Lecturer in Anthropology, Museums and Heritage

Dr. Alice Tilche alice.tilche@leicester.ac.uk

I am an anthropologist and a filmmaker with experience of working in a variety of community art setting. I have conducted extensive research in India, among its indigenous and nomadic groups, and among India’s diaspora. One strand of my work is concerned with understanding the social role of art, museums and heritage to address inequality. I have worked with indigenous activists and artists on the development of an indigenous community museum in Gujarat, western India. I also researched the uses of art, museums and heritage in relation to the growth of politicised religion, in particular Hindu nationalism.

Another strand of my work examines the relation between migration, heritage and rural transformation with a focus on the things and people that are left-behind. I conducted long term field research in an area of India that has experienced heavy outmigration to East Africa, the UK and the USA, focussing on the relation between migration, (im)mobility and marriage. My research has been exhibited in public exhibitions, academic books & journals and through film.

I am currently the PI on a GCRF and AHRC funded project on 'Using the arts to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on India's indigenous and nomadic communities'. As part of this project, I am working with indigenous activists, theatre practitioners and filmmakers to produce a series of video podcasts addressing the health, socio-cultural and politico-economic dimensions of the pandemic https://www.budhanpodcast.com/

I am interested in supervising students working on:

-       indigenous and community museums, socially engaged museum practice, museums & activism

-       participatory art, art and anthropology

-       museum anthropology and material culture

-       the political economy of collecting & exhibiting

-       migration and displacement especially in relation to heritage, art and material culture

-       religion and nationalism

-       visual and experimental methodologies




Forthcoming 2021  Asivasi Art and Activism: Curation in a Nationalist Age. University of Washington Press

Simpson, E. and Tilche, A. 2016. The future of the rural world? India’s villages 1950-2015. SOAS: University of London

Journal Articles

Tilche, A. and Loperfido, G. 2019.The return of armchair anthropology. Debating the ethics and politics of big projects. Social Anthropology. Special Issue on Politics and Precarity in Academia

Tilche, A. and Simpson, E. 2018. Marriage and the crisis of peasant society in Gujarat, India. Journal of Peasant Studies, 45(7): 1518-1538 https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2018.1477759

Tilche, A. and Simpson, E. 2018.  On trusting ethnography: methods, self, and the agency of fields of Gujarat, India. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23(4): 690 78 https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.12695

Simpson, E., Tilche, A. Jeffery, P. Otten, T. Sbriccoli, T. 2017. A brief history of incivility in rural India, 1950-2015. Caste, religion and anthropology. Comparative Studies in Society and History. 60 (1): 58-59 https://doi.org/10.1017/S001041751700041X

Tilche, A. 2016. Migration, bachelorhood and discontent among the Patidars. Economic and Political Weekly, 51(26-27): 17-24 ttps://www.epw.in/journal/2016/26-27/review-rural-affairs/migration-bachelorhood-and-discontent-among-patidars.html

Tilche, A. 2015. A forgotten Adivasi landscape: memory and museums in western India. Contributions to Indian Sociology. 49 (2): 188-215 https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0069966715578048

Tilche, A. 2014. Pithora in the time of kings, elephants and art dealers: art and social change in western India. Visual Anthropology. 20(1): 1-20 https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2015.973255

Book chapters

Tilche, A. 2021. Budhan-Podcast: a community arts podcast about health and rights during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Pandemics in Asia. Madhu Singh (ed).

Tilche, A. 2019. Migration, bachelorhood and discontent among the Patidars. In India’s villages in the 21st century. S. Jhodka and E. Simpson (eds).

Tilche, A. 2019 Art and religious reform among the Rathavas of western India. Brill’s encyclopaedia of the religions among the indigenous people of South Asia. Carrin, M. & H. Tambs-Lyche (eds). Brill: https://referenceworks.brillonline.com/browse/brill-s-encyclopedia-of-the-religions-of-the-indigenous-people-of-south-asia-online

The Akwaaba writing collective, Tilche, A. 2018. I like to close my eyes when I talk serious things. Tales of two London: tales from a fractured city. C. Armistead (ed.). Or Books.

Tilche, A. 2005. Translating museums. In G.N. Devy, Geoffrey V. Davis, K.K. Chakravarty (eds) Indigeneity: Culture and Representation. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.

Book Reviews

Tilche, A. 2011. Sacrificing people. An invasion of a tribal landscape. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 2, 17

Tilche, A. 2009. Hindu nationalism: a reader (C. Jaffrelot) Contemporary South Asia. 17, 3

Documentary Films

Dakxin Bajranje Chhara and Tilche, A. 2019. Broken gods. Nomad Movies, the LSE & the Leverhulme Trust https://vimeo.com/336120383/223f4b13dc

Dakxin Bajranje Chhara and Tilche, A. 2013. Sundarana. Marriage and Migration among the Patidars. 43 min. Nomad Movies & SOAS, University of London https://vimeo.com/418469378/1bae7579c1

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