I study and teach on topics such as popular sovereignty and political communication. My larger conceptual and ethnographic interests are in protest, political affect, development, and old and new technologies of surveillance. Bangladesh is my primary source of ethnographic insights. My first book, Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh (Stanford University Press 2019)  is an anthropology of crowds, a permanent fixture in South Asian democratic life (see below for a description). My current book project explores the concept of sacrifice in relation to postcolonial development. The ethnographic focus is on the rumors of sacrifice and violence around particular development megaprojects in Bangladesh as manifestations of larger tensions that arise from legitimizing sacrifice, which is at the core of postcolonial democratic imagination.

 
Publications

Articles/Book Chapters

2021 "The Second Coming: The Specular and the Spectacular 50 Years On." In Südasien-Chronik/South Asia Chronicle. De|En.

https://edoc.hu-berlin.de/handle/18452/22997

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.

https://www.academia.edu/37189877/The_Ethics_of_the_Digital_Crowds_and_Popular_Justice_in_Bangladesh_In_Crowds_Ethnographic_Encounters_Bloomsbury_Press_2018

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.   

https://www.academia.edu/37318180/Death_Despair_and_Democracy_in_Bangladesh

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. 

http://www.uplbooks.com/book/neoliberal-development-bangladesh?fbclid=IwAR0ToEltgFcTbVw8QTRl7cC92jOzUbOP2KNemLSEBNxqfesXpE5f_oBHeTI

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.

https://www.academia.edu/24477076/Mines_and_signs_resource_and_political_futures_in_Bangladesh

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

https://www.academia.edu/10127829/_Picture-Thinking_Sovereignty_and_Citizenship_in_Bangladesh

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

https://www.academia.edu/9843505/Encyclopedia_of_Women_and_Islamic_Cultures_-_Muslim_Women_and_Violent_Protest_Bangladesh

2002 “Understanding the Experience of Household Food Insecurity in Rural Bangladesh Leads to a Measure Different from That Used in Other Countries.” Co-authored with Edward Frongillo et al. Journal of Nutrition. 2003: 133, 4158-4162.

Books

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

2021 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.

Academic Blogs

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

https://americanethnologist.org/features/pandemic-diaries/post-covid-fantasies/a-storm-in-a-teacup

 

Crowd, Contagion, Corona (Cultural Anthropology)

https://www.academia.edu/42990616/Crowd_Contagion_Corona

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

https://www.academia.edu/42797769/Introduction_Figurative_publics_Crowds_protest_and_democratic_anxieties

 

Book Reviews

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).

Translation

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.