Naisargi N. Dave

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Centre for South Asian Studies at the Asian Institute




Room AP 206, 19 Russell Street


Professor Dave’s research concerns emergent forms of politics and relationality in contemporary urban India. Her book, Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics (Duke 2012) explores the relationship among queer politics, activism, and affect. It was awarded the Association for Queer Anthropology’s Ruth Benedict Prize for outstanding monograph in 2013. Her second book project, The Social Skin: Humans and Animals in India engages critically with humanism and the privileging of reason to consider myriad facets of working with and for urban and working animals in India. This project has been funded by a SSRHC Standard Research Grant and a fellowship from the Jackman Humanities Institute. Professor Dave teaches courses on animality and posthumanism, affect, ethics, anthropological theory, activism, gender and sexuality, and the anthropology of South Asia.

research interests

Politics and relationality in contemporary urban India
Animality and critiques of humanism
Affect and ethics
Sexuality and gender


Ph D. University of Michigan (2006)

M.A. University of Michigan (2000)

B.A. University of Georgia (1998)

selected publications

2012 Naisargi N. Dave. Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics. Durham: Duke University Press.
2014 Naisargi N. Dave. Witness: Humans, Animals, and the Politics of Becoming. Cultural Anthropology 29(3): 433-456.
2011 Naisargi N. Dave. Indian and Lesbian and What Came Next: Affect, Commensuration, and Queer Emergences. American Ethnologist 38(4): 650-665.
2011 Naisargi N. Dave. Abundance and Loss: Queer Intimacies in South Asia. Feminist Studies. 37(1): 1-15.
2010 Naisargi N. Dave. To Render Real the Imagined: An Ethnographic History of Lesbian Community in India. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 35(3): 595-619.


Animality: The Social Anthropology of Humans and Animals
Anthropology and the Intimate: Studies in Affect and Action
Anthropology of the Contemporary World
Anthropology of Social Movements: Theory and Method
Contemporary Ethnography of South Asia
Genealogies of Anthropological Thought
Reading Ethnography
Reading Ethnography: Classic Ethnographies
Anthropology and the Ethical Imagination
Anthropology of Gender
Critical Issues in Ethnography
Posthuman Anthropology

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