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Purnima Mankekar


Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Purnima Mankekar has conducted interdisciplinary research on television, film, and digital media, and on publics/public cultures with a focus on the politics of affect. She is completing a book on affective labor and the production of futurities in the Business Process Outsourcing industry in Bengaluru, India titled Future Tense: Affective Labor and Disjunctive Temporalities (co-authored with Akhil Gupta). Her new ethnographic project is on the sociopolitical implications of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence in India.

Her teaching interests include digital and “virtual” anthropology; theories of affect; feminist anthropology and ethnography; postcolonial and women of color feminism; anthropological approaches to sexuality, queer theory, and queer of color critique; and Asian American and South Asian Studies.

She is the author of Screening Culture, Viewing Politics (Duke; 1999) and Unsettling India: Affect, Temporality, Transnationality (2015; Duke 2015). Her co-edited books include Caste and Outcast (co-edited with Gordon Chang and Akhil Gupta; Stanford University Press; 2002) and Media, Erotics, and Transnational Asia (co-edited with Louisa Schein; Duke; 2013). She has been awarded a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University (1997-98); a Bunting Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (2000-01); a Stanford University Humanities Center fellowship (2005-06); and was a senior research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (2013).

Feminist Media Studies, Post-9/11Public Cultures, Affect Theories, Outsourcing and Information Technology, Transnational Cultural Studies; South Asian America, South Asia

  • Books and Special Issues of Journals
  • Transnational Erotics: Media and the Production of “Asia.” Edited by volume with Louisa Schein. Duke University Press, 2012
  • Mediated Transnationalisms and Social Erotics. Special Issue of Journal of Asian Studies. Co-edited with Louisa Schein, 2004
  • Caste and Outrcast by Dhan Gopal Mukherji. Co-edited with Gordon Chang and Akhil Gupta. Standford University Press, 2002
  • Screening Culture, Viewing Politics: An Ethnography of Television, Womanhood, and Nation in Postcolonial India. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1999

  • Awards & Grants
  • Fullbright Senior Faculty Research Award for research on call centers in Bangalore, India, 2008-2009
  • Distinguished Faculty Award, Asian American Studies, Stanford University, 2002
  • Bunting Fellowship, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2000-2001

  • Degrees
  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Washington, 1993