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Arafaat Valiani

Arafaat Valiani profile picture
  • Title: Associate Professor
  • Additional Title: Associate Department Head/Chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Phone: 541-346-5763
  • Office: 369 McKenzie Hall
  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • Affiliated Departments: Asian Studies, Sociology


My current intellectual interests focus on questions surrounding the politics of biomedicine and the body, technology and their attendant institutional contexts in South Asia and regions which are transnationally connected to the region. Employing methods from science, technology and medicine, sociology and South Asian Studies, I study how discourses about ethics and innovation mediate the production of biomedecine in South Asian and transnational contexts. Genomic science in India, electronic voting machines in India, human milk markets in the United States (i.e. breast milk donation and fortification technology), and Chinese birth tourism in the United States are sites that are currently being explored. This body of research contributes to debates in sociology of technology, history of science, South Asian Studies, economic and organizational sociology and business history. 

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, masculine and religious conceptions of the body on the formation of political communities and militant social movements in modern India. As extensions of this project, I have published articles on physical culture in the contemporary Hindu nationalist movement and on Mohandas Gandhi's conceptions of the body and masculinity in relation to war and the Indian diaspora in South Africa.

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.