperialism Special Issue. ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. [Peer-Reviewed]


10. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa. 2019. Introduction to the Special Issue. Violence on Bodies: Space, Social reproduction and Intersectionality. Gender, Place and Culture. Taylor and Francis Group. [Peer-Reviewed]


11. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa 2019. ‘Infiltrating academy through anarcha – (eco)feminist pedagogical framework.’ Capitalism Nature Socialism, Taylor and Francis Group. [Peer-Reviewed]


12. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa, Gahman, Levi and Watson, Judith 2019. ‘Eco-socialism and Radicalized pedagogies in Everyday Academy.’ Special Issue with Capitalism Nature Socialism, Taylor and Francis Group. [Peer-Reviewed]



13. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa 2018Book Review on Harald Bauder’s Migration Borders Freedom. Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements.


14. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa (2017). Book Review on Nandini Sundar’s Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements.


15.  Chattopadhyay, Sutapa (2017)The Abuse of Nature and Adivasis in Bastar: A reflection of Nandini Sundar’s The Burning Forest: India’s war on Bastar. Capitalism Nature Socialism. Taylor and Francis Group.



  1. Mudu Pierpaolo and Chattopadhyay, Sutapa. 2017. ‘Migration, Squatting and Radical Autonomy’ Routledge – Space, Place, Politics Series [ISBN # 9781315673301]



  1. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa. 2016. Caliban and the Witch and Bodily Geographies. Gender, Place and Culture. Taylor and Francis Group.



  1. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa 2015. ‘Squatting as an Alternative to counter Migrant Exclusion’ In Alan W. Moore and Alan Smart, eds., Making Room: Cultural Production in Occupied Spaces. Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.


  1. ChattopadhyaySutapa 2015. ‘Three Decades of Reflection on Drudgery - Review Essay of Silvia Federici's - Revolution at Point Zero’. PM Press. Capitalism Nature Socialism. 26 (1).



  1. Chattopadhyay. Sutapa 2014. ‘Post-colonial Development State, Primitive Accumulation of Nature and Social transformation of ousted Adivasis in the Narmada valley’. Capitalism Nature Socialism. 25 (4): 65-84.


  1. Shyama, Ramani., Thutupalli, Ajay., Medovarszki, Tamás., Chattopadhyay, Sutapa., and Ravichandran, Veena 2014. ‘Women in the informal economy: Experiments in Governance from emerging countries’, In Handbook on Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries. Routledge: New Delhi.



  1. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa 2013. ‘Border choreography, penal states and bare bodies’. Commentary. Environment and Planning D.



  1. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa 2012. ‘Adivasi Insurgencies and Power in Colonial India’, ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. 11 (1): 55-80.


  1. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa. 2012. ‘Getting personal: Narrating the Field: A researcher’s journey to the villages of Narmada Valley’, Gender, Place and Culture. 20 (2): 137-159.



  1. Chattopadhyay, Sutapa 2009. ‘Narrating everyday spaces of the indigenous migrants in Sardar Sarovar’ with Population, Space and Place. 16 (2).


  1. 2017 – ongoing – Editor (Transnational Movements) and Reviewer. Transnational group. Interface: Journal for and about Social Movements. Open Access
  2. 2017 – ongoing - Advisory board and Reviewer. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. Open Access