Ila Ananya

Ila Ananya

  • Alumni, Scholar
  • India
  • 2021 MPhil Social Anthropology
    2022 PhD Social Anthropology
  • Fitzwilliam College

I came to anthropology through an interest in narrative, and a desire to rethink my engagement with fiction, life writing, reportage, and research – writing forms that I have been moving between since I was an undergraduate. As a journalist and a university teacher, I often found myself returning to read ethnographies, with their focus on producing work that centred our different subjectivities, and grappling with the ethical and conceptual challenges of navigating these. So far, my research has been concerned with the political lives of Indian students, what Indian higher educational spaces engender, and who they exclude. For my PhD, I hope to trace how young people from ‘Northeast’ India navigate the moral and affective aspects of their ‘becoming’ when they travel to ‘mainland’ Indian cities to study. Given the region’s history of state repression, ethnic tensions, and the racialised tendency of many Indians to homogenise their identities, I am interested in foregrounding friendship, intimacy, and aspiration, to understand how these young students relate to each other from across their social subjectivities and ethnic and class locations. I’m excited and humbled to be part of the Gates Cambridge community, and to continue to be challenged by and learn from my peers.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Social Anthropology 2022
School of Oriental & African Studies (University o Gender Studies 2018
St. Joseph's College, BU English, Journalism,Psychology 2017