Professor Arjun Appadurai is currently Goddard Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University in New York City, NY.
Arjun Appadurai served as Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives at The New School in New York City, where he also holds a Distinguished Professorship as the John Dewey Professor in the Social Sciences. Arjun Appadurai was the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The New School. He was formerly William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of International Studies, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Center for Cities and Globalization at Yale University.
Appadurai is the founder and now the President of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research), a non-profit organization based in and oriented to the city of Mumbai (India).
Professor Appadurai was born and educated in Bombay. He graduated from St. Xavier’s High School and earned his Intermediate Arts degree from Elphinstone College before coming to the United States. He earned his B.A. from Brandeis University in 1970, and his M.A. (1973) and Ph.D. (1976) from the University of Chicago.
During his academic career, he has held professorial chairs at Yale University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania, and has held visiting appointments at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa, Columbia University and New York University. He serves on several scholarly and advisory bodies in the United States, Latin America, Europe and India. He has authored numerous books and scholarly articles including Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger (2006, Duke University Press) and Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, (1996, University of Minnesota Press; 1997, Oxford University Press, Delhi). His previous scholarly publications have covered such topics as religion, cuisine, agriculture and mass culture in India.
He is one of the founding editors, along with Carol A. Breckenridge, of the journal Public Culture and was the founding Director of the Chicago Humanities Institute at the University of Chicago (1992-1998), during which time he held the Richard J. and Barbara E. Franke Professorship. He is one of the founders of the Interdisciplinary Network on Globalization, a consortium of institutions in various parts of the world devoted to the study of global politics and culture.
Arjun Appadurai has held numerous fellowships and scholarships and has received several scholarly honors, including residential fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Palo Alto (California) and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and an Individual Research Fellowship from the Open Society Institute (New York). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served or has served on numerous national and international advisory bodies, including the advisory council of the Smithsonian Institute, and the governing boards of: the Center for Arts and Culture (Washington, DC), the Institute for Cultural Pluralism (Rio de Janeiro), the Research Center for Religion and Society (Amsterdam), Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, and the Social Science Research Council (New York).
He has served as a consultant or advisor to a wide range of public and private organizations, including many major foundations (Ford, MacArthur, and Rockefeller); UNESCO; UNDP; WIDER (World Institute for Development Economics Research); the World Bank; the National Endowment for the Humanities; and the National Science Foundation. His current research has three foci: ethnic violence in the context of globalization, with a special focus on ethnic relations in Mumbai in the late 1980′s and 1990′s; a longer term collaborative project on the cultural dimensions of social crisis in Mumbai, focusing on housing, poverty, media and violence; a comparative ethnographic project on grass-roots globalization, intended to illuminate emergent transnational organizational forms and new practices of sovereignty.