ANR Programme 2009-2013
image of courtroom
A Joint Programme on Justice and Governance in India and South Asia
(Hosted by Centre for Himalayan Studies)

Atreyee Majumder

Atreyee Majumder

Department of Anthropology, Yale University.
Email: atreyee.m (at), atreyee.majumder (at)

Academic Background

  • Second Year PhD. Student at the Department of Anthropology, Yale University.
    In the course of my dissertation research, I expect to disentangle narratives and processes involved in the political "event" of the loosening of the Left Front's stronghold over rural West Bengal, entry of forces of big industrial capital as harbingers of new economic opportunity, and the concomitant re-adaptation of the deep-rooted cultures of party-dependency in rural West Bengal. I expect to capture through ethnographic research, the state's solicitation of private capital in the later years of the rule of Communist Party of India (Marxist) that heads the Left Front Coalition in the state of West Bengal (having been in power in the state since 1977), new images of political power in the rural hinterland of West Bengal, the process of "industry" emerging as a new metaphor of power meant to generate economic opportunity and provide a desperate face-saving measure for the Left Front government in a moment of public shame at its failure to provide a sound and stable economic base in West Bengal. In this moment of state insecurity and active intervention of new agents of power into the rural hinterland, I want to examine the question of how biographies of livelihood (which have been known to be closely associated with patron-client relationships with state agents in the past two decades, and closely intertwined with land-related policy initiatives of the Communist Party) are being re-written around the theme of "industry".
  • Received B.A.LL.B. (Hons.) degree from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore in July 2006.

Language Proficiency

High proficiency in speaking, reading and writing English, Bengali and Hindi.

Grants and Fellowships Received

  • Summer Fellowship from the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University (May 2009).
  • Summer Fellowship from the South Asian Studies Council, Yale University (May 2009).
  • Summer Fellowship from the Macmillan Center, Yale University (May 2009).
  • Macmillan Doctoral Fellowship 2008 awarded by the Whitney and Betty Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies.
  • Schwartz Foundation grant (2008) to attend the Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

Research and Teaching Assistance Positions occupied

  • Law Researcher at <em>International Environmental Law Research Centre</em>, New Delhi (September 2007- May 2008).
  • Research Officer at Public Interest Legal Research and Advocacy Centre, New Delhi as research associate (March-September 2007).
  • Research assistant to Sudhir Krishnaswamy (academic, currently faculty at the NLSIU in a pedagogical project on intellectual property, under the aegis of Sarai/Alternative Law Forum in between July 2004 and May 2005.
  • Teaching assistant in an undergraduate course, "Sociology-I", at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore (July-September 2005).

Academic and Journalistic Publications

  • “Globalisation and City-zenship in a Not-so-networked Society: Looking for narratives of empowerment in the Process of seepage of techno-cultural practices”, published in the Socio-Legal Review, Vol.1, 2005.
  • “Sections 497 and 498 of the IPC- Trespass Against a Man’s Property (Well, in a way, Yes!)”, published in the Criminal Law Journal (January, 2004) 30.
  • “Copyrights/Copyleft: Myths About Copyright”, co-authored with Mayur Suresh and Lawrence Liang, available at
  • “Marriage: A Licence To Rape? Challenging the constitutionality of the marital exemption to rape”, co-authored with Aparna Chandra, published in Apex Court Decisions in Apex Court Decisions, June 2005.
  • “Capital punishment: revisiting the abolition-retention debate”, available at
  • “Plea-bargaining – Guilty. But of a Lesser Offence?”, available at
  • Co-authored with N.Chandashekarayya, “Human rights Adjudication: Complaint Mechanisms”, available at
  • “Some Reflections on the Microfinance Bill”, available at
  • “The Liability of Dow Chemicals for the acts committed by Union Carbide in Bhopal”, co-authored with Mayur Suresh, published in the Journal of the Association of Law Students of India, 2003.
  • “Judicial Review as Basic Structure”, available at
  • “Thought for Food”, available at
  • “Democracy: A Muse”, available at