Jayaseelan Raj

Assistant Professor

Email: jraj@cds.ac.in

Areas of specialisation: Politics and Development, Culture and Development, Plantation Crops, Labour, Employment and Social Security, Migration

Education: PhD. in Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, Norway. 2014

Employment: 2014-16 Postdoctoral Fellow,, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.



 2019       Shah, A., Lerche, J., Raj, J., Axelby, R., Benbaabali, D., Donegan, B., &Thakur,V.Vikas kiChakki Mein Piste Log: IkkiswiSadike Bharat Mein Jatiya, Janjatiya, aurVargiyaAsamanta. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. (Hindi Edition of Ground Down By Growth)

2017     Shah, A., Lerche, J., Raj, J., Axelby, R., Benbaabali, D., Donegan, B., &Thakur,V. Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in India.  London: Pluto Press/ New Delhi: Oxford University Press. (South Asian Edition) 

Chapters in Books 

2017       ‘The Tea Belts of Western Ghats’. In: Shah, A and Lerche, J and Axelby, R and Benbabaali,, D. and Donegan, B. and Raj, J. and Thakur, Vikram, Ground Down by Growth: Inequality in 21st century India. London: Pluto. pp  49-81.

Journal Articles 

2020    Categorical Oppression: Performance of Identity in South India.

The Australian Journal of Anthropology. Vol. 31 (3): 288-302.

2020    The Crisis and the Retirement: Alienation in Kerala’s Tea Belt.

Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. Vol. 86 (2020): 84-96.

2019       Beyond the Unions: Pembillai Orumai Women’sStrike in South Indian TeaBelt.

 Journal of Agrarian Change. Vol. 19 (4): 671-689.

2019       From Labour Contractor to Worker-Agents: Transformations in the Recruitment of Migrant Labour in India. Contributions to Indian Sociology. Vol. 53 (2): 272-298. (With Richard Axelby).

2018       Rumour and Gossip in a Time of Crisis: Resistance and Accommodation in a South Indian  Plantation Frontier. Critique of Anthropology. Vol. 39 (1): 52-73.

2013       Alienated Enclaves: Economic Crisis and Neo-Bondage in a South Indian plantation belt.

Forum for Development Studies. Vol. 40 (3): 465-490.   

Other Publications

The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India. by Sarah Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 2014.

Journal of Agrarian Change. Vol.16, No:2, April 2016.pp. 356-362.

2016       Tempest in a Teapot: Witches, Tea Plantations, and Lives of Migrant Labourers  in India. by Soma Chaudhuri. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 2013.

Contributions to Indian Sociology. Vol 50, 2. June 2016. pp. 240–270.

The Women ‘Strike’ Back: The Protest of Pembillai Orumai Tea Workers.

(Open Democracy. February 2016)

The Hidden Injuries of Caste: South Indian Tea Workers and Economic Crisis.

(Open Democracy. June 2015)

Current Research

Plantation Labour in South Asia

Current Teaching

  • Labour and Development
  • Ethnography: Theory and Practice
  • Anthropology of Development.