I am a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Rice University, and my current research focuses on responses to the rise in biometric and camera surveillance in India. Organizations challenged the government in court and demanded protections from the potential misuse of information and data leaks from biometric and camera-based surveillance. In response to this petition, a recent Indian Supreme Court ruling in August of 2017 affirmed the right to privacy through a unanimous declaration of privacy as a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. Taking India’s recent change in law as my point of departure, I will witness how legal decisions materialize in public and private life in contemporary urban India. Through fieldwork in Mumbai and Delhi, I will explore how the 2017 ruling and the discourse surrounding it affects the lived experiences of privacy advocates, lawyers, and the communities they defend.
Prior to joining the department, my previous training at Brandeis University (joint MA Anthropology & Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies) and UC Davis (BA in Middle East/South Asia Studies & Religious Studies with a minor in Sexualities) have been instrumental to the development of this project, both theoretically and methodologically.
At Rice, courses under the umbrella of the Graduate Certificate Program at the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality
, as well as at the Rice Center for Critical and Cultural Theory
have been fundamental for broadening the significance of this work by putting it in conversation with contemporary feminist and other critical debates. Additionally, I am participating in an interdisciplinary Mellon Graduate Research Seminar on Emerging Religions, which has provided an excellent space to think through the emerging forms of Hindu fundamentalism that promote surveillance in India and draw inspiration from Trumpism in the United States. When I am not in the Sewall basement, I am likely at home with my partner and our two cats.