Zoya Sameen

Zoya Sameen is a historian of gender, law, and empire in nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Asia. Her current book project The Scatter of Empire examines how legal interventions into prostitution in colonial India such as regulatory laws, municipal rules, anti-brothel legislation, and border bureaucracies were circumvented and challenged by the Indian and European women they targeted. Rather than ask how gender and sexuality were a threat to the colonial state—a question that has yielded a disproportional emphasis on how the state preserved itself against these perceived threats—this book project instead asks how prostitutes, laboring women, and migrant women troubled colonial projects of regulating gender and sexuality at local and global scales. Zoya’s research interests also include understanding gender history at the intersection of law, technology, and environment. She completed her PhD in History at the University of Chicago in 2022. She also holds an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and a BA in History from SOAS, University of London.

2022-23 Courses: Prostitution in Global Perspective (Fall 2022); Gender, Sexuality, and Sport (Winter 2023); Colonizations III: Decolonization and Legacy (Spring 2023)