School of Law

Dr Kanika Sharma

Key information

School of Law Lecturer in Law School of Law Postgraduate Admissions & Recruitment Tutor (Term 1) Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute Centre for Law in Asia Chair
School of Law
BA Hons (Delhi), MA (JNU), MPhil (JNU), PhD in Law (London)
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Email address
Telephone number
+44 (0) 20 7898 4657
Support hours
Thursdays 14:00 - 16:00


Kanika co-convenes Legal Systems of Asia and Africa and Law and Society in South Asia at the SOAS School of Law, where she also teaches on the Public Law module. Since 2019, she has been the Chair of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies.

Her research interests broadly lie in the field of Indian colonial legal history, and she is presently working on two themes. Kanika is examining the transplantation of the idea of restitution of conjugal rights within Hindu personal laws in the nineteenth century and their continued prevalence in India today. Kanika is also looking at the ways in which law is performed and history is staged in relation to political trials. Towards this end, she is also working with a theatre director to dramatize the trial of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

In her previous work she has used postcolonial and constitutional theories to examine the use of images and architecture in political trials in India. Including using psychoanalytic jurisprudence to analyse the relation between law and culture and the formation of the legal subject in colonial and post-colonial contexts.

Prior to starting her PhD in Law, she studied journalism and political theory in New Delhi and worked in various capacities including as a reporter and photographer for a national daily, as a military historian and as a field researcher for UNICEF.

Kanika is the Review Editor for South Asia Research, a member of the advisory board for the Birkbeck Law Review, and a member of the steering committee for the USI-NAM British-Indian Military Heritage Partnership.

Research interests

Law and colonialism; Law and society in South Asia (especially gender issues); Law, image, and architecture; Psychoanalytic jurisprudence; Critical legal theory

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Sanjit Nagi The British Labour Party's post-war commitment to Human Rights
Atreyee Sengupta Rethinking feminist engagements with anti-sexual harassment institutions: a study of university spaces in India


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