I am a political anthropologist of urban India with degrees in political science, area studies and a PhD in sociology / social anthropology. Since 2017, I work as Lecturer in Social Anthropology & Development at the Department of International Development, King's College London.

Using a distinct mix of ethnographic and Big Data methods grounded in long-term fieldwork, my research explores geographies of Muslim belonging, the ambivalence of the sacred and electoral politics in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (see research interests). I am the author of 'Being Muslim and working for peace: Ambivalence and ambiguity in Gujarat' (SAGE 2013) and have published in journals such as Economic & Political Weekly, Environment and Planning A, Field Methods, the Journal of South Asian Development and SAMAJ (see publications). I have also written research software and curate a comprehensive open dataset on religion and politics in India.

At King's, I teach core development anthropology and mixed methods, act as personal tutor to undergraduates, and supervise postgraduate students (see teaching portfolio). I also act as senior tutor for our postgraduate students. Besides teaching at the Department of International Development, I am an associate faculty at King's India Institute. Since 2019 I am accredited as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (the UK’s formal teaching recognition programme).

Beyond King's, I collaborate with the project 'For Digital Dignity' at LMU Munich and had long been an Associate of the Contemporary South Asia Studies Program at the University of Oxford. I am also the Reviews Editor of Contemporary South Asia (look here or here if you want to contribute a review) and an Associate Editor of the Journal of South Asian Development, and in both roles strive to particularly support early career researchers from the global south.

Until its defense in 2015, my PhD 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. From 2010 to 2011, I worked as research fellow in comparative politics and international development studies at the Universität Marburg, in 2012 as visiting faculty for research methods at SIT Study Abroad in New Delhi and in 2016/17 as Postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. Earlier, I read political science, sociology and peace and conflict studies at Universität Marburg (Dipl Pol 2009), development studies and cultural anthropology at the School for International Training, Jaipur, and area studies of contemporary India at the University of Oxford (MSc 2010).

As a working dad, I have made various flexible working experiments over the years, and currently work in 60% part-time. Caring for our children not least sparks creativity and helps me to resonate better with different life worlds - a key ethnographic skill. I thus came to appreciate the role of mothers, fathers and a generally more diverse faculty in producing knowledge about society, and strive to establish family-friendly parameters wherever I am in a capacity to do so. And I'd surely much rather put my kids to bed than serving on an all-male panel...

To fund my work, I have obtained several scholarships from the Cusanuswerk (German federal competitive scholarships for 1% top batch) and two DAAD 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 20.000 Euro in small grants from various institutions (writing and travel grants, data acquisition, transcription costs, etc) and got computing power allocated at the ARC cluster worth 39.000 Euro in FEC for my Big Data research (paid for through a lump sum agreement with Oxford's Social Science Division).

I served as spokesperson of the Early Career Network of the German Association for Asian Studies from 2013-2017 and am currently a member of the British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS) and the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS).

Last but not least: 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 ...

Short CV (english)94.77 KB
Academic CV (english)113.88 KB