Banking on Uncertainty: Debt, Default, and Violence in Indian-Administered Kashmir


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




“Banking on Uncertainty” examines the everyday life of banking and finance in politically volatile conditions. Based on 22 months of ethnographic and archival research conducted at a large bank in Indian-administered Kashmir in the wake of the region's 2016 uprising, the dissertation tracks the technical and routine work of bankers as they labored amidst continuous strikes and curfews. It also follows the bank's customers, who struggled to repay and renegotiate their debts during a time of ongoing uncertainty. Moving between the spaces of the bank branch, the corporate headquarters, the marketplace, the shopfront, and the home, “Banking on Uncertainty” probes the making of a local conflict economy, the adjudication of credit and debt, and the negotiation of economic life in projects of self-determination and sovereignty.