Professor Nayanika Mathur

Research Interests
Research Disciplines:
  • Anthropology
Research Keywords:
  • Anthropology of politics, development, environment, law, human-animal studies, and research methods.
Contact Information


Phone: +44 (0)1865 (2)84987

Office: 12 Bevington Road, Oxford, OX2 6LH

College: Wolfson College


Nayanika Mathur Publications


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Edited Collections

  • “Remaking the Public Good: A New Anthropology of Bureaucracy” guest editor (with Laura Bear) volume 33, no.1, 2015, The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology.
  • “Who Are ‘We’? Reimagining Alterity and Affinity in Anthropology” (with Liana Chua), in press, Berghahn Press {Methodology and History in Anthropology series}


Journal Articles

  • The Task of the Climate Translator,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. LII, No 31, pp. 77‐84.
  • “Eating Money: A Questioning of the Villainy of Corruption in the Leaky Indian State,” forthcoming in 2017, Modern Asian Studies(special issue on ‘Institutions and Their Discontents in South Asia’).
  • "1984 Doesn't Equal 2014 + 2016", Economic and Political Weekly, Volume L1, No. 49, 2016, pp. 70-72.
  • “Predation." In Lexicon for an Anthropocene Yet Unseen Series, Theorizing the Contemporary, Cultural Anthropology website, July 12, 2016.
  • “It’s a Conspiracy Theory and Climate Change: Of Beastly Encounters and Cervine Disappearances in Himalayan India,” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory volume 5, no 1., 2015, pp. 87-111.
  • “Introduction: Remaking the Public Good – A New Anthropology of Bureaucracy,” (with Laura Bear), The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, Volume 33, no.1, 2015, pp. 18-34.
  • “The Reign of Terror of the Big Cat: Bureaucracy and the Mediation of Social Time in the Indian Himalaya,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI) volume 20, no. 1, 2014, pp. 148-165
  • “Transparent-Making Documents and the Crisis of Implementation: A Rural Employment Law and Development Bureaucracy in India,” Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR), volume 35, no. 2, 2012, pp. 167-184.
  • “A ‘Remote’ Town in the Indian Himalaya,” Modern Asian Studies, volume 49, no. 2, 2015, pp. 365 - 392.
  • State Debt and the Rural: Two Historical Moments in India. Anthropology News. volume 54, no. 5, 2013.


Book Chapters

  • “Introducing the ‘We’ In and Of Anthropology” (with Liana Chua), introduction to edited collection, forthcoming, Berghahn Press.
  • “Effecting Development: Bureaucratic Knowledges, Cynicism and the Desire for Development in the Indian Himalaya,” in S. Venkatesan and T. Yarrow, eds. Differentiating Development: Beyond an Anthropology of Critique. London: Berghahn, 2012, pp. 193-209.
  • “Naturalising the Himalaya-as-Border in Uttarakhand,” in David Gellner, ed. Borderlands of Northern South Asia: Non-State Perspectives. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013, pp. 72-93.



  • “Give a Woman a Giant Panda”, review of “Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution,” by James Ferguson in Anthropology of This Century, January 2016, Issue 15.
  • “Privatising ‘Wild’ India,” review of “Saving Wild India,” by Valmik Thapar in Economic and Political Weekly, October 2015, Volume 50, issue 44, pp. 24-26.
  • “Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan,” by Matthew S. Hull in Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2015, volume 21, issue 3, pp. 707-708.
  • “Wall Street at War: The Secret Struggle for the Global Economy” by Alexandra Ouroussoff in Social Anthropology, 2012, volume 20, issue 4, pp. 507-508.
  • “Nature, Culture and Religion at the Crossroads of Asia,” (ed.) M. Lecomte-Tilouine in European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 2011, Volume 34.
  • “The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development and the Practice of Politics,” by T. M. Li in Cambridge Anthropology, 2010, volume 28, Number 2.


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