Mitali Thakor Affiliated Faculty, SPAN Postdoctoral Fellow

Mitali Thakor is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies and Anthropology at Northwestern. Her research uses feminist science & technology studies (STS) to explore artificial intelligence and digital software design in policing, sex work, and child protection. Mitali completed her PhD from MIT in 2016 in the Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology & Society (HASTS). Her thesis, "Algorithmic Detectives Against Child Trafficking," draws on ethnographic fieldwork in the Netherlands, Thailand, and the U.S. on the design and use of new digital techniques to locate child pornography online, from 3D avatars to image recognition software, by international police, border control, computer scientists, and activists. At Northwestern, Mitali teaches courses she has designed, entitled "Queer Robotics: Cyborgs in Sci-Fi & Anthropology," "Risky Borders: Race, Sex, & Techniques of Border Control," and "Sex & Surveillance." She holds a B.A. in Feminist Studies and Anthropology from Stanford University, and organizes on issues of radical South Asian American youth politics, campus sexual violence, and prison abolition. Mitali is also a Professional Birth Doula with Chicago Volunteer Doulas. You can read more about her work at and follow @mitalithakor. 

Courses Taught

  • "Queer Robotics: Cyborgs & Fantasy in Postcolonial Sci-Fi and Anthropology"
  • "Risky Borders: Sex, Race, and Techniques of Border Control"