ZUBAAN PUBLISHERS RESEARCH GRANTS FOR YOUNG RESEARCHERS FROM THE NORTHEAST, 2023-24 

Introducing our Grantees!

 

 

The Zubaan Publishers Research Grants for Young Researchers from the Northeast, 2023-24, were announced in December 2023 and invited applications from young women, queer, trans and non-binary people from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, and the hill regions of districts Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong, below 45 years of age and working actively within the community.

The grants aim to support projects that delve into the often-overlooked histories of marginalized women, queer individuals, feminists, and oral traditions within these communities. The selected grantees will explore various storytelling mediums, such as podcasts, visual arts, and research papers, to construct narratives that reflect the richness and diversity of these histories.

Join us as we explore the backgrounds, interests, and exciting research proposals of our talented grantees. Through their work, we aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the multifaceted identities and stories that shape the Northeastern region.

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  1. Afrida Masooma 

Layers of Subjugation: An Intersectional Study of the Writings of the Bengali Muslim Women Writers of Barak Valley, Assam

Afrida Masooma, a research scholar at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, explores partition literature from Assam’s Barak Valley, focusing on its impact on women. She is also an accomplished poet, engaging with various literary platforms. Afrida’s research investigates the experiences of Bengali Muslim women writers, aiming to understand the complexities of societal power structures and challenges faced by these women.

  1. Choden Dukpa 

Women and Indigenous food market economy A study in the urban local food markets of Darjeeling Himalayan region

Choden, a development professional and researcher from Darjeeling, holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. With expertise in women’s empowerment through livelihood creation, she has nearly 6 years of experience in the field.

Her research delves into Darjeeling’s indigenous food culture, focusing on women’s narratives in urban markets. Beyond culinary practices, Choden explores the roles these women play in preserving and promoting this tradition amidst food politics and globalization. Her study offers insights into the resilience of local economies and the dynamic nature of market dynamics.

  1. H.Theresa Darlong

Identity in Transition: A Sociological Exploration of Darlong Women in Contemporary Tripura

Theresa Darlong, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Maharaja Bir Bikram College and Ph.D. holder from Jawaharlal Nehru University, specializes in feminist theory, focusing on marginalized communities, particularly women.

Her research explores the lives of Darlong women in contemporary Tripura, revealing how they navigate their identities amidst cultural, socioeconomic, and geopolitical changes. The study emphasizes the influence of education and economic empowerment on their self-perception, addressing issues of autonomy and cultural authenticity. 

  1. Drishana Kalita 

Assam’s folk puppetry as a tool for social change

Drishana, a folk puppeteer from Assam, uses her Assamese folk puppet group, PuppetPeople Assam, to promote gender justice and women’s empowerment since 2013. Co-authoring “Otter Folktales, Legends, and Myths,” she focuses her research on the struggles of Assamese women depicted in local folktales like “Ou Kunwori” and “Panesoi.” Through puppet play scripts based on these tales, she sparks discussions on gender inequality and aims to revive interest in puppetry while documenting the impact of her performances.

  1. Jacqueline Chochoi 

Whispers in the Crossfire: An amalgam of Zo women narratives in the Manipur Conflict

Jacqueline, a recent graduate of Journalism, International Relations, and Public Policy from St Joseph’s University, Bangalore, is delving into anthropology with a focus on indigenous communities. 

Her upcoming research project aims to amplify the voices of marginalized Zo women in Manipur affected by conflict. By exploring the intersectionality of violence in gender and ethnicity, she seeks to highlight the resilience of Zo women as victims, survivors, and anti-war activists amidst domestic and economic challenges.

  1. Juliet F Lalzarzoliani

Exploring Gender Disparities in Sports Participation: A Case Study of Mizoram

Juliet, an Assistant Professor of Economics at ICFAI University Mizoram, blends her passion for sports with academic rigor. With a Doctorate from the University of Hyderabad and a Master’s from Mizoram University, she delves into gender disparities in sports participation in Mizoram, aiming to challenge stereotypes and promote women’s involvement. Through surveys and interviews, her research seeks to inform policies and inspire further academic inquiry.

  1. Karuna Reang 

Resilience of Reang Refugees

Karuna Reang, hailing from Amarpur, Tripura, is a dedicated advocate for social justice. With a background in liberal arts and diverse career experiences, she collaborates with grassroots organizations to address health and education disparities. Her work focuses on inclusive growth and justice-based solutions for vulnerable primitive groups in Tripura.

She explores refugee and displacement issues by delving into the complex stories beneath these misunderstood circumstances. Through cross-national comparative studies and firsthand interviews, she illuminates the resilience and struggles of displaced individuals, shedding light on the emotional and psychological repercussions of displacement. 

  1. Küvethilü Thülüo 

Pfütsero Women Foraging Towards Economic Independence: Juggling Forest, Kitchen and Marketplace  

Küve is an enthusiastic abandoned footpath seeker and story listener. When she is not rotting in the city, you will find her in the village, sipping zotho from the cup of the elders and listening to their stories. 

Kuve’s paper will delve into the practice of foraging vegetables in the forest for commercial purposes in Pfütsero. It will trace the evolution of foraging from consumption to commercial purposes and examine the role of women in this development through the lives of three different women in their unique life situations. Furthermore, it aims to explore how foraging for commercial purposes has afforded certain life choices and opportunities to these women, which were otherwise inaccessible to them.

  1. Linyam Beyong

Hold your Tongue 

Daydreamer, daughter, sister—scribbled on everything from the walls of her childhood home to school desks and the end pages of her notebooks.

She will be working on a Graphic Novel. Her story follows a protagonist hailing from Arunachal Pradesh-native, contrasting her upbringing in boarding schools outside the state with her parents’ rural roots. Summer visits home amplify her sense of detachment. She befriends an entity that she meets in her dreams called Tsan, who becomes a comforting presence, encouraging the girl to confront her identity struggles and feelings of isolation between her two worlds. 

  1. Mesak Takhelmayum 

Queerness amidst Conflict 

Mesak is a 21-year-old student of History and activist from Imphal. They focus on Social, Queer, and Mental Health aspects. With experience as a Queer Mental Health Peer Supporter at Ya_all NE and as a core team member of Manipur LGBTQ+, they are passionate about transcending binary ideas of violence and fostering unity through history, culture, and legacy.

They believe queerness can challenge prejudice during conflict, offering resilience amidst chaos. Despite visibility challenges, queerness persists, showcasing the region’s resilience. As a Meitei-Hmar individual in Manipur, they confront animosity that hinders sincere expression of their aspirations. Through their work, they seek to highlight sentiments often overlooked in conflict discourse, serving as a bridge to humanity.

  1. Pranami Rajbangshi 

Xopunot pheti xaap dekhile ki hoi? What would it mean to see a cobra in a dream?

Pranami Rajbangshi, a multimedia artist from Assam, holds a Master’s degree in Design in Photography Design from the National Institute of Design. Identifying as a queer indigenous woman within the transnational Koch community, her interest in the politics of gender and identity stems from personal experiences. Through research, photography, filmmaking, and writing, she delves into critical social issues and collaborates closely with communities.

She is currently developing a film that sheds light on the prevalent issue of witchcraft accusations in remote Assamese villages, where women face humiliating and torturous treatment. The film follows the story of Munu, a teenage tribal girl, and her mother Heera Rabha, both unjustly labeled as witches. Through their journey, aspirations, and fears, the film delves into the societal constraints and unjust accusations they endure.

  1. Rodingpuii 

To be Young, Female, and Disabled: A Mizo Chapter

Rodingpuii is a research scholar at Mizoram University, investigating disability within Mizo society. Armed with degrees from NEHU and Pondicherry University, she’s also an acclaimed poet under the pen-name ‘rdp’, having authored two English poetry books. Her project shines a light on the often disregarded intersection of female disability and adolescence, aiming to provoke meaningful conversations and share the untold narratives of young women navigating disability. Through her work, Rodingpuii seeks to expand intellectual horizons and foster a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by disabled young women during their formative and sensitive adolescent years.

  1. Sanjana Rai 

Addressing a Void: Sexual Violence of Women in the Gorkhaland Movement: A First Comprehensive Study

A literature major from Kalimpong, she integrates oral testimonies to amplify marginalized voices in her writings, focusing on Conflict and Gender Studies, and South Asian and Eastern Himalayan Literature.

Her current study explores the 1986 Gorkhaland movement, highlighting the overlooked sufferings of women, especially instances of sexual violence. She aims to provide a platform for these women to advocate for justice and shed light on their narratives, challenging structures that grant perpetrators impunity, particularly during times of conflict.

  1. Shenganglu Kamei 

Escaping Imphal: A Nonfiction Graphic Memoir

Shenganglu holds degrees in Geography, Gender Studies, and Sociology. Her current research focuses on gender and ethnicity in Manipur’s peacebuilding movement. Inspired by her childhood experience of fleeing Imphal during the Indo-Naga Peace Talk’s aftermath in 2001, she aims to create a nonfiction graphic memoir of children’s experiences escaping the city.

  1. Tiana Tarin D Arengh 

Traditional Marriage System Among The A·chik (Garo)

Tiana Tarin D Arengh is a PhD Research Scholar at North Eastern Hill University, Tura Campus, supervised by Dr. Tilok Thakuria. Fascinated by diverse cultures, she explores the rich heritage of the A·chik ethnic group in Meghalaya. Her research delves into their unique customs, matrilineal marriage traditions, and the pivotal role of women as village heads. Through her work, Tiana honors her ancestors and seeks to understand the deeper meaning of existence.

  1. Tosangla Chang

Documenting the Indigenous Kitchen tools of Chang Community 

Ms. Chang is a passionate social worker committed to grassroots empowerment in Nagaland. With expertise in Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies, she champions women’s leadership and addresses water-related challenges. Her research focuses on documenting indigenous Chang kitchen tools and women’s roles in traditional culinary practices. By preserving cultural heritage and promoting sustainable practices, she empowers women as custodians of cultural knowledge and agents of change within their communities.

  1. Yihingle

Archiving the Disappearing Folk Music and Life-worlds of the Women from the Zeme’s Releiki 

Yihingle, a Ph.D. fellow at Jamia Millia Islamia, specializes in the anthropology of state and infrastructure. She co-authored an article with M. Amarjeet Singh titled, ‘The Three Decades of Look East Policy and India’s Northeast Region’ (Sage Publications, 2023). Apart from her academic life, she likes to play her piano. Her research focuses on the disappearing Releiki system in Zeme villages, a traditional institution for women’s socialization. Through her project, Yihingle aims to document women’s narratives and Releiki practices, bridging past and present through folk music transcription.

  1. Yisa and Ranay 

Maternal Family History: Unraveling My Mother’s Life as an Actress in the 1990s Through Oral Narratives and Family Photographs

Yisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in History & Political Science from St. Stephen’s College and a Master’s in History from JNU, while Ranay holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from St. Stephen’s College and a Master’s in English from Ambedkar University.

As sisters, Yisa and Ranay collaborate on writing a paper delving into maternal family history, exploring women’s studies, cinema, indigenous studies, and oral narratives. Their aim is to reveal individual experiences within broader social contexts. Their current project, “Maternal Family History,” focuses on their mother’s life as an actress in the 1990s, intertwining personal narratives with historical and cultural contexts. By examining their mother’s experiences through the lens of community, culture, cinema, and gender, they aim to uncover the complexities of individual identity within larger socio-political landscapes.

19. Rikil Chyrmang

Policy Intervention, Women rights and Customary law in Meghalaya: A Gender Lens from the Jaintia Community