Home » Dr.Nandini Bhattacharya Panda

Dr.Nandini Bhattacharya Panda

Nandini Bhattacharyya Panda

D.Phil: University of Oxford

Research Areas: Hindu Law, Tradition and Modernity, Culture, Heritage and Modernity, Tribes and Culture, Marginal Traditions.

Email: [email protected]

Current Designation:

Former Senior/Professorial Fellow, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi

Projects and Other Professional Engagements:

· As Senior Fellow of NMML, worked on History, Lineage and Dynamics of ‘Law’ in Northeast India: Code, Custom and the State, 1873-1947, (manuscript in progress)

· Worked as Researcher and Director of a documentary film entitled The Lepcha Community of Darjeeling Hills Sponsored by Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board, Tribal Development Board, Government of West Bengal,

  • ·  Guest faculty at Women’s Studies Research Centre, University of Calcutta, 2005-present. Teaching a course “Indian Tradition and Women’s Issues: Colonial and Post-colonial Perspectives”
  • ·  Academic Expert, Primitive Tribal Board under the Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Tribal Welfare, Government of Sikkim

Professional experience

  • ·  Bachelor of Arts (B. A) with Honours in History: University of Calcutta, 1978
  • ·  Master of Arts (M. A) in Modern History: University of Calcutta, 1980
  • ·  D.Phil: University of Oxford, 1995
  • ·  Fellow, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Autonomous Organization under Department of Culture, Government of India, 2012 – 2015
  • ·  Project Fellow, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute for Asian Studies, Kolkata, Culture, Heritage and Identity: The Lepcha and Mangar Communities of Sikkim and Darjeeling, 2009-2011
  • ·  Senior Academic Fellow, Indian Council of Historical Research, (an autonomous organization under Government of India) New Delhi, Tradition, Law and Property: Emergence of a ‘Reformed’ Patriarchy in Colonial India, 2006 – 2008
  • ·  Guest Lecturer at Women’s Studies Centre, University of Burdwan, 2007-2008
  • ·  Worked as Research Officer on the project Land Rights and Women in Tripura during

2006-2007 under Women’s Commission, Tripura

  • ·  Senior Research Associate, Women’s Studies Research Centre, Calcutta University, 1996- 1997
  • ·  Worked with Save the Children at Oxford, U. K., 1991 and 1992 Research supervision
  • ·  Supervised M.Phil Thesis, Participation of Women in Chhou Dance: Gender and Tradition in Purulia (2011), Department of Women’s Studies, University of Calcutta.
  • ·  Currently supervising a Ph.D Thesis (expected date of completion 2017), Old Age and Gender Issues: A Case Study of Old Age Homes in North Twenty Four Parganas Department of Women’s Studies, University of Calcutta.

Publications

BOOKS:

  • ·  Appropriation and Invention of Tradition: The English East India Company and Hindu Law in Early Colonial Bengal. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008. Paperback and electronic edition 2012. Fourth edition and second imprint of the paperback is currently forthcoming.
  • ·  Culture, Heritage and Identity: The Lepcha and Magar Communities of Sikkim and Darjeeling. New Delhi: Knowledge World, New Delhi, 2015.
  • ·  ‘Margins’ and ‘Marginal Communities’ in the Asian Perspective: Identity and Resistance. (ed.), Springer Publication, New Delhi (In process)
  • ·  A Short Introduction to Hindu Law. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016 (commissioned by Oxford India Short Introduction Series, (in process ).
  • ·  Cultural Reconstruction of a Marginal Community: De-sanskritization of the Magar Community in the Eastern Himalayas and Nepal, (In process)
  • ·  Custom, Law and the Colonial State in Northeast India: Dynamics and Challenges for the Postcolonial State, Routledge India, (in process)
  • ·  Colonialism and ‘Law’ in Modern India, Manohar, New Delhi, (Forthcoming)

ARTICLES:

  • ·  “Beyond Frontier: Cultural Genealogy of India’s Look East / Act East Policy in a Contemporary Perspective”, in Northeast India and India’s Act East Policy: Identifying the Priorities, Routledge U. K, In Press, 2020
  • ·  “Hindu Law: Invention of a Tradition and Legal Modernity in India”, in History of Bengal (in 2nd volume of 3 volumes), Primus Books Publication and Asiatic Society, In Press, 2020
  • ·  “Custom, Law and the Empire in Northeast India: Select Reading from the Colonial Archive”, Summerhill, IIAS Review, Shimla, (Forthcoming)
  • ·  “Food, Faith and Body: ‘Veiling’ and ‘Unveiling’ in the Borderland of West Bengal”, jointly authored with Sreeradha Datta, Centre for Alternatives, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2019
  • ·  “Locating ‘History’: ‘Mayel Lyang’ and the Site of ‘Indigeneity’ of the Lepcha Community in Darjeeling Hills”, in the Seminar Volume on Thikoong General G. B. Mainwaring: The Champion of the Lepchas, Lyangsong Tamsang (ed.), Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board, Kalimpong, West Bengal, 2016.
  • ·  “Border Trade in Northeast India: A Socio-Historical Perspective” in Political Economy of India’s North-East Border, Sreeradha Datta and Sayantani Sen Mazumdar, (ed.) New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2015.
  • ·  “Women in the Sastric Tradition: Colonialism, Law and Violence” in Blackwell Companion to Religion and Violence. Oxford & New York: Wiley Blackwell, 2011.
  • ·  “From Putrikā to Nirindriya: A Study of Early Colonial Attitude Towards Women’s Rights to Property and Inheritance in Bengal 1765-1800”, Calcutta Historical Journal, Vol XVIII, No.2, July-December, 1996.

· “Tradition in Transition: An analysis of the problem of female inheritance in Justice Hyde’s Manuscripts Diary”, Anviksa, Jadavpur University, Volume xxv, Silver Jubilee Volume, July 2004.

· “Margins in Indian Tradition: Sudras, Gods and Women” Margins and ‘Marginal Communities’ in the Asian Perspective: Identity and Resistance. South Asia Press, (In process)

Other Fellowships/ Awards/Projects

  • ·  Visiting Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, May, 2019
  • ·  Visiting Scholar, Maison de Science de l’Homme, Paris, April 2009
  • ·  Research Grant from British council, Kolkata, 2009
  • ·  Research Grant from Spalding Trust, All Souls College, University of Oxford,
  • ·  Research Grant from Boden Trust, University of Oxford
  • ·  Charles Wallace India Trust Scholar, 1988-1990
  • ·  Research Grant from Maxmuller Trust, University of Oxford
  • ·  Research grant from Radhakrishnan Memorial Bequest, University of Oxford
  • ·  Research Grant from Beit Fund, University of Oxford

Academic Presentations
International Conferences and Lectures

· University of Oxford in the years 1986 and 1992
· 1986: “Early Colonial Perceptions about the Concept of Hindu Law during

Eighteenth Century Bengal”

  • ·  1992: “The English East India Company and Hindu Laws of Property and Property and Inheritance between 1772 and 1801: Appropriation and Invention of Tradition
  • ·  University of Cambridge, 1992 “The Colonial Appropriation of the Dharmasastras and Invention of Hindu Law during eighteenth Century Bengal”
  • ·  Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, 1994, “Gender and Justice in South Asia: The colonial Rulers and Issues of Sati in late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Century Bengal”, in collaboration with SOAS, London
    Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 1997, “Collaboration and Agency: The Pundits in Early Colonial Bengal”.
  • ·  Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 2002, “Manusmrti in early Colonial Discourses: Reflections on Colonial Patriarchy”.
  • ·  Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 2003, “An Analysis of the Impact of mainstream Hinduism and Contemporary Forms of Marriage in the Tribal Societies of North East India”
  • ·  Asiatic Society Kolkata, 2004, “Manusmrti and Women: A Reading of the Text and Its Selective Appropriation during the Pre-colonial and Post-colonial era”
  • ·  Centre for Archaeological Studies & Training, Kolkata, 2004“Manusmrti and Women: A Textual Analysis”
  • ·  Academic Staff College, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2005, “Colonial Appropriation of the Dharmasastras and Women’s Issues in India: A Retrospective Analysis”
  • ·  University of Calcutta, Department of South and South-East Asian Studies, December, 2007, “The Concepts of Individual, Family, Community and Society in Manusmrti: The Contemporary Relevance”
  • ·  Visva Bharati University, Department of History, Santiniketan, March 2008, “Patriarchy and Gender in Manusmrti: A Retrospective Analysis”
  • ·  Romola Ghosh Memorial Lecture, Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata, 2008, “The East India Company and Hindu Law in Early Colonial Bengal: Appropriation and Invention of Tradition”
  • ·  Book Release and lecture at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, April 2008
  • ·  Centre for Cultural Studies, Bangalore, August, 2008, “The Invention of Hindu Law during the Early Colonial Period: A Study of Colonial Codification in Late Eighteenth Century Bengal”
  • ·  O. P. Jindal Global University, Sonepat, Haryana, November 2012, “Construction of the Image of ‘Indian Women’: A Historical Analysis”
  • ·  Wolfson College, University of Oxford, September 2013, “Colonial Law, Women and the Culture of Violence in India”
  • ·  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Asia Annual Conference, December 2013, “Margins in Indian Tradition: Sudras, Gods and Women”
  • ·  University of Pennsylvania, Penn Law School and South Asia Center, April, 2014, “Law and Tradition: Women’s Rights to Property and Legal Modernity in India”
  • ·  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, January, 2015, “Religion, Faith and Beyond: An Easy Transition from Hindu to ‘Tribal’ Religion of the Magar Community in Sikkim and Darjeeling”
  • ·  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, January, 2015, “Ecology and Environment in the Literary Consciousness: The Mangalkavyas in Medieval Bengal”
  • ·  Dhaka University, August 2018: “History/Story/Exile: The Nostalgic “East Bengal” in India”
  • ·  Tezpur University, Assam, “Emergence of Northeast India as a Cultural Category in the Colonial and Postcolonial Discourses: Rhetoric and History”, January 2018
  • ·  Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, July 2019, “ The Mutated Tradition: Indigenous knowledge and Imperatives of Governance in Early Colonial Bengal”
  • ·  Paschimbanga Itihas Samsad and Kanailal Bhattacaryya College, “The ‘Two’ Bengals: Reflections of the Story of Partition and its Afterlife in the Literary Genre”, February, 2020,

National Conferences and Lectures

  • ·  Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, March 2010: “The Colonial Appropriation of the Sastric Tradition and Its Contemporary Relevance: Some Basic Issues”
  • ·  Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 1997, “Manusmrti in the Early Colonial Discourses: Women’s Rights to Property and Inheritance”
  • ·  Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 2003: “Impact of Mainstream Hinduism and Contemporary Forms of Marriage in the Tribal Societies of North East India”
  • ·  Asiatic Society, Kolkata, 2004: “Manusmrti and Women: A Reading of the Text and Its Selective Appropriation during the Pre-colonial and Post-colonial era”
  • ·  School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, 1997, “Women, Property, Sastric Principles and Colonial Policies: A Study of Marginalizations of Women’s Rights during Colonial Rule in India”
  • ·  Centre for Archaeological Studies & Training, Kolkata, 2004, “Manusmrti and Women: A Textual Analysis”
  • ·  Academic Staff College, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Lectures in the Refresher Course, February 2005, “Colonial Appropriation of the Dharmasastras and Women’s Issues in India: A Retrospective Analysis”
  • ·  University of Calcutta, Department of South and South-East Asian Studies, December, 2007, “The Concepts of Individual, Family, Community and Society in Manusmrti: The Contemporary Relevance”
  • ·  Visva Bharati University, Department of History, Santiniketan, March 2008, “Patriarchy and Gender in Manusmrti: A Retrospective Analysis”
  • ·  Romola Ghosh Memorial Lecture, Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata, March 2008, “The East India Company and Hindu Law in Early Colonial Bengal: Appropriation and Invention of Tradition”
  • ·  Book Release and lecture at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, April 2008
  • ·  Maulana Abul Kalam Institute of Asian Studies, April 2009, “Women in the

Sastric Tradition: Colonialism, Law and Violence”

  • ·  Indian History Congress, Malda, 2010, “Culture and Identity: The Lepcha

Community of Darjeeling”

  • ·  Maharaj Uday Chand Women’s College, Burdwan, December 2011, Key Note Address, “Women and Society in Colonial India: Debates and Discourses”
  • ·  Maharaja Uday Chand Women’s College, Burdwan, December 2012, Lecture on “Equal Opportunity for Women”
  • ·  National Seminar, Women’s Studies Research Centre, University of Calcutta, March 2013, “Gender and ‘Tribe’ in India: A Case Study of Lepcha and Mangar Communities in Sikkim and Darjeeling”
  • ·  University of Sikkim in Collaboration with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, October 2013, “Border Trade in North East India: A Historical perspective”
  • ·  Academic Staff College, University of Burdwan, October 2013, Lectures in the Refresher Course, “Women and Law in Indian History”
  • ·  Maharaja Uday Chand Women’s College, University Of Burdwan, January 2014, “Literary Imagination, Aesthetics and Cultural Site in the 18th Century Bengal”
  • ·  Allahabad Museum, 8 March, 2014, Keynote Lecture on the occasion of International Women’s Day, “Law, State, Women and the Culture of Violence in India”
  • ·  Department of Cultural and Creative Studies, North Eastern Hill University in Collaboration with Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, March 2014, “Material Culture and Marginal Identity: The Lepcha Museum of Kalimpong”, Also screened a Documentary Film on “The Man and the Museum’, researched and directed by me
  • ·  Department of Creative and Cultural Studies, North Eastern Hill University, June 2014, Participated in a Workshop on “Status of Folklore Research in North East India”
  • ·  Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Courses conducted on Research Methodology on Asia, 23 – 27 June 2014, 23 June, lecture on “Asia as a Field”; 25 June “Insights and Innovations: Research Methodology for North East India”
  • ·  Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board, Seminar at Poloondoang, Darjeeling, “Lepcha Community of Darjeeling Hills” Story of a Phoenix”, July 2015
  • ·  Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, March. 2015, “Arunachal Pradesh in the Cultural Imaginations: A Socio-Historical Analysis”
  • ·  Vidyasagar University, Winter School, West Midnapore, West Bengal, January 2016, “Gender, Justice and legal Modernity in India”
  • ·  Jamini Roy College, Beliator, Bankura, West Bengal, January 2016, “Women’s Empowerment and the role of Law”
  • ·  Rajiv Gandhi University, Centre for Endangered languages, Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies, Itanagar, Arunachal Predesh, March 2016, “Passages from Oral to Textual Tradition towards ‘Cultural Reconstruction’ of a Marginal Hindu Community: Counter-imagination and De-Hinduization Process of the Magar Community in Northeast India and Nepal” in a seminar on Oral and Textual Tradition of Northeast India, jointly organized by Rajiv Gandhi University and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
  • ·  A B N Seal College, Coochbehar, June 2016, Professor Tapan Raychaudhuri Memorial Lecture, “Lepcha Community of Darjeeling Hills: Past, Present and Future”
  • ·  Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board, Poloongdang, Darjeeling, July 2016, “Locating ‘History’: ‘Mayel Lyang as the Site of ‘Indigeneity’ of the Lepcha Community in Darjeeling Hills”
  • ·  Primitive Tribal Boards, under Department of Social Justice, Empowerment and Tribal Welfare, Government of Sikkim, 8 November, 2016, “Lepcha Community in Transition: Culture and Identity in Sikkim and Darjeeling”
  • ·  Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner, 15-16 March 2017, “Oral History and Oral Archive: Study and Documentation of Tradition and Culture of the Lepcha Community of Sikkim and Darjeeling”
  • ·  North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, 22-23 August 2017, “Locating Indigeneity: Oral Tradition and the Lepcha Community in the Eastern Himalayas”
  • ·  Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, 11-12 March 2018, “Beyond ‘Frontier’: Cultural Genealogy of India’s Look East / Northeast Policy in a Contemporary Perspectice”
  • ·  Bharti College, University of Delhi, 22-23 March 2018, “’Indian Women and ‘Colonial Sastras: Images, Rights and Subjectivity”
  • ·  Indian Institute of Historical Studies, Kolkata, Justice Binayak Nath Banerjee Memorial Lecture, March 24 2018, “’Indian Women and ‘Colonial Sastras: Images, Rights and Subjectivity”
  • ·  Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, organized a national conference on :Colonialism and Law in Modern India, 29th and 30th November, 2018
  • ·  Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, November 2018, Workshop on ‘Indic Thought’, “Invention of Colonial Hindu Law: Legal Modernity and Gender Justice Issues in Contemporary India”
  • ·  Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, “‘Culture Hand Books’ of Tribal Law in Colonial India: Select Reading”, 30th November 2018
  • ·  Department of History, Delhi University, March, 2019, “The Making and Breaking ‘’Law’: Custom, Code and the Colonial State in Northeast India”
  • ·  Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, May 2019, “Custom, Law and the Empire in Northeast India: Select Reading from the Colonial Archive”
  • ·  Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, October 2019, “Manusmrti and Women: A Textual analysis”
  • ·  Jindal Global School, October 2019, “Invention of ‘Hindu law’ and Legal Modernity in India”
  • ·  University of Burdwan, February 2020, “Sastric Debate in 19th Century Bengal and Vidyasagar”
  • ·  Department of Museology, University of Calcutta, March 2020, “The Contested Frontier of Museums: Women and the Marginal Voices”

Conference organized International

  • ·  “Custom, Law and the Colonial State in Northeast India: Dynamics and Challenges for the Postcolonial State”, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in collaboration with Department of History, NEHU, Shillong, Meghalaya, June, 2019
  • ·  “Northeast India in the Cultural Imagination: History, Land and People”, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, January, 2015
  • ·  “‘Margins’ and Marginal Communities in the Asian Perspective: Identity and Resistance”, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata, January 2014

National

  • ·  “Colonialism and Law in Modern India”, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, November 2018
  • ·  “Ecology and Progress in Northeast India: Anxiety, Hope and Belonging in the Literary Consciousness”, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata in collaboration with Department of Creative and Cultural Studies, NEHU, Shillong, Meghalaya, September 2014
  • ·  “Cultural Visions and Location of Identity: The Ethnic Communities of Sikkim”, Forthcoming on 14th and 15th November 2019 in collaboration between NMML and Sikkim University

Miscellaneous Work Experience

  • ·  Former expert reviewer of Oxford University Press, New Delhi
  • ·  Expert reviewer, Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi
  • ·  Former expert of Paul Foundation administered by APJ Group
  • ·  Carried out independent research project on Coding Cultural Identity of the Himalayan District of Darjeeling funded by Ministry of Culture, Government of India between 2006 and 2008

Visual Presentations

  • ·  March 2007: Researched and directed a documentary film on Culture and people of

Darjeeling District, screened at Nandan Cinema Hall 2, Kolkata ,

  • ·  April 2008: Researched and directed a documentary film on Culture and Heritage of the Lepcha Community in Darjeeling, shown at the Museology Department of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata,
  • ·  March 2014: Researched and directed a documentary film on Lepcha Museum in Kalimpong under the title: The Man and the Museum, shown at North Eastern Hill University during a seminar on Folklore and Diaspora: Changing Dimensions of Folklore and Diaspora of the Tribal Communities of North East India,
  • ·  March 2016: Screened two films at Asiatic Society, Kolkata – (1) Man and the Museum, (2) Lepcha Traditional House: Revival of Indigenous Technology in an international seminar on Culture Resource Management in the Perspective of Human Rights.

Languages

Bengali, English, Sanskrit, Hindi and Nepali