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Faculty Fellow

Kaushik Sunder Rajan

Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College; Co-Director, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory University of Chicago


Kaushik Sunder Rajan works on the global political economy of the life sciences and biomedicine, with an empirical focus on India, South Africa, and the United States. He is the author of Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life (2006) and Pharmocracy: Value, Politics, and Knowledge in Global Biomedicine (2017), and editor of Lively Capital: Biotechnologies, Ethics, and Governance in Global Markets (2012). He is currently embarked on a research project that studies the intersections between health, law, and constitutionalism in South Africa, provisionally titled “Just Health?: Law, Constitutionalism, and Postcolonial Disease.” Sunder Rajan has long-standing interests in ethnographic methods and generating theory from the global South. He is the author of Multi-situated: Ethnography as Diasporic Praxis, forthcoming from Duke University Press. In this book, Sunder Rajan draws upon more than a decade of teaching ethnographic method in light of his own diasporic itinerary to consider the intellectual, pedagogical, and political genealogies and possibilities for multi-sited ethnographic sensibilities and projects, in relation to the disciplinary project of anthropology and the contemporary university.

To learn more about Sunder Rajan's research and publications, please see his profile page at the Department of Anthropology.

Featured Project

Illustration courtesy Stacy Hardy

Transperformations: Breathing Machines Across the Worlds

Project Topics:

2023 – 2024



Illustration by Graeme Arendse


An innovative series of "performance lectures" combining creative expression and theoretical inquiry offer new ways to study colonial and postcolonial histories of tuberculosis.

This research project will explore biographies and geographies of breath through a focus on the colonial histories and postcolonial politics surrounding tuberculosis in South Africa. It will be a research- and performance-based collaborative endeavor between anthropologist Kaushik Sunder Rajan...