I am a doctoral research student at the UCL Institute of Archaeology in London, working in collaboration with colleagues at Deccan College, Pune, and the University of Calcutta. I am researching the role of heritage in defining identity in India, from the perspectives of the nation state and of minority groups. As the nation state of India develops both economically and globally, the identity that the state and individuala of various backgrounds choose for themselves and to project to the greater world, will to a not insignificant degree be influenced by knowledge and interpretation of the past.
My research is thus focused on how archaeology is used to create and reinforce national identities in India. The focus is on both local communities in the region of Madhya Pradesh, and the nation state of India itself.
Central questions are:
- What is the history of archaeology in India, and what rules have governed who has participated in it until now?
- How do local communties access and participate in archaeology, and for what reasons?
- In what ways does the nation state use archaeology to form an ‘Indian’ identity?
- To what degree do the state and local communities cooperate, or potentially oppose each other in this?
In my work at Ubiquity Press, I am currently investigating and developing projects in the following areas:
- Research ontologies and classfications
- Social behaviour of academic networks
- Distribution and access models for research information