Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Sarah Besky

Workers in a tea plantation

What the Tea Gardens of Bengal Mean to Female Labourers: A Home that Will Never be their Own (comments by Sarah Besky)

May 20, 2019 News 18

Anthropologist Sarah Besky comments on the wages and management of tea gardens, explaining "that ideally the houses required to be built and maintained by the plantation management - something that rarely, if ever, happens. Whether it is painting the house, or just growing vegetables outside, it is done by the families and 'almost always by the women.'"


The Naturalization of Work

August 6, 2018

In a collection of essays put together by Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Sarah Besky, examines the confluence of labor and environmental exploitation.


What's brewing in Darjeeling (co-authored by Sarah Besky)

July 25, 2017 The Hindu

Anthropologist Sarah Besky in The Hindu, "Understanding Gorkhaland requires understanding its underlying histories. In many ways, the Gorkhas of Darjeeling have yet to taste the liberation of India’s Independence."


The Materiality of Finance (interview with Sarah Besky)

March 21, 2016 Cultural Anthropology

Sarah Besky in Cultural Anthropology, "Small tea growers are now able to supply tea at cheaper prices than plantations. Unlike plantation companies, small growers are not legally obligated to provide workers with medical facilities, food rations, firewood, and housing."


The Future of Price: Communicative Infrastructures and the Financialization of Indian Tea (by Sarah Besky)

February 12, 2016 Cultural Anthropology

Sarah Besky in Cultural Anthropology, "The Tea Board saw digital auctioning as a means of opening and freeing the tea market. Just as colonial bureaucratic enumeration was based on the ideal of rendering a mix of races, ethnicities, languages, and cultures transparent, digital trading technology promised to make the opaque world of valuation transparent."