Participants – University of Copenhagen

Home > Participants


Thomas Blom Hansen
Stanford University
Thomas Blom Hansen is the Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies at Stanford University where he also is the founder director of the Center for South Asia.
He has worked on Hindu nationalism, religious conflict and urban culture in India and has also conducted a long term study of religious and social transformations in a township in post apartheid South Africa.
His main publications include The Saffron Wave. Democracy and Hindu nationalism in Modern India (Princeton 1999); Wages of Violence. Naming and Identity in postcolonial Bombay (Princeton 2001) and more recently Melancholia of Freedom. Social life in an Indian Township in South Africa (Princeton 2012). He has also co-edited three volumes and published numerous articles.  His new work focuses on criminality, morality and public life in Aurangabad in India.

David Ludden
New York University
David Ludden is Professor of Political Economy and Globalization in the Department of History at New York University. In 1978, he received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served on the faculty from 1981 until 2007. In the 1990s, he served as chair of South Asia programs at Penn, the Social Science Research Council, and Fulbright Senior Scholars program (CIES). In 2002, he was President of the Association for Asian Studies. He studies the long-term history of economic development and globalization in South Asia, broadly concerned with comparative histories of capitalism, agrarian livelihoods, inequality, poverty, conflict, and social movements. His publications include four edited volumes, three monographs, and dozens of articles and chapters.

Esther Fihl
University of Copenhagen
Esther Fihl, professor dr.phil. Head of Centre for Comparative Cultural Studies at Depart. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. Has since 1981 on an off been doing ethnographical and historical studies in Tranquebar, the former Danish colony in South India. Since 2005 research leader of The Tranquebar Initiative of the National Museum of Denmark.

Uwe Skoda
Århus University
Uwe Skoda, Ph.D. is Associate Professor, South Asian Studies, and Chairperson, Contemporary India Study Centre Aarhus (CISCA) at the Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University, Denmark. Currently he is working on transformations of kingship with a regional focus on Central-Eastern India. His research interests also include photography and visual culture more generally, Indian politics, social organisation and kinship. He recently co-edited “Trysts with democracy. Political practice in South Asia” (2011, London: Anthem Press - together with Stig Toft Madsen and Kenneth Nielsen), and “State, Power and Violence” (2010, Wiesbaden: Harrossowitz - co-edited with Hermann Kulke

Anthony D'Costa
Copenhagen Business School
Anthony P. D’Costa is the A.P. Möller-Mærsk Foundation Professor in Indian Studies and Research Director at the Asia Research Centre, Copenhagen Business School.  Prior to this appointment in 2008 he was with the University of Washington for eighteen years.  He has written extensively on the global steel, Indian automobile and IT industries, globalization, development, innovations, and industrial restructuring.  Of his eight books, his most recent ones are A New India? Critical Reflections in the Long Twentieth Century (edited 2010) and The New Asian Innovation Dynamics: China and India in Perspective (coedited, 2009), Globalization and Economic Nationalism in Asia (edited Oxford University Press 2012), Transformation and Development: The Political Economy of Transition in India and China (coedited with Amiya K. Bagchi, Oxford University Press, forthcoming), and Global Capitalism and the Mobility of Technical Talent (Routledge).  He has been fellows of the Japan Foundation, American Institute of Indian Studies, Fulbright-Hays, Korea Foundation, Social Science Research Council, NY, and UN University’s World Institute of Development Economics Research, Helsinki. He has conducted commissioned projects for the ILO, World Bank, and WIDER. He edits “Technology, Globalization and Development” and “India and Asia in the Global Economy” book series and serves on the editorial boards of Asian Business and Management and the European Journal of Development Research.  He is a member of Nordic NIAS Council and the Nordic Centre in India.

Bengt Karlsson
Stockholm University
Bengt. G. Karlsson is associate professor and head of the department of
social anthropology, Stockholm University. He has published two monographs
and two edited volumes dealing with the situation of India’s indigenous
peoples, particularly addressing questions concerning ethnicity and rights
over land and natural resources.

Arild Ruud
Oslo University
Professor of Anthropology

William Mazzarella
University of Chicago
William Mazzarella is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (2003) and the forthcoming Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Publicity (2013). He is also co-editor (with Raminder Kaur) of Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (2009).

Gopal Guru
Gopal Guru is Professor of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His work includes 'Ambedkar's Concept of Political Power (1992), 'Dalit and Cultural Movement in Maharashtra (1997). His most recent publication is 'Cracked Mirror: Indian Debate on Theory and Experience (2012; with Sundar Sarukkai). He has also authored a number journal articles as well as book chapters.

Saloni Mathur
Saloni Mathur received her PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the New School for Social Research in New York (1998), and is currently Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She is author of India by Design: Colonial History and Cultural Display (UC Press, 2007), editor of The Migrant’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora (Yale University Press/Clark Art Institute, 2011), and co-editor (with Kavita Singh) of No Touching, Spitting, Praying: Modalities of the Museum in South Asia (forthcoming, Routledge). Her writing has been published in such interdisciplinary sites as Cultural Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Annual Review of Anthropology, Critical Inquiry, Art Journal, Art Bulletin, Third Text and Art in America.

Ananya Jahanara Kabir
University of Leeds
Ananya Jahanara Kabir is Professor of the Humanities, School of English, University of Leeds. She started out as an early medievalist (of Europe) and ended up as a postcolonialist, but through it all, she has been guided by the analytical challenge of diverse forms and genres of cultural expression and their relationship to conflict, trauma and survival. She also enjoys working with different languages; during 2012-13, she shall be learning how to convert her advanced Spanish to basic Portuguese. She is the author of, among other works, _Territory of Desire: Representing the Valley of Kashmir_ (University of Minnesota Press, 2009) and, as an Arts and Humanities Council’s Knowledge Transfer Fellow (2007-2010), co-curator of the exhibition and associated programmes, ‘Between Kismet and Karma: South Asian Women Artists Respond to Conflict’ (Leeds Art Gallery and other venues UK-wide, 2010). As British Academy/ Leverhulme Senior Research Fellow (2011-12), she is currently writing a book entitled _Partition’s Post-Amnesias: 1947, 1971 and Modern South Asia_ . She is also formulating a project on transnational rhythm cultures which rethinks the place of Africa in a history of modernity as conceived through pleasure, spectacle and the body.

Dilip Menon
University of Witwatersrand
Dilip M Menon is the Mellon Chair of Indian Studies and the Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at the University of Witwatersrand. He was educated at the Universities of Delhi, Oxford and Cambridge and got his PhD degree from Cambridge. He is a translator from the Malayalam and writes on film, theatre and literature.

His research for the past decade has engaged with issues of caste, socialism and equality in modern India. This has resulted in several essays and a monograph on issues of caste in modern India as also a translation of the first novel written in an Indian language by a lower caste individual.

Currently, he is working on issues of cultural and intellectual history and is engaged in a project on the writing of history in India between 1850 and 1960. The work inaugurated at the Centre is interdisciplinary and transnational in approach and looks afresh at issues of colonialism, modernity and migration in the Global South.

Srirupa Roy
Georg-August-Universittat Gottingen
Srirupa Roy is Professor and Chair of "State and Democracy" at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Goettingen.

She is the author of "Beyond Belief: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism" (Duke University Press, 2007 and Permanent Black Press, 2007) and co-editor of "Visualizing Secularism: Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, India" (University of Michigan Press, 2012) and "Violence and Democracy in India" (Seagull Books and Berg Press, 2006). Her articles have appeared/are forthcoming in Political Communication; Comparative Studies in Society and History; Media, Culture & Society; Journal of Asian Studies; Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics; Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies; Theory and Event; South Asia; Contributions to Indian Sociology and in several edited volumes.

Roy’s research interests include nationalism and the politics of identity; comparative-historical dynamics of state formation and transformation; democratic politics and economic liberalization. Her current projects are on television news media and democratic politics, and on the late-twentieth century re-emergence of "democratic reform" as a distinctive concept and political project in India and elsewhere.

Frida Hastrup
University of Copenhagen
Frida Hastrup is a Postdoc fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen. She has conducted fieldwork in Tamil Nadu, India, focussing primarily on people’s environmental concerns, ranging from the Asian tsunami, cyclones, and coastal erosion to climate change. She has co-edited the volume An Anthropology of Absence. Materializations of Transcendence and Loss (Springer 2010), and her monograph Weathering the World. Recovery in the Wake of the Tsunami in a Tamil Fishing Village is in press with Berghahn.

Kajri Jain
University of Toronto
Kajri Jain is Associate Professor of Indian Visual Culture and Contemporary Art in the Department of Visual Studies and the Graduate Departments of Art History and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Gods in the Bazaar: the Economies of Indian Calendar Art (Duke University Press, 2007), and is currently working on a book on the emergence of monumental iconic sculptures in contemporary India.

Manuela Ciotti
Århus Universtity
Manuela Ciotti is Assistant Professor in Global Studies at Aarhus University and ‘Framing the global’ fellow (2011-2014) at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research interests range from modernity, gender and politics, and subaltern communities (Dalits) to art and society in India. She is the author of several articles appeared in journals such as The Journal of Asian Studies, Cultural Dynamics, Modern Asian Studies, Feminist Review, Contributions to Indian Sociology, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Contemporary South Asia amongst others. She is the author of Retro-modern India. Forging the Low-caste Self (2010), Political Agency and Gender in India (forthcoming) and Femininities and Masculinities in Indian Politics (forthcoming).

Aniket Alam
Economic and Political Weekly

Aniket Alam is a historian and journalist based in Hyderabad. He is currently the senior assistant editor of the Economic and Political Weekly. He has a PhD from the Jawaharlal Nehru University for a thesis on the transformations of  the Western Himalayas during colonialism, which was reworked into a book, Becoming India: Western Himalayas under British Rule, published by Foundation Books, New Delhi in 2007. He has previously been a senior correspondent of The Hindu newspaper, a programme officer at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the coordinator of the Panos Network. He blogs at

Ravinder Kaur
University of Copenhagen
Ravinder Kaur is Associate Professor and Director of Centre for Global South Asian Studies, Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. Her work includes Since 1947: Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi, Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2007; Religion, Violence and Political Mobilisation in Contemporary South Asia, ed. Delhi, Sage Publications, 2005 besides a number of articles and book chapters. She is currently pursuing a project funded by the Danish Social Sciences Research Council on the cultural-political forms of display and exhibition of the postcolonial Indian nation on a global stage.
Her most recent work includes a special journal issue of Third World Quarterly 'Governing Difference: Inequality, Inequity and Identity in India and China (2012) (co-editor: Ayo Wahlberg).

Nicolas Jaoul
CNRS, Paris
Nicolas Jaoul is Researcher in Anthropology at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), attached to the Institut de Recherches Interdisciplinaires sur les Enjeux Sociaux (IRIS, EHESS), Paris.

His political ethnography deals with the Dalits’ relationship to Indian democracy in different regions. It focuses on the cultural and sociological dynamics of politicization, with a special emphasis on the material mediations of bodies, objects, images and space.