Shilpa Phadke

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

A profile

From the archives of India Today

She is an Asst. Professor, Centre for Media & Culture Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences


Currently pursuing a Ph.D in Middle Class Sexuality in Contemporary 21st Century Mumbai at TISS, she has an M.Phil in Development Studies from Cambridge.

Her drive

“In my M.A. classes, some students will have read texts that I haven’t. So, many times it’s a learning experience for me too.”

Mantra for change

Creativity, effectiveness and plenty of practical knowledge.

She’s a teacher who treats society as a classroom. Whether it is her work as an associate with the NGO PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge and Research), or as a consultant with Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA) for the “Films of Desire: Sexuality and the Cinematic Imagination” project, Shilpa Phadke has always broken the rules, teaching sociology, cultural studies and gender studies with a strong emphasis on observation and experience.

At the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, her lectures are like workshops, in which students are asked to learn from their own, and each other’s experiences. For instance, she asked them to interview their mothers and grandmothers when teaching about women’s status over generations and told them to maintain diaries for where they couldn’t go because of safety issues to understand their personal strategising of security in Mumbai.

She teaches not from textbooks but from firstperson accounts, contemporary films and observance, so that her students live the subject and not just read about it. Her work ranges from her pet project, Women Access to Public Spaces, to an essay titled Why Loiter? Radical Possibilities for Gendered Dissent published in the book Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia’s Cities in 2009.

-by Pankti Mehta

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