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Amrita Pande (Associate Professor)

My research primarily focuses on globalisation, reproductive labour and new reproductive technologies. My most recent publication is a monograph based on the multi-billion dollar industry of paid pregnancy, Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India (2014: Columbia University Press). For more details on the book see” .Related publications have appeared in international peer-reviewed journals like Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Gender and Society, Critical Social Policy, International Migration Review, Qualitative Sociology, Feminist Studies, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Anthropologica, PhiloSOPHIA, Reproductive BioMedicine and in numerous edited volumes and newspapers.

I am currently leading a research project Rand and the Reproductive Body: Markets for Reproduction in South Africa, a large NRF-funded initiative based in the Sociology department.This project will map the "global fertility flows" (of eggs, sperms, travelling gamete donors and surrogates) that connect countries in the global south. 

In my other avatar I am an educator-performer involved in community and interactive theatre connecting the creative arts to social inquiry. I have been touring world-over with a multi-media theatre production, Made in India: Notes from a Baby Farm based on my recent book and ethnographic work on surrogacy. For details on the multimedia production see

All my articles are available at

Recent Publications

Pande, Amrita. 2016. Surrogacy and Stratified Kinning, Jordens Folk (People of the Earth), Peer Reviewed Ethnographic Journal (In Danish), Special Issue on Mothers, 2016: 3-4, 41-48

Pande, Amrita. 2016. Global reproductive inequalities, Neo-Eugenics and Commercial Surrogacy in India, Current Sociology (issue on Global Inequalities and Hierarchies), Vol. 64(2) 244–258, edited by Manuela Boatca and Vilna Bashi Treitler

Pande, Amrita. 2015. lood, Sweat and Dummy Tummies: Kin Labour and Transnational Surrogacy in India, Anthropologica: Canada's Anthropology Journal Vol 57, No 1: 53-62

Pande, Amrita. 2014. Wombs in Labor: Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India. Columbia University Press.

Pande, Amrita. 2014. This Birth and That: Surrogacy and Stratified Motherhood in India. PhiloSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism Issue 4.1: 50-64

Pande, Amrita. 2014. “I prefer to go back the day before tomorrow, but I cannot”: Paternalistic Migration Policies and the Global Exile, Critical Social Policy, Vol. 34, Issue 2

Pande, Amrita. 2013. “The paper that you have in your hand is my freedom”: Migrant domestic work and the Sponsorship (Kafala) System in Lebanon, International Migration Review, Vol. 47, Issue 2:414-441

French translation of "Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India: Gifts for global sisters?” In Genre, migrations et globalization de la reproduction sociale (in French), edited by Christine Christine Verschuur et Christine Catarino, Cahiers Genre et Développement Series, Vol. 9, 2013: 349-365

Pande Amrita, 2012 “From 'Balcony Talk' and 'Practical Prayers' to Illegal Collectives: Migrant Domestic Workers and Meso-Level of Resistances in Lebanon.” Gender & Society (published online 5 April 2012)

Pande, Amrita. 2011. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, Issue no. 23: 618-25. “Transnational Commercial Surrogacy in India: Gifts for global sisters?” Special Issue Cross Border Reproductive Care: Travelling for Conception and the Global ART Market, November 2011

Pande Amrita, 2010. “At least I am not sleeping with anyone”: Resisting the Stigma of Commercial Surrogacy in IndiaFeminist Studies, Special Issue on Reproduction and Mothering, Vol. 36, No. 2, 292-312

Pande Amrita, 2010. Commercial Surrogacy in India: Manufacturing a Perfect ‘Mother-Worker’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Vol. 35, No. 4.

Pande Amrita, 2009. Not an “Angel”, Not a “Whore”: Surrogates as “Dirty” Workers in IndiaIndian Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2, 141-173.

Pande Amrita, 2009. 'It may be her eggs but it’s my blood’: Surrogates and Everyday Forms of Kinship in IndiaQualitative Sociology, Vol. 32, No. 4, 379-405.

Book Chapters

Pande, Amrita. 2016. The Paradox of Surrogacy in India, Book Chapter in the Series Critical Posthumanism and Planetary Futures, eds. Debashish Banerji and Makarand R. Paranjape Delhi: Springer Publishers

Pande, Amrita. 2016. Surrogacy, Stratification and the State in India, 2016: 95-106. Book Chapter in Global Bodies in Grey Zones: Health, Hope, Biotechnology, eds. Susanne Lundin, Charlotte Kroløkke, Elmi Muller & Michael Nebeling Petersen Stellenbosch: Sun Media.

Pande, Amrita. 2016. Cross-Border Reproductive Surrogacy in India, Book Chapter in The Handbook of Gestational Surrogacy, International Clinical Practice & Policy Issues, edited by E Scott Sills, Cambridge University Press.

Pande, Amrita. 2016. “Weekend families” of Migrant Domestic workers in Lebanon, 2015, 300-316, Book Chapter in Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship: Migrant domestic workers and family life, edited by Maria Kontos and Glenda Bonifacio, Palgrave Macmillan

Pande, Amrita. 2015. Transnational Surrogacy and “kinning” rituals in India, Book Chapter in Family Life in an Age of Migration and Mobility: Global Perspectives through the Life Course, edited by Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck and Glenda Bonifacio, Palgrave Macmillan

Pande. Amrita. 2014. "The Power of Narratives: Negotiating Commercial Surrogacy in India", 2014, NY: Lexington Books. In Globalization and Transnational Surrogacy in India: Outsourcing Life, Edited by Sayantani DasGupta and Shamita Das Dasgupta

Pande. Amrita. 2013. “The ‘Sweat and Blood’ of Womb Mothers: Commercial Surrogates Redefining Motherhood in India”, 2013, York University, Toronto: Demeter Press, 2013: 135-149. In South Asian Mothering, edited by Jasjit Kaur Sangha,

Pande Amrita. 2010. “Commercial Surrogates and Embodied Resistances in India”. 2010: 17-37, Renvall Institute Publications. University of Helsinki. In Gender, Mobility and Citizenship in Asia, edited by Mikako Iwatake

Pande, Amrita 2009 “Commercial Surrogates and Embodied Resistances in India”. 2009. In Gender, Mobility and Citizenship in Asia, edited by Mikako Iwatake. Renvall Institute Publications. University of Helsinki, Finland

Pande Amrita, 2008 “Commercial Surrogate Mothering in India: Nine Months of Labor?” In Quest for Alternative Sociology, edited by Kenji Kosaka and Masahiro Ogino. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press: 71-87.

Public Sociology

Pande, Amrita. 2016. Analysis piece on a new Surrogacy Law in India, Himal South Asian, the first and only South Asian regional analysis magazine. 'Surrogacy Bill’s Missteps', Sept 12, 2016

Pande, Amrita. 2016. Opinion piece on a new Surrogacy Law in India, The Hindu, a leading national daily newspaper in India, 'Surrogates are workers, not wombs', August 29, 2016

Pande, Amrita. 2016. Analysis piece on Higher education in India and Africa (co-authored with Ruchi Chaturvedi, Faisal Garba) Review of African Political Economy Online, 'Displacing Hierarchies: Nation and Universities in India and Africa', March 2016

Pande, Amrita. 2015. Opinion piece on international surrogacy, Indian Express, a leading national daily newspaper in India, 'Women and Labour', Nov 17, 2015

Pande, Amrita. 2014. Analysis Piece (co-authored with Ditte M Bjerg), Global Dialogue published by International Sociological Association, 'Made in India: Sketches from a Baby Farm', Issue 4.3: 19-21, September 2014

Opinion and analysis piece (co-authored with Ruchi Chaturvedi), Business Day Live, "Before hailing Modi-fication of India, consider the facts", July 2014

Opinion piece on international surrogacy, Indian Express, a leading national daily newspaper in India, “An infantile Idea?”, Aug 13, 2013

A 50-page Advocacy and Policy document for the Government of Lebanon. “I came here for work”: Migrant Domestic work and the Sponsorship system in Lebanon, 2011, Beirut: Voices International (Policy document available on request)

Opinion piece on international surrogacy, Swedish daily Sydsvenskan, 19 October 2012, “So what is it that makes it so hard?”, (Article in Swedish: “Men vad är det som är jobbigt?”),

Review of Made in India: A Film about Surrogacy. Films for the Feminist Classroom (FFC), Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Issue 4.1, Spring-Summer 2012

Pande Amrita, 2008 “Who owns these Nine months?”Indian Express, June 26, 2008.

Creative Sociology


(Produced by National theatre company of Sweden Riksteatern, Global Stories and Odense Theatre of Denmar)

Output: Performance of “Made in India: Notes from a Baby Farm”, A Docu-Drama and Interactive Advocacy workshop by Amrita Pande

Comparative Ethnography Across Disciplines CEAD 2016: Ethnographic Imaginings - Place, Space & Time. November 2016

Public Performance, Theatre Arts Collective, Cape Town, November 2016

Invited Special Event, At the 4th Women Deliver Conference, World’s biggest convening on women’s health, Copenhagen, Denmark May 2016

Made in India, Embroideries and docudrama, Permanent Exhibit at the National Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 2016 – Present

At University of Copenhagen, KUA, Denmark, 2015

At the Women’s Playwright International Conference, Cape Town, 2015

Denmark Tour – June 2014, September - November 2013

Sweden tour October – November 2012 

Denmark Tour – June 2014, September - November 2013

Sweden tour October – November 2012 

Invited by CPH:DOX Copenhagen International Documentary film Festival. Teater Grob, Copenhagen, November 2013

Odense Teater, Odense, Denmark, September 2013

Södra Teatern, Stockholm (Sweden's international venue for music, theater and debate), October 2012

MR-dagarna (the largest forum for Human Rights in the Nordic countries), Gothenburg, Sweden, November 2012

2010 – Made in India: A Lecture Performance on Transnational Surrogacy in India

Lecture-performance at the plenary session German Sociological Congress, Frankfurt am Main, October 2010. Vergesellschaftungen