National Seminar On Contemporary Anthropology & North East India


Forty-Eighth Annual Conference

The Indian Anthropological Society

 Organised by:

Department of Anthropology, Cotton University, Guwahati

In association with  The Indian Anthropological Society, Kolkata


Venue:     Cotton University, 1st to 3rd November 2018
Our Partners :






The organizers have finalized and accepted the abstracts. No more abstracts will be entertained.

Kindly Note:  Participants who have not yet received the Acceptance Letter may consider their abstracts as Accepted. Probably due to error in email-id, you may not have received the same.


Chief Patron: Prof. Bhabesh Chandra Goswami, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Cotton University


National Advisory Committee:

Prof. Rajat Kanti Das, President, The Indian Anthropological Society.

Prof. A.C Bhagabati, Former V.C, Rajiv Gandhi University;

Prof. Ranjana Ray, Professor Emeritus,

Prof. Vinay Kumar Srivastava, Director, Anthropological Survey of India;

Prof. Sarit Chaudhury, Director, IGRMS, Bhopal;

Prof. ANM Irshad Ali, Former HoD, Anthropology, GU,

Prof. Birinchi K Medhi, Former HoD, GU;

Prof. Barun Mukhopadhyay, General Secretary, The Indian Anthropological Society;

Prof. Rekha Das, Former HoD, GU,

Prof. Sarthak Sengupta, Head, Department of Anthropology, Dibrugarh University;

Prof. A.A. Ashraf, Head, Anthropology, Gauhati University;

Dr. S.B.Chakraborti, Vice President &

Dr. J.K. Sarkar, Research Director, The Indian Anthropological Society.


Working committee:


Mr. Rajiv Kumar Borah, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam.

Dr. M. Angamutthu, IAS Commissioner & Secretary, WPT & BC Dept, Govt of Assam;

Mr. Udayan Hazarika, IAS, Director AIRTSC & Secy to Govt of Assam;

Dr. C. J Thomas, ICSSR-NERC; K. Jose SVD, Director, Sanskriti;

Dr. R.P. Athparia, Sr Fellow, NESRC; Prof. Bandana Dutta, Dean of Studies, Down Town University;

Dr. S. Sarma, Co-ordinator, IQAC, C.U.


Prof. Diganta Kumar Das, Registrar, C.U 

Working President:

Dr. Sanjay Kumar Dutta, Academic Registrar, C.U.;


Dr. Jonali Devi, Anthropology Department, C.U.

Organising Secretary:

Dr. Upala Barua, Head, Anthropology Department, C.U.;

Associate Organising Secretary:

Dr. Tiluttoma Baruah, Anthropology Department, C.U.

Assistant Organising Secretaries:

Dr Chandana Sarma, (Seminar Treasurer); Dr. Eliza Medhi,; Dr. Suparna Barua, Dr. Dhani Ram Baro; Ms. Hridaya Nanda Das, Dr Maishnam Rustam Singh; Dr Teresa L. Khawzawl.

Representatives from the Indian Anthropological Society:

Dr. Naba Kumar Duary, Joint Secretary;

Dr. Rabiranjan  Biswas, Treasurer

Members  of Cotton University:

All Heads of Departments; Dr. P. Sarma, President CUTA; Dr. R. Talukdar, Secretary, CUTA; Dr. Z.Ahmed, Librarian;  Mr M.R. Hazarika, Systems Manager; Mr. R. Sharma, Exe. Engineer, Mr. S. Borthakur, FAO; Mr. K. Bordalai; Mr. B. Sen; Ms M. Talukdar, Mr. Sanjay Kumar Das; Mr. D.  Barman, CU; Mr. D. L Thiek; Mrs. D. Das.

COTTON UNIVERSITY -The hosting institution

Established in 1901, Cotton College Guwahati, happens to be the first seat of higher education in the entire North Eastern region of India. The College has been upgraded to Cotton University in 2017 through the Cotton University Act, 2017 of the Assam Legislative Assembly.

Located at the very heart of the City, Panbazar,  this institution provide  a vibrant intellectual space with a 117 year old tradition marked by rich culture and continuity in the region. The institution has not only withstood the test of time but has also carved a niche for itself in the sphere of higher education in the country. The University is unique as it has been catering to students of all levels of higher education- from HS to Post Graduate and even PhD research.

Department of Anthropology, Cotton University is the oldest of all anthropology Departments of North East India. From a humble beginning at intermediate level in 1947, headed by Prof. M.N Saloi, to a full- fledged Department with U.G., P.G. and Ph.D. programme. It is at present located at a modest Assam type building while its rich ethnographic museum is housed in the BKB Academic Building of the University.  The Department boasts of its chequered list of alumni and has been organising Lectures and Workshops over the decade alongside regular academic activities.  The Department is fortunate to organise this National Seminar along with the 48th Annual Conference of the prestigious Indian Anthropological Society at Cotton University.  The event will be enriched by the presence of a galaxy of noted anthropologists, scholars researchers and student from all over the region and the country at large.


 It is one of the premier societies in India, which grew out of the Anthropological Club in 1921. Sir Asutosh Mukhopadhyay, the then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta, was its founder president. Later on it was revived, renamed and registered as “The Indian Anthropological Society” in 1958 under the West Bengal Societies Registration  Act. The major objective of the Society is to operate as the forum for periodically defining the role and relevance of anthropology in the contemporary and emerging situation in India and develop inter-culturally tolerant outlook among citizens of India.  The Society undertakes project work, organises regular and memorial lectures, conferences, seminars, symposia with the financial support from ICSSR, UNESCO, AnSI, Governments of India and West Bengal.

Indian Anthropological Society Website link:

Theme of the Event

Anthropology as an academic discipline in Indian universities will complete its hundredth year in two years.  Although the first spark of academic interest on Indian society has been traced by many scholars to Asiatic Society of Bengal established way back in 1774, Anthropology entered the field of university education in 1920 at Calcutta University.  From then on there has been no looking back.  Anthropology has grown both in terms of teaching as well as research in India, more particularly in North East India.

Beginning with Leaf’s Frontiers of Anthropology (1974) doubts regarding the future of Anthropology have been expressed by many both within and outside the discipline.  But over the decades, Anthropology in Indian Universities has developed a distinctive style of its own synthesising the different academic strands of Western anthropological traditions of both European and American Universities and at the same time transforming its colonial legacy into an instrument for national development in the post-colonial era. In this endeavour, the Government of India has joined the academia by setting up and financing autonomous or semi-autonomous anthropological research establishments like the Anthropological Survey of India; research institutes and councils encouraging anthropological research in diverse fields of which mention may specifically be made of the Indian Council for Medical Research, Indian Statistical Institute, Tribal Research Institutes and in this endeavour the contributions of various academic bodies and non-government research organizations like the Indian Anthropological Society, the Indian Anthropological Association, the Indian National Confederation  and Academy of Anthropologists (INCAA), various regional anthropological organizations are no less significant. Incidentally, the Indian Anthropological Society is the oldest of such organizations which is fortunate to have received moral and active support of India’s pioneer anthropologists including S.S. Sarkar, N.K.Bose, K.P. Chattopadhyay, T.C. Das, D.K. Sen, Dharani Sen, S. C. Sinha and a host of others.  

The multi ethnic character of India’s North East has been receiving attention from various quarters since early historic times. Following the occupation of the region by the British in 1826, British administrators and orientalists trained in ethnography and anthropology had been making systematic attempts at studying this region’s ethnographic composition, biological variability   and tracing its pre historic roots. Anthropology as an academic discipline began its journey from Cotton College in 1947 just a few months after India attainted her freedom.

Since this formative phase, Anthropology in North East India has made significant progress in terms of research and teaching.  Typical of the region, with its innumerable ethno-cultural groups with varied bio-cultural contours and stages of development presents a unique field for anthropological enquiry. In today’s world of rapid transformation, the significance of anthropology’s holistic and empirical approach is profoundly felt not only in India’s North East but also at the global level. In conformity with the rapidly changing North East India as it is today, ethnography has also changed from a static level representation to keeping track of a dynamic situation created as a result of inter-community and inter-cultural communications.

After seventy years of establishment of the first Anthropology Department of the region at Cotton College way back in 1947, today, there is indeed a need for anthropologists working in different fields to come together for introspection and to figure out how anthropology could assume a more meaningful role in the field of human development and welfare of the people of the region. The following sub-themes have been identified to make such a seminar a comprehensive one and which may work well for any such future event of this magnitude.

Sub-Themes: Tribal cultures and traditions; Peasant, Castes and communities: problems and issues; Anthropology and museums; Cultural heritage and resource management; Religion, folklore language & literature; Administration, Law and Politics; Women in society; Social relations & Social exclusion; anthropology of tourism, industry  and business; Economy and socio-cultural  change; Rural & Urban Anthropology; Visual and communication anthropology; Ethnicity and ethnic relations; Human adaptation and human ecology; Forest and human communities & man animal conflict; Disaster management: Natural and man-made; Medical Anthropology; Human Growth, ageing, nutrition & Kinanthropology; Demography and Population Genetics; Prehistoric cultures of North East India and Palaeo–Anthropology; Teaching Anthropology: pedagogy; teaching and fieldwork; processes: local and global; Emerging areas and issues in contemporary Anthropology.

Call for Papers:  Scholars are invited to submit their abstract for oral and poster presentation in respect of any one of the sub-themes. The abstracts should be submitted in English within 300-500 words (indicating your name, affiliation, email address and contact number in the abstracts) Typed in Microsoft word, in 12 font size, Time New Roman, with 1.5 spacing and sent to <>. If there are multiple authors, the paper presenter should be underlined. Please mention in the subject heading of your email as – ABSTRACT- “TITLE OF THE PAPER”.

Note: All the abstracts will undergo a blind peer review.  As per the consensus of the review committee, some of the papers will be considered for poster presentation. 


Last date for submission of Abstract: 9th Sept., 2018.

Notification of selection of Abstracts: 30th Sept., 2018.

Last date of submission of full paper (6000 words): 21st October, 2018.

Last date for early bird registration: 15th October, 2018.

Early Registration Fee (With Modest Accommodation)

·         Outstation participants  ₹ 1,500/-

·         Local participants (Without Accommodation) ₹ 1000/-

·         Outstation Research Scholars/Students  ₹  1000/-

·         Local Research Scholars / Students (Without Accommodation)  ₹  700/-

·         For members of IAS ₹  1200/-

·         Accompanying person ₹  1500/-

For spot registration an extra  ₹  500 will be charged. (no accommodation will be provided).

To reach the venue:

Guwahati Railway station is at walking distance (about 500 meters) while the LGBI International Airport, Borjhar is about 22 km away from the venue. There are frequent busses and taxi services from airport to Panbazar. The R.B ISBT is about 20 km (south) from Panbazar.

Registration form: Click here

*For any Query-


98640 47145 (Dr.Upala Barua)

94353 62228 (Dr. Teresa L Khawzawl)

Mode of Payment:

Kindly download the ICICI Bank Challan form from the link below to deposit the Seminar Registration fee.

<< Challan Link >>