Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Dr. Chandan Gowda – isec

Dr. Chandan Gowda

Chandan Gowda

Professional Experience

  • Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor of Decentralization and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, April, 2021 to present.

  • Professor of Sociology, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, May 2011 to March 2021.

  • Associate Professor of Sociology, National Law School of India, Bengaluru, July 2008 to April 2011.

Academic Qualification
  • PhD, Sociology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1998-2007.
  • PhD Certificate, Cultural Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 1996-1998.
  • MA, Sociology, University of Hyderabad, 1994-1996.
  • BA, Social Science, St. Joseph’s College, Bengaluru, 1994-1996.
  • Diploma, French, Alliance Francaise, Bengaluru, 1993.
Academic Recognitions
  • Visiting Fellow, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, March-May 2015.
  •  Schomburg Fellow, Ramapo College, October 2013.
  • Dissertation Research Grant, National Science Foundation, 2003-2004.
  • Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2002-2003.
  • Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship, American Institute of Indian Studies, 2002-2003.
  • International Predissertation Research Award, International Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1999.
  • Regent’s Fellowship, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1998-1999.
Areas of Research Interest
  • Social Theory; Development Studies; Caste; Indian Normative Traditions; and Kannada Literature and Cinema.
Selected Publications


  1. Editor and Co-Translator, Daredevil Mustafa: Short Stories of Purnachandra Tejasvi, HarperCollins-India (Forthcoming, 2024).
  2. Editor and Co-Translator, The Greatest Kannada Short Stories Ever Told, Aleph Book Company, (Forthcoming, 2024).
  3. The Kannadigas, New Delhi, Aleph Book Company (Forthcoming, 2025).
  4. Co-Editor, The Ram Manohar Lohia Reader, New Delhi, Penguin Books (Forthcoming, 2024).
  5. Industrialize or Perish: The Origins of India’s Developmental State (Under review with Oxford University Press, New York).
  6. Another India: Memories, Events, People, New Delhi, Simon and Schuster-India, 2023.
  7. Co-Editor, The Essential UR Ananthamurthy, New Delhi, Aleph Book Company, 2023.
  8. Editor and Co-Translator, The Way I See It: A Gauri Lankesh Reader (DC Books and Navayana, 2017). (Translated into Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu).
  9. Editor, Theatres of Democracy: Selected Essays of Shiv Visvanathan, HarperCollins-India, 2016.

Research Articles

  1. “The Routes of Kannada Language Activism,” Loss and Change in Bangalore (Editors) Lakshmi Srinivas and Tulasi Srinivas, State University of New York Press (Forthcoming, 2024).
  2. “Old Mysore: A Milieu for an Artist,” The Regional Modernism of K. Venkatappa (Editors) Deeptha Achar and N. Pushpamala, Routledge India (Forthcoming, 2024s).
  3. “Bengaluru in History(in French),” Critique, SpecialIssue: L’Inde Colossale et Capitale (GuestEditor: Divya Dwivedi),Translated by FrancoiseBalibar, Volume 76, Number 872-873,Jan-Feb, 2020.
  4. “Mela,” The Handbook of Indian Keywords (Eds) Peter de Souza and Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Bloomsbury, 2020.
  5. “Institutional Dimensions of ‘Access’ and ‘Justice,’” State of the Indian Judiciary (Editors) Harish Narasappa and Shruti Vidyasagar, Lucknow: Eastern Book Company, 2016.
  6. “Sir M Visvesvaraya: The Making of the Development Man,” Jindal Journal of Public Policy, Volume 3, Number 1, 2016.
  7. “Empire and Developmentalism in Colonial India,” Sociology and Empire: The Imperial Entanglements of a Discipline (Ed.) George Steinmetz. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013.
  8. “Global Cities,” Handbook of International Relations (Eds) B.S. Chimni and S. Mallavarapu, Pearson Books, 2012.
  9. “Many Lohias? Appropriations of Lohia in Karnataka,” Economic and Political Weekly (Guest Ed) Yogendra Yadav, Vol 45, No 40, Oct 2, 2010. (Translated into Hindi, Kannada and Marathi)
  10. “‘Advance Mysore!’: The Cultural Logic of a Developmental State,” Economic and Political Weekly, Volume 45, Number 29, July 17, 2010.

Translations of Kannada Writings into English

  1. “The Dalai Lama and History,” “Mithuna,” “Gandhi’s Chappals,” “Gandhi and Henry VIII,” and “Love and Duty,” Poems of UR Ananthamurthy, The Essential UR Ananthamurthy, New Delhi, Aleph Book Company, 2023.
  2. “Children of God,” A Kannada Poem by Huchhangi Prasad, Battling for India: A Citizen’s Reader (Editors) Githa Hariharan and Salim Yusufji, March, 2019, New Delhi: Speaking Tiger.
  3. “The Retired Ones,” A short story by P. Lankesh, Out of Print, December, 2017 (Co-Translator).
  4. “The Girl from Pakistan,” An essay by Gauri Lankesh, Op-Ed, The New York Times, Sep 25, 2017.
  5. Bara, A novella by UR Ananthamurthy, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  6. “Placing North Karnataka,” An essay by Amaresh Nugadoni, Seminar (Special Issue) “Karnataka Vignettes,” Edited by Chandan Gowda, August, 2010.
  7. “Food Et Cetera,” An essay by Rahamath Tarikere, Seminar (Special Issue), “Karnataka Vignettes,” Edited by Chandan Gowda, August, 2010.
  8. “An Indentured Spirit,” A short story by KP Purnachandra Tejasvi and “Reason,” A short story by Vivek Shanbagh, Sirigannada: Contemporary Writings in Kannada (Ed.) Vivek Shanbagh, New Delhi: Tranquebar Press 2010.
  9. “The Honour of Areca,” Community and Culture: Selected Writings of KV Subbanna, Heggodu: Akshara Prakashana, July, 2009.
Popular Press
  • The Living Stream, Monthly Lead Op-Ed Column, Deccan Herald (>30 columns, September, 2019 – present).

  • Culture and Politics, Weekly Lead Op-Ed Column, Bangalore Mirror (>250 columns, October, 2014 – April 2020).

  • Apart from regular columns, I have contributed numerous op-eds on cultural, social and political issues and book reviews and done interviews for Indian newspapers and magazines like The Hindu, The Mint, Indian Express, The Tribune, Seminar, Outlook, The Print and Scroll.

Invited Lectures

I have delivered over 30 lectures, including keynote addresses, at various universities, including Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Brown, Stanford, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, University of Texas-Austin, UCLA, UC-Irvine, Ramapo College, University of Toronto, Ludwig Maxmillian University, Munich, Ashoka University, New Delhi, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, University of Hyderabad, National Gallery of Modern Art, Bengaluru, S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Bangalore University, Mangalore University, Christ University and Tumkur University.

Conference Talks

I have presented papers at academic conference events at institutions such as Cornell, Yale, Brown, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Berlin, Centre Nationale Du Reserche Scientifique, Paris, Centre for South Asian Studies, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi, Bangalore University, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, Kannada University, Hampi and at professional academic bodies such as the American Sociological Association, American Comparative Literature Association, International Sociological Association, International Institute of Sociology, Law and Social Sciences Network, Annual Conference on South Asia, Forum on Contemporary Theory, Mombusho Scholars’ Association of India and the Backwaters Collective, Kochi.

Interviews, TV Panel Discussions and Book Discussions

I have participated in TV panel discussions on political issues in NDTV, CNN-News 18, India Today, TV 9, Rajya Sabha TV, NewsFirst and Economic Times Now, given interviews in newspapers and magazines like The Times of India and Guftugu participated in book discussions at Bangalore International Centre and at several literature festivals.

Video Documentation

I designed and directed Sahitya Sahavasa (In the Company of Literature), an 8 hour video documentation of the distinguished Kannada writer, UR Ananthamurthy’s lectures on modern Kannada literature telecast as eight 60 minute episodes on DD Chandana between June 8 and July 27, 2014.

Other Professional Engagements

I serve on the Academic Councils of Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai and Mt. Carmel College, Bengaluru and on the Board of Studies, Department of Social Work and Sociology, Christ University. I have served on the juries for the Fiction (2017) as well as Non-Fiction (2018 and 2019) prizes at The Hindu’s Lit for Life festival and for the National Film Award at the Bangalore International Film Festival in 2015.

Dr. Chandan Gowda
Ramakrishna Hegde Chair Professor of Decentralization and Development
Institute for Social and Economic Change
Nagarabhavi P.O. BANGALORE-560072, India
Ph: 080-23215468

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