Mahashewta Bhattacharya

PhD Candidate
University of British Columbia
Research thematic keywords: 
Migration, Gender, Sensory Ethnography, Rural Urban, Diaspora studies, Everyday life, Home
Research region keywords: 
India, West Bengal, Kolkata, Bangalore, Vancouver

In my doctoral research, I trace the cultural meanings of home as both a space of practice and analysis as well as a touchstone for autobiographical agency among women circular migrants of rural West Bengal in Eastern India who are employed as domestic workers in the cities of Kolkata and Bengaluru (formerly called Bangalore). Through sensory ethnography of homemaking strategies, I examine how material cultures and affective spaces construct stories of mobility and home, migratory patterns and emplacement tactics among these women migrants.

My past research has dealt with sensory dimensions of placemaking through cooking and eating cultural food among Bengali diasporic communities settled across North America, particularly the West Coast of US and Canada. This research allows me to explore the richness of multi-sensory research and writing in Anthropology, which is something I seek to explore in my doctoral study.

CIRCLE creates a very attractive intellectual space for resource sharing and knowledge building among South Asian scholars across institutional and geographical borders, which I shall benefit from being a part of. It is important to be a part of a community to be aware of contemporary research happening across locations and disciplines, thereby creating opportunities for collaboration and sharing.