University of Delhi
Faculty Member Profile


Prof. Roma Chatterji

     Department of Sociology,
University of Delhi,
Delhi 110007

Educational Qualifications


Delhi University




Delhi University




University of Hyderabad





Delhi University



Thesis Title: Folklore and Popular Consciousness in a Village in the Purulia District of West Bengal

Career Profile

University of Delhi

Research Associate

3 years

Teaching and Research

University of Delhi


6 years

Teaching and Research

University of Delhi


7 years

Teaching and Research

University of Delhi


2007 onwards

Teaching and Research

Areas of Specialization / Interest

 Folk Culture, Narrative Theory, Phenomenology and Everyday Life , Bureaucratic Institutions

Subjects Taught

Contemporary Sociological Theory, Symbolism, Phenomenology and Ethnomethodology, Collective Violence, Sociology of Organisations

Publications Profile

Books/Monographs (Authored/Edited)

Chatterji, Roma. 2009. Writing Identities. Folklore and the Performing Arts of Purulia, West Bengal. New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts .
Chatterji, Roma and Deepak Mehta. 2007. Living with Violence. An Anthropology of Events and Everyday Life. New Delhi: Routledge.

Research papers published in Refereed/Peer Reviewed Journals

chatterji,Roma. 2011. Voice, Event and Narrative: Towards an Understanding of Everyday Life in Dharavi. Sociological Bulletin.
Chatterji, Roma. 2009. Global Events and Local Narratives. 9/11 and the Picture Storytellers of Bengal. Indian Folklore Research Journal.
Chatterji, Roma. 2007. Governmental Technologies and Institutional Practice: NGOs and the Slum Dwellers Voice. Domains.
Chatterji, Roma. 2007. Orality, Inscription and the Creation of a New Lore. Cultural Analysis.
Chatterji, Roma. 2006. Women in Three Traditional Narrative Genres of Purulia. Journal of Indian Folkloristics .
Chatterji, Roma. 2005. Folklore and the Construction of National Tradition. Indian Folklife.
Chatterji, Roma. 2005. Plans, Habitation and Slums-Redevelopment: The Production of Community in Dharavi, Mumbai. Contributions to Indian Sociology.


Folklore Representations and Patua Identity, at workshop on Minority Cultures organized by Centre for Social Sciences, Calcutta, June 2009

The Making of a Narrative Art. Patas and New Media, at Circuits of the Popular, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, March 2009

Slums and the Global City: Housing Plans in Dharavi, Mumbai at South Asian Cities, Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan, July 2010

Research Projects (Major Grants/Research Collaboration)

2010-2011 European Studies Programme. Sponsored by the European Commission and Delhi University

2007-2008 Folk Art, State Patronage and the Global Market: A Comparison between Bengal Scroll Painting and Gond Art. Sponsored by the India Foundation for the Arts

2003-2005 Mapping City Spaces: Communal Violence, Social Reconciliation and Documentary Practices of the State. Sponsored by the Indo-Dutch Programme for Alternatives in Development

2002-2003 Folklore vs. Folkloric Culture: Folk Aesthetics and the Print Media in Purulia, West Bengal. Sponsored by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

1998-2001 Fieldwork grant for studying intercommunity relations in Dharavi, Mumbai received from the Volkswagen Stiftung, Germany

1994 Fieldwork grant for studying the Mumbai riots of 1992-93 received from Social Science Research Council, New York

1986-1989 The Welfare State from the Outside. The Study of Care Institutions in the Netherlands. Sponsored by Indo-Dutch Programme for Alternatives in Development

Association with Professional Bodies

Member of the editorial boards of  Journal of Indian Folkloristics and South Asian Journal of Visual Culture

Member of the advisory boards of Sociological Bulletin and Health and Ethnicity

Corresponding editor, Medical Anthropology Quarterly 

Member of the book advisory committees of Kalanidhi Reference Library, Indira Gandhi national Centre for the Arts and Delhi Public Library

Secretary of Institute of Socio-Economic Research on Development and Democracy

Other Activities

Public Service / University Service / Consulting Activity

Served as consultant on folk art for Tara Publications, Chennai


1986  The Voyage of the Hero: The Self and Other in One Narrative Tradition in Purulia in V. Das ed. The Word and the World: Fantasy, Symbol and Record. Sage, Delhi

1995 Authenticity and Tradition: Reappraising a Folk Form in V. Dalmia and H. von Stietencron eds. Representing Hinduism. The Construction of Religious Traditions and National Identity. Sage, Delhi

1995 Accommodating Ambivalence. Ethnographic Notes from India and the Netherlands in S. van der Geest ed. Ambivalentie/ Ambguiteit. Antropologische Notities. Het Spinhuis, Amsterdam

1998 (with S. Chattoo and V. Das) The Death of the Clinic? Normality and Pathology in Aging Bodies in M. Shildrick and J. Price ed. Vital Signs: Reconfigurations of the Bio/logic Body. University of Edinburgh Press

1998 “Laughter, Dissent and Civil Society” Outlook Quarterly 4

2000 (with D. Mehta) “Boundaries, Names, Alterities. A Case Study of a Communal Riot in Dharavi, Bombay” in  V. Das, A. Kleinman, M. Lock and P. Reynolds eds. Remaking a World. Violence, Social Suffering and Recovery. University of California Press, Berkeley

2003 Category of Folk in V. Das Oxford Companion to of Sociology and Social Anthropology. Oxford University Press, Delhi 2003

2003 Between Myth and Ethnography: An Anthropological Reading of In an Antique Land in Brinda Bose ed. Amitava Ghosh. An Anthology. Pencraft International, Delhi 

2004 Purulia Chho: Discursive Space and the Constitution of Culture in M. D..Muthukumaraswamy and Molly Kaushal eds. Folklore, Public Sphere and Civil Society. NFSC & IGNCA, Chennai & Delhi

2004 Border Crossings in Purulia Chho in Rimli Bhattacharya ed. Texts Traveling Text (Special Issue) Yearly Review

2005  An Indian Anthropology? What Kind of Object Is It? In Jan van Bremen, Eyal Ben-Ari and Syed Farid Alatas eds. Asian Anthropology. Routledge, London

2006 Normality and Difference. In L. Cohen & A. Leibing eds. Thinking about Dementia. Culture, Loss and the Anthropology of Senility. Rutgers Press, New Brunswick

2006 Between Myth and History: The Making of a Goddess Tradition. Yearly Review vol. 13

2007  Primitivism, Adivasis and the Stranger Within. In Prakash C. Pattanaik and Debojit Borah eds. Tribes of India: Identity, Culture and Lore. Guwahati: Angik Prakashan 

2007 “The Nationalist Sociology of Benoy Kumar Sarkar. In Patricia Uberoi, Nandini Sundar and Satish Deshpande eds. Anthropology in the East. Founders of Indian Sociology and Anthropology. Delhi: Permanent Black

2008  Slum Development as a Justice Forum. In Rajeev Bhargava, Michael Dusche and Helmut Reifeld eds. Justice: Political, Social, Juridical. New Delhi: Sage

2009  Of Cocoanuts, Heads and Circles. Folk Art and the Narrative Imagination. In  P.C. Jain ed. The Magic Makers. Folk Art and Tribal Art. Delhi: Academy of Fine Arts and Literature