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Centre for Creative Ethnography

Prashant Khattri

Prashant Khattri

Prashant Khattri works as an anthropologist at the Department of Anthropology, University of Allahabad, Prayagraj, UP, India. He obtained his master’s and Ph.D. from the department of anthropology, University of Delhi. He researches on Social Impacts of Disasters, Livelihood Issues in Disaster Context, and people’s movements in environmental crisis. Broadly his research interests fall within the domains of environmental anthropology and medical anthropology. He has more than 12 years of teaching experience and published research works in reputed journals. More recently he is working on Gandhian Ideas related to Environment and Health as a theoretical paradigm to understand ethnographic realities. While doing his fieldwork among the flood affected people of Eastern Uttar Pradesh he used creative ways of generating data on flood impacts by asking school children to draw their experiences of flood in the region and write essays on their experiences and hard-ships due to flooding. This was published in the form of a paper:

Khattri P., Joshi P.C., Minakshi and Guha-Sapir D. 2012. Projections of Disaster: Investigations into Visual and Textual Images of Flood in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh. Anukriti. Year 2. No. 5. Pp- 163-168.

  • Selection of Publications

    Some of my publications are based on challenging fieldwork which called for a flexible research approach, ongoing problem solving, and creative solutions. The articles below are based on ethnographic research conducted among the flood affected people of Bahraich District of Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

    Khattri P. 2017. State, Livelihood and Extreme Events: Observations from Bahraich in Uttar Pradesh. Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India (Sage Publication). 66(1-2): (49-64).

    Khattri P. 2017. Rural Livelihoods and Natural Disasters: Observations from Flood Affected Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh. Indian Anthropologist. 47:2, 17-33.

    Other publications include:

    Khattri P. 2022. Climate Change and Social Movements. World Focus. 43 (505). 84-90.

    Khattri P. 2021. Pandemic as a Disaster: A theoretical montage for exploring COVID-19. In Sachdeva M. (ed.). Anthropology of Health and Well-being: Essays in Honour of Prof. P.C. Joshi. New Delhi. Concept Publishing.

    Khattri P. 2020. The Culture of Global Discourse and its Consequence for Environmentalism. World Focus. 481 (1). 34-39.

    Khattri P. 2018. Rethinking Sustainability- A Process Facilitating Change: From an Anthropological Perspective. World Focus. Volume 39. No. 8.

    Khattri P. 2018. Tribal Cosmologies, Environmentalism and Disasters: A Discourse on Development and Natural Disasters. In Farhad Mollick (ed.) Development, Displacement and Tribal Life. New Delhi. K.K. Publications.

    Khattri P. and Joshi P.C. 2015. Biomedicalization and Gandhi’s Vision of Health: Observations from Sevagram. Economic and Political Weekly. Volume L. No.10 March 7. Pp- 53-58.

    The fieldwork for this article was conducted at the Gandhi Ashram in Sevagram, Maharashtra and involved observation of human behavior and interviewing people who lived with Gandhi at the Ashram.

    Khattri P. and Joshi P.C. 2012. People’s Perception and State’s Response During Floods: Evidence from Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh. The Asian Man. Volume 6. Issue 1. Pp- 08-15.

    Khattri P., Joshi P.C., Wind T., Komproe I.H. and Guha-Sapir D. 2012. Understanding Mental Health as a Function of Social Vulnerabilities in a Disaster Situation: Evidence from Recurrent Flooding in Bahraich District Uttar Pradesh. Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India. Volume 61. No.1. pp- 109-123.

    Khattri P. and Joshi P.C. 2011. Anthropological Methodology and Disaster Research. Eastern Anthropologist. Volume 64. No.2-3. Pp- 145-152.

  • Teaching Creative Methods

    In 2023, after the successful teaching collaboration through the Playful Ethnography Workshops with Queen’s University Belfast and University of Delhi, the Anthropology Department at the University of Allahabad decided to include ‘sensorial ethnography through creative methods’ in the Postgraduate anthropology syllabus. The workshop will be conducted each year by the teacher in-charge. Students will be asked to engage in a workshop and submit assignments. This element will form an important part in their ethnographic fieldwork training. Students will get hands-on experience of conducting fieldwork and observing their surroundings through different senses. Creative Ethnography will also form a part of the Social Anthropology practical at the under-graduate and post-graduate anthropology course.

    Khattri with students

    Fieldwork at Magh Mela (Religious Fair), January 2023, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India with Master’s Students of Anthropology for the project- Sensorial Experiences (Creative Ethnography)

  • 2023 Playful Ethnography, Prayagraj

    This collaborative teaching project was undertaken on Creative Ethnography involving students and faculty from the Queen’s University, Belfast, University of Allahabad and University of Delhi. Students were to document their sensorial experiences of the cities of Belfast, Prayagraj and Delhi. A dimension of playfulness was added by introducing the spinning of the dice to choose the direction in which students will proceed for the tasks like documenting smell, colors, taste, sound, writing poems about the place and talking to people about their health. An online seminar of all the teams was conducted where students shared their experiences. Documentary films were also produced as an outcome of the project. It was also decided that more such projects in future would be conducted in collaboration with other universities in India, UK and the USA.

  • 2023 Human Behaviour in Public Places, Prayagraj

    The Anthropology department at the University of Allahabad conducted fieldwork in the city of Prayagraj on the topic ‘Human Behaviour in Public Places’. Students from the bachelors program documented the human behavior through observation and interview. Behaviours like littering, spitting, encroachment of public spaces, traffic light violations, behavior with women were documented by the students and reports were submitted in the form of dissertations.

    Khattri interacting with students

    Interacting with a group of students at the city crossing in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India for the project- ‘Human Behaviour in Public Places’