Mukulika Banerjee | The Social Imaginaries of Democracy: Scandal, Competition and Cooperation

Lecture | February 14 | 12-1:30 p.m. | Stephens Hall, 10 (ISAS Conf. Room)

 Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor in Social Anthropology and Director, South Asia Centre, LSE

 Lawrence Cohen, Director, Institute for South Asia Studies; Sarah Kailath Professor of India Studies and Professor of Anthropology and of South & Southeast Asian Studies

 Institute for South Asia Studies, Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

Lecture by Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor in Social Anthropology and Director, South Asia Centre, LSE

About the Speaker:
Dr Mukulika Banerjee is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology and Director of the South Asia Centre at the London School of Economics (LSE). Interweaving the political into social anthropology to understand human behaviour has been a core component of Mukulika’s long-standing academic engagement with South Asia. Her doctoral research at Oxford, conducted in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, studied the non-violent Pakhtun movement in the 1930s-40s, and the articulation of identity politics alongside assertive political practices against imperial rule. The Pathan Unarmed: Opposition and Memory in the Northwest Frontier (James Currey, 2001) is the first ethnographic history of the transformative potential of the ethic of non-violent political action on the rank-and-file of the ‘Khudai Khidmatgars’ (Servants of God), who emerged from amongst the notoriously violent Pakhtun-Pathans in modern-day Pakistan. A second book, coauthored with Daniel Miller (Professor of Material Culture, UCL), focused on that quintessential South Asian women’s clothing, The Sari (Berg, 2003) to understand how a simple piece of wrap-around cloth has survived the challenges of dramatic social change and the vicissitudes of more practical options to emerge as the most vaunted sartorial choice of millions of women across the region, especially in India. Her most recent book Why India Votes? (Routledge 2014), the outcome of a major ESRC Grant, breaks several new grounds both conceptually and methodologically: it examines the reasons why despite varying odds, India’s voter graph continues to rise, making India the largest electoral democracy in the world.

Read more about Dr. Mukulika Banerjee HERE

Event made possible with the support of the Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies

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