Jasodhara Bagchi

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Jasodhara Bagchi
Died9 January 2015(2015-01-09) (aged 77–78)

Jasodhara Bagchi (born 1937 in Kolkata – 9 January 2015) was a leading Indian feminist critic and activist.[1]


Jasodhara Bagchi was born in 1937 in Kolkata and educated at Presidency College, Kolkata which was then affiliated with the University of Calcutta, Somerville College, Oxford, and New Hall, Cambridge.

Jasodhara Bagchi joined Jadavpur University in 1964 in the capacity of a professor of English after having taught English at Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta. In a short span of time, she came to be recognised for her immense dedication to her work and to her students. Promoting a culture of research is considered as her most significant contribution to the Department of English at Jadavpur University.[2] She was married to the economist, Amiya Kumar Bagchi.

In 1988 she became the Founder-Director of the School of Women's Studies at Jadavpur University, in which capacity she led the activities of the centre until her retirement in 1997. SWS gained recognition as a valuable platform for engaging with women’s issues. It even saw participation from Engineering and Science Faculties which are typically seen as dominated by men. She is also one of the founder members of the feminist organization Sachetana in Kolkata.

Her focus areas of research include women's studies, women's writings, 19th century English and Bengali literature, the reception of Positivism in Bengal, motherhood and the Partition of India.

She initiated and spearheaded the pioneering Bengali Women Writers Reprint Series edited by the School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University, which continues to bring out new editions of writers such as Jyotirmoyee Devi. She was also Chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Women until April 2008.

Bagchi lent her support to the Hok Kolorob movement 2014 Jadavpur University protests (“let there be polyphony” in Bengali) which sought a fair and immediate investigation into the molestation of a female student in the Jadavpur University campus.

She was part of the five-member team of emeritus professors that met West Bengal Governor and University Chancellor Keshari Nath Tripathi and demanded that a more "able" Vice-Chancellor be appointed.

In 2014, the organisers of the Kolkata Book Fair called off the release of her book on migrating women and human rights, owing to her leftist political affiliation.[3]

Even post her retirement, she attended several conferences in India and remained in close contact with the English Department at Jadavpur University.[4]

Bagchi died on the morning of 9 January 2015, aged 77.[5]

Books (authored, edited, and co-edited)[edit]

  • Literature, Society, and Ideology in the Victorian Era (edited volume), (1992)
  • Indian Women: Myth and Reality (edited volume), (1995)
  • Loved and Unloved: The Girl Child in the Family (with Jaba Guha and Piyali Sengupta)(1997)
  • Gem-like Flame: Walter Pater and the 19th Century Paradigm of Modernity (1997)
  • Thinking Social Science in India: Essays in Honour of Alice Thorner (co-edited with Krishna Raj and Sujata Patel)(2002)
  • The Trauma and the Triumph: Gender and Partition in Eastern India, 2 volumes (co-edited with Subhoranjan Dasgupta) (vol. 1 in 2003, vol. 2 in 2009)
  • The Changing Status of Women in West Bengal 1970–2000: The Challenges Ahead (edited volume), (2005)
  • Interrogating Motherhood (2016)


  1. ^ Jasodhara Bagchi is no more, The Hindu, 10 January 2015
  2. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=SG67on-M658C&printsec=frontcover&dq=jasodhara+bagchi&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjom_TY6KLbAhVMeysKHbnfCjUQ6AEIDzAB#v=onepage&q=jasodhara%20bagchi&f=false
  3. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/kolkata-book
  4. ^ https://books.google.co.in/books?id=SG67on-M658C&printsec=frontcover&dq=jasodhara+bagchi&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjom_TY6KLbAhVMeysKHbnfCjUQ6AEIDzAB#v=onepage&q=jasodhara%20bagchi&f=false
  5. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Jashodhara-Bagchi-passes-away/articleshow/45828419.cms

External links[edit]