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Cultivation as Metaphor and Practice of Democracy: Lessons from India

Wed, February 22, 2023
Lunch Program
Mukulika Banerjee

Mukulika Banerjee, associate professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, will explore recent mobilizations by social movements in India (such as the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra (a recent 3,500 km foot march across the length of India) and the 2020-21 farmers’ movements in India that mobilized thousands of farmers in protest against the introduction of three new laws that had been forcibly introduced by the national government in India) to examine the consequences of such events for democratic culture in a context of severe degradation of democracy and to explore how cultivation is key to creating and sustaining democracy.

Mukulika Banerjee is the inaugural director of the LSE South Asia Centre and an associate professor in social anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has conducted ethnographic research in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan between 1990-1993 and in India since 1998. Her publications include Why India Votes?, The Pathan Unarmed and The Sari and, as editor, Muslim Portraits. Her recently published monograph entitled Cultivating Democracy is based on 15 years of research in rural India.

She holds a D.Phil. in Social Anthropology from University of Oxford, 1994; completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, 1994-96, taught at University College London before joining LSE in 2009.

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