Ajay Gandhi is an Assistant Professor, teaching at Leiden University College and affiliated to the Institute for Area Studies. His research interests are in urban, political, and economic anthropology, with a geographical focus on South Asia. Extension number: 5125
Ajay Gandhi is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University’s Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs. He teaches at Leiden University College and is affiliated to the Institute for Area Studies (LIAS). He was a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, Germany, between 2011-2017, and received his PhD in Anthropology from Yale University in 2010. His research experience is primarily as an ethnographer of urban India, and his interests include:
- Phenomenology, specifically how social practice is embodied, experienced, and performed.
- Language and its symbolic and interpretive dimensions; the history and form of political concepts and everyday metaphors.
- The urban condition: how cities are imagined and struggled over; their everyday civilities and historical materialities.
- Postcolonial nation-states: asymmetries of entitlement, aspects of bureaucratic mediation, practices of ethno-religious accommodation.
- Transactional sociality, encompassing cultural grammars of exchange and reciprocity, and the moral and material dimensions of value.
- The Indian Ocean: the durability of transnational connections, the multiplicity of regulation and jurisdiction, the social dynamics of port-cities.
Ajay Gandhi is a regular contributor to the news site Scroll. He was a 2021-2022 Senior Fellow at Mecila, the Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America, and in 2022-2023 is a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford University.
- Gandhi A., Harriss-White B., Haynes D.E. & Schwecke S. (2023), Translating transactions: markets as epistemic and moral spheres, Modern Asian Studies : .
- Gandhi A., Schwecke S., Harriss-White B. & Haynes D.E. (2022), Abetting the market: on property, propriety and actually existing capitalisms, Journal of Cultural Economy.
- Gandhi A. (2021), Poornima: designing relations. In: Björkman Lisa (Ed.), Bombay Brokers. Durham: Duke University Press. 347-353.
- Gandhi & Ajay (2021), Shock and shove: the embodied politics of force in India, South Asian History and Culture 12(2-3): 328-344.
- Gandhi A. (2020), Black Money in India: Fighting Specters and Fostering Relations. In: Gandhi A., Harriss-White B., Haynes D. & Schwecke S. (Eds.), Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Contested Jurisdiction and Embedded Exchange: Cambridge University Press. 269-293.
- Schwecke S. & Gandhi A. (2020), Markets in Modern India: Embedded, Contested, Pliable. In: Gandhi A., Harriss-White B., Haynes D. & Schwecke S. (Eds.), Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Contested Jurisdiction and Embedded Exchange: Cambridge University Press. 1-28.
- Gandhi A., Harriss-White B., Haynes D. & Schwecke S. (2020), Rethinking Markets in Modern India: Embedded Exchange and Contested Jurisdiction: Cambridge University Press.
- Ajay Gandhi (2019) The Constrained Circumference of Delhi Muslims. Review of: , Ghazala Jamil’s "Accumulation by Segregation" (2017). Contemporary South Asia .
- Gandhi A. (2017), A Fractured Globe: Anthropology and Narration after 1989. In: Burchardt M. & Kirn G. (Eds.), Beyond Neoliberalism: Social Analysis after 1989. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. 69-82.
- Gandhi A. (2017), The Sanctioning State: Official Permissiveness and Prohibition in India, Focaal (77): 8-21.
- Gandhi A. (2016), The Language of the Crowd: Public Congregation in Urban India, European Journal of Social Theory 17(3): 308-315.
- Gandhi A. (2016), Delicious Delhi: nostalgia, consumption and the old city, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 23(3): 345-361.
- Hoek L. & Gandhi A. (2016), Provisional Relations, Indeterminate Conditions: Non-Sociological Sociality in South Asia, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39(1): 64-72.
- Gandhi A. (2016), The Hermeneutics of the Bazaar: Sincerity's Elusiveness in Delhi, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39(1): 126-148.
- Gandhi A. (2015), The Postcolonial Street: Patterns, Modes and Forms. In: Bates C. & Mio M. (Eds.), Cities in South Asia. New York: Routledge. 265-286.
- Gandhi A. (2013), A Superlative Form: How Gold Mediates Personhood and Property in Mumbai, Etnofoor 25(1): 91-110.
- Gandhi A. (2013), Standing Still and Cutting in Line: The Culture of the Queue in India, South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal : .
- Gandhi A. (2012), Catch me if you can: monkey capture in Delhi, Ethnography 13(1): 43-56.
- Gandhi A. & Hoek L. (2012), Introduction to crowds and conviviality: ethnographies of the South Asian city, Ethnography 13(1): 3-11.
- Gandhi A. (2011), Crowds, congestion, conviviality: the enduring life of the old city. In: Clark-Deces I. (Ed.), A Companion to the Anthropology of India: Wiley-Blackwell. 202-22.
- Gandhi Ajay (2003), Developing compliance and resistance: the state, transnational social movements and tribal peoples contesting India's Narmada project [Developing compliance and resistance: the state, transnational social movements and tribal peoples contesting India's Narmada project] (translation: Gandhi A.), Global Networks : a journal of transnational affairs 3(4): 481-495.
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