South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Sharmila Rudrappa

Associate ProfessorPh.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Sharmila Rudrappa



Sharmila Rudrappa, a South-Asian-American Studies Scholar, is also a sociologist who specializes in gender and immigration issues. Her book, Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship (Rutgers University Press, 2004), is an ethnography of a shelter for battered South Asian American women, and a cultural organization in Chicago. The book contextualizes immigrant race politics within the larger cultural turn we see in the sphere of American politics in the late 20th century. A companion article, "Radical Caring In An Ethnic Shelter: South Asian American Women Workers At Apna Ghar, Chicago," was recently published in Gender and Society.

At present, Dr. Rudrappa is working on how globalization affects the social rights of citizenship. Her project is tentatively titled "Techno-Braceros, Indian Mothers and Other Such Phenomena: Conceiving Citizenship in 21st Century United States." She was in India during the summer 2003 conducting preliminary research for the project. She was a recipient of the Humanities Institute Fellowship for the fall 2003.

Courses Taught:

  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 340: Asian American Issues: Family Politics
  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 340: South Asian American Experience -W
  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 340: South Asians in the U.S.: Race/Work/Family
  • AAS 330/ SOC 321K/ WGS 322: Special Topic in Race: Nation/Citizen

Current Research Projects:

Dr. Rudrappa is currently working on two research projects: Indian information technology/immigrants in the U.S., and the cultural politics of assisted reproductive technologies in India.

NIH Biosketch




Forthcoming. Discounted Life: The Price of Global Surrogacy in India. New York University Press.

 Ethnic Routes to Becoming American: Indian Immigrants and the Cultures of Citizenship. Rutgers University Press. 2004



2016    “What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Consuming Parenthood Through Surrogacy in India,” special issue titled "Intimate Industries: Restructuring (Im)Material Labor in Asia," positions: asia critique 24 (1). Edited by Rhacel Parrenas, Rachel Silvey, and Hung Cam Thai. 

2014    “From Sweatshops to Intimate Labor: Employment Strategies Among Surrogate Mothers in Bangalore, India,” (translated to French) for a special issue on reproductive technologies in Les Cahiers du Genre. Biotechonologies et Travail reproducif. Une Perspective Transnationale. Vol. 56, 2014: 59-86). Edited by Ilana Lowy, Virginie Rozee, and Lawrence Tain.

2012    “Working India’s Reproductive Assembly Line: Surrogacy and Reproductive Rights?” Western Humanities Review. Vol. 66 (3): 77-101.

2012    “India’s Reproductive Assembly Line.” Contexts. Spring 2012; Vol. 11 (2): 22-27.

* Revised version translated into Kannada and re-printed in Prajavani, the largest circulating weekly in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. 2013.

* Translated to German and reprinted in Utne Reader, Fall 2014.

* Reprinted in Reproduction and Society: Interdisciplinary Readings. Edited by Carole Joffe and Jennifer Reich. Routledge: New York, 2015.

2010    “Outsourcing Labor: Transnational Surrogacy in India.” Research in the Sociology of Work, Volume title, “Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace.” Edited by Christine Williams and Kirsten Dellinger. Vol 20. 

* Reprinted in Outsourcing Life: Globalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India, co-edited by Shamita Das Dasgupta and Sayantani DasGupta, Lexington Books. 2014.

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