Dr. Lata Narayanaswamy

Dr. Lata Narayanaswamy


Since 2001 I have worked as a research practitioner, consultant and lecturer in gender and development. My research problematises how knowledge is actualised as a driver of development in both discourse and practice.

Before joining Leeds in 2014, I held Lecturer and Visiting posts at the Universities of Sheffield and Hull in the UK, and at Carleton University and York University in Canada. I was awarded my PhD from the University of Durham in 2011.


  • Programme Director for BA International Development
  • Co-Deputy Director, Centre for Global Development (CGD)

Research interests

My research is inter-disciplinary, drawing on development geography, social anthropology, feminist and postcolonial theory, as well as empirical work undertaken in India using a range of social science research methods. My research to date has focused on knowledge within the context of development. It theorises how information moves, both temporally and spatially, across transnationally imagined geographic and discursive spaces and how this movement is facilitated by knowledge brokers, both as individuals and as part of civil society, working at the interface of inclusion and exclusion in developing country contexts. The implications for development are significant, insofar as the harnessing of knowledge and improvements in its availability and accessibility for poor and marginalized groups, notably women, is frequently upheld as a panacea for overcoming inequality as well as promoting economic growth and development. Yet my research suggests that attempts to facilitate the growth of knowledge societies in particular through South-North and South-South cooperation are not necessarily linear or subversive, even amongst women and women’s NGOs who are widely presumed to have the capacity to both reach and represent alternative, Southern-based development paradigms. It reveals the uneven distribution of rhetorical power underpinned by the professionalisation of development discourse and practice, and the constitutive role of both new ICTs and civil society within this. 

I have been awarded a Leeds Institute of Teaching Excellent (LITE) Teaching Enhancement Project Award entitled ‘Exploring research partnerships with development NGOs to enhance student skill-building and future employability’, a one-year secondment starting in August 2017.

Teaching Enhancement Project Leader, LITE

NGO Advisor, Irise International

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Global Development

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>