Room No.: HSB 339B
Phone : +91 (44) 2257 4517
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Religion, as a social phenomenon, fascinates me. Various dimensions of religiosities in a globalised world and their analysis through the frameworks of modernity and late modernity constitute the crucial focus of my research. I particularly work on themes related to Islam in the postcolonial Indian context, focusing on Islamic activism, Muslim women’s questions, sectarian identities, and emerging Muslim politics. I also have keen research interests in emerging forms of new spirituality, identity questions, and political mobilisation within Hinduism. Questions related to social movements, democracy, and secularism are other research areas where I am deeply interested.
- Ph.D. (Sociology), Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore
- M.A. (Sociology), Bangalore University, Bangalore
- 2021 – Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras.
- 2011-2021 Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras.
- 2008-2011, Assistant Director, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Mangalore University, Mangalore.
- 2003-2008, Lecturer, Post Graduate Department of Sociology, Christ University, Bangalore.
- 1998-2003, Lecturer, Department of Sociology, St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore.
- 1998-1999, Research Associate, ICSSR Journal of Abstracts and Reviews: Sociology and Social Anthropology.
Courses Taught at IIT Madras:
- Contemporary Indian Society: A Sociological View
- Globalisation and Change
- Introduction to Sociology
- Development Perspectives
- Perspectives in Social Sciences
NPTEL Courses Offered:
- Classical Sociological Theories
- Globalisation: Theoretical Perspectives
Sponsored Research Projects:
- ‘From Cell to Society: A Study on the Social Reintegration of Released Prisoners in Kerala and Tamil Nadu’ funded by National Human Rights Commission; New Delhi (Rs.11.2 lacs).
- ‘Religion in the Cyberspace: A Study on the Emerging Religious Cyber Sphere among the Muslim Religious Organisations in Kerala,’ Exploratory Research Project sponsored by IIT Madras; Chennai (Rs.7.26 lacs).
- ‘Democracy and Minority Citizenship: A Study on the Emerging Forms of Muslim Political Mobilisation in South India’, Research Project sponsored by Indian Council for Social Science Research; New Delhi (Rs.5 lacs).
- ‘Changing Contours of State Welfarism and Emerging Citizenship: A Comparative Study of Kerala and Tamil Nadu’, Sponsored Research Programme funded by Indian Council for Social Science Research; New Delhi. Programme awarded to a team of researchers including Drs. Binitha Thampi, Suresh Babu, Kalpana K and Vijayabhaskar (Rs.50 lacs).
- ‘Religious Activism and Palliative care in Kerala: An Analysis’, Sponsored Research Project funded by IIT Madras; Chennai (Rs.5 lacs).
- 2009. ‘Displacement and Livelihood: A Study of MRPL Rehabilitation Colony with Special Reference to Dalit Families’ sponsored by Indian Council for Social Science Research; New Delhi (Rs. 3 lacs).
- 2009. ‘Discrimination and Social Exclusion: A Study on the Development Experience of Dalits in Karnataka’ Sponsored Research Programme funded by Indian Council for Social Science Research; New Delhi, awarded to a research team at the Centre for Social Exclusion, Mangalore University (Rs. 50 lacs).
Awards and Fellowships:
- ASEM DUO Visiting Fellowship for academic exchange with Prof. Filippo Osella, Department of Anthropology, Sussex University, U.K.
- Visiting Fellowship by Leibniz Zentrum Moderner (ZMO), Berlin, Germany from 1st June to 30th July 2017.
- Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Award for Faculty Training and Internationalisation with the Department of Religious Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada from 1st May to 30th May 2017.
- Summer School Fellowship at Institute for Critical Social Inquiry, New School for Social Research, New York, USA. One week seminar with Prof. Talal Asad on ‘Secularism’ from 6th to 12th June 2015.
- Prof. M. N. Srinivas Award for the best Ph.D. thesis in Sociology, constituted by Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
- 2021: M. S. Visakh, R. Santhosh and P. K. Mohammad Roshan. “Islamic Traditionalism in a Globalising World: Sunni Muslim Identity in Kerala, South India”, Modern Asian Studies(Cambridge University Press). https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/modern-asian-studies/article/islamic-traditionalism-in-a-globalizing-world-sunni-muslim-identity-in-kerala-south-india/
- 2020: R. Santhosh and Dayal Paleri. “Ethnicisation of Religion in Practice? Recasting Competing Communal Mobilisation in Coastal Karnataka, South India”, Ethnicities (Sage Publication). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1468796820974502
- 2020: Nandan, Aniket and R. Santhosh. “Associational Structures and Beyond: A Study of Bhumihar Caste Associations in Bihar, India”, Journal of Historical Sociology. (Wiley Publications). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/johs.12304
- R. Santhosh and M. S. Visakh. 2020. “Muslim League in Kerala: Exploring the Question of ‘Being Secular’”, Economic and Political Weekly, LV (7): 50-57. https://www.epw.in/journal/2020/7/special-articles/muslim-league-kerala.html
- Nandan, Aniket and R. Santhosh. 2019. “Exploring the Changing Forms of Caste-Violence: A Study of Bhumihars in Bihar, India”, European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology, 6 (4): 421-47. (Taylor and Francis). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23254823.2019.1668282
- Ashni, A. L. and R. Santhosh. 2019. “Catholic Church, Fishers and Negotiating Development: A Study on the Vizhinjam Port Project”, Review of Development and Change, 24(2): 187–204. (Sage Publication). https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0972266119883165
- R. Santhosh. 2016. “Voluntarism and Civil Society in the Neoliberal Era: A Study on the Palliative Care Movement in Kerala”, Journal of Social Change and Development, 18 (1-2):1-18. (Springer Publication).
- R. Santhosh. 2013. “Contextualising Islamic Contestations; Reformism, Traditionalism and Modernity among Muslims of Kerala”, Indian Anthropologist. 43 (2): 25-42.
Chapters in Edited Books:
- Forthcoming: M. S. Visakh and R. Santhosh. “Islam, Development and Neoliberal Globalisation: Transformation of a Traditionalist Muslim Organisation in Kerala” in Muslim Marginalities and Development Promises in Fazal Tanweer, Divya Vaid and Surinder S. Jodkha (ed.), New Delhi: Routledge Publication.
- Santhosh. 2020. “Religious Activism and Secular Ethos: A Study on Islamic Activism in Kerala” in Multiple Secularities; Anthropological Perspectives on Religion in India, Sudha Sitharaman and Anindita Chakrabarti (ed.), New Delhi: Routledge Publications.
- Santhosh. 2018. “Beyond the Binaries of the Secular and the Islamic: Muslim Women’s Voices in Contemporary India” in Postsecular Feminisms: Religion and Gender in Transnational Context, Nandini Deo (ed.) London: Bloomsbury Publications. https://www.bloomsburycollections.com/book/postsecular-feminisms-religion-and-gender-in-transnational-context/ch6-beyond-the-binaries-of-islamic-and-the-secular-muslim-women-s-voices-in-contemporary-india?from=search
- Santhosh. 2015. “Muslims in Contemporary India: Socio-religious Diversity and the Questions of Citizenship” in Handbook on Contemporary India, Knut A Jacobsen (ed) Routledge, London: Routledge Publication.
- Santhosh. 2015. “Islamic Activism and Palliative Care: An Analysis from Kerala” in Religion and Politics of Development, Philip Fountain, Robin Bush and R. Michael Feener (ed.), New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Santhosh and Shaji Varghese. 2010. “New Locations and New Articulations: Practice of Sociology in an Autonomous Institution” in Practices in Sociology: A Handbook, Maitrayee Chaudhuri (ed.), New Delhi: Rawat Publications.
- Santhosh. 2009. “The State and Religious Contestations over Human Body: A Study on Hook-Swinging and Production of New Human Subjects” in The Body in Asia, Bryan S. Turner and Zheng Yangwen (ed.), Oxford: Berghahn books.
- Muhammadali P Kasim (Degree Awarded). Muhammadali worked on the questions related to Muslim masculinities in Kerala.
- Aniket Nandan (Thesis submitted). Aniket explored the changing dynamics of Bhumihar caste associations in Bihar.
- Muhammad Roshan. Roshan is working on the questions related to Prophetic love among Kerala Muslims.
- Naseef MK. Naseef is exploring the historical as well as contemporary contestations related to the institution of Waqf in Kerala.
- Dayal Paleri. Dayal is exploring dynamics related to the discourses as well as practices of communal harmony in Kerala.
- Fathima R.F. (Work; co-guidance with Dr. Solomon Benjamin). Fathima plans to work on themes related to Muslim residential areas in the city of Bangalore.
- Kiran Kumar. Kiran studies the relationship between Gouda Saraswat Brahmins and the questions of economic development and entrepreneurship in Kerala.
MA Research Project Guidance:
- 2020-21: K J Ananthapadmanabhan, Ajsal A, Sreeparvathy (ongoing)
- 2019-20: Melwin James. To the Folk Religious Field of Practice: Discursive Practices of Popular Catholicism at the Shrine of Our Lady of Velankanni Besant Nagar
- 2019-20: Deva Nandan. Revealing Light and Practicing Goddess: The Lives and Religion of Velichappadus of Kodungallur Devi.
- 2018-19: Akhila Buhari. When Women Go Online: A Study on Cyber Engagement of Malayali Muslim Women
- 2018-19: Rakesh Prasad: Identity and Conversion: A Study on Neo-Buddhists in Uttar Pradesh
- 2018-19: Prashant Shekhar. Through the Eyes of Chamar: An Intergenerational Study on Social and Political Mobility
- 2017-18: Ashni A. L. Catholic Church, Fishers and Negotiating Development: A Study on the Vizhinjam Port Project
- 2016-17: Anand Sreekumar. A Sociolo-historical Framework of Buddhist Extremism: Insights from Religious Violence in Sri Lanka
- 2016-17: Beegum Raziya Sulthana. Religious Identity and Youth: A Study on Religious Articulation of Muslim Students at IIT Madras, Chennai
- 2015-16: Chandana B.R. Religious Environmentalism in Kerala
- 2015-16: Pushkal Sivam (with Solomon Benjamin). Sacred Occupancies, Space, Practices: The Politics of Public Land
- 2014-15: Binny Alexander. Faith Based Organizations and Development: A Case Study of the Mar Thoma Church in Kerala
- International workshop titled “Exploring Sovereignty and Charisma: Engagements, Contestations and Fabulations from the Global South” in collaboration with Profs. Valantina Nepolitano and Simon Coleman University of Toronto, Filippo Osella Sussex University, J Devika Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram and VJ Varghese, Hyderabad University. The workshop, primarily aimed at young scholars was conducted between 16th and 19th 2019.
Invited Lectures and Conferences/Seminars:
- Presented a paper titled ‘Religion, Politics and Substantive Secularism: The Case of the Muslim League in Kerala’ in a research workshop organised on ‘Indian Conceptions of Multiculturalism’ at IIT Tirupati on 8th and 9th January 2020.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Ethnic Democracy in Practice? Hindutva and Citizenship Discourse in Coastal Karnataka, South India’ in Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship Twentieth Anniversary Conference organised by University of Bristol on 8-10, November 2019.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Boundary Demarcation and Coalescence between the Religious and the Secular: The Case of a ‘Secular’ Muslim Organisation in India’ in a conference by the research group ‘Multiple Secularities: Beyond the West, Beyond Modernities’, Leipzig University, Germany on 5th October 2018.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Traditionalism and Development: The Case of Sunni Muslims in Kerala’ in a conference organised by the Centre for Study of Social System, JNU on 7th and 8th December 2017.
- Participated in a panel discussion on ‘Civil Society and Conflict Resolution in the Context of increasing Intolerance and Fundamentalism’ organised by the Department of Sociology, Loyola College on 28th November 2017.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Engaging with the Secular: Some Reflections on the Contemporary Muslim Scenario in Kerala, India’ at the Centre for Advanced Studies, Leipzig University Germany on 19th July 2017.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Secularism, Secularisation and the Contemporary Muslim Situation in India’ at the Humboldt India Workshop organised by Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany on 23rd June 2017.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Contesting Modernities and Compelling Theologies: A Study on the Idea of Progress among Muslims of Kerala, South India’ at Leibniz Centre for Modern Orient, Berlin, Germany on 20th June 2017.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Communitarian Secularism in Kerala; An Appraisal’ in a conference titled ‘Really Existing Secularism’ organized by CSDS, New Delhi between 22nd and 23rd September 2016.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Islamic Feminism in India; Some Reflections’ in a conference on ‘Feminisms Beyond the Secular: Emerging Epistemologies and Politics in 21st Century’ organised by Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, USA between 21st and 23rd March, 2016.
- Delivered a lecture on ‘Globalization and Religion’ in a one-day seminar organised by Thunchathu Ezhuthachan Malayalam University on 12th November 2015.
- Presented a paper on ‘Understanding Multiple Secularism: A Perspective from Kerala’ in a conference organised by Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi on 20-21 January 2015.
- Presented a paper on ‘Religious activism and Secular Ethos: A Study on the Role of Islamic Activism in the Palliative Care Movement in Kerala’ in a conference organised by Department of Humanities and Social Sciences in IIT Kanpur on 14-15 October 2014.
- Delivered lecture on ‘Globalisation and Youth culture’ in two-day national workshop organised by the department of Sociology, Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam, Kerala on 21-22 August 2014.
- Participated as a resource person in a two-day workshop organised by Department of Sociology, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady on ‘Exploring Best Practices in and for Undergraduate Sociology Programmes’ from 3rd to 4th March 2014.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Islamic Activism and Palliative Care: An analysis from Kerala, South India’ in a conference organised by Asia Research Institute of Singapore National University, Singapore on 28th and 29th August 2013.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Islamic Activism and Health Care: A Case Study on Religion and Politics of Development from Kerala, India’ in a conference organised by St. Michael’s college, University of Toronto, Canada on 27th and29th November 2013.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Islam and the question of caste in Kerala; Some reflections in a conference organised by Patna Collective in New Delhi on 1st and 2nd December 2012.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Radical Muslim Politics in Kerala: An Ethnographic Account’ in a conference organised by Jamia Millia Central University, New Delhi on 13-14 March, 2012.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Religious Violence and Islam; Interrogating Hindu-Muslim Conflicts in Kerala, South India’, in a conference organised by Curtin University of Technology, Australia in Miri, Malaysia on 8-9 July 2010.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Contested Meanings and Compelling Contexts; Articulations of Immanent Critique among Muslims of Kerala, South India’ in a conference organised by ISIM, Leiden University, Netherlands on 27-28, November, 2008.
- Presented a paper titled ‘Local Religious Tradition of Living Together as an Alternative to Secularism: Towards an Understanding of the Politics of Hindu Communalism and Communal Harmony in Kerala, South India.’ in an annual conference of International Society for the Sociology of Religion held in University of Leipzig, Germany from 23rd to 27th July 2007.
- Presented a paper titled ‘From Ethnic Mappila to Global Islam: Changing Articulation of Islamic Identity and the State in Kerala, South India’ in a conference organised by the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology of Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands on 7th and 8th June 2007.
- Presented a paper titled ‘The State and Religious Contestations over Human Body: A Study on Hook-Swinging and Production of New Human Subjects’ in a conference organised by Asia Research Institute of Singapore National University, Singapore on 15-17 March, 2007.
Membership and Other Academic Positions:
- Life Member, Indian Sociological Society.
- Member, Board of Studies, Post Graduate Department of Sociology, University of Calicut.
- Member, Board of Studies, Post Graduate Department of Sociology, Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam, Kerala.
- Member, Board of Studies, Post Graduate Department of Sociology, Loyola College, Chennai.