Dr Ruchi Chaturvedi (Senior Lecturer)
My work primarily focuses on cultures of democracy, popular politics and violence in postcolonial contexts. In the past, my research has been on a long running conflict between local-level political workers of the Communist Party Left and the Hindu Right in South India. Drawing on the biographies and narratives of the protagonists of this conflict, I argue for re-thinking the relationship between violence and democracy.
My current writing examines that relationship in more comparative frames – between parts of South Asia and Africa while taking greater cognizance of the economic transformations in these regions. New forms of postcolonial capitalism, informality and their relationship to democracy become central here.
I am also the co-coordinator of the “Other Universals” project organized in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Witwatersrand, and the University of the Western Cape. This NIHSS funded project brings together students and faculty keen to think through 'universals' that have emanated from the experiences of marginality primarily from the Southern Hemisphere, particularly the African continent, the Indian subcontinent, and the Caribbean. We are especially interested in the ways that equality and likeness have been lived and imagined since the 19th century both from an anti-imperial vantage point as well as from the overlapping subject positions of constituted by negation as embodied in blackness, untouchability and non-normative sexualities.
At UCT, I teach courses on Political Sociology, Development Theory, Individual and Society, and Power and Society.