Hana Shams Ahmed
Graduate Programme in Social Anthropology, York University
Research keywords: Bangladesh; Chittagong Hill Tracts; Indigenous Peoples; postcolonial state; governmentality; articulation
Hana Shams Ahmed is a PhD Candidate of social anthropology at York University, Canada. She has an MA in sociocultural anthropology from Western University, Canada, and an MA in development studies from BRAC University, Bangladesh. In Bangladesh she has served as the coordinator of the advocacy body, the International Chittagong Hill Tracts Commission for several years and worked as a journalist for The Daily Star newspaper before that. She has published articles in The Daily Star Bangladesh, New Age Bangladesh, Himal Southasian, New Internationalist, and Shuddhashar among others. Her academic work has been published in several edited volumes. She combines her advocacy work with her research which centers around the Bangladeshi state’s relationship with the Indigenous communities living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, on the borders of India and Myanmar. She looks at how postcolonial state domination manifests itself through military occupation, surveillance, and everyday forms of intimidation and violence and how Indigenous communities engage with the state by using different forms of resistance in the form of refusal and demand for recognition. Her PhD research is an ethnographic study of the discourse and practice of petitions related to land claims in the Hills. The research looks at how the Jumma Indigenous Peoples combine written petitions, negotiations, civil disobedience, and other forms of protests to mobilize around land, articulate their rights to land, how the state responds to them and what that demonstrates about the nature of the relationship between the state and its non-dominant communities in postcolonial states such as Bangladesh.