Dr. India Thusi

India Thusi, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Professor, Maurer School of Law

Dr. Thusi’s research examines racial and sexual hierarchies as they relate to policing, race, gender, and sexual behavior. Her articles and essays have been published or are forthcoming in the Harvard Law ReviewNYU Law Review, Northwestern Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Cornell Law Review Online, and Utah Law Review. Her first book, Policing Bodies: Law, Sex Work, and Desire in Johannesburg is forthcoming with Stanford University Press.

Thusi earned a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in New York, and Ph.D. in Social Anthropology and Law & Society from University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thusi’s research is inextricably connected to her previous legal experience at organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and—most recently—The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice communication lab that collaborates to effect lasting policy and culture change. She has clerked for two federal judges, and for a justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the country’s highest court.

Thusi’s many acknowledgements have marked her as a rising star investigating the intersection of race, gender, and law. Thusi received a W.E.B. Dubois Fellowship at Harvard University, the Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, was named a Next Generation African Scholar by the Social Science Research Council, and most recently was selected as a Fulbright U.S. Global Scholar for 2020-2022.

 (812) 855-7686

Lindley Hall
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405


  • Ph.D., Social Anthropology; Law & Society, University of Witwatersrand
  • J.D., Fordham University School of Law
  • B.A., Anthropology and English, Emory University

Research interests

  • Racial and sexual hierarchies in policing 
  • Intersection of race, sex, and law

Selected publications


Policing Bodies: Law, Sex Work, and Desire in Johannesburg , Stanford University Press (2021).

Articles, Essays, Book Chapters

Revised Majority Opinion for Erotic Services Provider Legal Education and Research Project v. Gascon, REVISED FEMINIST JUDGMENTS: CRIMINAL LAW (Cambridge University Press) (2021).

On Beauty & Policing, NORTHWESTERN LAW REVIEW (2020). (Reviewed in Anthropoliteia Blog and Racism & Law Blog.)

Blue Lives & the Permanence of Racism, CORNELL LAW REVIEW ONLINE (2020).

Harm, Sex, and Consequences, UTAH LAW REVIEW (2019).

Radical Feminist Harms on Sex Workers, LEWIS CLARK LAW REVIEW (2018).

Policing Sex: The Colonial, Apartheid, and New Democracy Regulation of Sex Work in South Africa, FORDHAM INTERNATIONAL LAW JOURNAL (2015).

Evaluating the Systemic Causes of the School-to-Prison Pipeline, JOURNAL OF LAW & SOCIETY (2011).

View SSRN profile
CV available upon request

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