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About Aradhana Sharma

After receiving my B.A. from The New School for Social Research in Economics and Politics and Feminist Studies in 1991, I obtained a masters degree from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in 1993, and finally a Ph.D. in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University in 2001. My broad intellectual project can be defined as an anthropological study of the global projects of neoliberal development and governance: how they articulate with different social worlds, how they transform specific places and are in-turn transformed, and what kinds of subjects, institutions, social relationships and popular struggles they facilitate. I specifically focus on empowerment as a globally dominant strategy of development and democratic governance and examine its effects on citizen and state identities and relationships in contemporary India. While my previous research approached the politics of empowerment through a government-cum-feminist initiated women’s development program in rural north India, I am currently studying empowerment mobilizations and citizen-activist-state interfaces in New Delhi in the context of the Indian Right to Information Act (2005). My broad regional interest lies in South Asia and my theoretical emphasis is defined by a number of interdisciplinary influences, including political economy, critical development studies, cultural analyses of the state and neoliberal governance, feminist studies, transnationalism, postcolonial studies, and social movement theory.


Present Associate Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Wesleyan University
Present Associate Professor of Anthropology, Wesleyan University

Curriculum Vitae


Contact Information

Anthropology Department
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Wednesdays 1-3


Articles (6)

Books (1)

Contributions to Books (2)