News & Events

Call for Contributions | Edited Volume of The Centre for Women and the Law, NLSIU

December 22, 2023

The Centre for Women and the Law (CWL) at NLSIU invites contributions for their edited volume that is due to be published in August 2025. The proposed title is ‘Politics of Waiting and an Expanding Gender Horizon- The Social, Historical, and Legal Discourses’. The editors of the volume are faculty members Dr. Debangana Chatterjee and Prof. Sarasu Esther Thomas.   

The Centre is seeking thematically driven contributions that are cross-cutting from academic disciplines. Policy perspectives from the activists based on their field-based experiences are also welcome.

Concept Note

‘Wait’— a common word of our daily usage, under the weight of exasperation, often carries profound connotations of survival and is deeply political. Waiting is political as it is steeped in power relations and often can be perceived as an expression of domination— keeping people in uncertainty through waiting is indeed an exercise of power (Bourdieu 2005). How long would it be before life gets triumphant or defeated under the shackles of war— ‘war’ as they unfold on many fronts of life? While ‘war’ carries a technical definition, the ‘fight’ is omnipresent on many fronts— personal, societal, national, and international. At this juncture, gender-related discourses take myriad shapes and call for its expansive horizon.

While the legal codes are often interjected with socio-political interpretations, they rarely engage in holistic conversations about re-imagining gender. Thus, for an adequate engagement between the two, we invoke an anchor of a conceptual category of wait. Wait, here, can be defined as a perception of time; often elongated and mired in the transactions of “hope, doubt, and uncertainty” (Bandak and Janeja, 2018). Craig Jeffrey (2010) alludes to the Politics of Waiting in the context of the socio-economic changes propelled by globalisation— waiting for access to resources due to severe underemployment in India. Borrowing Jeffrey’s terminology, here, the Politics of Waiting refers to the way one senses ‘time’ and develops a perception surrounding it. This temporality, shaped historically, reflects upon the contemporary implications of governance— a gift of neoliberal rationalisation of statecraft (Ozolina 2019).

Therefore, the Politics of Waiting is timeless- both historical and contemporary. As this politics shapes, ‘hope’, ‘doubt’, and ‘uncertainty’ cease to remain in silos— hope may be shadowed by doubt; despite the uncertainty of an unpromising circumstance, there may be a ray of hope. We see a sense of the historic evolution of norms in B. R. Ambedkar’s (1936) Waiting for a Visa, documenting his arduous journey of waiting to be free from untouchability— which signifies hope mired with a sense of frustration. We see unfolding an uncertain contemporaneity as fear and anxiety of bombing looms large in the ongoing warzones of the world. We also see the governmentality of waiting; the migrant awaits the ‘processing’— measures determining the fate of their asylum or assigning them legal permits for work (Darling 2009; Zharkevich 2020). In fact, the act of waiting summons the singularity of everyday gendered lives in conjunction with the public discourse- political, legal, social, and historical. In this regard, ‘everyday’ is shaped by the events embedded in daily lives (Das 2007).  The question remains: Why is wait gendered? 

The answer takes us back to an illustration of the Politics of Waiting from the perspective of gender. Highlighting the term ‘gendered’ stands useful, here. As we reckon with, the socio-legal discourses surrounding us show how access to justice is not only gendered but also phallocentric. Though an oxymoron, especially when dealing with cases of sexual violence, the hush tonality mixed with the drudgery of the survivors’ courtroom experiences amounts to them becoming a public secret- known yet unspoken (Baxi 2014). An elongated wait for justice— the socio-legal language of the courtroom proceedings making the long road to justice even more gruelling. While this indicates a direct engagement with the question of gender, ‘gendered’ expands the scope. While gender is a socio-political category, ‘gendered’ denotes the values associated with the construction of gender-differentiated biases around this category. Thus, every event of ‘othering’ perpetuated through waiting with patterns of marginalisation and exclusion may be seen to be gendered— seeking to understand marginality from the multitude of social intersections.  

It lends us an opportunity to explore its manifestations in an interdisciplinary manner where perspectives from gender studies, law, political science and international relations, sociology, history, public policy and economics are invited. The proposed volume aims to create a space for scholars, activists, practitioners and others to engage creatively with the concept of waiting and showcase how it may be gendered. It makes us rethink and reimagine ‘gender’ in novel ways— especially, with the violent contemporary turn of the world events. The volume seeks to broaden and deepen the conceptual and practical underpinnings of gender and its discursive engagement with the Politics of Waiting. Questions and themes we aim to explore include but are not limited to: 

  • How, if at all, can we reimagine gender vis-à-vis the politics of waiting? 
  • How do we establish the gendered aspects of the politics of waiting? 
  • How are the socio-legal discourses constructed at an intersection of gender and the politics of waiting?
  • What different feminisms are included/excluded in reimagining gender in this manner and with what constitutive socio-political effects? 
  • What contributions do global South countries make to this discursive formation of gendered waiting? 
  • How does this expansive domain of gender surrounding the conceptual category of ‘waiting’ reconcile with the global challenges stemming from international politics? 
  • What are the Indian manifestations of viewing gender from the perspective of waiting?
  • How do we reformulate the waiting for justice/accessibility/resources from the perspective of gender? 
  • How do we understand the historically evolving norms surrounding gender with time and at the end of waiting?
  • How do we develop a gender-mainstreamed economic/policy approach transcending the exasperation of waiting?
  • How do we see the politics of waiting at an intersection of colonialism and gender?

Abstract Submission

Please submit an abstract by 4 February 2024 by using the following link.
The abstract should be 300-500 words, with some key references (if relevant) that include a clear overview of the contribution including, its context and focus and, where appropriate, some indication of methodology, key findings /reflections/arguments /lessons learned/recommendations. 

Further Details:

  • We welcome substantively argued and well-researched chapters (between 5,000-6,000 words, inclusive of references) making meaningful arguments in the field. Policy notes (between 2,000-4,000 words, inclusive of references) from the field perspectives of the activists and civil society members are also welcome.
  • We plan to accommodate no more than 12 chapters and 5 policy notes in the volume. We can consider a few more if there are exceptional qualities of abstracts. The numbers may vary and the editors’ decision shall be final in determining the same after a careful qualitative scrutiny of each abstract.
  • Selection of the abstract does not guarantee publication unless the chapter draft meets the desired quality and academic standard.
  • We intend to approach Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group) with the book proposal, once we shortlist and finalise the abstracts for the volume. However, after the preliminary discussion, Routledge India expressed their initial interest in the edited volume.
  • Contributions from historically marginalized communities are particularly welcomed. We encourage co-authorship and collaboration, which can also have the added benefit of timely deliveries.

Ambedkar, B. R. (1936). Waiting for a Visa. Available at: (Accessed on 13 October 2023)

Baxi, Pratiksha (2014). Public Secrets of Law: Rape Trials in India, Oxford University Press.

Bourdieu, Pierre (2005). The Social Structures of Economy. Translated by: Chris Turner. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Darling, Jonathan. (2009). “Becoming Bare Life: Asylum, Hospitality, and the Politics of Encampment”. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 27(4), 649–665.

Das, Veena (2007). Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary. University of California Press.

Janeja, Manpreet K. and Andreas Bandak (2018). Ethnographies of Waiting: Doubt, Hope, and Uncertainty. Bloomsbury Academic.

Jeffrey, Craig (2010), Timepass: Youth, Class, and the Politics of Waiting in India. Stanford University Press.

Ozolina, Liene. (2019). Politics of Waiting: Workfare, Post-Soviet Austerity and the Ethics of Freedom. Manchester University Press.

Zharkevich, Ina. (2021). “‘We are in the process’: The Exploitation of Hope and the Political Economy of Waiting among the Aspiring Irregular Migrants in Nepal”. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 39(5): 827-843.


Key Dates (Tentative) & Proposed Activities 

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: Extended to 15 February 2024 
  • Review and selection by: 1 March 2024 (results will be intimated over an email)
  • Book proposal submission 15 March 2024
  • Submission of first draft contributions: 15 April 2024 
  • Review (by the editorial team) of first draft submissions: 15 May 2024. 
  • Round 1: Workshop (Offline/Online) at NLS campus with feedback on contributions: June 17- June 18 2024 (2 days)
    Contributors are invited to join an offline workshop at the NLS campus where the first draft of contributions will be presented. Participation in the workshop is mandatory for publication. Online participation may be allowed on exceptional cases/for the contributors living abroad. The discretion for allowing online participation lies in the hands of the editors.
    – Outstation contributors attending the workshop offline, will be facilitated for travel and accommodation only after the first draft submission meets the adequate standard after the editorial review. 
  • Round 2: Workshop (Online) to evaluate and discuss the progress in incorporating the comments made during the in-person workshop by the editors: 30 July, 2024
  • Final submission of contributions: by September 2024 
  • Final review and editing: by November 2024 
  • Submission of the full manuscript to the publisher: by January 2025 
  • Publication: August 2025 

We also anticipate a few dialogue and knowledge-exchange gatherings following the publication of the volume. 

Contact details

For further queries, please write to Dr. Debangana Chatterjee at