Durba Chattaraj joins Ashoka University as Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Director of Writing in August 2015. Her research addresses economic and cultural transformations in India in an era of globalization, and is based on eighteen months of fieldwork conducted along National Highway 117, which connects the metropolis of Calcutta to rural and marginal areas in West Bengal. Her current research focuses on informality, space and democratic politics in New Delhi, and her courses at Ashoka will involve extensive field research.
Prior to joining Ashoka, Prof. Chattaraj was a Senior Fellow in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania for five years. At Penn’s Writing in the Disciplines Program she worked with a team of colleagues to develop and enhance the university’s writing curriculum and pedagogy. She also taught popular writing seminars on informal economies, the politics of development, legal anthropology, economic anthropology, global foodways and South Asia Studies. While at Penn she specialized in working with international students and ESL students (English as a Second Language) as they developed their academic writing and research abilities.
Prof. Chattaraj earned her Ph.D in Sociocultural Anthropology from Yale University in 2010, and her B.A from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002.