Beings Uncanny: Knowledge and Belonging in an Age of Anthropology


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




In Darjeeling, India, homegrown anthropology has become a catalyst of ethno-political awakening. The sudden increase of anthropological self-concern links directly with the Indian state's policies of affirmative action, the recognition for which is based largely upon anthropological distinction (viz. the people of Darjeeling's quest for “Scheduled Tribe” status). Situating research at the nexus of ethnic renaissance and governmental administrations of difference, this dissertation examines how forms and practices of anthropological knowledge shape the social, political, and subjective possibilities of ethnic revitalization in Darjeeling. It asks how anthropology becomes a political technology of communities and how it, in turn, affects people's sense of belonging in contemporary India.