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Arafaat A. Valiani

Arafaat A. Valiani profile picture
  • Affiliation: faculty
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Additional Title: Graduate Faculty in the Department of Indigenous, Race and Ethnic Studies and Global Health
  • Phone: 541-346-5763
  • Office: 301 McKenzie Hall
  • Office Hours: Spring 2023, (on zoom) Tuesdays 2-3:00pm, Wednesdays, 2-3:30pm, and by appt.
  • Affiliated Departments: Asian Studies, Clark Honors College
  • Programs, Research and Outreach: Wayne Morse Center
  • Teaching Level: Doctoral, Masters, Undergraduate
  • Website: Website
  • Twitter: Twitter


Arafaat Valiani is grateful to the Kalapuya people, many of whom are now citizens of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Tribes of the Siletz Indians on whose lands the University of Oregon is situated. 

I am a medical sociologist and an historian of science and my current intellectual interests focus on questions of decolonization regarding biomedicine, specifically genomics, difference and precision medicine, especially among Indigenous peoples in Canada and South Asians globally. I am the founder of the Precision Health Equity Project which comprises the following research, training and community-based endeavors. Employing methods from Indigenous science and technology studies, de/postcolonial studies and feminist technoscience, I study how discourses about 'populations', gender and race mediate innovations in biomedicine which involve racialized communities in Canada and globally. Recent investigations I have undertaken explore genomics and precision medicine in Canada and India, issues of health access in the context of infant and maternal health related to human milk provision in the United States and Canada, and the decolonization of obstetrics services for mothers in the global context of Chinese birth tourism in the United States and Canada (among other sites of inquiry). This body of research contributes to trandisciplinary debates about difference, social justice and biomedicine; the sociology of knowledge and medicine; history of science; gender and South Asian Studies; and it also strives to productively impact understandings of health equity for racialized communities. 

Dr. Valiani's first book, entitled Militant Publics in India: Physical Culture and Violence in the Making of a Modern Polity (Palgrave 2011), combined historical and ethnographic research methods to examine the effects of medical, ethno-religious and 'masculine' conceptions of the body on the formation of political community among Indigenous (Adivasi) and caste communities in modern India and its diasporas. This body of research contributes to debates in difference, sociology of the body, political histories of South Asia, and broader discussions about the rise of populism which we are currently witnessing in the Americas, Europe and South Asia. 

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.

Dr. Valiani will be the 2023 Killam Visiting Scholar, in the Department of Community Health Sciences, in Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He will be working on the Precision Health Equity Project.



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

BFa Concordia University (Montréal, Canada)

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 Progress:

Recoding Caste: Community, Genetic Mapping and Risk in Postgenomic India and Its Diasporas

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

Processions as Publics: Relgious Ceremonials, the City and Modes of Public Sphere Intervention in Colonial and Postcolonial Western India.

Media and Mobilization: Political Resistance and Its Media Forms in Western India.

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)", Culture Anthropology, Volume 25, Issue 1.