While there is a multitude of academic work with respect to cross-border collaborations between South Asian countries and the US, almost all of it is produced by scholars located in US universities, either as tenured faculty or as doctoral students. Much of this work is predicated upon the access these scholars have to stakeholders in both countries, which is dependent on the predominantly one-way flow of gaze/theory from the global North. Based on in-depth interviews with Indian doctoral scholars enrolled in Women’s Studies and allied disciplines in universities in the US, but whose research fields are in India, this paper examines the ways in which coloniality structures the knowledges thus produced. Particularly, it examines how the construction of the ‘field’ is contingent upon complex processes such as visa regimes, funding opportunities to travel, and disciplinary framings. It argues that despite the increased focus on a globalised academia and movement of scholars and students around the world, material inequities continue to frame certain locations as ‘forever fields’. Finally, unpacking the politics of mapping a field, it poses the possibility of activating a disruption in the ways in which the category ‘field’ is perceived.
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