I am a political anthropologist of urban India with postgraduate degrees in political science, area studies and a PhD in sociology / social anthropology and a growing interest in the spatial dimensions of social life. Since 2010, I work as an Associate of the Contemporary South Asia Studies Program at the University of Oxford. In my research and teaching, I explore geographies of Muslim belonging, the ambivalence of the sacred and electoral politics in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (see research interests and teaching portfolio). Throughout, I am intrigued by the resilience of individual diversity in the face of groupism, a theme in many of my publications that I explore through ethnographic, psychometric, spatial and statistical data generated in so far 18 months of fieldwork.
Until its defence in 2015, my PhD by publication was jointly supervised at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (Prof. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka) and the Department of Anthropology, University College London (Dr. Lucia Michelutti); during fieldwork, I was affiliated with the Center for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; throughout summer 2013, I wrote a first draft at the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, University of Oxford. From 2010 to 2011, I worked as part- and later full-time research fellow in comparative politics and international development studies at the Universität Marburg and in 2012 as visiting faculty for research methods at SIT Study Abroad in New Delhi. Earlier, I read political science, sociology and peace and conflict studies (Dipl.-Pol.) at the Universität Marburg from 2004 to 2009, development studies and cultural anthropology at the School for International Training, Jaipur, in 2008 and area studies of contemporary India (M.Sc.) at the University of Oxford from 2009 to 2010.
As a working dad, I have experimented with various part-time arrangements since 2014 and currently shoulder the main caring responsibility for our child. I believe our profession would benefit from more fathers and mothers in academic positions (as it would from a generally more diverse faculty), and strive to establish family-friendly parameters wherever I am in a capacity to do so (for instance by arranging childcare and parental networks at events that I organize).
To fund my work, I have obtained three Cusanus scholarships (German federal competitive scholarships for 1% top batch), two DAAD scholarships (one returned) and a write-up grant from the Bielefeld Young Researchers' Fund. My paper on the "Wazirganj Terror Attack" presented at AAS 2014 won the SAC Prize for Best Graduate Student Paper. I also obtained about 15.000 Euro in additional grants from various institutions (writing and travel grants, data acquisition, transcription costs, etc) and got computing power allocated at the ARC cluster worth 32.500 Euro in FEC for my UP dataset.
In terms of professional bodies, I am currently a member of the German Research Network Religion and Conflict at FEST, the German Association for Asian studies (DGA, since 2013 as spokesperson of the Early Career Network and visiting board member), the British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) and the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS).
Oh, and if all the above sounds a bit braggy for your taste (as it does, sometimes, for mine), each CV has its (not-so-)secret shadow CV ...