Personal profile


My research explores the attempt to bring under control e-waste recycling in India that has come to be known for its substandard practices. In 2019, I did twelve-months of ethnographic fieldwork studying how fulfilling environmental responsibility can be marketized. I trace the way a crisis narrative is woven into the creation of a market in sustainable and environmentally responsible services. I explore what it takes to revalue e-waste into resource, paying attention to the rhetoric around informality, toxicity and circular economy. Furthermore, I observe the far-reaching consequences of the attempts to regularise e-waste recycling for those whose lives are irredeemably caught up in the fortunes of this enchanting waste form.

Recipient of the Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

External positions

Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Jul 2021Dec 2021

Areas of expertise

  • GN Anthropology
  • value chains
  • South Asia
  • middle classes
  • toxicity
  • waste
  • Circular Economy
  • PI Oriental languages and literatures
  • Hindi/Urdu
  • Contemporary Hindi Literature
  • Caste
  • postcolonial theory

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Sustainable Consumption Institute


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