Distinguished lecture by Prof Nandini Sundar

Title: ‘Not human, not animal’: does India have room for the adivasi?
Speaker: Prof Nandini Sundar, Department of Sociology, Delhi University
Date: 5 Jan 2017
Time: 3:45 p.m.
Venue: 105 (Auditorium), Himalaya Building, IIIT-Hyderabad.


Abstract: In India, the Scheduled Tribes or Adivasis are considered either as people in want of modernization or as eco-warriors. In some popular expressions, they are even considered ‘shaitans’ – ‘not human, not animal’. This talk attempts to go beyond the stock images to look at scheduled tribe identities and official categorizations; the wide diversity of experiences faced by the scheduled tribes, state policies and the impact of current developmental models on the human rights, livelihood and well-being of the scheduled tribes; as well as the range of their own political responses. I also examine the history of sociological engagement with the scheduled tribes.
Bio: Nandini Sundar is Professor of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University. Her book, The Burning Forest: India’s War in Bastar was published by Juggernaut Press in 2016.  Her previous publications include Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar (2nd ed. 2007; translated in Hindi as Gunda Dhur Ki Talash Mein, 2009), and (co-authored) Branching Out: Joint Forest Management in India (2001).  Her edited volumes include The Scheduled Tribes and their India (OUP, 2016) Civil Wars in South Asia: State, Sovereignty, Development, (Sage 2014, co-edited with Aparna Sundar); Legal Grounds: Natural Resources, Identity and the Law in Jharkhand  (OUP 2009), and Anthropology in the East: The founders of Indian sociology and anthropology (Permanent Black, 2007, coedited). She serves on the boards of several journals. In 2010, she was awarded the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences - Social Anthropology, and in 2016, the Ester Boserup Prize for Development Research. Her public writings are available at http://nandinisundar.blogspot.com.

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