Dr Alice Tilche

Lecturer in Anthropology and Museum Studies

School/Department: Museum Studies, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)796 365 8916




Alice Tilche is a lecturer in Art, Anthropology and Museum Studies. Her research at the intersection of art and activism employs visual, collaborative and arts-based methods to research social transformations.  Recent research projects include work on the cultural politics of indigeneity, migration, nationalism and most recently Covid-19.  Alice’s book Adivasi Art and Activism: curation in a nationalist age was published with Washington University Press in 2022. Her collaborative film projects including Sundarana (2011), Broken Gods (2019) and Budhan-Stories (2021) have been selected for a number of international film festivals and awards. Alice's research has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Economic and Social Science Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK. Her most recent project is a Research Partnership with Indigenous Researchers titled Indigenous Film Ecologies in India.  


Alice has conducted research projects on indigenous art and activism; religion and nationalism; and on migration and rural transformation. Since 2020 Alice has been working on a series of community-led projects under the umbrella of Budhan-Stories, in collaboration with a collective of indigenous artists and filmmakers associated the Budhan Theatre. Budhan-Stories began in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic to capture the experiences of India’s most marginal indigenous and nomadic communities through theatre, film and digital technology, creating an archive of memory against erasure. This project has since grown into an ambitious training programme for young leaders from marginalised communities, developing a practice of research-based filmmaking that addresses the asymmetries in the public sphere, and communities’ exclusion from knowledge production. 

Major Research Projects:

Indigenous Film Ecologies in India (Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2023-25)

Supporting Indigenous Creative Economies in a Digital Age (Arts and Humanities Research Council, 2022-23)

Disturbing Images: visualising the Covid-19 pandemic at India's margins (British Academy, 2022-23)

Using the arts to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 among India's indigenous and nomadic communities (Art and Humanities Research Council, 2020-2022)

Making and unmaking indigeneity: art, religion and inequality in India (Leverhulme Trust, 2015-2019)

Rural change and anthropological knowledge in post-colonial India (ESRC, 2011-2015, research fellow)





Tilche, A. 2022.  Asivasi Art and Activism: Curation in a Nationalist Age. University of Washington Press

Simpson, E. and Tilche, A. 2016. The future of the rural world? India's villages 1950-2015. SOAS: University of London

Journal Articles

Tilche, A. 2022. Broken gods: Collaborative filmmaking in troubled times. American Anthropologist 124: 490– 503.

Tilche, A. and Simpson, E. 2018. Marriage and the crisis of peasant society in Gujarat, India. Journal of Peasant Studies, 45(7): 1518-1538

Tilche, A. and Simpson, E. 2018.  On trusting ethnography: methods, self, and the agency of fields of Gujarat, India. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23(4): 690 78

Simpson, E., Tilche, A. Jeffery, P. Otten, T. Sbriccoli, T. 2017. A brief history of incivility in rural India, 1950-2015. Caste, religion and anthropology. Comparative Studies in Society and History. 60 (1): 58-59

Tilche, A. 2016. Migration, bachelorhood and discontent among the Patidars. Economic and Political Weekly, 51(26-27): 17-24

Tilche, A. 2015. A forgotten Adivasi landscape: memory and museums in western India. Contributions to Indian Sociology. 49 (2): 188-215

Tilche, A. 2014. Pithora in the time of kings, elephants and art dealers: art and social change in western India. Visual Anthropology. 20(1): 1-20

Book Chapters

Tilche, A. 2021. Budhan-Podcast: a community arts podcast about health and rights during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Outbreak: An Indian Pandemic Reader. Madhu Singh (ed). Pencraft International. 

Tilche, A. 2019. Migration, bachelorhood and discontent among the Patidars. In India’s villages in the 21st century. S. Jhodka and E. Simpson (eds).

Tilche, A. 2019 Art and religious reform among the Rathavas of western India. Brill’s encyclopaedia of the religions among the indigenous people of South Asia. Carrin, M. & H. Tambs-Lyche (eds). Brill.

Tilche, A. 2005. Translating museums. In G.N. Devy, Geoffrey V. Davis, K.K. Chakravarty (eds) Indigeneity: Culture and Representation. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.

Blogs and Internet Publications

Tilche, Alice and Khanna, Akshay. 2022. “The Village of the Dead.” Focaalblog, 31 May.

Tilche, Alice and Khanna, Akshay. 2022. “Embodying emotions in theatre and film.” Focaalblog, 16 June.

Tilche, Alice and khanna, akshay. 2022. “That which cannot be spoken.” Focaalblog, 5 September.

Tilche, Alice and khanna, akshay. 2022. “The Political Voice and The Revolutionary.” Focaalblog, 3 October.

Book Reviews

Tilche, A. 2011. Sacrificing people. An invasion of a tribal landscape. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 2, 17

Tilche, A. 2009. Hindu nationalism: a reader (C. Jaffrelot) Contemporary South Asia. 17, 3


2021. Budhan-Stories (multimedia project in collaboration with Budhan Theatre and the Adivasi Academy).

2021. Telling our Covid Stodies. Directed by Dakxin Bajrange Chhara & Alice Tilche. 10 min. Nomad Movies.

2019. Broken gods. Directed by Dakxin Bajrange Chhara & Alice Tilche. 42 min. Nomad Movies.

2013. Sundarana. Directed by Dakxin Bajrange Chhara & Alice Tilche. 43 min. Nomad Movies.


art and activism 

art and anthropology  

migration, mobility and displacement especially in relation to art and heritage

art, religion and nationalism

visual and arts-based methodologies



Locating Art (MA in Art Museums and Gallery Studies)

Indigenous Museologies (MA in Museum Studies)


BA (Hons), Social Anthropology, SOAS

MSc Visual, Material and Museum Anthropology, Oxford

PhD Social Anthropology, SOAS

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