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Sayani Mitra, M.A.


  • Human Reproduction
  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies and political economy
  • Gender and Medicine
  • Globalization and Healthcare
  • Qualitative research

Biografische Notiz

Sayani Mitra is pursuing her PhD. from the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Göttingen being based in the Institute of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, Universitaet Medical Center Göttingen. She is working on the social and ethical implications of gestational surrogacy practices in India under the supervision of Professor Dr. Silke Schicktanz since October 2013. She has been awarded the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) PhD. Scholarship (2013-16) to carry out her doctoral research and the title of her dissertation is ‘The Process of Making of a New Life and its ‘End’- Ethical and Material Implications of the Practice of Surrogacy in India’. She is a member of the Göttinger Graduiertenschule Gesellschaftswissenschaften (GGG). Since June 2014, she is also an associate student at the DFG Research Training Group "Dynamics of Space and Gender”, Göttingen.  She holds a master’s degree in Sociology (2009-11) from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India and a bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Sociology from Lady Shri Ram College for Woman, Delhi University (2006-09).

She also has almost two years of experience in working as a development sector researcher in India. She has worked as a research associate for a study on “Sexual and Reproductive Health needs of  the Men having Sex with Men (MSM) and their female partners in India” funded by the United Nations Development Programme, India (UNDP India) with FXB India Suraksha (NGO), New Delhi (2011-2012) and also as a research associate for study a on “HIV/AIDS and Disability” across eight states of India in collaboration with CMB SARO (North) (2011-2012).


Schicktanz, S.; Patel, T.; Mitra, S. ed. (Forthcoming). Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Surrogacy and Gamete Donations in India, Israel and Germany. Palgrave Macmillan.

Mitra, S. & Schicktanz, S. (2016) Failed surrogate conceptions: social and ethical aspects of preconception disruptions during commercial surrogacy in India. Philos Ethics Humanit Med. 11: 9. doi:10.1186/s13010-016-0040-6

Mitra, S. (2015). When surrogacy fails: the biopolitics and hidden risks of the industry in India. Open Democracy.

Mitra, S. & Hansen, S. L. (2015): Auf der anderen Seite der Kamera. Leihmutterschaft in Indien und das moralische Anliegen der Dokumentarfilmerin Surabhi Sharma, Ethik in der Medizin 27, 1, S. 69-80, DOI 10.1007/s00481-014-0334-4




December 2016, Invited Speaker at Workshop: “Fertility, phenomenology of the body, and postcolonial modernity in India".  CeMIS, Goettingen.

December 2015, Oral Presentation titled 'Reproductive disruptions during commercial surrogacy in India' at Workshop titled ‘Contested Avenues of Kinship’, Goettingen.

September 2015, Oral Presentation titled 'Failed conceptions during surrogacy: not a pregnancy loss?' at BSA Medical Sociology Annual Conference 2015, University of York.

September 2015, Oral Presentation titled 'Reproductive disruptions during commercial surrogacy in India' at MAGic 2015: Anthropology and Global Health: interrogating theory, policy and practice, University of Sussex.

June 2015, Oral Presentation at colloquium titled ' Reproductive disruptions during commercial surrogacy: end of a beginning', King’s College London, Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine (SSHM).

July 2014, Oral Presentation titled ‘The technology mediated politics of a life and its end: new perspectives on surrogacy in India’ at BSA Human Reproduction Study Group Annual Conference, Lancaster.

May 2014, Poster Presentation titled 'Contested identities of new life: socio-empirical and material implications of commercial surrogacy in India' at Postgraduate Conference: The Sociology of Technologically Mediated Reproduction, Thursday 29 May 2014, De Montfort University, Leicester.