Pankhuree Dube


Pankhuree Dube is a doctoral candidate in Modern South Asian History at Emory University. Her dissertation examines the figure of the artisan in colonial and post-colonial histories of the indigenous community known as Pardhan Gonds from Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh, India. Departing from discussions of South Asian craft that replicate hierarchies of knowledge or colonialist discourses of primitivism, Dube’s research asks: what happened to the concept of the adivasi artisan in the colony? The key artist-artisan she focuses on is the late Gond Pardhan painter Jangarh Singh Shyam (circa 1962-2001). Through conferences and workshops, Dube has explored the connection between craft and global indigenous studies, labor, and cultural history. She has conducted extensive archival and ethnographic research in Mandla district, Bhopal, rural Madhya Pradesh, New Delhi and various parts of the former Gondwana kingdom. The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship, the Association for Asian Studies-SSRC Dissertation Workshop series and the American Institute of Indian Studies have supported her research. Dube argues that craft is integral to our understanding of adivasi life-worlds and histories of South Asian craft must recognize adivasi artisanal production as an episteme with its own modes of knowledge transmission.