Lisa Mitchell

Lisa  Mitchell

Associate Professor, South Asian Studies

Modern South Asia


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.