Topics: Psychoanalysis, Psychotherapy, Ritual, Political Communication, Oracular Speech, Semiotics, Social Organization, Kinship, Cosmology/Religion, Vernacular Political Systems, Human Development, Value Transformation, Economic Anthropology, Social Theory, Intellectual Commons, Humor, Taboo and the Unsayable
Regional interests: South Asia (Northeast India, Himalayas, South India); Highland Southeast Asia
I am a psychoanalytic anthropologist and an anthropological psychoanalyst with a stubborn resistance to disciplinary specialization. I completed my PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2017 with a dissertation focused on public vs. secret genres of political and economic communication (referred to locally as "accounts" or hisap) in Mayong, a small kingdom in Central Assam. My work with Mayongians brought me—in ever-increasing and almost obsessive returns—to Freudian and Object-Relations Psychoanalysis. After finishing my PhD, I continued on at the University of Chicago as a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences and a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. While teaching undergraduate courses on social theory and chipping away at my book manuscript and other publications, I began formal training in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and am currently a candidate at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute.
I have joined the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo as a post-doctoral fellow to work on the RCN-funded project “Shrinking the Planet.” Under the direction of Dr. Keir Martin (PI), I will conduct ethnographic research in India (Bangalore, Kolkata, and Shillong) to investigate how psychotherapeutic practice and its forms of knowledge are re-shaping subjectivity and values among the Indian middle class.
- Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 2015
- Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion Research Fellowship, 2013-14
- Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship, 2013-14
- I.I.E. Mellon Research Fellowship (Emergency grant given for a successful Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship received during a year of no federal funding), 2012-13
- Associate Editor, Prickly Paradigm Press
- Editorial Board, The Highlander Books
- Academic Advisory Board Member & Volunteer Faculty, Warrior Scholars Project
- Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences and Harper-Schmidt Fellow (Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts), University of Chicago, 2017-2021
Articles, Essays, and Book Chapters
- Forthcoming (2021). “Kingship.” Entry for The Routledge Companion to Northeast India, edited by T.B. Subba and J.J.P. Wouters. London and New Delhi: Routledge.
- Forthcoming (2021). “The Bronze Sandal.” Political Theology.
- In Press (2021). “What is a Raij? Translating Counter-Sovereignties in Twenty-First-Century Assam.” In Vernacular Politics in Northeast India: Tribal Democracies, Ethno-Talk, and Political Prophecy, edited by Jelle Wouters, Oxford University Press.
- 2017. “Ichthyonomics, or Fish and Humans in the Time of Floods: Rethinking Speciation in Assam.” In Northeast India: A Place of Relations, edited by Yasmin Saikia and Amit Rahul Baishya. Cambridge University Press.
- 2015. “Reflections on a Shared Name: Taboo and Destiny in Mayong (Assam).” Special Issue, “Names and Naming in South Asia,” edited by Veena Das and Jacob Copeman. South Asia Multidisciplinary Journal 12.
- 2011. “Adorning the Margins.” Margins: A Journal in Literature and Culture. 1 (1): 11-64.
- 2014. Co-Edited with Rupert Stasch and Giovanni da Col. Valeri, Valerio. Rituals and annals: Between anthropology and history. Classics Series, No. 2. Manchester: HAU Society for Ethnographic Theory.
- 2013. Co-Authored with Giovanni da Col and Stéphane Gros. “Father Christmas Rejuvenated.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 3 (3): i–iv.
- 2013. Co-Authored and Co-Edited with John D. Kelly and Martha Kaplan. “Editors’ preface: An introduction to ‘Honor and honors in Great Britain and India’ by Bernard S. Cohn.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 3 (3): 449–55.
- 2021. Review of Pinto, Sarah. 2020. The Doctor & Mrs. A.: Ethics and Counter-Ethics in an Indian Dream Analysis. New York: Fordham University Press. Anthropological Quarterly 94 (1): 787–792.
- 2010. Review of Birla, Ritu. 2008. Stages of Capital: Law, Culture and Market Governance in Late Colonial India. Durham and London: Duke University Press. University of Chicago Committee on Southern Asian Studies Newsletter, Fall Issue.
- 2006. Review of Gandhi, Leela. 2006. Affective Communities: Anti-Colonial Thought and Fin-de-Siecle Radicalism. Durham and London: Duke University Press. University of Chicago Committee on Southern Asian Studies Newsletter, Summer Issue.