Academic Positions

Professor of Anthropology, Chair of Society and Culture in Modern India (W3), University of Göttingen, Sept. 2012 – present

Professor of Anthropology, Utrecht University, Jan. 2008 – Dec. 2014

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, July 2001 – Dec. 2007 (parental leave Jan. 2007-July 2007)

Visiting Professor of Anthropology, New York University, Jan. – June 2004

Lecturer in Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis, Jan. – June 2001


Ph.D. University of Chicago, Anthropology 2001

M.A. Karl-Ruprechts Universität Heidelberg, Anthropology (major subject) Sociology (minor subject) Indology/Hindi (minor subject) 1995

Grants and Fellowships (selection

Principal Investigator, German Research Foundation (DFG) Grant 2017-2020, for „Religiöse Zeiten, Mediengenres, technischer Vollzug: Eine ethnographische Untersuchung audiovisueller Medienpraktiken unter Schiiten in Hyderabad, [Religious times, media genres, and their technical execution: An ethnographic investigation of audiovisual media practices among Shi’ites in Hyderabad]“ within the Priority Program 1688 “Proper Times of the Aesthetic. Time and Representation in Polychronic Modernity.” (Eur 239,009).

Principal Investigator, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Vernieuwingsimpuls Vidi Grant, 2010-2015, for “Islam and Multicultural Citizenship: Practical Morality and Pluralism in Muslim Public Spheres.” (Eur 762,000). 

Washington University Faculty Research Grant 2007

Washington University Faculty Research Grant 2005

Washington University Grimm Traveling Fellowship to Asia 2003

University of Chicago William Rainey Harper Fellowship 2000-2001

Council for Advanced Studies in Peace and International Cooperation (CASPIC) MacArthur Scholars Fellowship 1999-2000

Wenner-Gren Dissertation Research Grant 1997-1998

Boards and Professional Service (selection)

Director, Centre for Modern Indian Studies, University of Göttingen 2012-2014

Senior Research Partner, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Ethnic and Religious Diversity, Göttingen 2010-present

Visiting Researcher, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University 2015-2016

Member, Advisory Board, Verge: Studies in Global Asias 2020-present

Member, Editorial Board, Bloomsbury Studies in Linguistic Anthropology 2018-present

Member, Editorial Board, Blackwell Studies in Discourse and Culture 2005-2017

Member, Editorial Board, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 2010-2013

Member, Board of Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University 2011-2012

Member, Board of Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University 2009-2012

Head of Research, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Utrecht University 2008-2012

Director Research Master Program “Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformations,” Utrecht University 2010-2012

Member of various committees in the Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University 2008-2012

Peer reviewing for funding agencies: National Science Foundation (NSF), Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO-WOTRO, Wenner-Gren Foundation (Panel of reviewers 2011-2013), German Research Foundation (DFG), Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Research Council of the Académie universitaire Louvain (AuL)

Peer reviewing of book manuscripts/ for book awards: University of Chicago Press, University of California Press, Blackwell, Cornell University Press, Fordham University Press, Elsevier, The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa

Peer reviewing for journals (* repeatedly): American Anthropologist *, American Ethnologist *, American Journal of Sociology, Anthropologie et sociétés, Anthropological Theory *, Anthropological Quarterly *, Comparative Studies in Society and History *, Contributions to Indian Sociology, Cultural Analysis, Cultural Anthropology, Current Anthropology, Gender and Language*, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, Island Studies Journal, International Quarterly for Asian Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology *, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, Journal of Religion, Media and Digital Culture, Journal of Sociolinguistics, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (member of Editorial Board 2010-2013)*,  Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, Language Awareness, Language Policy, Language in Society, Material Religion, Modern Asian Studies, Parliamentary Affairs, Public Culture,
Religion, Signs and Society, South Asian Diaspora, Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, Yale Journal of Music & Religion

External assessments of PhD candidates: New York University, Leiden University, Utrecht University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam