I completed a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) in September 2018. My research interests lie at the interstices of agrarian transformation, youth, resource environments, political mobilizations and indigeneity.
My dissertation titled "Insurgent Difference: An Ethnography of an Indian Resource Frontier” analyzes resource extraction and development as mutually constitutive logics of rule in the bauxite-rich mountains of southern Odisha, India. I show how Dongria and Kutia Kondh adivasi communities threatened with displacement by mining capital draw on historically oppositional subjectivities to re-envision relations of power between the state, the market and the commons. At the heart of this reimagining are youth activists who navigate overlapping worlds of agrarian distress, guerrilla insurgency, social movements and seasonal migration to forge new subjectivities and negotiations between politics, work and everyday life.
I conducted 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork [June-July 2013; June 2014 - July 2015] in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Odisha and archival research in Bhubaneswar, Chennai and Kolkata. The Social Science Research Council and CUNY's Advanced Research Collaborative have funded this project.
After a year of teaching environmental politics and sociology in Bilkent Üniversitesi, Ankara (Turkey), I’m heading back to the United States as a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow at Rare, an organization developing community-led adoption of solutions to the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.