Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Nusrat Chowdhury – The Body of the Crowd

Friday, November 17, 2017

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

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Nusrat Chowdhury received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, MA from University of Texas at Austin, and BA from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She teaches courses on the anthropology of natural wealth, cultures of money, modernity and media in South Asia, Subaltern Studies, and affect in late capitalism. Her scholarly interests include crowds and protest, postcolonial democracies, resource politics, political communication, digital media, and South Asian Islam. Her regional expertise is in Muslim South Asia, specifically, Bangladesh. 

Chowdhury's book, Possibilities of the Political: Crowds and Protest in Bangladesh is an ethnography of the reconfigurations within contemporary protest politics in South Asia. The premise of its inquiry is that the crowd is the primary bearer of political messages in the global south. Based on anthropological research on three distinct popular mobilizations in rural and urban Bangladesh, it argues that resource and democracy have become two exemplary sites of anticipatory politics in the global south. The opposition to the Phulbari coalmines that exploded in 2006, the popular challenges to a state of emergency declared in early 2007, and the digital activism around sexual harassment and vigilante violence in 2015 are its key ethnographic sites.

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Center for Contemporary South Asia