I study contemporary cultures of protest, democracy and populism, resource politics, political communication, and digital politics. My regional expertise is in Bangladesh and South Asia.
My book, Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh is an ethnography of the reconfigurations within contemporary protest politics in South Asia. The premise of its inquiry is that the crowd is the primary bearer of political messages in the global south. Based on anthropological research on multiple mobilizations in rural and urban Bangladesh, it argues that resource and democracy have become two exemplary sites of anticipatory politics in the global south. The opposition to the Phulbari coalmines that exploded in 2006, the popular challenges to a state of emergency declared in early 2007, the movement against the War Crimes Tribunal in 2013, and the more recent digital activism around sexual harassment and vigilante violence in 2015 are some of its ethnographic sites.
The book covers wider empirical and theoretical grounds than my doctoral dissertation, which had won the Sol Tax Dissertation Award in 2013 from the University of Chicago's Department of Anthropology. You can check out a synopsis here:
Research and Publication
Peer-reviewed Articles/Book Chapters
Forthcoming “Paradoxes of the Popular: 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. 2018
Forthcoming “The Ethics of the Digital: Crowds and Popular Justice in Bangladesh.” In Crowds: Ethnographic Encounters. Chapter 9. Edited by Megan Steffen. Bloomsbury Press. 2018.
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.
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.
n.d. Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh. Manuscript being revised for Stanford University Press (Series: South Asia in Motion).
Forthcoming Generations: Remaking and Rethinking Bangladesh. Co-edited with Dr. Lotte Hoek (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Edinburgh). Contracted with Anthem Press, UK. Forthcoming in 2018.
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.