Chetana Sabnis

Chetana Sabnis's picture
Graduate School Student


I’m interested in understanding politics through the experiences of various intimate relations: parent-child relations, marital relations, social relations, and so on. I study these topics using an interdisciplinary comparative historical approach.

My dissertation project studies how experiences in various sexual relations (e.g. sexual relations within marriage, inter-faith sexual relations, same-sex relations, masturbation, etc.) is shaped by state regulation. I argue that these regulations broadly reflect how the state valorizes certain traits of masculinity and femininity. To develop this theory, I focus on my home city, Bangalore, India, across the twentieth century, while also drawing on insights and evidence of sexual regulation in various contexts, ranging from the US today to the Ottoman Empire in the 1300s.

Prior to doing my PhD, I worked in the international development space, and completed my Masters in Social Sciences at University of Chicago and undergraduate studies in India.


Areas of Interest:

  • Comparative Politics
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies