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Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta

The Centre's main mission is to provide a congenial atmosphere for academics in the humanities and social sciences to take research time out of the regular duties of teaching and administration and pursue projects that will enhance the state of knowledge in India and the world in valuable and novel ways.


CSSSC has excellent facilities for research, especially the library of social sciences books and journals and the large and varied archive of primary materials. Scholars from other institutions who wish to use our resources may apply to do so to the librarian. Doctoral students can also apply to use our resources. While we do our best to extend help to every scholar, permission to use the library is of course at the Centre's discretion. Please bring with you a valid ID when coming to use the library and archive.

A great strength of the Centre is the fluidity of disciplinary boundaries among its academic community, allowing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary work to be fruitfully carried out. Traditional academia tends to segregate disciplines into departments, which can make it difficult for important research which falls between two fields to find a suitable home. CSSSC especially encourages innovative and illuminating trans-disciplinary work.

SARN web research network

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York is pleased to announce the creation of the South Asia Resource Network for Social Sciences and Humanities (SARN) at http://sarn.ssrc.org

SARN is a research network linking scholars, researchers, teachers, students and practitioners whose primary area of interest is South Asia and South Asian Studies. SARN provides information on research centers, archives and libraries located throughout the region, and includes updated listings on fellowship opportunities, journals, on-line publications, workshops and conferences pertinent to South Asia. We also provide cover and content pages for selected journals published in South Asia.

South Asia Regional Fellowship Programme

The primary intent of the fellowships is to enable successful applicants to take leave from teaching and other responsibilities to write up completed research.  Applications proposing new research or seeking support for ongoing fieldwork will not be rejected but have much lower priority.  Funding is offered for short-term fellowships (3-4 months) on topics related to this theme from scholars in any discipline of the social sciences, humanities, or a related field.

The competition is open only to full time faculty members holding earned Ph.D.s and presently teaching in an accredited college or university in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal or Sri Lanka.  Junior fellows will receive up to $2,200, senior fellows up to $3,000 as fellowship awards.  As many as twenty fellowships may be awarded each year.  This program is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation. For further details please contact ssrccal@cssscal.org.

Current research topics

Some current topics of research include contemporary women artists, nineteenth century poets, banking finance and macroeconomics, history of the book in India, representation of women in urban government, memory and locality, history of emotions, demography and economy of tribals in Jharkhand, ideas of the city, economic history, modern historiography, Sufi literature, music and culture in nation-building.

Important books by faculty members

Here are some important academic works by past and present CSSSC faculty. This is a PDF document; you will need Acrobat Reader to view it.

Past research

The Centre has a long history of promoting research in eastern India. Some of the Centre's scholars played a crucial role in the formation and development of Subaltern Studies. The Centre was also one of the first places to begin gender-based social and economic analysis. There has also been a great deal of new research in the fields of cultural studies, contemporary urban ethnography and popular culture.

In the 1980s the focus was on issues of trade, industry and labour under changing economic policies. Major contributions were also made in the field of social, intellectual and cultural history, including landmark studies on nationalist thought, and the social and cultural history of Bengal. The 1970s saw the Centre turning its attention to the economy and politics of north-eastern India, peasant and popular nationalisms in Bengal, the agrarian and industrial economy of colonial India, and reassessments of the nineteenth century Bengal Renaissance. Alongside these, there was also a strong analytical interest in contemporary economic and political issues and institutions.

Working at CSSSC

Academic continuity is provided by the permanent faculty (all the Professors and some of the senior Fellows) of the Centre. The temporary Fellows may be independent scholars, or employees of other academic institutions on leave from their regular duties. They have a fixed period of tenure at the Centre. All faculty members are expected to do research, to teach the Centre's course and to help in the running and organizing of the Centre's activities. All posts at CSSSC are full-time and appointed Fellows who already hold jobs will need to take leave for the period of their fellowship. Faculty may if necessary take a very limited time off to fulfil teaching commitments at their employing institutions. They may also be granted some time to use libraries and resources elsewhere. The faculty may also receive a certain amount of assistance for fieldwork, travel and other research-related expenses. Applications for fellowships are solicited through advertisement and selection is by recommendation of a committee of experts.
This text has been copied from CSSSC's website in January 2005. Please go to http://www.cssscal.org/ for more complete and recent information!

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