The Demands of Recognition

State Anthropology and Ethnopolitics in Darjeeling

The Demands of Recognition offers a compelling look at the escalating politics of tribal recognition in India. At once ethnographic and historical, it chronicles how multicultural governance has motivated the people of Darjeeling to ethnologically redefine themselves—from Gorkha to tribal and back. But as these communities now know, not all forms of difference are legible in the eyes of the state. The Gorkhas’ search for recognition has only amplified these communities’ anxieties about who they are—and who they must be—if they are to attain the rights, autonomy, and belonging they desire.

(2015) The Demands of Recognition: State Anthropology and Ethnopolitics in Darjeeling. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Edited Collections

Darjeeling Reconsidered

Histories, Politics, Environments

Darjeeling Reconsidered provocatively rethinks Darjeeling’s legendary status in the postcolonial imagination. Mobilizing diverse disciplinary approaches from the social sciences and humanities, this definitive collection of essays sheds fresh light on the region’s past and offers critical insight into the issues facing its people today. The ethnographic chapters present cutting-edge accounts of dynamics that define life in 21st century Darjeeling: among them the realpolitik of subnationalism; Fair Trade tea; indigenous struggle; gendered inequality; ecological transformation; and resource scarcity. Through these eye-opening perspectives, Darjeeling Reconsidered figures Darjeeling as a vital site for South Asian and Postcolonial Studies-and calls for a timely re-examination of the legend and hard-realities of this oft-romanticized region and its people.

(2018) Co-edited with Sara Shneiderman. New Delhi, Oxford University Press, India.

Limn-10: Chokepoints

Limn 10 explores chokepoints, sites that constrict—or choke—the flows upon which contemporary life depends.  Malfunction brings widespread effects. At once vital yet vulnerable, why do chokepoints work? What happens when they do not?


Research Assistants, Researchers, and the Production of Ethnographic Knowledge

Special Issue of Ethnography on Fieldwork(ers): Research Assistants, Researchers, and the Production of Ethnographic Knowledge

This collaborative project brought ethnographers and research assistants into critical dialogue with one another to reflect on the practice of ethnography itself.

(September 2014) Co-edited with Jason Cons. Special Issue on Fieldwork(ers): Research Assistants, Researchers, and the Production of Ethnographic Knowledge. Ethnography, Volume 15 Issue 3.