AHRC IAA : Counter-Archives of Marginality: Storying, Sounding and Visualising Agency in India

Project Details


Transitions in authority within society rarely acknowledge the agency of those marginalised, particularly in intellectual historiography. An aesthetic exploration of multigenerational educational life-histories of first-generation Indian academics is being co-produced through narrative, imaging and sounding for research purposes. This part of that project seeks to 'open' the process beyond contributions primarily to academic knowledge – bringing current first-generation students and artists to respond to the research findings, in order to engender plural, situated insights and evocations from their lived experiences of present conditions of social marginality. In turn, their digital stories and short films will be utilised to further engage members of the public to also reflect, recollect and consider diverse histories of agency and resistence. A community counter-archive will be established, with a pragmatic toolkit to guide online commemoration for a transformative future.

This is part of a project which is a collaboration between Dr Nandita Banerjee Dhawan (Jadavpur University), Prof Dina Zoe Belluigi (Queen's University Belfast), Dr Asha Achuthan (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) and Dr Ulrike M Vieten (Queen's University Belfast). For that, we are appreciative of the funding that has been awarded from the Government of India's Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC/2019-2020/P1858/SL), and Northern Ireland's Department for the Economy (R3558SES).
Effective start/end date06/05/2024 → …

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • higher education
  • university
  • gender
  • marginality
  • caste
  • first generation status
  • music
  • visual studies
  • storytelling


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