Lisa Mitchell is an anthropologist and historian of southern India. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests include political practice, public space, and the built environment; the cultural history of cement in South Asia; ethnography of informal urban credit networks; technology and infrastructure as they impact social, cultural, and political forms and everyday practices; neoliberalism and economic corridors; ethnographic approaches to the state; colonialism; and Telugu language and literature.
Courses taught include:
SAST 002 (ANTH 107/URBS 122) - The City in South Asia
SAST 063 (ANTH 063/HIST 087) - East & West: A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Cultural History of the Modern World
SAST 504 (ANTH 503/URBS 504) - Neoliberalism and the City
SAST 701 (HIST 702/ANTH 711) - Historical Anthropology
SAST 704 (ANTH 706) - State, Society, & Culture in South Asia
Lisa Mitchell's current research interests
include public space and political protest in the history and everyday
practice of Indian democracy; the street and the railway station as
public space; the city in South Asia; and commodities in transnational history. She is currently
finishing a 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, which also examines informal urban credit networks. Her earlier research traced the rise and fall 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.
2013. Translation of Challapalli Swaroopa Rani, “Caste Domination, Male Domination,” in K. Satyanarayana & Susie Tharu, eds., Steel Nibs Are Sprouting: New Dalit Writing From South India, Dossier 2: Kannada and Telugu, Harper Collins (translated from Telugu).
2011. “‘To Stop Train Pull Chain’: Writing Histories of Contemporary Political Practice,” Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 48, No. 4: 469-495.
2010. Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India: The Making of a Mother Tongue, Delhi: Permanent Black.
2009. Language, Emotion, and Politics in South India: The Making of a Mother Tongue, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Recipient of the Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities, American Institute of Indian Studies.
2009. “Knowing the Deccan: Enquires, Points, and Poets in the Construction of Knowledge and Power in Early Nineteenth-Century Southern India,” The Madras School of Orientalism, Thomas R. Trautmann, ed., Delhi: Oxford University Press, 151-182.
2009. “Knowledge at the Edge of Empire: Experiencing Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge,” Fringes of Empire, Elizabeth Kolsky & Sameetah Agha, eds., Delhi: Oxford University Press, 236-256.
2006. “Making the Local Foreign: Shared Language and History in Southern India,” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Vol. 16, No. 2: 229-248.
2005. “Parallel Languages, Parallel Cultures: Language as the Foundation for the Reorganization of Knowledge and Practice in Nineteenth Century Southern India,” Indian Economic and Social History Review, Vol. 42, No. 4: 445-465.