Ruchi Chaturvedi

Ruchi Chaturvedi

University of Cape Town

Ruchi Chaturvedi is a political and legal anthropologist who works on cultures of democracy, popular politics and political violence in postcolonial democracies. She received her M.A. in Sociology from University of Delhi and her PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University. Chaturvedi’s key research focus has been on formation of antagonistic political communities and emergence of violent majoritarianism in India. She is the author of Violence of Democracy: Interparty conflict in South India, which will be published by Duke University Press in 2023. This book analyses longstanding conflict between members of the Communist Party and Hindu right-wing to illuminate how representative democracies frequently foster majoritarian violence and the ways in which the criminal justice system reproduces it.

In other writings, Chaturvedi has sought to cross area studies boundaries, recognize and analyse globally shared structures, practices and discourses that have produced political violence in India and elsewhere. This is particularly evidenced in the 2019 co-edited special section of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and Middle-East on Political Society and Popular Politics in Africa. Her new project compares histories of transition from coloniality to postcolonial rule in North India and KwaZulu Natal attending particularly to reparative practices, and practices of care and camaraderie that womxn’s groups and cultural workers undertook in those critical times and continue to mobilize today.

Chaturvedi also maintains a strong interest in the career of university apartheid in South Africa mapping changes that have taken place in Social Science and Humanities curriculums and pedagogies since 1994. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming volume on Epistemic Justice and the Postcolonial University (Wits University Press).

At University of Cape Town, Chaturvedi co-convenes the interdisciplinary MPhil specializing in Theories of Justice and Inequality.

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