Research

Maya has twenty six years of international and field based research experience and collaborative work with research institutions in India. Her work has received funding from the Economic and Social Science Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the Department for International Development. Maya’s current research is in the anthropology of reproduction, kinship, health, gender and the body. She is especially interested in the analytic implications of glocal flows of bodies, technologies and ideas of reproduction, health and rights. Recently, she completed an Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC,UK) funded research project on NGO engagement with global human rights discourse in the fields of sexual, maternal and reproductive health in India.  [ http://www.sussex.ac.uk/research/environmentandhealth/projects/realisingglobalrights ]

She has written on the cultures and experiences of childbirth, infertility, sex selection and surrogacy in India. Conceptually she has developed ideas on reproductive agency, rights and ethics, and more recently considers these in relation to migration and mobility. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/global/research/migration_mobilities_globalhealth

Maya has a further interest in the relationship between anthropological knowledge and methods which led her to co-edit a volume on the subject. She has also a long-standing interest, based on her doctoral research, in caste, 'tribe', kinship and gender relations in NW India. Hear Maya's talk on 'Births, Deaths and Midwives in Rural Rajasthan' in the Global Health Seminar series at Sussex at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/globalhealthpolicy/events/seminars

Maya has edited and co-edited 5 volumes on subjects ranging from reproductive agency (Reproductive Agency, Medicine and the State: Cultural Transformations in Childbearing  2004) to anthropological methods (Critical Journeys: The Making of Anthropologists 2006). her most recent edited volume is on cultures of gender, place and health in migrant self and family-making. Her other books include a monograph on kinship, gender and identity politics in NW India (Identity, Gender and Poverty: new perspectives on caste and tribe in NW India 1997, reprinted 2001). She is currently working on a book on the body and biopolitics in NW India.

 Drawing on her work on infertility, childbearing, reproductive technologies and rights Maya contributed a background chapter to the UNFPA State of the World Population Report 2008 on Culture, Gender and Human Rights; and a chapter to the Association of Social Anthropologists monographs series, volume on Human Rights in Global Perspective (2003).She has published her work in internationally recognised journals including Culture, Health and Sexuality; Asian Bioethics Review, Contributions to Indian Sociology, South Asian History and Culture; Economic and Political Weekly of India.

Maya has also been involved in the public dissemination of her research appearing on Women’s Hour, Radio 4; in dialogue with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (2009); sexual and reproductive health policy and practitioners in India and the UK (reports 2010, 2011) and in a short film made by the Wellcome Trust, related to her role as trustee of the UK health charity Target Tuberculosis (2004 to 2014)  [ http://www.sussex.ac.uk/anthropology/showcase ]