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Smita Tewari Jassal

Professor of Sociology

Professor of Sociology School of Liberal Studies

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Professor of Sociology School of Liberal Studies

Education & Research

  • BA (Hons.) Sociology, Miranda House, Delhi University, 1974
  • MA Sociology, Delhi University, 1976
  • M.Phil Sociology, Delhi University, 1978
  • Ph.D Sociology, Delhi University, 1989
  • Subject of Dissertation: Agrarian Structure of a Taluqdari Region

ON-GOING RESEARCHES/ Forthcoming books

  1. Past Connections, Contemporary Debates: India and Turkey (edited)
     forthcoming - Routledge, U.K. 2017 ( manuscript completed)
  2. Healing at Saint Shrines in North India
  3. From the Margins: An Ethnography of Nishads along the Ganga.
    This anthropological study traces the recent history and contemporary concerns of a marginalized river-faring caste to examine how marginality is produced. Based on intensive fieldwork on the society and political economy of selected villages near Benaras and the analysis of caste journals.
  4. Talking Islam in Turkey.
  5. Land, Nationhood and Collective Memory: A village cluster in Zara, Turkey (team research and fieldwork ongoing).

Past Employment

Fall 2009- Spring 2016
Middle East Technical University, METU/ODTU
Associate Professor, Anthropology
Asian Studies/ Social Policy/ Graduate School of Social Sciences.
Ankara, Turkey

VISITING FELLOW 2013-2014; 2015
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, CSDS
29 Rajpur Road, Civil Lines
Delhi 110007

2008- 2009
Brandeis University, Ma. USA
Madeleine Haas Russell Visiting Professor Anthropology

Columbia University, NY

2006 -2007 American University, SIS, Washington D.C.

2006-2007 University of Maryland

2005-2006 SAIS, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C.

2004-2005 University of Haifa, Israel

2002-2005 Visiting Fellow, The Harry S. Truman Research Institute For The Advancement Of Peace,Asia Unit, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel.

1995 – 2003. Senior Fellow, Center for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi

1990 Research Associate, Delhi School of Economics, Department of Sociology


  • 2012, Unearthing Gender-Folksongs of North India.
    Durham: Duke University Press
  • 2007, The Partition Motif In Contemporary Conflicts: Germany, India-Pakistan, Israel-Palestine.
    Smita Tewari Jassal and Eyal Ben- Ari (eds.), New Delhi and London: Sage Publications.
  • 2001, Daughters of the Earth: Women & Land in U.P.
    New Delhi: Manohar Publishers


  • 2014 with Sebnem Koser Akcapar, Sites of Power and Resistance or Melting Pots? A Gendered Understanding of Islam Through Sufi Shrines In Turkey, Contemporary Review of the Middle East, 1:85
  • 2013. Sohbet: Talking Islam in Turkey, in Sociology of Islam, pp.188-205
  • 2010. ‘Sita in Bhojpuri Folksongs’ in Namita Gokhale and Malashri Lal (eds.) Searching for Sita, Penguin Books, New Delhi
  • 2009 Criminals, Heroes, Martyrs: A Backward caste remembers the colonial past, In Rockel Stephen and Rick Halpern (eds.) Inventing Collateral Damage: Civilian Casualties, War, and Empire. Toronto: Between the Lines Press
  • 2007 Taking Liberties in festive song: Gender, new technologies and a ‘joking relationship’, Contributions to Indian Sociology (new series), Jan. 40 (1).
  • 2007. The Partition Motif In Contemporary Conflicts: India-Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, Germany. New Delhi: Sage Publications.
  • 2006. Listening for Echoes: Partition in Three Contexts, Economic and Political Weekly, no. 22, June 3
  • 2006 ‘Migration and Song’ in Adam Jones, (ed.), Men of the Global South: A Reader, London: Zed Books
  • 2005 ‘ Gendering Agrarian Issues in U.P’ in Bharati Ray (ed.), Women in Colonial and Post-Colonial India, New Delhi: Sage Publications.
  • 2003 Bhojpuri Songs, Women’s Work and Social Control in North India, The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol.30, No.2, Jan 2003.pp.159-206
  • 2003 Whither Women’s Empowerment: Mallahin Fishponds in Madhubani, in Sumi Krishna (ed). Gender and Livelihoods, New Delhi, Sage Publications.
  • 2001 Caste and the Colonial State: Mallahs in the Census, Contributions to Indian Sociology (new series), vol. 35, no. 3, Sept.-December.
  • 1998 Women in the Analysis of Peasant Differentiation, in Rao, Nitya and Rurup Luise (ed.) A Just Right: Women’s Ownership of Natural Resources and Livelihood Security, New Delhi: FES
  • 1998 Hidden Peasant Women in Colonial Awadh: Some Hypotheses, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 5, no. 1, Jan-June
  • 1997 Primogeniture In Awadh: Sociological Implications for Class and Gender, Economic and Political Weekly, xxxii, no 2, May 31-June 6.
  • 1981 Agrarian Contradictions And Resistance In Faizabad, The Journal of Peasant Studies, Vol.7 No.3 April


  • 1983 Indian Council For Social Research for research at India Office Library, London Centre for Advanced study In Sociology, Delhi University for M. Phil and Ph.D research
  • 2008-2009 Madeleine Haas Visiting Professor, Anthropology, Brandeis University, Mass.USA.


  • 1992-1995. Art Critic for The Moscow Tribune, Moscow’s first English language daily.


Professionl Activities/Awards

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