The Tawaif and the Kothewali: Reflections on Pre-and Post Colonial Portrayals of Sex Workers in Bollywood Cinema

Senior Thesis

Bollywood played a large role in my upbringing. It allowed me to feel closer to my Indian roots despite having been raised elsewhere. Hindi cinema exists not just as a facet of popular culture, but as an informant of how its viewers see the world, question it, romanticize it, and interact with it. Bollywood has also served as a way for me to learn about India’s lore, establish a relationship with the Hindi language, weave different ways of dressing into my own bodily expression, and consume stories that have a rich history.

Alongside my relationship with Bollywood is my interest in advocating for and understanding sexual empowerment and justice. This paper is my way of creatively merging these passions. Because sex work is a substructure of India’s culture, and because Bollywood both emulates and molds culture, I was interested in exploring the politics and aestheticism of sex workers in Hindi films. 

#MeToo and the “Woman Question”: Feminist Jurisprudence in Judd v. Weinstein

ENGL 3325: Rhetoric of Law

This paper engages in a legal analysis of the Judd v Weinstein case through a critical feminist lens. Rooted in the politics of the #MeToo Movement, Ashley Judd's allegations of sexual assault and defamation against Harvey Weinstein were dismissed by the United States District Court in 2018. The dismissal was reopened in 2020 by the Supreme Court of California, which led to an appeal in Judd's favor. My legal analysis is informed by subject position and "woman question", wherein I analyze how the court reassessed Judd's allegations through a feminist school of thought. 

"Red Zone" Issue Statement

Sexual Violence Prevention Association

This issue statement was written for the SVPA, an organization that consults Title IX offices within institutions on their policies regarding sexual violence. This piece was written to address universities entering "The Red Zone." There is an accompanying Instagram post linked at the bottom of the issue statement. I wrote the copy for this post.

I presented further content on this topic to Northeastern's student organization, the Sexual Assault Response Coalition, in October of 2022.

Using Format