Faculty Profile


Prof. Smita Tewari Jassal


  • 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

Past Experience

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

My Zone / Area of Expertise

ON-GOING RESEARCHES/ Forthcoming books

  • Past Connections, Contemporary Debates: India and Turkey (edited) 
  •  forthcoming - Routledge, U.K. 2017 ( manuscript completed)
  • Healing at Saint Shrines in North India
  • 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.
  • Talking Islam in Turkey.
  • Land, Nationhood and Collective Memory: A village cluster in Zara, Turkey (team research and fieldwork ongoing)



  • 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.