Akhil Gupta

Professor of Anthropology and Development Studies at University of Melbourne

Akhil Gupta

2024 Jury | Social Sciences & Humanities Jury Breakthrough Day

Akhil Gupta is Past-President of the American Anthropological Association(2019-21), Professor of Anthropology at UCLA, and Co-Director of UCLA’s Center for India and South Asia (CISA).

Gupta is a sociocultural anthropologist working on questions of transnational capitalism, infrastructure, and corruption. His research on BPOs and call centers in India since 2009 (with Purnima Mankekar) was the subject of the Morgan Lectures in 2017, and has resulted in the manuscript Future Tense: Capital, Labor, and Technology in a Service Industry (with Purnima Mankekar).

His research projects have led him from studying agriculture to state development agencies to multinational corporations. Gupta is interested in the themes of artificial intelligence, contemporary capitalism, development, postcoloniality, globalization, and the state. His book, Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India (Duke Univ. Press, 2012), was awarded the Coomaraswamy Prize by the Association for Asian Studies. His most recent full-length publications are: The Promise of Infrastructure (edited with Nikhil Anand and Hannah Appel, Duke Univ. Press, 2018) and The Anthropology of Corruption (special issue of Current Anthropology edited with Sarah Muir, 2018).

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