Mitul Baruah is an Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Ashoka University. His research interests include political ecology, environmental justice, water governance, hazards and disasters, rural livelihoods, agrarian studies, development and sustainability, climate change, and island studies. His current research focuses on the Brahmaputra valley in northeast India.
Prof. Baruah holds a PhD in Geography from Syracuse University. He graduated with distinction from Syracuse, and his doctoral dissertation received the Geography Department’s Best Dissertation Award for 2016. He also holds an MS in Environmental Studies from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York; an MA in Social Work from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; and a BA (Hons) in History from Ramjas College, Delhi University. Prior to joining Ashoka University, he taught undergraduate courses at Syracuse University as a Part-Time Instructor.
Between 2002-2008, Mitul worked with Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), the erstwhile National Tree Growers’ Cooperative Federation (NTGCF), in Udaipur, Rajasthan. At FES, he was deeply involved in various initiatives on common property resources (CPR) governance, sustainable rural livelihoods, and strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions. As a Team Leader at FES, he was responsible for coordinating several large projects as well as forging collaborations with researchers, government agencies, NGOs and donors. These experiences helped him gain a critical understanding of environment-development issues in theory and practice, and they continue to inform his research and teaching.
In 2008, he received the Ford Foundation International Fellowship, which helped him return to academia. Prof. Baruah’s scholarship is interdisciplinary, and his pedagogy combines theoretical engagements with field-based learning. He is currently finishing a monograph based on his doctoral research in Assam.
Born and raised in Majuli river island in the middle of the Brahmaputra River, Mitul is passionate about all things river and river islands. When in Majuli, he loves to spend his time, as much as possible, boating, fishing, and simply watching the might river flow.