Ishita Dey
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology
South Asian University,Akbar Bhawan,Chankyapuri,New Delhi - 110021, India
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I am a food anthropologist with an interest in food, labour studies and forced migration. I have been working on the life of sweets and sweetness in South Asia. Since 2010 I have been following making of sweets in West Bengal and Bangladesh since 2010 to understand changing meanings of craftsmanship, with mechanization and changing notions of ‘food safety’ and hygiene.  Prior to joining South Asian University I was associated with a praxis based research programme on Development Practice in Ambedkar University Delhi and have anchored a research project on non-timber forest produce.
Currently I am anchoring art research project on Smells of the city with a focus on Delhi supported by Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi.


  • Ph.D Sociology in Production, Caste and Ritual in the ‘Bengali’ Sweet Industry from University of Delhi , in 2016
  • M.Phil Sociology in Migration and Entrepreneurship: Chinese Community in Kolkata from University of Delhi , in 2008

Recent Publications

  • 2018 ‘Health, Standardisation and Bengali sweets’ in Farm to Fingers : The Culture and Politics of Food in Contemporary India. Edited by Kiranmayi Bhushi. Delhi : Cambridge University Press Pp 103-127 ISBN: 9781108416290

  • 2018. ‘Intimacy, Domesticity and Migraant Labour’ in Migrants and the Neoliberal City. Edited by Ranabir Samaddar. Delhi : Orient Blackswan. Pp 282-306 ISBN 978-93-5287-290-9

  • 2016. ‘Sociality’and Representations of Everyday Life of Sweetshops and Sweets’ in Pratyaha. Everyday Lifeworlds. Dilemmas, Contestations. Edited by Prasanta Ray and Nandini Ghosh. Delhi : Primus Books. Pp 259-277. ISBN 9384082406.

  • Co-authored with Ranabir Samaddar and Suhit K. Sen. 2013. Beyond Kolkata. Rajarhat and the Dystopia of Urban Imagination. New Delhi: Routledge. ISBN: 9781134931378 1134931379.

  • Co- edited book  with  Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury. 2011. Sustainability of Rights after Globalisation. Sage : Delhi. ISBN 9788132106401(HB).

Research Interests

  • Food Studies, Labour Studies, Gender & Society, Science & Technology in South Asia

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