Alpa Shah is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, LSE where she directs the Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty. Shah read Geography at Cambridge, trained in Anthropology at the LSE, taught anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London for eight years until she returned to the London School of Economics.
Shah's research and writing focuses on poor and marginalised people in India and Nepal, in particular Adivasis, Dalits and Janajatis. She explores the processes of inequality people get caught in and the various ways in which they try to subvert them. She has lived for several years as a social anthropologist among the Adivasi communities she writes about, here in rural Jharkhand. Shah is the author of In the Shadows of the State: Indigenous Politics, Environmentalism and Insurgency in Jharkhand, India. She has also published more than twenty-five essays and journal articles, and has edited seven volumes on issues ranging from affirmative action, agrarian change, revolution in India and Nepal, emancipatory politics, the underbelly of the Indian boom, and Adivasi and Dalit political pathways.