PhD 2022


Dissertation Title: Formations of Tamil Islam: Belonging, Place, and Historical Consciousness in South India

Harini Kumar is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation examines the practices through which Muslims in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu cultivate and sustain attachments to multiple traditions, histories, and places. It specifically focuses on how the relation between a religious and ethnolinguistic identity is articulated in the contemporary moment. Harini's research and teaching interests include the anthropology of Islam, kinship, gender, migration and mobility, the senses and embodiment, and place-making.


Harini is the recipient of the Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant and the American Institute of Indian Studies Junior Research Fellowship. She was a Martin Marty Center Junior Fellow at UChicago's Divinity School during the 2020-2021 academic year. At the University of Chicago, her research has been supported by the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS), the Center for International Social Science Research (CISSR), and the Orin Williams Fund (SSD). She received an MA degree in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago and an MA degree in Communication from the University of Hyderabad, India. 


Harini is currently participating in a multi-year, collaborative research project “Logistics in the Making of Mobile Worlds,” funded by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. She manages the multi-platform social media campaign, ‍#Logistics in the Time of Covid, that documents logistical disruptions to social life during the COVID-19 pandemic and showcases diverse audiovisual forms of representation.