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Pallavi Raonka

Degree, Program, and Date of Graduation: Study Program: Ph.D. in Sociology, August 2020

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology, with an anticipated completion date of August 2020. My dissertation research is based on an ethnographic study conducted over fifteen months in Jharkhand, India. I analyze the ongoing and violent land and resource conflict between the Adivasi (an indigenous community in Jharkhand, India) and the government of India.

During my graduate studies at Virginia Tech, I have served as both an Instructor of Record and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for a wide range of introductory and mid-level courses in Sociology, Women and Gender Studies, and International Development.

 What did you do before joining Virginia tech?

I have extensive experience working with the Governmental organization in international development and policy advocacy with a specific focus on South Asia. Before joining Virginia Tech, I conducted research and advocacy work on food insecurity issues in the rural areas of India that are currently experiencing a Maoist insurgency. In 2014, I graduated with an M.A. in Rural Development from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India.

What will you do as a Graduate Research Assistant with the WGD Program?

My work at CIRED includes working on qualitative research data sets and grant development.

Previously, I have worked with Maria Elisa Christie in the capacity of the Graduate Teaching Assistant, for the academic year 2019-20. My work included developing, planning, and teaching the course Gender, Environment, and International Development in the Spring semester, 2020.

What are your plans at Virginia Tech and beyond?

Upon completion of the doctorate, I intend to turn my dissertation into an academic book. I aspire to have an academic career as a critical development theorist while engaging with development work at the grassroots level.