Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

The Brown-India Initiative Presents: Book Adda and Art Show featuring Bhrigupati Singh's "Poverty and the Quest for Life"

Friday, April 3, 2015

2:00pm – 4:00pm

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute
111 Thayer Street

Free admission 

Friday, April 3 at 2:00 p.m. | Joukowsky Forum Watson Institute
Book Adda and Art Show featuring Bhrigupati Singh's "Poverty and the Quest for Life: Spiritual and Material Striving in Rural India"

Amanda Anderson, Brown University
Leela Gandhi, Brown University 
Sudipta Kaviraj, Columbia University
Michael T. Taussig, Columbia University 

Bhrigupati Singh is an Assistant Professor of anthropology at Brown University and a Faculty Fellow at the Watson Institute. Singh completed his PhD in anthropology at John Hopkins University. He has published numerous articles on issues of religion, politics, media and popular culture, and has recently completed a book manuscript titled Poverty and the Quest for Life: Spiritual and Material Striving in Contemporary Rural India (Forthcoming with University of Chicago Press, 2015), and a co-edited volume titled The Ground Between: Anthropological Engagements with Philosophy (Duke University Press, 2014). 

His most recent articles include "Agonistic Intimacy and Moral Aspiration in Popular Hinduism: A Study in the Political Theology of the Neighbor" inAmerican Ethnologist, "Frugality and Excess in Gandhi, Thoreau and Nietzsche: An Essay in Geo-Philosophy" in Borderlands, and an article inCultural Anthropology titled "The Headless Horseman of Central India: Sovereignty at Varying Thresholds of Life."


Amanda Anderson joined the Brown faculty in 2012 as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and English. Anderson is a literary scholar and theorist who has written on nineteenth-century literature and culture as well as on contemporary debates in the humanities. From 2008-2014, she served as the director of an interdisciplinary summer institute, The School of Criticism and Theory, which is currently hosted by Cornell University. Prior to joining the Brown faculty, she taught at Johns Hopkins, where she served as department chair from 2003-2009.


Leela Gandhi joined the Brown faculty in 2014 as the John Hawkes Professor of Humanities and English. Gandhi is a literary and cultural theorist whose research and teaching focus on transnational literatures, postcolonial theory and ethics, and the intellectual history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 

Her publications include Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction (1998), the co-authored,England Through Colonial Eyes in Twentieth Century Fiction (2001), Measures of Home (2000), Affective Communities: Anticolonial Thought, Fin de Siècle Radicalism, and the Politics of Friendship (2006). She is currently working on a book length study about the confluence of democracy and ethics at the scene of early twentieth-century anti-colonialism and anti-fascism. She is also the co-author of the academic journal Postcolonial Studies and serves on the editorial board of the electronic journal Postcolonial Text. 


Sudipta Kaviraj is a specialist in intellectual history and Indian politics. He works on two fields of intellectual history - Indian social and political thought in the 19th and 20th centuries and modern Indian literature and cultural production. His other fields of interest and research include the historical sociology of the Indian state, and some aspects of Western social theory. He received his Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Prior to joining Columbia University, he taught at the Department of Political Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He has also taught Political Science at JNU, and was an Agatha Harrison Fellow at St. Antony's College, Oxford. He is a member of the Subaltern Studies Collective.

Kaviraj’s books include The Imaginary Institution of India (2010), Civil Society: History and Possibilities co-edited with Sunil Khilnani (2001), Politics in India (edited) (1999), and The Unhappy Consciousness: Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and the Formation of Nationalist Discourse in India (1995).


Michael Taussig is a professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. Taussig earned a medical degree from the University of Sydney, received his PhD. in anthropology from the London School of Economics and is a professor at Columbia University and European Graduate School. Although he has published on medical anthropology, he is best known for his engagement with Marx's idea of commodity fetishism, especially in terms of the work of Walter Benjamin.

More Information

Book Adda

Contact: indiainitiative@brown.edu