Distinguished Chair on Migration and Forced Migration Studies

The Governing Body of Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (CRG) took a resolution  in its 35th Governing Body Meeting held on 23 August 2015 to institute a Distinguished Chair on Migration and Forced Migration Studies and it was offered to Professor Ranabir Samaddar The resolution was also approved by the members of CRG in its 19th Annual General Meeting held on 23 August 2015. The acceptance speech by Professor Samaddar "Crisis in Greece: Europe's Post Colonial Destiny" was held at the Academy of Fine Arts on 3 October 2015  from 6 - 8pm. For details of the programme click here .


Current Occupant (2015-till date)


Ranabir Samaddar belongs to the critical school of thinking and is considered as one of the foremost theorists in the field of forced migration studies. He has worked extensively on issues of forced migration, the theory and practices of dialogue, nationalism and post-colonial statehood in South Asia, and new regimes of technological restructuring and labour control. The much-acclaimed The Politics of Dialogue was a culmination of his long work on justice, rights, and peace. His recent political writings published in the form of a two-volume account, The Materiality of Politics (2007), and The Emergence of the Political Subject (2009) have challenged some of the prevailing accounts of the birth of nationalism and the nation-state, and have signaled a new turn in critical postcolonial thinking. His co-authored work on new town and new forms of accumulation Beyond Kolkata: Rajarhat and the Dystopia of Urban Imagination (Routledge, 2013) takes forward urban studies in the context of post-colonial capitalism. He is currently the Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group.

Detailed Curriculum Vitae


Associates (2021-till date)


Shatabdi Das is Researcher at Calcutta Research Group. She has previously worked as Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Economic Studies, University of Calcutta and has also taught at Sarsuna College, Kolkata, in the Department of Geography. She has completed her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Calcutta on ‘Impact of Industrialisation and Urbanisation on the Environment of Asansol-Durgapur Planning Area’. Her research interests include urbanisation, environment, migration and displacement studies.

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Associates (2020)


Utsa Sarmin is a Research Fellow at the Calcutta Research Group. She holds her BA and MA in Political Science from the University of Delhi. She has also completed her MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge where she traced the activism of Bengali Muslim Women in Pre-independence Bengal and post-independence West Bengal for her MPhil dissertation. She had received the Great University of Cambridge Scholarship for her MPhil course at Cambridge. After completion of her MPhil, she has worked as a contributing journalist for Free Press Kashmir in Srinagar from where she reported on conflict and issues related to conflict. Post that, she moved to Ecuador to work with the Latin American news organization teleSUR as a news writer and occasional on-camera political commentatoUtsae has presented research papers in various seminars and conferences and published news stories and articles in various local, national and international media houses. Her research interests include conflict, gender, violence, social movement and activism.

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Kusumika Ghosh is a Research and Programme Assistant at Calcutta Research Group. She has done a BA with Political Science Honours from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies with the Institute Gold Medal (2016-18) from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Her research interests focus on conflicts through the lens of gender, especially in Northeast India. She has co-authored a book with Dr. Walter Fernandes and others called ‘Landscape of Conflicts and Peace in the Northeast: The Role of Religion’ (North Eastern Social Research Centre; 2019). She leads the vertical of Social Policy and Inequity at Niti Vichaar: The Student Policy Think Tank of India and directs relevant ethnographic research projects with young researchers. She was also associated with The Partition Museum, Amritsar (An initiative of The Arts and Culture Heritage Trust) as a researcher on their endeavour to archive oral history and documents of the Partition of 1947 on the Bengal Border.

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Previous Associates



Aditi Mukherjee is a Research and Programme Associate at the Calcutta Research Group (CRG). She holds a BA and MA in History from the Presidency College and the University of Calcutta respectively. She has also completed her MPhil in Foreign Policy Studies from the University of Calcutta. Aditi is currently a PhD researcher at the Leiden University, the Netherlands and in the final stages of completion of her doctoral research. Her PhD dissertation draws on ethnographic research conducted at different types of migrant dwellings located at the peri urban margins of Calcutta, in an attempt to address questions of different modalities of displacement and tiers of migrant/urban citizenship within third world metropolitan contexts. She is the recipient of the Erasmus Mundus IBIES PhD fellowship from September 2013 to August 2016. She is associated with the 1947 Partition Archive based at Berkeley, California as a Citizen Historian and has contributed interviews of East Bengali migrants to the Archive. She has presented her research widely at many international forums including the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, the Lund University, University of Gottingen among others on themes of displacement, place-making, and tiers of migrant citizenship in post-colonial South Asia. She has published her research in journals and seminar proceeding volumes. She has also been involved in organizing international conferences on the theme of displacement. Her broad research interests include processes of third world urbanism, and myriad forms of dispossession and displacement associated with it.

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Shatabdi Das is Research and Programme Assistant at Calcutta Research Group. She did her Graduation (with Honours) in Geography, from Banaras Hindu University and then went on to complete her Masters in Geography (with specialisation in Environmental Geography) from University of Calcutta. Having also studied the discipline of Urban Management and Planning, from the university, her research interests lie in the dynamics of urbanisation and their impacts on the urban environment. In her post-graduation dissertation, she has worked on the hazards of coal mining in the Raniganj Coalfields and continues with her research focussed on the very many implications of developmental changes on physical and social environment of urban locales. She was Junior Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Economic Studies under University of Calcutta from August 2013 to October 2014. Besides participating in workshops along with paper presentations at national and international conferences, she has published research papers on urban and environmental issues in international journal and seminar proceedings volume. Shatabdi is also currently pursuing her Doctoral research in Geography from University of Calcutta on the impacts of industrial and urban development iShatabdibdinsol-Durgapur region. She has post-graduation teaching experience in Geography and is drawn to the study of the varied genres of music, culture, art and architecture through travel and photography.

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Priya Singh is Research and Programme Associate at the Calcutta Research Group (CRG) and Associate Director and Programme Coordinator (Honorary) at Asia in Global Affairs (AGA). She is an area specialist and has been tracking the West Asian region with Israel as an area of special interest. She has been writing consistently on the issue of migration, displacement and refugees be it the Palestinian refugees or as in recent times, the Syrians. Priya has been Fellow at the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, Kolkata. Her areas of interest include the Middle East conflict, state formation in Israel, issues pertaining to gender, minorities and marginalised communities such as the Arab Jews, the Bedouins of Negev, and the Palestinians in Israel. She has authored, edited, co-edited publications on the region. Her research work has also been published in peer reviewed journals and as book chapters. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies. She has been a reviewer for the Routledge Series on Middle Eastern Studies and contributes for national newspapers such as The Telegraph and The Statesman. She often writes briefs and commentaries on contemporary issues for the Diplomatist magazine. Priya is currently a researcher at the Calcutta Research Group for a segment, “Social Mapping of Infrastructure, Logistics and India’s Look East Policy” of the project on “Social and Political Mapping of Popular Movements, Logistical Vision and Infrastructure of India”, and coordinator for the segment on “Popular Movements in Bihar and Bengal” of the same project with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Foundation. She is also a part of the editorial team of the Calcutta Research Group’s peer-reviewed journal, Refugee Watch.

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Sucharita Sengupta is a Research Assistant in Calcutta Research Group (CRG). Her background is Political Science and her research interests pertain to Border Studies and Forced migration, Gender, Minority Rights. Her research focuses on the Rohingya refugees as part of the perilous irregular maritime migrants to the shores of South East Asian nations like Thailand and Malaysia. Her work tries to trace the history and context of such drives, reasons that allure them to take to the sea, and also the recent media attention to the phenomenon generating mass awareness of the issue internationally, especially in Bangladesh, and to some extent, India. The recent focus on the plight of the boatpeople on the high seas therefore, shows the need of a comprehensive research and continuous advocacy to keep the issue relevant.

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Snehashish Mitra is a Research Assistant in Calcutta Research Group (CRG). He completed his masters in the discipline of 'Ecology, Environment and Sustainable Development' from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati, Assam (India). His masters dissertation focussed on the issues surrounding the settlements on the hills of Guwahati, mainly through legal and environmental paradigms. He has worked as a Research Assistant in a project supported by Stockholm University (Sweden) which aimed to understand the phenomenon of labouur migration from Northeast India to other parts of India and into the wider global network. His reserach interests are - migration, urban studies, environmental justice and political ecology.

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