I am a cultural and social anthropologist, who treads at the intersection between critical ethnography and people's ability to make the world. My scholastic inquiries are directed towards understanding the relation between thought, language and practice that is constructed and performed in everyday life. As a methodological tool my work focuses on narratives, and the spaces and moments within which they get articulated. The broader context within which I situate my research pertains to the simultaneous and varied registers through which people construct knowledge about identity, place and time.
My ethnographic research so far has been centered around artisanal communities of India, specially from the Telangana region, through which I have primarily attempted to address the question: 'How do practitioners articulate the experience of craft and of being craftspeople?' By focusing on narratives that construct multiple experiences of the practice and of being a practitioner, the larger disciplinary inquiry that I have undertaken is the way in which ethnography alters our understanding of the location of meaning.
Expanding my interest in 'world-making', I am currently pursuing two areas of research. First, I am keen to explore the way in which second-generation young artisans who have migrated to cities in India envision inheritance, digitization and urbanization as constitutive of their futures. This study aims to bring together anthropological discourses on youth, work and futures into a critical dialogue with politics of heritage and development. Second, I am currently exploring the burgeoning phenomenon of 'fitness' in contemporary India. Focusing on the rapidly growing fitness industry in urban centers, this project is still at its inception. First, it attempts to understand practices through which ideas of 'fitness' and of 'health' have come to encompass each another; second, it explores the location and meaning of 'labour' (as part of fitness) within an urban-based middle class discourse on leisure.
Courses that I teach at undergraduate and graduate levels include 'Time, Memory, Body: Anthropological Perspectives', 'Art, Knowledge and Society', 'Visual Anthropology', 'Contemporary India', 'Critical Heritage Studies', 'Ritual, Power and Identity' and 'Cultures of Digital Gaming'.
Office: 208-A, Academic Block C Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad, Kandi, Sangareddy 502285, Telangana