Dr. Md Rashedul Alam is a sociocultural anthropologist. He received his PhD in 2021 from the University of Western Ontario. His doctoral dissertation analyzes nation-building in hitherto ungoverned territories of Indian chhitmahals (enclaves) in Bangladesh and explores the transformation of their residents from stateless Indian nationals to citizens of Bangladesh. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, Rashedul’s research shows that new citizenship fuelled a sense of empowerment to normalize previously illicit everyday practices, contest local hierarchies, confront powerful neighbors, cultivate political connections, and make claims on the state. Viewed from a legal perspective, citizenship in chhitmahals might conjure images of a nation with paved roads, police stations, and other administrative services and infrastructure. An anthropological lens, however, reveals a reconfigured community that no longer finds normalcy and affluence in the traditional practices of livelihood, ethics, and leadership that were dominant before the merger with the enveloping state.
In his MA research, Rashedul analyzed a grassroots movement of climate migrants and indigenous people in northern Bangladesh that halted a multinational mining project to resist dispossession and displacement. His dissertation explored the web of political alliance among the local indigenous communities, migrants, civil society, and transnational environmental activist groups. Dr. Rashedul Alam also facilitated diverse applied research projects to analyze the socio-economic partnership among the grassroots communities, government, and NGOs in Bangladesh. His research advocacy has contributed to community entrepreneurship and livelihood security in the impoverished regions of the country.
Forthcoming. Rashedul Alam, M. (2022). Living off the Grid: Surviving the Stateless Era in India-Bangladesh Chhitmahals (Enclaves). In N. Bhatia & A. Roy (Eds.), Regional and Cultural Perspectives on Partition in South Asia. Routledge.
Islam, Z., Mahmud, S.M.A. & Rashedul Alam, M. (2012). Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Management: A Case of Cyclone Management in Madhya Charramani Mohan, Lakshmipur. Journal of Sociology, 4(2), 5-18, Nazmul Karim Study Centre, University of Dhaka.
Rashedul Alam, M. (2021). From Stateless People to Citizens: The Reformulation of Territory and Identity in India-Bangladesh Border Enclaves [PhD thesis]. Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario.
Rashedul Alam, M. (2015). Mining, Resistance and Livelihood in Rural Bangladesh [MA thesis]. Department of Anthropology, University of Western Ontario.
Rashedul Alam, M. (2022). Reconfiguring the Jungle: Finding a Nation in Infrastructures in Formerly Stateless Indo-Bangla Chhitmahals [Paper presentation]. Symposium on Beyond the Nation: Partition in the Diaspora Context, March 25-26, 2022. Organized by The Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute & Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
Rashedul Alam, M. (2019). ‘Infrastructuralization’ of a Formerly Stateless Enclave [Paper presentation]. Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities 2019, March 29-31, Tokyo, Japan.
Rashedul Alam, M. (2017). Border Maps are Body Maps: The Practices of ‘Othering’ in the Bangladesh-India Border Enclaves [Paper presentation]. Annual Conference of Canadian Anthropology Society 2017, May 2-7, Ottawa, Canada.
Rashedul Alam, M. (2016). Non-state Spaces Between Two Nation-States: The Making of Enclaves along the Bangladesh-India Border [Paper presentation]. Annual Conference of American Anthropological Association 2016, Nov. 16-20, Minneapolis, USA.
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