Archives of Contemporary India

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Vinay Kumar Srivastava Papers

Vinay Kumar Srivastava Papers

Direct observation is the basis of investigating different facets of social and cultural life. Anthropology is pre-eminently a field science. The methodological principles of anthropological survey are designed to fit the different patterns of human events.

A renowned anthropologist, author and teacher, Vinay Kumar Srivastava (b.1952- d.2020) was a Professor of Anthropology, in the Department of Anthropology, Delhi University (1985- 2017) and joined as Director of Anthropological Survey of India in August 2017. He was the Chief Editor of Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, and one of the two Editors of Social Change.

He was the teacher-in-charge of the Department of Sociology at Hindu College and later became the principal. He taught courses on anthropological theory and methods, urban anthropology, medical anthropology, tribal and peasant societies in the department. He was also Director-in-Charge of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies and a member of the Commission that Government of India set up for De-notified, Nomadic, and Semi-nomadic Communities (2015–2018).

Srivastava did his B.Sc. (Honours) in Anthropology at Hans Raj College, University of Delhi and completed his Masters in Sociology at Delhi School of Economics. He did his M.Phil. from Department of Chinese and Japanese Studies from the University of Delhi and earned his doctorate in social anthropology from the University of Cambridge, U.K. in 1994.

He won awards and fellowships such as Science Merit Award, R.D. Sanwal Memorial Prize (1979), Commonwealth Scholarship (1988), and Rashtriya Shiromani Award (2006). He authored several books including Essays in Social Anthropology (1990), Samajik Manav Vigyan: Ek Parichay (1994), and Religious Renunciation of a Pastoral People (1997). He was also known for his deliberations on everyday phenomenon, for instance in his article, ‘Anatomy of Stigma: Understanding COVID- 19’, published in September 2020.

About the Collection: The papers of V.K. Srivastava include his handwritten notes, diaries, photocopies of articles and books, journals related to social anthropology, medical anthropology, ethnography, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities etc. The papers also include correspondence with his contemporaries, research material on anthropological theory, methods and ethnographical study. Among audio-visual material, the collection includes audio cassettes of his field work. His papers are particularly informative for the research community interested in comparative religion, caste and tribal systems, medical anthropology, and urban anthropology.

Donor: Prof. Kumkum Srivastava
Acquisition: 2022