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Alice Thorner

by Marc Gaborieau

by, 26 September 2005

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(Published in: Diogenes)

Marc Gaborieau

This is the obituary of Alice Thorner, an American scholar-specialist of the social history of India, who spent most of her career in France. She first worked with her husband, Daniel Thorner (1915-74), who briefly taught in Pennsylvania before being expelled from the USA by McCarthy. They lived in India from 1952 to 1960, where they worked on Land and Labor. They settled in Paris in 1960 when Daniel was appointed to the EPHE 6th section (now EHESS) where he taught the economic (especially agrarian) history of India up to his death, and became a member of the Centre of Indian Studies created by Louis Dumont. Alice, who travelled to India every year, continued her own research on gender studies, on working-class women, and on the town of Bombay. This paper, written by a younger colleague and friend, uses personal anecdotes to sketch Alice’s career; it also lists her principal publications.