One-day Symposium on Exploring New Grounds of Studying Bihar


Date and Time: Feb. 27, 2017 10:00AM - 6:00PM

Venue: TISS, Patna Centre


There is an impressive body of work and scholarship on Bihar. These works cover aspects of political economy especially the question of land, labour migration, and the mode of production in rural Bihar on the one hand, and various facets of development and aspects of social justice on the other. A great deal of work has been done on oral literature, folk theatre, and other cultural practices and in some cases these cultural practices have been used to reconstruct various aspects of Bihar. Recently, if one does a survey of research, papers, monographs etc. on Bihar it has been overwhelmingly on the question of migration, social justice, women’s empowerment, urbanisation, caste and rural development. Needless to say, these constitute important factors in the socio-political-economic life of Bihar. However, we want to throw open other avenues of research on Bihar and even when we investigate old issues like migration, land and agrarian relations we want to come up with new approaches and new methods to explore new grounds of studying Bihar.

This symposium brings together the research that the researchers of the Patna Centre of TISS have been doing for the past one year. The themes of research are varied and the questions that they are investigating are novel. The research papers include work on the genealogy of the Bihar-Nepal border, an ethnographic study of a school to understand gender, power, and sexuality and their intersection, collective action and economic agency of so-called left-behind women, caste among Muslims, a study of urban fringe economy, and a study of agrarian relation as it exists today in its dynamics and migration. It is hoped that these papers would elicit a vibrant discussion and would lead to a more varied research projects on Bihar. The papers will be published in a volume.

Session I - Space, Place & Power in Transforming Bihar: Papers

  1. Education, Patriarchy, Gendering and Resistance: A Case Study of Adolescent Girls at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalay
    Maitreyi Jha, Research Fellow

  2. Caste and Untouchability among Muslims
    Md. Khursheed Akbar, Research Fellow 

  3. Fringed Lives: A Study of a Slum in Patna
    Rahul Jambhulkar, Research Officer

Session II - Bordered Lives, Gendered Labour and Agrarian Relations: Papers

  1. Genealogy, Labour Migration and Logistics of Bihar-Nepal Border
    Mithilesh Kumar, Research Fellow

  2. Male Outmigration and Women in Rural Bihar: A Socio-legal Study
    Miranda Das, Research Fellow

  3. Agrarian Relations and Migration: A Case Study
    Pushpendra, Professor and Incharge