Aditi Saraf is an Assistant Professor in Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University. Combining ethnographic and archival work, her research explores the relationship between commerce and sovereignty in the south Asian borderlands. More broadly, she works on questions of political economy, frontiers and mobility, militarization, the environment and spatial history.
She is currently working on her book manuscript, Frontier Signatures, which traces entanglements of trade and politics drawing on ethnography in the Kashmir region. Supported by the Wenner-Gren Hunt Fellowship, it shows how political economies in frontier spaces map out transnational trade networks and produce ideas of sovereignty distinct from those realised in the nation state. Her second project explores the relationship between climate change and food security in Ladakh.
Before joining Utrecht University, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, and has taught at Ashoka and Johns Hopkins Universities. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 and her MA in Sociology and BA in English (Hons) from Delhi University.
Research and teaching interests:
Economic and political anthropology, borderlands, trans-Himalayan trade, political ecology, ethnicity and nationalism, financial regulation and surveillance, Islam and ethics, material cultures, militarization, the environment, feminist perspectives on space and society, archives and anthropology, South Asia.