SOAS University of London

School of Law

Dr Kanika Sharma

BA Hons (Delhi), MA (JNU), MPhil (JNU), PhD in Law (London)
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Publications


Kana Sharma
School of Law

Research Seminar Series

SOAS South Asia Institute

Academic Staff, SOAS South Asia Institute

Centre for Asian Legal Studies


Dr Kanika Sharma
Email address:
+44 (0) 20 7898 4657
Paul Webley Wing (Senate House)
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Tuesday 14.00-15.00 & Wednesdays 11:30 - 12:30


I joined SOAS after obtaining my PhD from Birkbeck College, University of London in 2016. In my thesis I used postcolonial and constitutional theories to examine the use of images and architecture in political trials. I also used 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 my PhD in Law, I studied journalism and politics 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 researcher for UNICEF.

My current research focuses on Indian colonial legal history, and I am presently working on two themes. Firstly, I am studying notions of female ‘consent’ in the age of consent debates in India from the late nineteenth century with a special emphasis on the renowned trial of Rukhmabai (1885). Secondly, I am looking at the ways in which law is performed and history is staged in relation to political trials. Towards this end, I am also working with a theatre director to dramatize the trial of the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

At SOAS I co-convene Legal Systems of Asia and Africa and Law and Society in South Asia and teach on the Public Law module. I am also the Chair of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies.



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



Sharma, Kanika (2020) 'Withholding Consent to Conjugal Relations within Child Marriages in Colonial India: Rukhmabai's Fight'. Law and History Review, (38) 1, pp 151-175.

Rossi, Federica and Sharma, Kanika (2018) 'Introduction: Objects of Memory and Rituals of Memorialisation as Fields of Struggle'. The London Journal of Critical Thought, (2) 1, pp 21-26.

Sharma, Kanika (2017) 'Mother India: The Role of the Maternal Figure in Establishing Legal Subjectivity'. Law and Critique, (29) 1, pp 1-29.

Book Chapters

Sharma, Kanika (2015) 'Spectacular Justice: Aesthetics and Power in the Gandhi Murder Trial'. In: Allo, Awol, (ed.), The Courtroom as a Space of Resistance. Farnham: Ashgate, pp 323-343.

Sharma, Kanika (2011) 'A Symbol of State Power: Use of the Red Fort in Indian Political Trials'. Ethics, Evil, Law and the State: State Power and Political Evil. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Book Reviews

Sharma, Kanika (2019) 'Máiréad Enright, Julie McCandless and Aoife O’Donoghue (eds.): Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges’ Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity'. Feminist Legal Studies, (27) 3, pp 351-356.

Sharma, Kanika (2013) 'Review of: Wing-Cheong Chan, Barry Wright, Stanley Yeo (eds): Codification, Macaulay and the Indian Penal Code: The Legacies and Modern Challenges of Criminal Law Reform'. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, (26) 4, pp 957-962.


This list was last generated on Saturday, 19th September 2020, 19:13 Europe/London.