I am an environmental anthropologist, interested in documenting place-based narratives about sustainable livelihood strategies, struggles for equitable access to environmental resources, and people’s self-perceptions vis-a-vis their relationships to nature, both in India and in the USA. As a South Asia specialist, I am interested in analyzing the ways in which postcolonial histories and international political economy interact with site-specific class/caste/gender/ethnic dynamics to shape development policies that impact the lives of millions of peoples in this region.

I am currently engaged in working on my book manuscript and several articles based on my dissertation research about the politics of biodiversity conservation in India. My dissertation research entitled Social Universe of a Protected Area: Community-based Ecotourism in Periyar Tiger Reserve analyzed the social processes through which forest department bureaucrats, environmental scientists, two Adivasi (indigenous) communities of the Mannans and the Paliyans, and many Malayali villagers living in a village called Kumily, adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary in Kerala in Southern India, continue to participate in collaborative biodiversity conservation.

I am also starting a new research project in documenting the narratives of Medical Cannabis patients and growers in the context of the shifting legal landscapes in the state of Washington in USA. I plan to study the nascent Cannabis legalization (or shall we say – re-legalization) movement in India at a future date.

My research interests shape my teaching experience. Over the last seven years, I have taught courses on development studies, women and gender studies, environmental anthropology, anthropology of state, and India studies at the University of Washington, City University of New York – College of Staten Island, Haverford College, and Montgomery College.

Through my website I hope to share a little bit about my various research projects, my engagements with rights-based non-profit organizations working on various grassroots developments projects in India, and my teaching experiences. I also envision this website to serve as a learning portal for me, and I hope to hear back from you – particularly as I venture into new research projects.

Thank you for stopping by.


Tapoja Chaudhuri.

One thought on “About

  1. I am looking forward to reading your book Tapoja. In your presentations that I have heard, I loved the evocative, detailed, and sensitive portrayal of Kumily and the politics of biodiversity. And your next project sounds equally fascinating. From Kumily to cannabis, a wonderful journey.


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