I am a cultural anthropologist with a geographic specialization in South Asia. I have conducted fieldwork research in Rajasthan, India since the late 1980s, studying non-governmental organizations and rural development programs in villages in and around Udaipur District. This research resulted in my PhD dissertation and first book, Interpreting Development: Local Histories, Local Strategies (Lanham, MD: University Press of America. 1997)
This research has also included inquiry into the construction of tribal identity, and analysis of ritual cycles among Bhils of the area. My current research includes an exploration of a 40-day dance/drama/ritual performance cycle unique to the Bhils of Udaipur District called gavari. I'm currently exploring the content of multiple gavari episodes and their linkages to colonial discourse on tribals, as well as its resonance in the contemporary sociopolitical construction of tribal identities in modern India.
A related project emerged out of my evolving interest in the anthropology of tourism. In addition to teaching an advanced course in this subject, I am editing a volume of contributions on tourism in Rajasthan Tourism and Cultural Politics in India: Rajasthan, India's "Heritage" State with colleague Dr. Carol Henderson.
I am also completing a manuscript for a forthcoming book, Experiencing Life and Death Before Birth. to be published by Waveland Press. This book explores the sociopolitics of the fetus and prenatal identity in different contemporary cultures, religions, and states.
1997. Interpreting Development: Local Histories, Local Strategies. Lanham, MD: University Press of America.
1999. Beyond the Boundaries of Belief: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion.. Boulder: Westview Co-edited with Barnard colleague Morton Klass.
1999. "Vedic and Hindu Traditions" in Religion and Culture: An Anthropological Focus. New York: Prentice Hall.
2003. "Rajasthan," "Tribalism and Tribal Identity" and "Gavari" in South Asian Folklore: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge.
Experiencing Life and Death Before Birth. Waveland Press.
Rajasthan, India's "Heritage" State? Oxford University Press-Delhi.