Urmi Bhattacharyya's picture

Urmi Bhattacharyya


Urmi Bhattacharyya is a doctoral scholar at the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Her ongoing PhD thesis deals with the transformative and transcendental power of cultural symbols as manifested in the pictorial-narrative traditions found in the states of Rajasthan, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, and their relation to the emergence or transformation of social identity and ideas of morality in society. She obtained her M.Phil degree from the same department and university in the discipline of sociology. Her M.Phil thesis dealt with folk performance traditions in West Bengal, India, in the age of mass media. Her main areas of research interest include social and cultural anthropology, sociology of religion, social philosophy, and theories of subjectivity. She has recently contributed an article on the representation of the world of religion and magic through scroll-paintings among the Santhal tribe in Jharkhand, India, in an upcoming volume edited by Prof. Susan Visvanathan of Jawaharlal Nehru University, which is currently in press. Her paper for the summer school deals with the contestations between discourses of power and knowledge construction in society, and the methodological nuances associated the study of culture as an idea or as a product, as exemplified by intersecting categories and practices of art and craft in Indian society.