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2014 PIIRS Global Seminars

Growing Up in India

Mysore, India, June 9 - July 18, 2014


Faculty Director

Isabelle Clark-Decès is a professor in the Department of Anthropology who teaches courses on India, religion, magic, and ethnography. She has conducted fieldwork in South India since 1990. Her first line of research focused on Tamil ritual and its transformative consequences for the participants' social relations, identities and experiences. Her books in that area include Religion Against the Self: An Ethnography of Tamil Rituals (as Isabelle Nabokov); No One Cries for the Dead: Tamil Dirges, Rowdy Songs and Graveyard Petitions; and The Encounter Never Ends: a Return to the Field of Tamil Rituals. She is the editor of A Companion to the Anthropology of India (forthcoming), which explores how ongoing discussion about the nature and effects of modernity and globalization is shaping debate around new thematic foci, emerging empirical problems, and changing ethnographic methods in the anthropological study of India. Her current project is a book-length ethnography of marriages with close-kin in Tamilnadu (South India), both as they were arranged and experienced in the recent past, and as they are increasingly discontinued in the present. This study,The Right to Marry One's Own: Tamil Kinship in a Field of Relations, seeks to make a contribution to the ways in which anthropologists interpret kinship and social change in a global world and transnational liberal economy.  Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley