• Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Iowa, USA (1999)
  • M.S. Computer Science, Southern Polytechnic State University, Atlanta, USA (2000)
  • M.A. Anthropology, Iowa State University, USA (1993)
  • B.E. Marine Engineering, Marine Engineering Research Institute (DMET), Kolkata, India (1988)

research domains


groupS & INequalities

Caste in India, South Asia and the diaspora: change and persistence; ideologies of legitimation; caste-patriarchy and social reproduction; caste as community; culturalization vs. ethnicization; caste, class and capital; anti-casteism as practice; solidarities

Caste’ in comparison to ‘race‘: possibilities and limits


culture, practice, policy

Toilets & Sanitation – toilet use & open defecation as practices; behavioral change; developmentalist and neoliberal state; development policy and context sensitivity; technology adoption (rural, Chhattisgarh, central India)

Domestic Workers – identity formation and worker consciousness; informality and collectivization (unions and labor NGOs); domestic work and class formation; gender and caste (urban, Bangalore, India)


Indebtedness and Livelihood (current project) – microcredit financial institutions; loans as cultural artifacts;  post-pandemic livelihoods; youth and migration (central India)



  • Senior Fellowship Grant (2014-15), American Institute of Indian Studies: Project: Diverse Harvests: Paddy, Productivity, Profits and Power in Chhattisgarh, India. (Declined award)
  • Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad grant (2006-2007): “Worlds of Work: Meeting the Challenge of Teaching Asia in the 21st Century” for K-12 educators
  • Junior Fellowship Grant (1995-1996 ), American Institute of Indian Studies for doctoral field research in Chhattisgarh, India