Alpa Shah was raised in Nairobi, read Geography at Cambridge and completed her PhD in Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where she now teaches as Associate Professor. She is the author of Nightmarch (shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the New India Foundation Book Prize, a 2018 Book of the Year for the New Statesman, the Scroll and History Workshop, a Hindu Year in Review Book and a Hong Kong Free Press Best Human Rights Book), In the Shadows of the State (2010) and Ground Down by Growth (2018) which is co-authored with Jens Lerche, Richard Axelby, Dalel Benbabaali, Brendan Donegan, Jayaseelan Raj and Vikramaditya Thakur. She has reported for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service and co-curated the photo exhibition, Behind the Indian Boom.
Alpa Shah Lecture Series
Alpa Shah presents her co-authored ‘Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India’, listed as a 2018 Book of the Year by The Hindu newspaper. While the world marvels at India’s economic growth rates, inequality is rising and the country’s ‘untouchable’ and ‘tribal’ communities – who make up a staggering one in twenty-five people across the globe – remain at the bottom of the economic and social hierarchy. How and why is this the case? In conversation with economists, a team of anthropologists lived with Adivasis (‘tribes’) and Dalits (‘untouchables’) in five different sites across India to answer this question. They show how capitalism is entrenching social difference, transforming traditional forms of identity-based discrimination into new mechanisms of exploitation and oppression. Inherited inequalities of power are merging with the super-exploitation of migrant labour, and the conjugated oppression of class, caste, tribe and gender. The struggles against these inequalities are considered.
Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India
Tuesday, November 19, 2019
5:00 - 6:30pm
CK Choi Building Room 120, 1855 West Mall
UBC Vancouver Campus
Please register HERE.
Alpa Shah discusses Nightmarch: Among India's Revolutionary Guerrillas, shortlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the New India Foundation Book Prize, and a 2018 Book of the Year for the New Statesman, the Hindu, the Scroll and History Workshop.
Nightmarch refers to a seven-night trek when Shah found herself dressed as a man amidst a Naxalite guerrilla platoon, walking 250 km across the dense forests of eastern India at the peak of counterinsurgency operations in 2010. Framed by the government and the media as a deadly terrorist group, the Naxalites are Marx, Lenin and Mao-inspired ideologues and tribal combatants, seeking to overthrow a system that has abused them for decades, in what is now the world’s longest running armed insurgency. Based on years of living as an anthropologist with indigenous communities, Shah explores why they have taken up arms to fight for a fairer society and asks how they may be undermining their own aims.
Nightmarch: Among India’s Revolutionary Guerrillas
Friday, November 22, 2019
6:00 - 7:30pm
Sauder Industries Policy Room 2270, SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Please register HERE.