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Roshni ChattopadhyayCohort 2020


  • MPhil, Women’s Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India
  • MA, English, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad (Lucknow Campus), India
  • BA, English Literature, Presidency College, Calcutta University, India


In my PhD research project, I investigate the role played by customary courts and non-state mediators among Adivasis in a region characterized by resource conflicts and communal tensions in eastern India. My broader research interests encompass the themes: anthropology of gender, anthropology of law, anthropology of state and state formations, anthropology of indigeneity/Adivasis in South Asia, extractive industries, feminist ethnography, and contemporary politics in South Asia, with a particular focus on India. Concurrently, I am pursuing certification in the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Emory University.

Before coming to graduate school, I worked in diverse capacities on three different research projects in India. These projects involved investigating practices of early and child marriage, exploring discrimination faced by individuals from non-normative sexuality and gender locations, and examining gender and labor contestations in informal sectors. Additionally, I actively volunteered with Bebaak Collective: Voices of the Fearless, an advocacy group based in Mumbai dedicated to promoting the rights of Muslim women in India. My work with Bebaak included field research, documentation, legal research, and media advocacy, among other responsibilities. I also conducted research for the documentary film "Tiryaaq" (antidote), conceptualized by Bebaak, which focused on emerging Muslim women’s leadership and their challenges in contemporary India. My fieldwork experiences extend across various regions of India, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

Advisors: Dr. Bruce Knauft & Dr. Sameena Mulla