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Anand Vaidya is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. He studies environmental politics and social movements in India.
While at Radcliffe, Vaidya is finishing his dissertation, an ethnographic and historical study of India’s Forest Rights Act, a landmark 2006 law that recognizes the land rights of the country’s many landless forest dwellers. Studying the law together with the movements that were crucial in pushing for it—and which continue to be central in implementing it—he seeks to understand the many, and often contradictory, political projects that the law has enabled in relation to the political struggles that produced it. By studying contests over forested land on the terrain of a legal text, he seeks to bridge political ecology, political economy, and linguistic anthropology.
Vaidya, who holds a BA in biology and sociology/anthropology from Swarthmore College, has previously received a Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant and a Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Fellowship.