20092019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Biography

I have taught at Macquarie since 2015. I hold a BA in Religious Studies and Creative Writing from Princeton University (1996) and an MA (1998) and PhD (2006) in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to taking up a position at Macquarie, I was Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton College in upstate New York in the USA where I worked from 2006 to 2014. At Hamilton I won the prestigious Class of 1963 Excellence in Teaching Award.

My original training was in the anthropology of China and Tibet; I conducted research from 2002 to 2009 on everyday ethnic interaction in majority Tibetan areas of northwest China, supplementing this with additional research into the lives of members of the Tibetan Diaspora in north India. This research was supported by a Fulbright (IIE) Fellowship, a CAORC Multi-Country Research Fellowship, and a UC Berkeley CCS Liu Graduate Research Fellowship. Publications on these topics have appeared in The Journal of Asian Studies, The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, Theory, Culture & Society, and Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology.

My non-academic interests include politics, travel, teaching myself to play Chopin, and supporting usually hopeless sports teams (Arsenal, Richmond, and the New York Mets).

Research interests

My current research interests involve the anthropology of money, measurement and standardization as well as the anthropology of cash and cashlessness. My current research project, “The Qualities of Cash:” An Ethnographic Study of the Shifting Significance of Money in an Incipiently Cashless World” explores divergent attitudes toward money amongst locals and tourists in southern African and on the Indian Subcontinent.

This research has been supported by a Macquarie University New Staff (MQNS) Research Grant. My publications on money have appeared in Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society and The Journal of Cultural Economy.

I am currently at work on a book on the making of modern money that explores the connections between currency, standardization, state power, and the reconfiguration of local economic worlds since 1789.

Click here for my Google Scholar Profile.

Research student supervision

I am available to supervise post-graduate projects on a number of topics in economic anthropology, the anthropology of money, the anthropology of race and ethnicity, the anthropology of transnationalism and globalization, and the anthropology of standards and standardization. Geographic region is open though I have particular expertise in China, India, and southern Africa.

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Projects

Research Outputs

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Becoming, there? In pursuit of mobile methods

    Vasantkumar, C., 2017, Methodologies of mobility: ethnography and experiment. Elliot, A., Norum, R. & Salazar, N. B. (eds.). New York ; Oxford: Berghahn Books, p. 68-87 20 p. (Worlds in Motion; vol. 2).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Citation (Scopus)
  • 4 Citations (Scopus)

    Odd neighbours: trans-Himalayan Tibetan itineraries and Chinese economic development

    Vasantkumar, C., 2017, The Art of Neighbouring: Making Relations Across China's Borders. Saxer, M. & Zhang, J. (eds.). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, p. 167-186 20 p. (Asian borderlands).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Open Access
    File
    160 Downloads (Pure)

    Tibetan Diaspora, Mobility and Place: ‘Exiles in Their Own Homeland’

    Vasantkumar, C., 1 Jan 2017, In : Theory, Culture and Society. 34, 1, p. 115-136 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle