Lisa Mitchell

Lisa  Mitchell

Associate Professor, Director of the Center for South Asian Studies

Modern South Asia

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Lisa Mitchell is an anthropologist and historian of southern India.  Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests include the multiple genealogies of democracy in India; political practice, public space, and the built environment; the cultural history of cement in South Asia; ethnography of informal urban credit networks; technology and infrastructure as they impact social, cultural, and political forms and everyday practices; neoliberalism and economic corridors; ethnographic approaches to the state; colonialism; and Telugu language and literature.

Research Interests

Lisa Mitchell's current research interests include the multiple genealogies of democracy in India; public space and political protest in the history and everyday practice of Indian democracy; the street and the railway station as public space; the city and the built environment in South Asia; and commodities in transnational history.  She is currently finishing a book entitled Hailing the State: Collective Assembly, Space, and the Politics of Recognition in the History of Indian Democracy.  She has also recently begun a new book project provisionally titled, The Multiple Genealogies of Indian Democracy: Global Intellectual History in Translation.  Her earlier research traced the rise and fall of language as a new foundational category for the reorganization of literary production, history-writing, pedagogical practices, and assertions of socio-political identity in southern India.  Her book, Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India: The Making of a Mother Tongue (Indiana University Press, 2009 and Permanent Black, 2010), was a recipient of the American Institute of Indian Studies' Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities.