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Dr. Kathleen O'Reilly
Kathleen O'Reilly
(979) 845-6519
812A O&M

810 O&M Building

Department of Geography

Texas A&M University 

MS 3147

College Station, Texas 77843


Ph.D. Geography, University of Iowa, 2002
M.S. Geography, University of Alabama, 1996
B.M. Voice Performance, Westminster Choir College, 1989


  • Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Teaching, College of Geosciences (2012)
  • Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award, Nominee, Graduate Student Council and College of Geosciences Nominee, Texas A&M University (2012)
  • Senior Short Term Fellowship ($10,000), ‘Drinking Water Sustainability’, American Institute of Indian Studies (2008)
  • Glassock Center Stipendiary Faculty Fellow ($1500), Texas A&M University Melburn G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research and Department of Geography (2007)



GEOG 202: Geography of the Global Village

GEOG 327: Regional Geography of South Asia

GEOG 401: Political Geography

GEOG 491:

GEOG 629: Cultural and Political Ecology

GEOG 685: Directed Studies: Landscape and Belonging

GEOG 689: Special Topics in Water and Society: The Social Life of Water

GEOG 689: Special Topics: Political and Cultural Ecology



Kathleen O'Reilly

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Research Interests

Kathleen O’Reilly studies the social and environmental impacts of development projects, especially those working toward improvements in health through gendered drinking water, sanitation, poverty interventions. Her research is based in India, where she has worked for the past 18 years. An NSF CAREER Award supports her current research into the causes and solutions to India’s rural sanitation crisis. It seeks insights into how village-scale and household-scale dynamics involving caste, class, and gender influence toilet usage and non-usage in rural India. Other recent work includes a study of successful sanitation in rural Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal that was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and research into urban poor women's experiences of psycho-social stress due to the absence of adequate sanitation in Pune and Jaipur, India. The latter project was funded by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and was a Sanitation and Hygiene Research for Equity (SHARE) initiative.

Selected Publications

  • Kulkarni, S., O’Reilly, K., and S. Bhat. (Under review). Sanitation Vulnerability: Women’s stress and struggles for violence-free sanitation. Development & Change
  • O'Reilly, K., Louis, E., Thomas, E., Sinha, A.  (Forthcoming) Combining sensor monitoring and ethnography to evaluate toilet usage in rural India. Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.
  • Dhanju, R. and O’Reilly, K. (Forthcoming). Reaching the unreached? Good governance and the politics of urban welfare reform in Delhi, India. Development in Practice.
  • O'Reilly, K. and Louis, E. 2014. The Toilet Tripod: Understanding successful toilet adoption in rural India. Health & Place 29: 43-51.
  • O'Reilly, K. 2014. Praxis: changing world, changing self. Third World Quarterly 35 (3): 510-512.
  • O’Reilly, K. 2014. Resolving a Gendered Paradox: Women's Participation and the NGO boom in north India, in Theorizing NGOs: States, Feminisms, and Neoliberalism. Victoria Bernal and Inderpal Grewal, eds. Duke University Press.
  • O’Reilly, K. and R. Dhanju. 2014. Public taps and Private connections: neoliberal water governance and the re-production of caste distinction in north India. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 39(3): 373-386.
  • Dhanju, R. and K. O’Reilly. 2013. Human Subjects Research and the Ethics of Intervention: Life, Death, and Radical Geography in Practice. Antipode 45 (3): 513-516
  • O’Reilly, K. 2012. Modern Water for Modern Women: Questioning the relationship between gender, empowerment and participation, in Diverting the Flow: Gender Equity and Water in South Asia. Margreet Zwarteveen, Sarah Ahmed, and Suman Rimal Gautam, eds. New Delhi: Zubaan.
  • O’Reilly, K. 2012. Geography matters: the importance of land, water, and space in sanitation studies. WH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water 1(1):8-9.
  • O’Reilly, K. and R. Dhanju. 2012. Hybrid drinking water governance: Community participation and ongoing neoliberal reforms in rural Rajasthan, India. Geoforum 43:623–633.
  • Simon D., Sidaway, J. D., Yeboah,  I. E. A., O'Reilly, K., Carr, E. R., 2011 "Geographers and/in development" Environment and Planning A 43(12): 2788 – 2800.
  • O’Reilly, K. 2011. “They are not of this house”: the gendered cost of water’s commodification. Economic and Political Weekly April 30, XLVI (18):49-55.
  • O’Reilly, K. 2011. “We are not contractors”: professionalizing the interactive service work of NGOs in Rajasthan, India. Economic Geography 87(2): 207-226.
  • O’Reilly, K. and R. Dhanju. 2010. “Your report is completely wrong!” (aapkii report ek dum galat hai!): Locating spaces inside NGOs for feedback and dissemination.” Human Organization 69(3):285-294.
  • O'Reilly, K. 2010. “Combining sanitation and women's empowerment in water supply.” Development in Practice. 20th Anniversary issue, 20(1):45-56.
  • O'Reilly, K. 2010. “Now is the time for the smart: Adapting and adopting neoliberal development.” Antipode 42(1):179-200.
  • O'Reilly, K. 2007. "Where the knots of narrative are tied and untied": the Dialogic Production of Gendered Development Spaces in Rajasthan, India. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 97(3):613-634.
  • O'Reilly, K. 2006. "Traditional' women, 'modern' water": Linking gender and commodification in Rajasthan, India. Geoforum 37:958-972.
  • O'Reilly, K. 2006. Women Fieldworkers and the Politics of Participation. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 31(4):1075-1098.
  • O'Reilly, K. and Crutcher, M. 2006. Parallel Politics: The Spatial Power of New Orleans' Labor Day Parades. Social and Cultural Geography 7(2):245-265.

Additional Information

Current students

SouYeon Nam

Current Research Staff

Richa Dhanju, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist


  • Association of American Geographers
  • Rajasthan Studies Group
  • Society for Applied Anthropology

Graduate Director

Prospective students please email:

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