I am an anthropologist interested in questions of politics and mediation, particularly in the entanglement of popular sovereignty and political communication. My recent interests are in political affect, populism, rumor, infrastructural development and democracy.  I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and have been a Member at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton during 2020-21. My first book, Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh (Stanford University Press 2019) is an ethnography of the crowd. My current book project explores the entanglements of sovereignty and sacrifice in the lived materiality of populist authoritarianism, or what I loosely describe as ''infrastructural populism'.  I am the book review editor (South Asia) of Journal of Asian Studies and am on the editorial board of Journal of Bangladesh Studies. During 2020-23, I served as an elected member of the South Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies.


Articles/Book Chapters

2023. "On the Importance of Throwing Things: Pelting as Popular Politics." Social Research: An International Quarterly. THE CROWD. Vol. 90, No. 2 | Summer 2023

2023. "জনতার রাজনীতি." In সময়ের কুয়াশায়ঃ দীপেশ চক্রবতীর সম্মানে প্রবন্ধগুচ্ছ। University Press Limited: Dhaka, Bangladesh.

2022. "The Mob." In The People of India: New Indian Politics in the 21st Century. Edited by Ravinder Kaur and Nayanika Mathur. Penguin Random House. India.

2021. "Dhaka 1969." In Economic and Political Weekly. October 30, 2021. Vol. LVI, Issue 44.

2020. "A Second Coming: The Specular and the Spectacular 50 Years On." In Südasien-Chronik/South Asia Chronicle. Focus: '71 Now. 

2019: “The Ethics of the Digital: Crowds and Popular Justice in Bangladesh.” In Crowds: Ethnographic Encounters. Chapter 9. Edited by Megan Steffen. Bloomsbury Press. 2019.

2019. “Death, Despair and Democracy in Bangladesh.” In Emotions, Mobilisations, and South Asian Politics. Chapter 14. Edited by Amélie Blom and Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal. Routledge, India.   

2019. "The Taka, Transparency, and an Alternative Politics of Seeing From Phulbari, Bangladesh." In Neoliberal Development In Bangladesh: People on the Margins. Edited by Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan (Editor) Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman (Editor). The University Press Limited (UPL) . Bangladesh. 

2016. “Mines and Signs: Resource and Political Futures in Bangladesh.” Special Issue on "Prognosis: Visions of Environmental Futures." Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute. Edited by Andrew Matthews and Jessica Barnes.

2014: “‘Picture-Thinking’: Sovereignty and Citizenship in Bangladesh.” Anthropological Quarterly. Fall 2014 (Volume 87, Issue 4).

2014: “Muslim Women and Violent Protest: Bangladesh.” Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures. General Editor Suad Joseph. Brill Online, 2014.


2019. Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh. Stanford University Press (Series: South Asia in Motion). 

Cover of Paradoxes of the Popular by Nusrat Sabina Chowdhury

Read the Introduction here: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=30635

Forthcoming.  Art, Politics, and the Environment in Bangladesh: FIfty Years On. Co-edited with Dr. Lotte Hoek (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Edinburgh). Contracted with Anthem Press, UK.

Scholarly Blogs

A Storm in a Teacup (American Ethnologist: Post-Covid Fantasies)

Crowd, Contagion, Corona (Cultural Anthropology Editors' Forum)

Introduction. Figurative Publics: Crowds, protest, and democratic anxieties (The Immanent Frame, SSRC)

Book Reviews

2022: Sisters in the Mirror: A History of Muslim Women and the Global Poliitcs of Feminism. Elora Shehabuddin. Journal of Bangladesh Studies. 24:2. 

2021: Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty. Rahul Mukherjee. Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies. 11(2) 207-217. 

2021: Nusrat Sabina Chowdhury and Rahul Mukherjee in Conversation. Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies. 11(2) 212-214.

2014: Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India. Akhil Gupta. Journal of Anthropological Research. Vol. 70, Fall 2014.

2013: Women Suicide Bombers: Narratives of Violence. Julie Rajan. South Asian Popular Culture. 2013.

2012: In the Shadows of the State: Indigenous Politics, Environmentalism, and Insurgency in Jharkhand, India. Alpa Shah. PoLar: The Political and Legal Anthropology Review. Spring 2012 (Vol. 35, Issue 1).


2008: “Pashcimer Najare: Naribadi Chinta o Ouponibeshik Discourse.” Bengali translation of “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Thought and Colonial Discourse” by Chandra Talpade Mohanty. In Muktoshwar. No. 2. Year 1. Samhati Publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh.