Associate Professor and Chair, Graduate Group in Southeast Asia Studies; Director, South Asia Studies Center, South Asian Studies School of Arts and Sciences

Lisa Mitchell is an anthropologist and historian of southern India.  Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests include democracy, public space, and the built environment; the city in South Asia; technology and infrastructure as they impact social, cultural, and political forms and everyday practices; neoliberalism and economic corridors; and ethnographic approaches to the state.  She is currently finishing a new book on Public Space and Political Practice in the History of Indian Democracy.  She has also recently begun a new book project documenting a cultural history of cement in India, provisionally titled, Three Bags of Cement: Concrete Dreams in the New India.

Her earlier research traced the emergence of language as a new foundational category for the reorganization of literary production, history-writing, pedagogical practices, and assertions of socio-political identity in southern India.  Her book, Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India: The Making of a Mother Tongue (Indiana University Press, 2009 and Permanent Black, 2010), was a recipient of the American Institute of Indian Studies’ Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities.

Recent courses of interest include:

  • URBS 122 (SAST 002/ANTH 107) – The City in South Asia
  • URBS 504 (SAST 504/ANTH 503) – Neoliberalism and the City