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Nadeem Hasnain Former Professor, Social Anthropology, University of Lucknow; Fulbright ‘Scholar in Residence’; Senior Fellow, Indian Council of Social Science Research

Nadeem Hasnain, a well-known social scientist, maintains a wide range of interests in his academic pursuits. He did his PhD from Lucknow University, specializing in social anthropology, and taught in the same university as an assistant professor, associate professor and a professor and retired in 2014. He was invited by the Fulbright Commission, USA, as ‘Scholar in Residence’ and attached with St Lawrence University, a liberal arts university in New York state, during 2006–2007. He taught in the departments of global studies, religious studies and anthropology.

After completion of this assignment, he was invited by the same university to be a visiting professor for 2007–2008. During these years, he was invited to deliver lectures in several universities in the USA. After his return to India, he was invited to be the pro-vice-chancellor of the newly established university, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya (a central university) in Wardha, Maharashtra. He was instrumental in creating new departments in this nascent university, such as anthropology and film and theatre studies.

During the last year of his tenure at Lucknow University, he was awarded the Senior Fellowship of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. The research project resulted in his published book titled Muslims at Crossroads: Changing Face of ‘Lived Islam’ in India.

Besides this publication, his book Bonded Forever (a study of bonded labour under the culture of poverty, motivated by the legendary Bangla writer Mahasweta Devi who also wrote the foreword of the book and also an article on it) is regarded as a seminal contribution along with another work titled The Other Lucknow: Ethnographic Portrait of a City of Nostalgia and Undying Memories. His book Tribal India, immensely popular with more than a dozen editions and reprints, is also available in several Indian languages. Another four of his books coming out during the last five years, Indian Society and Culture: Continuity and Change; Indian Society: Themes and Social Issues; Shia Muslims of India: Religion, Society and Culture; and Handbook of Sociology, have also achieved popularity within a short span of time.

He served the Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society (founded by D. N. Majumdar, a doyen of Indian anthropology, in 1945) as its general secretary for 10 years and edited two of its famous journals: The Eastern Anthropologist and Manav (a Hindi journal of social sciences). He is a member of worldwide organizations such as the American Anthropological Association, American Sociological Association, American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, Indian Sociological Association, Ethnographic and Folk Culture Society, Indian Academy of Anthropological Research and Training, Indian National Confederation and Academy of Anthropologists and Asian Institute of Human Science and Development.

He is now a familiar name among not only the university students of sociology, anthropology and social geography but also civil services aspirants. He has been counselling and lecturing for the aspirants of civil services and state services examinations for the past 30 years, and his successful students are spread over the entire country. He is still very active, academically and socially, and known as an academic activist taking part in social issues and recognized as a public intellectual.