India, especially Tamil Nadu and adivasi western India; caste and religion, dalit politics, vernacular Christianity, environmental history, common property resources, indigenous irrigation, participatory rural development, aid agencies, anthropology of development
Democratisation in Afghanistan and other conflict-affected states, with a particular focus on gender and democratic institutions (elections, political parties and the legislature). Recently this has included work on the impact of Afghanistan's reserved seats system for women, the way elections shape and are shaped by local political landscapes, the internal dynamics of Afghan national assembly, political party institutionalisation and women's role in parties over time.
International trade, global commodity chains; production networks and industrial systems; informality and processes of labour informalisation; inequality and social structures of oppression; gender, feminisms and reproduction; the political economy of the garment industry; the political economy of India
South Asia, Central Asia; comparative political sociology of water resources and development; technology and agrarian change; boundary work in natural resources management; interdisciplinary social theory.
Deputy Director/Interim Director, SOAS South Asia Institute
Purewal’s interests fall within two areas, both with a distinctive Punjab (India and Pakistan) focus. The first is on feminist scholarship and gender in South Asia, including female feticide and routes and barriers to girls’ education. The second area is the sociology of religion. Purewal was the principal investigator on a large project under the Religion and Society programme (AHRC and ESRC) on popular religious practices and contemporary transgressions of religious boundaries in South Asia focusing specifically on the region of Punjab across India and Pakistan.
Anthropology of Tourism, hospitality, imagery and semiotics, Palestinian pilgrimage and cultural industries, Israeli landscape, borderlands, Indian caste system, political anthropology, post-conflict development, coasts, EC cultural policy in Mediterranean and Balkans, libraries.
Research: Analysis of economic drivers of over- and under-nutrition, nutrition transition, dietary policy evaluation, impact assessment and the role of agriculture in enabling better nutrition and health.
Industrial economics; Global and local production systems; Learning and technological change; Structural economic dynamics; Institutional change; Labour and sustainability; Industrial finance; Political economy of manufacturing development; Political settlements and corruption; Industrial policy; Global governance and policy.
Ethnicity and conflict in mainland South East Asia, cultural production, non-national histories of Eastern Himalayas and South East Asian Massif and the South, South East and East Asian borderworlds of Burma
Hindi Cinema; Indian popular culture; Indian film; Hinduism; new middle classes; Mumbai/Bombay; Gujarati language and literature; Gujarati diaspora esp UK and East Africa; comparative Indian literature.
The interconnected histories of modern West Bengal, Bangladesh and Britain; comparative religion and political theology in India and Britain; postcolonial theory; the historical construction of gender, race, class and nation; social, cultural and transnational history. He is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh for research purposes.
Muslim Family law in the UK and Europe, Family Law, Multiculturalism, Citizenship, Islamic Jurisprudence and Human Rights, Feminist and Critical Social and Political Theories, Issues concerning the rights of Muslim women and Gender Equality.
Islamic Law; Laws of South Asia (esp. Pakistan), South East Asia (esp. Indonesia) and the Arab World; Legal Anthropology; Legal Historiography (esp. Seljuk, Mamluk, Ottoman and Mughal Law); Human Rights Law; Gender, Sexuality and Law; Legal Theory; Law of Tort; Family Law; Law and Aesthetics/Art; Global Law/Governance.
Indo-Iranian History, Historical Geography and Philology (Avestan, Old Persian, Parthian, Pahlavi, Sanskrit, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, Pashto, Balochi and Kashmiri); Languages and Religions of Late Antiquity and the Silk Road (Bactrian, Khotanese, Sogdian, contacts among Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism and early Islam); Pakistan studies (Ancient and early Medieval History, Dardic and Nuristani dialectology, ethnography and topography of NWFP, FATA, Northern Areas and Trans-Karakoram Tract); Pakistani minorities; HUMINT counterterrorism and linguistic analysis; South Asian Muslim psycho-sociology; Muslim non-Muslim relations (Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh).
South Asia with a focus on India; transnational news spheres with a special focus on India; Development discourses in India and its articulation in mainstream and alternate news forums; environmental politics.
India; Tamil Nadu; caste (and media); Dalits; mass media; critical media theory; mobile phones; digital media practices including mobile apps; ethnography of communication and media; social anthropology
History and theory of Indian classical music; dhrupad; Newar music of Nepal; historical ethnomusicology; analysis of musical performance; cognitive approaches to music; music and meaning; music and religion
International Relations theory, international security; global public policy; North-South relations; civil wars; peace processes; peacebuilding; securitized development; politics of the ‘War on Terror’, international financial regulation.
Anthropology of religion, theory in the study of religions, continental philosophy, Gramsci and religion, intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, minorities (Dalits), mysticism and heresy, non-Western Christianities, Mediterranean anthropology; South-Asia (India, Bangladesh), Sardinia, world philosophies.
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa is an expert on civil-military relations in South Asia. She has worked extensively on Pakistan military - its politics, decision-making and arms procurement. In the past few years her work has focused on understanding the drivers of radicalism and militancy in Punjab and Sindh that led her to explore the ideological and philosophical linkages between South Asia and the Middle East with an emphasis on transfer of knowledge since the late 18th century.