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Raonka, Pallavi, PhD - Faculty Bio

Raonka, Pallavi, PhD



Sociology and Anthropolgy, Asbury Hall
Greencastle, IN

Sociology and Anthropology

Assistant Professor of Sociology

I earned my Ph.D. in Sociology from Virginia Tech. My research and teaching interests are centered on issues of the political ecology of the land, forest, and animals, Adivasi studies, ethnography, environmental movements, gender politics, and South Asia studies. At DePauw, I teach courses related to contemporary sociology, environmental sociology, sociology of food and development, and research methods. I have also been active in advocacy work related to food security with several grassroots groups, specifically, Adivasi and Dalit communities in rural India. My teaching and research are focused on understanding people and communities through their own discourses. I emphasize the importance of sharing lived experiences in the classroom, using research as a tool to analyze social-political issues. I consciously work on integrating student-led inquiry processes in the classroom to create a communal learning environment.

I am currently working on my book manuscript, which examines the question of indigeneity in in the long-standing, ongoing political struggle of the Munda Adivasi  communities as they defend their land in Jharkhand, India. This work is based on more than eight years of politically engaged research and advocacy work on Munda politics, food sovereignty, gender politics, and development with the Munda Adivasi  communities in Jharkhand. This research is supported by several grants, including the Joseph Frank Hunker Memorial Scholarship ($35,000) and has contributed to scholarly conversations in South Asian studies, particularly regarding postcolonial feminism, critical development studies, Adivasi women, and food sovereignty. Parts of this work have appeared in journals and books such as Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Indian Journal of Human Development, and Reflections and Explorations: Essays on Politics, Public Policy and Governance.

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