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Seminar: Conceptualizing Adivasi Munda Women Resistance in the Neoliberal State of Jharkhand, India

This presentation addresses a paradox pointed out by Indian feminist scholars: Adivasi (indigenous) women are at the forefront of indigenous movements defending traditional lands from outside forces, but they also often support existing landholding regimes that prevent women from inheriting the land. Much of the scholarship looking at land rights of Adivasi women is embedded in western feminist epistemologies and assumes a conflict, in which the ethnic/Adivasi identity overrides gender identity. Yet this ignores how Adivasi women continually mediate this supposed divide in their everyday life practices. This paper provides an ethnographic examination how Munda women in Jharkhand understand and experience this situation, focusing on how the meaning of land and forest, customary forms of women’s land and forest use, and everyday practices in the kitchen and field shape their epistemologies and politics. I demonstrate that the Munda woman’s understanding of feminist practice is embedded in their Adivasi identity, which in turn shapes their politics of choosing to defend their land.

Dr Pallavi Raonka is Adjunct Teaching Faculty at Virgina Tech and Roanoke College, USA.


​Meeting ID: 994 2161 6639

Passcode: 0616970626