Richa Kumar

Richa Kumar
Associate Professor
Multi. Disc.
CV Summary: 

Richa Kumar is Associate Professor of Sociology and Policy Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. 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 inaugural Elizabeth Adiseshiah Memorial Award (2019), the New India Fellowship (2010) 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

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

Publications

“The Future of Farming: To What End and For What Purpose? In Conversation: Bhaarat Bhushan Tyagi and Richa Kumar”. Science, Technology and Society Forthcoming 2019.

Richa Kumar, “India’s Green Revolution and Beyond: Visioning Agrarian Futures on Selective Readings of Agrarian Pasts." Economic and Political Weekly Forthcoming 2019.

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

2019. Sudha Nagavarapu, Richa Kumar, Surbala Vaish and Richa Singh. “Food Geographies of Trouble in the Anthropocene: A Growing Nutritional and Ecological Crisis in Rural Western Awadh, Uttar Pradesh, India.” Submitted to the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference 2019, London, August 28-30.

2019. Sudha Nagavarapu, Anand Prakash, Richa Kumar, Ankush Agrawal, Richa Singh and Surbala Vaish. “Contested Narratives of Dietary Transitions in India: Examining the Incommensurability of Macro and Micro Datasets.” Submitted to the 4th Annual Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy Week 2019 Conference, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Hyderabad, June 26-28.

2019. Richa Kumar, Richa Singh, Sudha Nagavarapu, Surbala Vaish, Ankush Agrawal and Anand Prakash. “Remaking Landscapes, Reshaping Palates and Transforming Diets in Western Awadh, Uttar Pradesh, India”, Submitted to the Agricultural History Society Conference on Power in Agricultural History, Washington DC, June 6-8.

2019. Richa Kumar, Richa Singh, Sudha Nagavarapu, Surbala Vaish. “Remaking Town and Hinterland:
Reshaping Palates and Transforming Diets in Western Awadh, Uttar Pradesh, India”
, Submitted to the Urban-Arc 2019 Conference on City and the Region, Indian Institute of Human Settlements, January 10-12.

2018. Richa Kumar, Sudha Nagavarapu, Surbala Vaish, Richa Singh, Ankush Agrawal, and Anand Prakash. “Untangling Under-Nutrition:  Agriculture, Dietary Diversity and the Hollowing out of Rural India.” Submitted to the Sustainability and Development Conference, University of Michigan, November 9-11. 

2018. Sudha Nagavarapu, Richa Kumar, Surbala Vaish and Richa Singh. “The Commons as Place, Resource, Usage, Memory: Perspectives from Western Awadh”, Submitted to the 6th NRAS International Conference on Whither Rural Commons: State Policy, Natural Resources and Agrarian Change, Central University of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, September 20-22.

2018. Richa Kumar, Sudha Nagavarapu, Surbala Vaish, Richa Singh, Ankush Agrawal and Anand Prakash. 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.

2018. Sudha Nagavarapu, Richa Kumar, Surbala Vaish, Richa Singh, Ankush Agrawal and Anand Prakash. “From diversity to monotony, fluctuation to stability? Tracking food transitions and their impact on nutrition in western Awadh, Uttar Pradesh”, Submitted to the International Conference on Critical Public Health  Consequences of the Double  Burden  of  Malnutrition and the Changing Food Environment in South and South East Asia, Organised by PHRN, PHM, JSA and WPHNA, New Delhi, March 29-30.

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

2017-2018. 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)

Honours

2019. Inaugural Elizabeth Adiseshiah Memorial Award

2010. New India Fellowship

Teaching Areas

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

Courses