Director of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor of Childhood Studies
Department of Childhood Studies
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
405-407 Cooper Street – Rm. 311
Camden, NJ 08102
Dr. Balagopalan’s work on postcolonial childhoods foregrounds the tension between children’s work and schooling as a key site where discourses of colonial modernity, the ‘developmental’ nation-state, late capitalism and current transnational efforts around children’s rights play out. Dr. Balagopalan has published widely on the educational experiences of first-generation schoolgoers in India, and her book Inhabiting ‘Childhood’: Children, Labour and Schooling in Postcolonial India (Palgrave) was published in 2014. This ethnography draws on the everyday experiences of street children and child laborers in Calcutta, including their complex transition from labor to school, to introduce the postcolony as a critical lens in theorizing the ‘child’. Dr. Balagopalan is currently working on a project that combines archival and ethnographic research on a range of ‘social welfare’ practices, policies and laws in India, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards, to trace the ways in which the ‘child’ got variously reflected in these.
Dr. Balagopalan received her Ph.D. from New York University. Before joining the department in 2014 she worked at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi.
PhD. in International Education (1996) – New York University, Department of Teaching and Learning
M.A. in International Affairs (1991) – Columbia University
MA in International Studies (1989) – Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
BA in Political Science (1987) – University of Bombay
Postcolonial Childhoods; Children’s Rights; Democratization of Schooling; Childhoods and the Politics of Culture; Social Studies Curriculum and the Politics of Identity and Cultural Nationalism; Globalization and Public Schooling; New Social Movements.
Courses Taught at Rutgers-Camden:
View Full CV HERE
Inhabiting ‘Childhood’: Children, Labour and Schooling in Postcolonial India. Palgrave, UK, 2014.
Member Editorial Team, Educational Exclusion and Inclusion: Policy and Implementation in South Africa and India. London: DFID Series #72, Researching the Issues, 2007.
Guest Edited Journal
Guest Editor. Special Issue on ‘Childhoods and the Indian Context’ in Childhood: A Journal of Global Child Research. London: Sage. August 2011.
Articles in Journals
“Does ‘gender’ exhaust a feminist engagement with elementary education?” in Contemporary Education Dialogue. New Delhi: Sage. 9(2), 2012
“On Freire’s Critical Optimism” in Contemporary Education Dialogue. New Delhi: Sage. 8(2), 2011.
“Rationalizing Seclusion: A Preliminary Analysis of a Residential Schooling Scheme for Poor Girls in India” in Feminist Review London: Sage, December 2010.
“Memories of Tomorrow: Children, Labor and The Panacea of Formal Schooling” in Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth Johns Hopkins University Press. May 2008.
“National Curriculum Framework 2005” in Book Review, New Delhi, October 2005.
“Draft Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2004” Economic and Political Weekly, August 2004
“These children are slow”: Some experiences of inclusion, formal schooling and the Adivasi Child” Perspectives in Education, September 2003.
“Understanding Educational Innovation in India: Interviews with Eklavya staff and teachers” Contemporary Education Dialogue, Monsoon 2003
“Neither Suited for the Home nor For the Fields: Inclusion, Formal Schooling and the Adivasi Child.” In IDS Bulletin, Vol.34(1), Sussex: Institute of Development Studies, 2003, p.55-62.
“Dalit and Adivasi Children in Schools: Some Preliminary Research Themes and Findings.” Co-Authored with R. Subramanian in IDS Bulletin, Vol.34(1), Sussex: Institute of Development Studies, 2003, p.43-54.
“Constructing Indigenous Childhood: Colonialism, Vocational Education and the Working Child.” in Childhood: A Journal of Global Child Research Vol. 9(1), London: Sage, 2002, p.19-34.
“Deshaj Bachpan Ki Banawat” in Vimarsh, August 2002. (In Hindi)
“Sadak ke Bacche Aur Patshala” in Vimarsh, Nov 2000. (In Hindi)
Articles in Books
“The Politics of Failure: Street Children and the Circulation of Rights discourses in Kolkata (Calcutta), India” in Karl Hanson and Olga Neiuwenhuys (eds.) Reconceptualizing Children’s Rights in International Development: Living Rights, Social Justice, Translations. Cambridge University Press, 2013.
“Unity in Diversity: Diversity, Social Cohesion and the Pedagogical Project of the Indian State” in S.Vandiyar et al (eds.) Social Cohesion, Desegregation and Diversity. Amsterdam: Rozenburg Publications. 2009.
“An Ideal School and the Schooled Ideal: Educational Experiences at the Margins” in P. Jeffrey et al (eds) Educational Regimes in Contemporary India, New Delhi: Sage, 2005
“Understanding ‘inclusion’ in Indian Schools” in M.Nkomo et al (eds) Reflections on School Integration, Cape Town: Human Science Research Council, 2004
Articles in E-Sources
“South Asia” in Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. Ed. Heather Montgomery. New York: Oxford University Press, March, 2013.
“Postcolonial Childhoods” in Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. Ed. Heather Montgomery. New York: Oxford University Press, (Forthcoming).
“Colonial Childhoods” in Oxford Bibliographies in Childhood Studies. Ed. Heather Montgomery. New York: Oxford University Press, (Forthcoming).
Visiting Fellow, German Historical Institute London (GHIL), (June-July 2014, 2015).
Civic Engagement Faculty Fellow, Rutgers University – Camden, Spring 2015.
Supervisor, Transnational Research Group “Poverty Reduction and Policy for the Poor between the State and Private Actors: Education Policy in India since the Nineteenth Century” directed by the German Historical Institute London (2012 to date).
CRY National Child Rights Fellowship, January 2008.
Charles Wallace Trust, Short-term Research Fellowship, London, June 2007.
Lead Researcher, DFID Project on “Educational Exclusion and Inclusion: Policy Implementation in South Africa and India”, 2001-2003.
Research Fellow, Eklavya Institute for Educational Research and Innovative Action, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, 1998 – 2000.