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Arafaat Valiani

Arafaat Valiani profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 541-346-5763
  • Office: 369 McKenzie Hall
  • Office Hours: Spring 2019, Tuesday/Thursday Noon–3:30, or by appointment
  • Affiliated Departments: Asian Studies, Sociology


Dr. Valiani is a scholar whose current research interests focus on technology, biomedicine and ethics which link together South Asia, North America and South Africa. Employing interdisciplinary methods from science and technology studies, sociology and South Asian Studies, Dr. Valiani studies how ethics and discourses about innovation mediate the production of biomedecine in South Asian and transnational contexts. Topics investigated so far include genomic science and 'community' in India, treatment activism and Indian pharmaceuticals in South Africa, human milk markets in the United States (i.e. breast milk donation and fortification technology), and Chinese birth tourism in the United States. Dr. Valiani's current research also includes inquiries into non-medical contexts of technoscientific production which include electronic voting technologies in India and global investment in real estate markets in South Asia and South Africa. This body of research contributes to debates in organizational and economic sociology, science and technology studies, South Asian Studies, and business history. 

Dr. Valiani's pretenure research examines how medical, religious and political conceptions of gendered physical bodies constructed models of activism and social movement organization in colonial and contemporary India and South Africa. In addition to publishing related articles, Dr. Valiani produced a monograph on this topic which is entitled Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity.

These areas of research and expertise contribute to teaching in organizational and economic sociology, modern South Asian history, science and technology studies, and business history.

Before taking up his appointment in the Department of History at the University of Oregon, Arafaat Valiani was Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Williams College.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Oregon, Dr. Valiani worked as a consultant in the private, non-profit and government sectors in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Organizations to whom he provided his expertise included Interactive Investor International, Columbia University, Population Concern, Statistics Canada and CN (Canadian National Railway Company).

Video of Professor Valiani discussing his research on organizations and markets in Asia and North America. 


Ph.D. Columbia University
MA London School of Economics/School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London)

Distinctions, Awards and Fellowships

National Science Foundation

Ford Foundation

National Endowment for the Humanities

Kluge Fellowship, Library of Congress

Wenner-Gren Foundation

American Institute of Indian Studies

Oregon Humanities Fellowship

Tom and Carol Williams Grant

Fellowship for Exceptional Research in Environmental StudiesConcordia University (Montreal, Canada) (awarded twice)

Selected Publications

Manuscripts Under Review or in Preparation:

Undone Science and Technological Innovation: The Case of Electronic Voting Machines in Postcolonial India (Co-authored with Patrick Jones).

Technological Innovation in a Moral Market: The Case of Human Milk Fortification in the United States

Commensuration and Foreign Capital: How Management Consulting Firms Create Classifications of Global Markets in India and South Africa (co-authored with Tariq Rahman).

Distributed Innovation: The Global Organization of Pharmaceutical R&D.

Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity (Palgrave Macmillan 2011).

"Recuperating Indian Masculinity: Mohandas Gandhi, War and the Indian Diaspora in South Africa (1899-1914)", 2014, South Asia History and Culture, Volume 5, Issue 4.

"Physical Training, Ethical Discipline and Creative Violence: Zones of Self-Mastery in the Hindu Nationalist Movement (Gujarat, India)", 2010, Cultural Anthropology, Volume 25, Issue 1.