Pronoy Rai

Pronoy Rai, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of International and Global Studies
Ph.D. in Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Office: East Hall 344
Phone: 503-725-3451

Office Hours for Winter 2019: by appointment only, email to schedule

Research and Teaching Interests

Human-environment geographies, development and labor migration, gender and masculinities, agro-ecological change, and South Asia

Research Agenda

In my current research project (2013-present), I examine labor migration in rural western India to understand the relations between the seasonal migration of socio-politically and economically marginalized agrarian populations and social change in migrant home villages. I have published my ongoing research in Geoforum. I have been conducting research in Yavatmal district in the drylands of rural western India since 2011 by applying qualitative research methods and surveys.

Previously (2011-13), I have studied the politics of food-based entitlements in the region to explain a) the distribution of endowments (that can be exchanged for food) among various agrarian communities and b) food-based entitlements as biopolitics that embroils populations occupying multiple social locations and variegated relations with the development state. I have published this research in the Journal of Rural Studies.

I am currently developing a new research project to examine the relations between climate change and labor migration at a scale that has received limited attention in scholarship, i.e. internal migration within a nation-state. Building on my long-term studies of agro-ecological and socio-political change in rural western India, I seek to understand how climate change is impacting 1) labor-linked agricultural production, and thus, socially, farmer-labor relations; 2) migrant laborers’ livelihood in and away from their home villages; and 3) new gender negotiations in production and social reproduction, as climate change deepens the social vulnerability of marginalized populations.


Courses Taught

  • INTL 390: Foundations of Global Studies (Fall 2018)

At the University of Illinois:

  • GEOG 106: Geographies of Globalization (Spring 2017)
  • GEOG 101: Global Development and Environment (Spring 2015 and Spring 2014, Graduate Student Instructor with Tom Bassett)

At Ohio University:

  • WGSS 4900: Gender, Culture, and Development (Summer 2016, co-taught with Julie White)
  • Study Abroad in India Program (Summer 2016, Co-Director with Julie White and Brian Collins.)