Meenakshi Nair Ambujam, a fourth-year doctoral student with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, was recently awarded the Doc.Mobility Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation. This fellowship is awarded to advanced PhD candidates who wish to enhance their scientific profile by working at a university abroad.
Meenakshi’s thesis titled, ‘“Landless with my Title-deed”: Rethinking Restitution in Adivasi Life, Telangana (India)’, is supervised by Dr Shaila Seshia Galvin. Her project examines how conditions of landlessness persist among adivasi, or tribal communities, despite participating in programmes of restitution. Focusing on documentary artefacts— particularly title-deeds— her research explores how practices of restitution may sustain experiences of landlessness, thus producing a disconnect between the ownership and possession of lands. Following various actors, her research traces how this may affect strategies of claim-making employed by adivasis and their participation in state-sponsored policies of restitution. Drawing on 13 months of archival and ethnographic research she conducted in Telangana (India), her research refines and advances theoretical conceptualisations of dispossession and landlessness.
The Mobility Fellowship will support Meenakshi’s stay at Yale University as a Visiting Assistant in Research for a period of 10 months— from September 2020 to June 2021. During this time, she will be affiliated to the Department of Anthropology at Yale and will be writing-up her thesis under the mentorship of Dr Kalayankrishnan Sivaramakrishnan.
Doc.Mobility fellowships are designed for doctoral students who wish to enhance their scientific profile by working at a research institution abroad.