The Forum on Contemporary Theory fosters an interdisciplinary community of teachers, researchers and students committed to critical thinking in the humanities and social sciences in India and South Asia. We are an independent, autonomous, not-for-profit organization engaging in academic and scholarly activities with close to a thousand life-members. Located outside the university system, FCT nurtures a wide network of scholars and students nationally and globally. Our autonomous nature enables us to forge meaningful connections with the larger public and thinkers outside of conventional academic spaces. FCT believes in strengthening intercultural dialogues among scholars and writers in the Global South concerning issues affecting the contemporary world. Since it’s founding nearly three decades ago, FCT has regularly organized conferences, workshops, lectures, and seminars and other activities aimed at bringing distinguished scholars and young academics together for productive conversation on themes of contemporary relevance. FCT also plays a vital role in enhancing the capacity of young scholars in the humanities and social sciences by organizing focused programs across India. The work of FCT is governed by the following objectives:
- To foster interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue through conceptual and theoretical tools;
- To enhance reflections that connect theory to everyday practice and social transformation.
FCT has its base in Baroda, India, where we house a specialized library with meeting and research spaces. We welcome new members who are interested in interdisciplinary research, critical thinking and a commitment to theory as a tool for better living.
FCT is deeply committed to connecting with scholars from across the country. In an effort to make our programmes accessible, and to reach those who do not live in metropolitan centres of the country, FCT organizes its conferences, courses and other events in several states in India partnering with institutions in mid-size towns and cities. In the past our programmes have reached the following states:
- Uttar Pradesh
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
The Ford Foundation support was and continues to be, significant for the growth of
FCT. With its first grant in 2005, FCT was able to have a modest space and began
the process of building a specialized library. The South Asia fellowship program was
also started with this grant. It benefitted around 60 scholars from across South Asia.
From 2005 -2013 FCT received three grants from the Ford Foundation. After a
hiatus of four years, Ford Foundation has made a new grant to FCT for a period of
two and half years beginning April 1, 2017.
In the past, Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi has
supported the publication of the Journal of Contemporary Thought and organization
of the annual international conferences.
Arjun Appadurai, the Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at
New York University and Senior Advisor of the Forum has been supporting FCT in
his individual capacity along with his wife, Gabika Bokaj- Anthropologist &
Documentary Filmmaker and Forum’s International Research Fellow -through
significant financial contribution since April 2013.
Collaborations and Affiliations
Today FCT has nearly one thousand life-members around the world, and is connected to more than hundred universities and research institutions in India and abroad. A large majority of FCT’s members are from India/South Asia. The membership of FCT also covers over ten countries drawn from Africa, Australia, Europe, Latin America and North America. This membership base has developed into an effective network of thinkers, scholars, and institutions allowing FCT to expand its outreach across the world. Membership to the Forum on Contemporary Theory is open to those with an interest in critical and interdisciplinary thinking in the humanities and social sciences.
Continuing members are stakeholders and an integral part of the structure of the organization. The general body
of the life members meets during FCT’s annual conference. All life members receive free copies of the
Journal of Contemporary Thought (bi-annual)and the Annual Report.
Fee for members in India – ₹ 5,000/-
Fee for members overseas – $ 200/-
Payable by bank draft drawn in favor of Forum on Contemporary Theory, Baroda
This membership is meant for those who live in or around Baroda and wish to use the facilities, including
the library at the centre.
Annual fee for non-student members – ₹ 1,000/-
Payable locally in cash or by cheque to the FCT administrative office.
This membership is offered to students of M. S. University of Baroda who wish to use the library and be
part of FCT.
Annual fee for student membership: ₹ 400/-
FCT invites institutional membership to foster connections and cultivate links among humanities and
social science research bodies/groups working in India. Institutional members have access to our detailed
database of books, are eligible to participate in our general body meetings (through representation) and
receive a lifetime subscription to the Journal of Contemporary Thought.
Fee for members in India: ₹ 10,000/-
Balvant Parekh Centre for General Semantics and Other Human Sciences was
established in 2009 as a sister organization of the Forum with generous support from
the Pidilite Industries, Mumbai. The two Centres have been working as
complementary institutions. The two institutions share space and resources in terms
of academic and administrative staff. They also collaborate intellectually through
their programs and publications.
FCT is a member of the Consortium of the Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI)
located at the Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.
CHCI currently has a membership of over 230 organizations and affiliates in 23 countries and 46 US states and collaborates on research projects globally among
institutions. The Forum is so far the only member from South Asia.
The International Lincoln Center, Louisiana State University, Shreveport has
suported the the publication of the Journal of Contemporary Thought over the years.
Its has also generously supported the XX Annual International Conference of FCT
The University of North Texas at Denton had signed a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Forum for three years (2011-2013) for supporting its
The Princeton African Humanities Colloquium collaborated with FCT for XX
International Conference on “The Humanities across Cultures.” at Gopalpur-on- Sea,
Odisha in Decemeber 2017.