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Centre for Creative Ethnography

Raminder Kaur

Raminder Kaur

Raminder Kaur is an anthropologist and an interdisciplinary scholar in Cultural Studies and International Development based at the University of Sussex. She is also a scriptwriter and artistic director of Sohaya Visions.

Raminder has conducted fieldwork in India, Pakistan and Britain, and often channels her research into creative projects in theatre, film and other artforms. She combines her research with collaborative projects including students as with her co-edited journal special issue, various sections in HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, and agenda-setting articles such as combining ethnography with graphic narratives and developing a new framework for a ‘fifth cinema’ She initiated a film symposium so as to place film at the heart of discussions on ethnography. and has written her ethnographic research into accessible blogs

She has also sought to work with marginalised communities and global majorities in academic and creative projects as with the co-curation of the website and exhibition, Gender and Intersectionality in Indian and Diasporic (GRID) Heritage www.gridheritage,com, a film connected to her co-authored book based on ethnographic research with a former interlocutor, Adventure Comics and Youth Cultures in India, supervision of research-based artistic projects, including writing scripts, and human rights theatre based on verbatim testimonies

She is co-editing an open access, multi-modal book on ethnographic and ground-up views on nuclear issues to be published in 2024. Her contribution is an audio-visual essay based on her fieldwork in India.

  • Books


    • Uyghur Tribunal Judgment (co-authored with Geoffrey Nice, Nick Vetch, Tim Clark, Parveen Kumar, David Linch, Ambreena Manji, Audrey Ostler, Catherine Roe) (Uyghur Tribunal, Creative Commons, 2023).
    • Kudankulam: The Story of an Indo-Russian Nuclear Power Plant (Oxford University Press, 2020).
    • Adventure Comics and Youth Cultures in India (co-authored with Saif Eqbal, Routledge, 2018; film trailer on research-based film:
    • Atomic Mumbai: Living with the Radiance of a Thousand Suns (Routledge, 2013).
    • Performative Politics and the Cultures of Hinduism: Public Uses of Religion in Western India (Anthem Press, 2005, Permanent Black, 2003).
    • Diaspora and Hybridity (co-authored with Virinder Kalra and John Hutnyk, Theory, Culture and Society book series, Sage 2005). Reissued in Chinese (complex characters, Weber Publications International, 2008) and in Korean (2014).

    Co-edited Books

    • Fallout Reframed (with Christopher Hill and Jonathan Hoggs, Liverpool University Press, 2024).
    • Arts and Aesthetics in a Globalizing World (with Parul Dave-Mukherji,Association of Social Anthropologist series vol. 51, Bloomsbury, 2014).
    • Mapping Changing Identities: New Directions in Uncertain Times (with Claire Alexander and Brett St Louis, Routledge, 2013).
    • Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (with William Mazzarella, Indiana University Press, 2009).
    • Bollyworld: Indian Cinema through a Transnational Lens (with Ajay Sinha, Sage 2005).
    • Travel Worlds: Journeys in Contemporary Cultural Politics (with John Hutnyk, Zed Books, 1999).
  • Journal Articles
    • ‘Nuclear Necropower: The Engineering of Death Conditions around a Nuclear Power Station in South India’.Political Geography, 2022, 85: 1-12.
    • ‘The Spark that Ignites: Catalytic Signifiers for a Transformative and Performative Planetary Humanism’ darkmatter 2022: 16
    • ‘Global Black Lives Matter: Representations of Resistance, Memory and Politics’, journal section co-edited with Mariagiulia Grassilli. darkmatter 2022: 16
    • ‘Stealth-Spectacles: The Discursive Waves of the Nuclear Asian Seascape’, Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, 4(1): 163-185.
    • ‘Drawing-Writing Culture: The Truth-Fiction Spectrum of an Ethno-graphic Novel on the Sri Lankan Civil War and Migration’, with Benjamin Dix, 2019, Visual Anthropology Review, 35(1): 76-111.
    • The Digitalia of Everyday Life: Multi-situated Anthropology of a Virtual Letter by a “Foreign Hand” ', 2019, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 9(2): 299-319 – selected for open access Déjà Lu (“Already read”), an initiative of the World Council of Anthropological Associations, as best journal article in HAU in the year of 2019
    • ‘(En)countering Sexual Violence in the Indian City’, Introduction to Special Issue, co-authored and edited with A. Sen and E. Zabiliute,,  Gender, Place and  Culture, 2019, 27(1): 1-12.
    • ‘Towards a Fifth Cinema’, with Mariagiulia Grassilli, 2018, Third Text, 32(5): 1-25.
    • ‘Can we Know No? Reflections on Domestic Violence in the Transit Lounge of Mishti Gals’, Virtual Roundtable Contribution for Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Special Issue, ‘Mapping Gendered Violence’, ed. Anastasia Christou, 2018, 39(2): 233-264.
    • Skipping Memories on Partition and the Intersensory Field in Subcontinental Britain’, Third Text, 2017, 31(2-3): 387-418.
    • ‘Mediating Rape: The “Nirbhaya Effect” in the Creative and Digital Arts’, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2017, 42(4): 945-976.
    • ‘A Nuclear Cyberia:  Interfacing Science, Culture and “E-thnography” of an Indian Township’s Social Media’, Media, Culture and Society, 2016, 39(3):  325-340.
    • ‘Gendering Graphics in Indian Superhero Comic Books and Some Notes for Provincializing Cultural Studies’, with Saif Eqbal, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 2015, 12(4): 367-396.
    • ‘The Power and Limits of Numbers: An Ethnography of a Survey on Background Radiation and Health’ ASAOnline, 2013.
    • ‘The Nuclear Imaginary and Indian Popular Films’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 2013, 37(2): 539-553.
    • ‘Sovereignty without Hegemony, the Nuclear State and a “Secret Public Hearing” in India’, Theory, Culture and Society, 2013, 20(3): 3-28.
    • ‘The Many Lives of Nuclear Monuments in India’, South Asian Studies, 2013, 29(1): 131-146.
    • ‘ “Atomic Schizophrenia”: Indian Reception of the Atom Bomb Attacks in Japan, 1945’, Cultural Critique, 2013, 84: 70-100.
    • The Nuclear Imaginary and Indian Popular Films’,South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 2014, 37(2): 539-553.
    • ‘Atomic Comics: Parabolic Mimesis and the Graphic Fictions of Science’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2012, 15(4): 329-347.
    • ‘ A “Nuclear Renaissance”, Climate Change and the State of Exception’, The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 2011, 22(2): 273-277.
    • ' "Ancient Cosmopolitanism" and the South Asian Diaspora', Journal of South Asian Diaspora, 2011, 3(2): 197-213.
    • ‘At the Ragged Edges of Time: The Legend of Tilak and the Normalisation of Histories’, South Asia Research, 2004, 24(2): 185-202.
    • ‘Martial Imagery in Western India: The Changing Face of Ganapati since the 1890s’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 2002, 25(1): 69-96.
    • 'Rethinking the Public Sphere: The Ganapati Utsava and Newspaper Competitions in Mumbai', South Asia Research, 2001, 21(1): 23-50.
    • ‘Dramas of Diaspora,’ International Journal of Punjab Studies, 2000, 7(2): 343–64.
    • ‘Jazzgeist: Racial Signs of Twisted Times’ with Partha Banerjea, Theory, Culture and Society, 2000, 17(3): 159-180.
  • Other Writing
    • Introduction ‘Catharsis after the Hangover: A Focus on Unwritten Letters’ for Film Symposium, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 13(1).
    • Introduction and editing with Victoria Klinkert for contemporary issues section, Currents ‘Decolonizing Ethnographies’, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 2021,11(1).
    • Essay with Shirin Rai, ‘COVID-19, Care and Carelessness’, 2021
    • Introduction and editing with dyuti a. for contemporary issues section, Currents, on India’s ‘constitutional crisis’, ‘Reclaiming the Sublime: The (Un)Making of the People’s Constitution in India’, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 2020, 10(3).
    • Introduction and editing for contemporary issues journal section, Currents on ‘Brextography’ ‘Amidst Backward-walking Somnambulists’, 2020, 10(2).
    • Text and co-curation of website and exhibition, Gender and Intersectionality in Indian and Diasporic (GRID) Heritage www.gridheritage,com
  • Creative Research for Public Engagement
    • Principal Investigator (PI) of ‘Pilgrimonics: Integrative Analyses of Global Pilgrimage and Circuits of Exchange’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, April 2022-March 2025
    • ESRC Impact Acceleration Award for ‘Remembering 1984’ drama workshops and script development with iceaandfire human rights theatre company and partners.
    • AHRC Impact Acceleration Award for ‘The ‘breaDth’ of Racial Prejudice among Older People, and Furthering Arts and Equality Policy’,
    • Co-Investigator in Consortium on Practices for Wellbeing and Resilience in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Families and Communities (Co-POWeR), 2021-2023, funded by UKRI (ESRC)
    • PI for AHRC/ICHR Research Network, ‘Gender and Intersectionality on India and its Diaspora's (GRID) Heritage’ with Investigators at SOAS and Jawaharlal Nehru University, 2020
    • ESRC Impact Acceleration Award as part of the Festival of Social Science for ‘Intergalactic Superheroism across the Globe’ film and panel based on book, Adventure Comics and Youth Cultures in India, at RSA and Pinter Studio, QMUL, 2019,
    • Member of an international research and writing network, workshop and residency program, ‘Dwelling and Crossing’ on Mumbai’s public spaces and religious practice, funded by the Norwegian Research Council and led by Professors Istvan Keul and Michael Stausberg, University of Bergen, 2014-2018.
  • Scripts