of Communication and Culture
Faculty member at Indiana University since 2006
Office: 800 East Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47405-9700
office phone: 812-856-1986
office fax: 812-855-6014
- Faculty member at Scripps College 1998-2006
- M.A, Ph.D. University of
- B.A. Barnard College, Columbia University.
Summa Cum Laude.
Research and Teaching Interests
- Sociocultural Anthropology
- South Asian Studies
- Disability Studies
- Ethnographic Writing
- Humor in Use
- Performance Studies
- Gender, Feminist & Queer Studies
- Stigma in Social Theory
Stigmas of the Tamil Stage: An Ethnography of Special
Drama Artists in South India.
Duke University Press, 2005.
Road Comics: Big Work on Small Stages. Ethnographic documentary,
57 min; forthcoming Spring 2011.
The Buffoon-Dance Duet. 1997. Ethnographic short, 11 min
(in Tamil). Available at stigmasofthetamilstage.com/videoclips.html
"On the Uses of Obscenity in Live Stand-Up Comedy." Anthropological Quarterly, Vol. 84, No. 1, p. 209–234, Winter 2011
“Roadwork: Offstage with Special Drama
Actresses in Tamilnadu, South India.” Cultural Anthropology, V15N2:217-259,
"Jokes, Gender, and Discursive Distance
on the Tamil Popular Stage." American Ethnologist, V24N1:62-90, Feb 1997.
“Playing the Field.” Review essay, Taboo:
sex, identity and erotic subjectivity in anthropological fieldwork, D. Kulick
and M. Wilson, eds. In Transition: An International Review. Issue 71, V6N3:100-113,
"Paradoxes of Visibility in the Field:
Rites of Queer Passage in Anthropology." Public Culture, V8N1:73-100, Fall 1995.
Articles in edited volumes
“Legacies of Discourse: Special Drama and its History,” in
Play-House of Power: Gender and Theatre in Colonial
and Postcolonial India.
Ed. Lata Singh. Delhi: Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2009.
"Gender Plays: Social and Spatial Paradigms on the Tamil Popular
Stage." In Tamil Geographies: Cultural Constructions
of Space and Place in South India. Ed. Martha Ann Selby & Indira
Viswanathan Peterson. SUNY Press, 2008.
“Offstage Negotiations of Stigma by Special Drama
Actresses in South India.” In Everyday Life in
South Asia, ed. Diane
Mines and Sarah Lamb. Indiana University Press 2002, 2nd revised edition
“Post-Field Positionings” and “The Afterlife
of Fieldwork Relations.” Issue Guest Editor, Indian
No. 23, National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai, India, 2006.
Recent conference papers
"How Drunk Are They? Art in the Age of
Alcohol on the Comedy Club Circuit." Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association
meetings, Nov 2010.
"Shake It Up: Narrative Moves Into Movement on the Stand-Up Stage." Paper
presented at the AAA meetings, Dec 2009, and American Folklore Society, Oct
"The Grotesque in Sheep's Clothing, Rearing its Head to
Make Us Howl," paper on stand-up comedy at the American Anthropological Association
meetings, San Jose, CA, November 2006.
"Everything You See is Part of the History of This Place." Paper
given at the Bernard S. Cohn Memorial Conference, University of Chicago,
Chicago, IL, May 2005.
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