I am a political anthropologist interested in questions of popular sovereignty and political communication. My larger conceptual interests are in protest, political affect, rumor, sacrifice, and development. Bangladesh is my primary fieldsite. My first book, Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh (Stanford University Press 2019) is an anthropology of crowds. I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and have been a Member at Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton during 2020-21. My current book-in-progress explores the concept of sacrifice in relation to postcolonial development. I have published in disciplinary journals such as Anthropological Quarterly and the Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, and contributed to academic blogs such as The Immanent Frame (SSRC), Post-Covid Fantasies (American Ethnologist), and the Cultural Anthropology Editor’s Forum. During 2020-23, I am serving as an elected member of the South Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies.

Articles/Book Chapters

2021. "Dhaka 1969." In Economic and Political Weekly. October 30, 2021. Vol. LVI, Issue 44.

2020. "A Second Coming: The Specular and the Spectacular 50 Years On." In Südasien-Chronik/South Asia Chronicle. Focus: '71 Now. 

2019: “The Ethics of the Digital: Crowds and Popular Justice in Bangladesh.” In Crowds: Ethnographic Encounters. Chapter 9. Edited by Megan Steffen. Bloomsbury Press. 2019.

2019. “Death, Despair and Democracy in Bangladesh.” In Emotions, Mobilisations, and South Asian Politics. Chapter 14. Edited by Amélie Blom and Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal. Routledge, India.   

2019. "The Taka, Transparency, and an Alternative Politics of Seeing From Phulbari, Bangladesh." In Neoliberal Development In Bangladesh: People on the Margins. Edited by Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan (Editor) Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman (Editor). The University Press Limited (UPL) . Bangladesh. 

2016. “Mines and Signs: Resource and Political Futures in Bangladesh.” Special Issue on "Prognosis: Visions of Environmental Futures." Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute. Edited by Andrew Matthews and Jessica Barnes.

2014: “‘Picture-Thinking’: Sovereignty and Citizenship in Bangladesh.” Anthropological Quarterly. Fall 2014 (Volume 87, Issue 4).

2014: “Muslim Women and Violent Protest: Bangladesh.” Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures. General Editor Suad Joseph. Brill Online, 2014.


2019. Paradoxes of the Popular: Crowd Politics in Bangladesh. Stanford University Press (Series: South Asia in Motion). 

Cover of Paradoxes of the Popular by Nusrat Sabina Chowdhury

Read the Introduction here: https://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=30635

Or, listen to a podcast

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at "Anthropology of Political Assembly" with Lisa Bjorkman: 

Forthcoming.  Art, Politics, and the Environment in Bangladesh: FIfty Years On. Co-edited with Dr. Lotte Hoek (Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Edinburgh). Contracted with Anthem Press, UK.

Scholarly Blogs

A Storm in a Teacup (American Ethnologist: Post-Covid Fantasies)

Crowd, Contagion, Corona (Cultural Anthropology Editors' Forum)

Introduction. Figurative Publics: Crowds, protest, and democratic anxieties (The Immanent Frame, SSRC)

Book Reviews

2021: Radiant Infrastructures: Media, Environment, and Cultures of Uncertainty. Rahul Mukherjee. Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies. 11(2) 207-217. 

2021: Nusrat Sabina Chowdhury and Rahul Mukherjee in Conversation. Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies. 11(2) 212-214.

2014: Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India. Akhil Gupta. Journal of Anthropological Research. Vol. 70, Fall 2014.

2013: Women Suicide Bombers: Narratives of Violence. Julie Rajan. South Asian Popular Culture. 2013.

2012: In the Shadows of the State: Indigenous Politics, Environmentalism, and Insurgency in Jharkhand, India. Alpa Shah. PoLar: The Political and Legal Anthropology Review. Spring 2012 (Vol. 35, Issue 1).


2008: “Pashcimer Najare: Naribadi Chinta o Ouponibeshik Discourse.” Bengali translation of “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Thought and Colonial Discourse” by Chandra Talpade Mohanty. In Muktoshwar. No. 2. Year 1. Samhati Publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh.