Richa Kumar

Richa Kumar
Associate Professor
Policy, Sociology
CV Summary: 

Richa Kumar is Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi with a joint appointment in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Public Policy. Her research and teaching interests are in the Sociology of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition, Science and Technology Studies, and Rural and Agrarian Policy. Her current research is on the impact of monoculture farming on farm systems, the environment and human health. Her book, "Rethinking Revolutions: Soyabean, Choupals and the Changing Countryside in Central India" was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. She is a recipient of the New India Fellowship and is a member of the Network of Rural and Agrarian Studies (NRAS). She completed her Ph.D. from the Science, Technology and Society Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA.

Contact Information

Email: richa at hss.iitd.ac.in
Office: +91-11-2659-6681

Research Areas

Sociology of Agriculture, Sociology of Food and Nutrition, Science and Technology Studies, Rural and Agrarian Policy

Academic Background

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (2002-2009)
Ph.D. in History and Anthropology of Science, Technology & Society (HASTS) from the Science, Technology and Society (STS) Program

Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS), Washington, DC (1998-2001)
Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.F.S) with a specialisation in Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA)

Employment History

Associate Professor, Sociology and Policy Studies (Jan 2017 to present)
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi
(Joint Appointment with the School of Public Policy starting 2018)

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Policy Studies (Jan 2011 to Dec 2016)
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Delhi

Publications

Richa Kumar, “Visioning Agrarian Futures on Selective Readings of Agrarian Pasts: India’s Green Revolution and Beyond”. Economic and Political Weekly Forthcoming 2018.

Book: Rethinking Revolutions: Soyabean, Choupals and the Changing Countryside in Central India, Oxford University Press Delhi, 2016

Richa Kumar, “Elusive Empowerment: Information Provision and Disintermediation in Soyabean Markets in Malwa, India”. Development and Change 45 (6): 1332-1360, 2014.

Richa Kumar, “Perils of Productivity: Making ‘Good’ Farmers in Malwa, India”. Journal of Agrarian Change 16(1): 70-93, 2016. (first published online 2014)

Richa Kumar, “Mandi Traders and the “Dabba”: Online Commodity Markets in India,” Economic and Political Weekly 45(31): 63-70, 31 July 2010.

Richa Kumar, "eChoupal: A Study on the Sustainability of Village Internet Centres in Rural Madhya Pradesh", Information Technologies and International Development 2(1): 45-73, Spring 2004.

Conferences

2018. (Co-authored) Green Revolution Transitions and Food and Nutritional security in Western Awadh, India” presented at the American Association of Geographers Annual Conference, New Orleans, April 10-14.

2017. "Scientific Notions of Productivity and Sociocultural Vulnerabilities in Agriculture" presented at the International Conference on Burning Fields, Biofuels and Bettering Farm Life: Pursuing Responsible Research and Innovation through Mutual Learning, New Delhi, September 11-13.

2016. "‘Scientific’ Evidence and Agrarian Policy Making in India" presented at the 4th LASSNET International Conference on Thinking with Evidence: Seeking Certainty, Making Truth, New Delhi, December 10-12.

2016. "Ideals of Development" presented at the International Conference on Responsible Innovation and Sustainable Agriculture: The Problem of Rice Straw Burning in Punjab, Chandigarh, Punjab, November 28-30.

2016. “Agricultural Marketing in India: Making Markets Work for Farmers” presented at the International Seminar on Revitalising the Rural: Rethinking Rural and Agricultural Policies, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, September 27-29.

2015. “Assessing Accountability: Mandi Traders, Choupals, and Commodity Markets in Malwa, India" presented at the Annual American Anthropological Association Conference, Denver, Colorado, USA, November 18-22.

2015. “Indispensable Intermediaries: Choupals, Cooperatives and Traders in Malwa” presented at the Conference on Marginal Ecologies, Ambedkar University Delhi, February 28-March 1.

2014. "Monocultures and Malnutrition" presented at the International Conference on Publics, Politics and Technoscience in Contemporary Indian Contexts, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, November 17-18.

2014. Tracing the History of the Malthusian Juggernaut: Preliminary findings from archival material of the International Wheat Conferences organised by the International Institute of Agriculture, Rome (1930-31)” presented at the Conference on Revisiting the Historical Connections between Agriculture, Nutrition and Development: The UN FAO in a Global Context, University of Basel, Switzerland, August 29-30.

Projects

Principal Investigator, “Exploring the Linkages between Food Consumption and Malnutrition in Select Agro-ecological Regions of India” funded by a Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Project Grant No. MI01429 by IIT Delhi. (Co-PI with Dr. Ankush Agrawal, HUSS, IIT Delhi)

Teaching Areas

Sociology of Agriculture, Sociology of Environment and Development, Science and Technology Studies, Technology and Governance, Rural and Agrarian Policy

Courses