Vasanthi Venkatesh

Dr. Vasanthi Venkatesh is Assistant Professor in Law, Land, and Local Economies at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law. Professor Vasanthi Venkatesh’s research focuses on immigration and citizenship law, law and social movements, comparative human rights law, and property and labour. Her expertise lies in the interdisciplinary study of law within its political, economic, global, and historical contexts. It is informed by critical class, race, and anti-colonial scholarship and uses empirical, comparative, and historical methods.

Professor Venkatesh's doctoral dissertation from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at University of Berkeley uses a comparative socio-legal approach to theorize how law is made and used by migrant workers and their advocates in several countries. The dissertation was supported by the US National Science Foundation’s doctoral research grant and the SSHRC doctoral fellowship. She has published articles in the American Journal of International Law Unbound, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, and Harvard Latino Law Review and has contributed to chapters in a recent book on marital rape and global law reform. She also holds a JD from the University of Toronto, an MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and has an MS and a BS degree. 

Prior to pursuing her PhD, Vasanthi ran a sole legal practice and consultancy in Toronto specializing in refugee rights litigation with a focus on women and LGBTQ claimants and has also worked in an IP litigation firm. She continues her pro bono legal work and is the Chair of the Board of Directors of IAVGO, a workers compensation legal clinic. In addition, she has worked with a variety of grassroots and human rights organizations globally and in Canada including the Justicia for Migrant Workers in Ontario, African-Canadian Women's Human Rights Project, Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, Occupational Health and Safety Centre in India, People Against Torture in Kenya, and Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions in Thailand. With Justicia for Migrant Workers in Ontario, she administers the Migrant Farmworkers Clinic  funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.

Law and Social Movements

Citizenship and Immigration

Law and Political Economy

Comparative and International Law

Law, Resistance, and Social Justice

Labour Migration

Empirical Methods

Postcolonial and Critical Race Frameworks

Immigration, Citizenship, and Refugee Law

Law and Social Movements

Property Law

Law of Migrant Work- Clinic and Seminar

Journal Articles

"Rewriting India: The Construction of the 'Hindutva' Citizen in the Indian state," (co-authored with F. Ahmad), Third World Approaches to International Law Review: Reflections, No. 22, 2020.

"Confronting Myths: Agricultural Citizenship and Temporary Foreign Worker Programs." International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2019.

“Mobilizing under “Illegality”: The Arizona Immigrant Rights Movement’s Engagement with The Law,” Harvard Latino Law Review, vol. 19, 2017.

"Criminalizing Sexual Violence Against Women in Intimate Relationships: State Obligations Under Human Rights Law" (symposium lead article co-authored with M. Randall). American Journal of International Law (AJIL) Unbound, vol. 109, 2015.

"Why Sexual Assault in Intimate Relationships Must be Criminalized as Required by International Human Rights Law: A Response to the Symposium Comments" (co-authored with M. Randall). American Journal of International Law (AJIL) Unbound, vol. 109, 2015.

“The Right to No: The Crime of Marital Rape, Women 's Human Rights, and International Law,” (co-authored with M. Randall). Brooklyn Journal of International Law, vol. 41, no. 1, 2015.

Book Chapters

“Pluralistic Legal Systems and Martial Rape: Cross-national Considerations.” The Right to Say No: Marital Rape and Law Reform in Canada, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, edited by M. Randall, J. Koshan, P. Nyaundi, Hart Publishing, 2017.

“Normative and Human Rights Law Imperatives for Criminalising Intimate Partner Sexual Violence: The Marital Rape Impunity in Comparative and Historical Perspective” (co-authored with M. Randall). The Right to Say No: Marital Rape and Law Reform in Canada, Ghana, Kenya and Malawi, edited by M. Randall, J. Koshan, P. Nyaundi, Hart Publishing, 2017.

“Should the United States Congress adopt a guest-worker program?” Reference Encyclopedia on Contemporary Issues and People of Color Volume 5, edited by A. Huerta, N. Iglesias-Prieto, D. Brown, ABC-CLIO/Greenwood, 2015.