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Queen's University

Dia Da Costa                                                  IMG_2698.JPG             

Associate Professor, Global Development Studies
PhD Development Sociology (Cornell, US)

Cross-appointed with the Department of Sociology and the Program of Cultural Studies

phone: 613-533-6000, ext 79048 
fax: 613-533-2986

Global Development Studies
Mac-Corry A403
Office hours: Tuesdays 2:30 PM until 3:30 PM

Research Interests:

Cultural Politics; Feminist, Marxian, and Postcolonial Theory; Affect, Performance, Political Activism, and Social Movements; Gender and Development; South Asia

My research and teaching emphasize the cultural politics of development policy and practice, as examined in political performance, activism, and social movements in South Asia. I have published on questions of gender, education, labour, health, and development policy approaches to ‘culture’ in an effort to problematize ‘development’ as an ever contested construction of ‘the good life’, new social futures, and citizenship. At present, I am completing a book that views activist performance as a space of labour and livelihood struggles, taking into account contemporary theorizations on work, affect, activism, and performance.

I am also transitioning to a new area of research interest that studies the pedagogical, representational, and political economic processes entailed in the introduction of micro-insurance in India—in particular crop and weather insurance.

Supervisory Interests

I encourage graduate study applications interested in grassroots and feminist approaches to development and cultural practice and politics, as well as students interested in the rigorous study of post/colonial history and ethnographic context of ‘development’ as part of their graduate training.

I supervise in areas of ‘popular’ cultural production and the politics of development practice; ‘culture’ in the global political economy; contemporary social and cultural theory; South Asia.

Other Appointments:

Cross-appointed with the Department of Sociology and the Program of Cultural Studies 


DEVS 497: Education Contradictory Resource (Winter 2014)


Single-Authored Books  

 Da Costa, Dia. 2010. Development Dramas: Reimagining Rural Political Action in Eastern India,New Delhi: Routledge. 

Edited Books

Da Costa, Dia. 2010. Scripting Power: Jana Sanskriti, On and Offstage. Kolkata: Camp.

Translated Books

Da Costa, Dia. 2009.  From Bengali to English: Where We Stand: Five Plays from the Repertoire of Jana Sanskriti, Translated by Dia Da Costa, Kolkata: Camp.

  Selected Articles

Da Costa, Dia. forthcoming. ‘The ‘Rule of Experts’ in Making a Dynamic Micro-Insurance Industry in India’ Journal of Peasant Studies. 40(5). 

  Da Costa, Dia. 2013. ‘Laughing at the Enemy: Rethinking Critiques of Communal Political Violence in India’ in Jackie Smith and Ernesto Verdeja (eds), Globalization, Social Movements, and Peacebuilding. Syracuse University Press. 

Da Costa, Dia. 2012. ‘Performing and Politicizing Education in West Bengal’ in Dip Kapoor, Bijoy Barua, and Al-Karim Datoo (eds). Globalization, Culture, and Education in South Asia: Critical Excursions. Palgrave MacMillan.  

Da Costa, Dia. 2012. ‘Learning from Labour: The Space and Work of Activist Theatre’ in Contemporary South Asia. 20(1): 119-133.

Da Costa, Dia. 2010. ‘Introduction: Relocating Culture in Development and Development in Culture’ in Third World Quarterly, 31(4): 501-522.

Da Costa, Dia. 2010. ‘Subjects of Struggle: Theatre as Space of Political Economy’ in Third World Quarterly 31(4): 617-635.

Da Costa, Dia. 2008. ‘“Spoiled Sons” and “Sincere Daughters”: Schooling, Security, and Empowerment in rural West Bengal, India’ in Signs: Journal of Women and Culture 33(2): 283-308.

Da Costa, Dia. 2008. ‘Tensions of Neo-liberal Development: State Discourse and Dramatic Oppositions in West Bengal’ in Contributions to Indian Sociology 41 (3): 287-320.

Da Costa, Dia. 2007. ‘The Poverty of the Global Order’ (with Philip D. McMichael—second author). Globalizations 4(4): 588 – 602.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000