SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Arka Chakraborty

  • Research


Arka Chakraborty
Arka Chakraborty
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Thesis title:
The Reception History of Bob Dylan in Indian Popular Music
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Arka is a first-year MPhil/PhD student at the Department of Music at SOAS, University of London. He completed his MA and MPhil in English Literature from Vidyasagar University, West Bengal, India. His MPhil dissertation studied the themes of protest in the lyrics of American singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan.

PhD Research

My doctoral research explores popular music culture in Eastern India in the context of the cultural and socio-musical reception of American singer-songwriter, Bob Dylan. Specific focus is reserved on urban folk phenomenons in twentieth-century music and the broader translocal connections between the North Atlantic and South Asia. Through this study, I seek to create a historiographic account of the Dylan consciousness in India and its impact on the long history of experimental and hybrid music. To map out a genealogy of pop music across the Eastern Indian axis, I focus on disentangling complex historical knots of musical encounters and intersections, within the contemporary musical and cultural landscape.

My project adopts an interdisciplinary approach to combining archival, literary, and musicological research. Ethnographies conducted through interviews and participant observation alongside archival work constitute my primary methods of inquiry. During the 2021/22 academic year, I will be conducting fieldwork in India, Bangladesh, and the USA.


British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE)
Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies Group (IAPMS)


Music History; Popular Music; South Asian Studies; Ethnomusicology; Global Studies; Postcolonial Studies