The LSE Department of Anthropology is pleased to invite applications for up to five postdoctoral fellowships on a Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty in India. The posts are to be funded by the ESRC and the EU ERC (fixed term for up to three years and to ideally commence in October 2013; salary is not less than £32,469 pa inclusive). Applications should be received by 4 April 2013.
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 (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.
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LSE’s Department of Anthropology is also recruiting for two MPhil/PhD studentships, with a start date of October 2013. These studentships are fully funded by the ESRC and form part of an international research programme on ‘Inequality and Poverty’ with a particular focus on India. The deadline for the application and all supporting documentation is 24 February 2013.
The successful applicants will be expected to explore, through ethnographic research, the persistence of poverty amongst adivasis and dalits. They will join the Department of Anthropology’s MPhil/PhD programme and work closely Dr Alpa Shah, Dr Jens Lerche (in Development Studies at SOAS) and a wider research team including Professor Jonathan Parry, Professor Barbara Harriss-White, Dr Clarinda Still and several postdoctoral researchers. They will also benefit from the complementary research of in-house experts such as Dr Mukulika Banerjee, Dr Laura Bear and Professor Deborah James.
Applicants are not required to have existing expertise on the topic of poverty in India, however they must hold a BA/BSc or MA/MSc degree in Social Anthropology from the UK and should have obtained an Upper Second Class or First Class (at BA/BSc level) or a Merit or Distinction (at MA/MSc level). In order to be considered for one of these studentships, you should apply for the MPhil/PhD programme in Anthropology at LSE.
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Informal enquiries about both the postdoctoral fellowships and the MPhil/PhD studentships may be made to Dr Alpa Shah: firstname.lastname@example.org