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Thursday 7 February 2013

LSE Anthropology Department offers Postdoctoral Fellowships on a Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty in India

Amanda Snellinger, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
School of Geography and the Environment
University of Oxford

LSE Department of Anthropology


Postdoctoral Fellowships 
(up to five positions)

on a 

Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty in India

Fixed term for up to three years and to ideally commence in October 2013

Salary is not less than £32,469 pa inclusive (pro rata if part time)

General Description 
The LSE Anthropology Department is pleased to invite applications to the above posts to be funded by the ESRC and the EU ERC. The positions offer an exciting opportunity to join an international research team working on inequality and poverty led by Dr Alpa Shah in collaboration with Dr Jens Lerche (SOAS), Dr Clarinda Still (Oxford), Professor Jonathan Parry (LSE) and Professor Barbara Harriss-White (Oxford). Successful candidates will benefit from engagement with a number of international experts as well as a number of in-house experts such as Mukulika Banerjee, Laura Bear, Stuart Corbridge and Deborah James. The aim is to develop perspectives of political economy within the discipline of anthropology by ethnographically investigating the persistence of poverty amongst adivasis and dalits in the belly of the Indian economic boom.

Too often the way in which we theorise rural social transformation draws disproportionately on the agrarian transition as experienced in Western Europe. By focusing on the case of the poorest sections of society in contemporary India (eg adivasis and dalits), we seek to develop a comparative framework for the study of poverty that focuses on the interrelationship between economic and other aspects of the production of inequality (such as caste, ethnicity and religion). We will explain the processes through which poverty and processes of socio-economic marginalisation persist in India, and why and how they affect some groups more than others. Within the discipline of anthropology we seek to reinvigorate the significance of understanding the transformation in social relations and interactions between people which affect the ways in which they reproduce themselves, exploit and use each other; these are processes which create both poverty and welfare. The overall aim is for our ethnographically informed studies to contribute to a comparative project exploring changing patterns of inequality and poverty. 
Fellows will join a collaborative research training and writing programme with international expert advisors including Professor Jan Breman, Professor Ravi Srivastava, Professor K P Kannan, Professor Patricia Jeffery, Dr Isabelle Guérin, Dr Matthew McCartney and Dr Bengt Karlsson. They will join one of the leading Departments of Anthropology in the world, contribute to its distinguished and cutting-edge Friday morning weekly Research Seminar.
In the first phase of the Fellowship, Fellows will actively participate in and contribute to a weekly research training programme based at the LSE. In the second phase of the Fellowship, they will spend at least 12 months undertaking a substantive piece of new field-research. In the final phase of the Fellowship, Fellows will participate in a weekly writing programme based at the LSE. Some aspects of the research will be developed collaboratively and conducted across the field sites of each Fellow for the programme to be comparative as a whole. However, it is fully expected that Fellows will develop their own independent research trajectories over the course of the Fellowship within the frame of the overall research programme. Candidates should ideally seek to work in rural central and eastern India (including Bihar, Eastern UP, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and northern Andhra Pradesh) but applications for all parts of the country will be considered. In exceptional circumstances, candidates seeking to work reduced hours will be considered. Over the course of the Fellowship, successful candidates are expected to finalise their prior work for publication, begin to develop the new research undertaken into a monograph and single authored articles, as well as work on a series of collaborative articles with members of the team, and contribute to an impact plan. 
Before commencing post, Fellows must have submitted a PhD. The PhD should be in Social Anthropology or in a related discipline which has required them to undertake extensive long-term ethnographic field research in India. They should be able to work well in a team.

Applications Procedure 
To apply for this post please go to

Candidates will be asked to submit the following:
1) A Covering letter
2) A CV
Two supporting documents:
·  A sample of written work of chapter or article length
·  A research statement of no more than four pages. This should include:
    • 1-2 page summary of PhD thesis
    • A short summary of 2 pages on how they might contribute to the overall comparative Programme. More than one possible direction may be proposed, at the discretion of the candidate. This document will form a basis for discussion if the applicant is short-listed. It is anticipated that each individual study will to some extent be modified to optimize the coherence of the project as a whole.
4) Names of three academic references 

Informal enquiries may be made to Dr Alpa Shah: 
Applications should be received by 4 April 2013.
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