The Bombay Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR) is a non-profit, pedagogical and research para-academy. Founded in 2019, we promote critical thinking, teaching, research methods, reading, and writing in the humanities and social sciences, overlooked or beyond the scope of existing ‘university discourse’. 

BICAR tunes its curriculum to critical philosophy, visual culture, architecture, sound, the performing arts, and design, producing a relationship between intellectual inquiry and social, political, and aesthetic transformation. In light of its location in Bombay and India, we create an environment for collective analysis and response to the contradictions of modernity and contemporaneity under conditions of global capital.

Our alumni have received admissions to universities in India and abroad for BAs (e.g. Columbia University in New York), MPhils (e.g. Goldsmith’s), MAs (e.g. Oxford), MFAs (e.g. Bard), and PhDs (e.g. IIT Mumbai), as well as grants (e.g. destination university grants), fellowships (e.g. Inlaks Shivdasani Scholarship), and residencies (e.g. Kochi Biennial) to fund their academic and  creative work. 

People

Rohit Goel is the co-editor of Lacan contra Foucault: Subjectivity, Sex, Politics (Bloomsbury) and has taught courses in philosophy, critical theory, historiography, and politics at the University of Chicago, Sciences Po Paris, the American University of Beirut, and Jnanapravaha Mumbai. He received the Fulbright IIE and Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) fellowships to pursue years of Arabic language study in Syria and was awarded the Fulbright DDRA and Andrew C. Mellon Fellowship for PhD Dissertation Research in primary sources in Lebanon. He completed his BA from Harvard College and, as Harvard University’s Paul Williams Fellow to Emmanuel College, was awarded an MPhil in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Shama Nair is a photographer and writer, and is currently a member of The Assembly at Jameel Arts Center, Dubai. Drawn to the intersection between urbanity and visual culture, her research foregrounds our changing relationship with an ever-expanding neoliberal metropolis, particularly in the MENASA. Shama received a BA Liberal Arts in Media Studies from the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune, in 2018.

Sonali Bhagchandani is pursuing an MA in History from Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research explores the intersections of narrative strategy, emotion, and memory through the material history that consolidates ‘postcolonial’ India. Sonali obtained a BA in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College in 2016 and a diploma in Modern & Contemporary Indian Art and Curatorial Studies from the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, in 2017.

Kunal Desai is currently in his final year of a B.A. in English Literature at Kishinchand Chellaram College, India.

BICAR in Lebanon

International Consortium of Critical Theory Program

Project88, Bombay

Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi

Collaboration

BICAR is committed to collaborating with para-academic institutes in India and abroad. We share knowledge, methods, experiences, and experiment with new pedagogical approaches to delivering and exhibiting challenging material to students who lack foundational knowledge of a topic but must traverse an establishment world of academe. Currently, we work with four forums:

 

History

BICAR in India grows out of the Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research, which was founded in Lebanon in 2014 by Professors Nadia Bou Ali, Raymond Brassier, Octavian Esanu, Rohit Goel, Angela Harutyunyan, Sami Khatib, and Ghalya Saadawi, a group of philosophers, historians, sociologists, and artists committed to critical analysis and research outside the strictures of an increasingly corporatized, global academe.