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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: By appointment.
  • Teaching Level: Doctoral, Masters, Undergraduate
  • Affiliated Departments: Asian Studies, Global Health Program, IRES, Sociology
  • Programs, Research and Outreach: Wayne Morse Center
  • 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. 

Dr. Valiani has followed the lead of Indigenous peoples to support these communities to achieve self-determination from his teens in the Treaty 7 territory in southern Alberta, and as adult in James Bay Treaty territory (Quebec), in Gujarat, western India, and on the traditional homeland of the Kalapuya people (Oregon).

I am a medical sociologist and an historian of science and my current intellectual interests focus on questions of decolonization regarding biomedicine/biotechnology, specifically genomics and precision medicine, among Indigenous peoples in Canada and South Asians globally. Employing methods from Indigenous science and technology studies, postcolonial studies and technoscience, I study how discourses about 'populations' mediate innovations in biotechnology which involve Indigigenous and ethnic communities in Canada and among South Asians globally. Recent investigations I have undertaken explore genomics and precision medicine in Canada and India, issues of health access in the context of human milk provision in the United States and Canada, and the decolonization of obstetrics services 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 debates in Indigenous Studies, history of science, gender and South Asian Studies and this research also strives to productively impact understandings and practices of Indigenous health. 

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 ethno-religious, medical and masculine conceptions of the body on the formation of political community among Indigenous (Adivasi) and non-indigengous communities in modern India and its diasporas. This body of research contributes to debates in indigeneity and gender, sociology of the body, political histories of South Asia, and broader discussions about the rise of populism which we are currently witnessing in North America, 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.



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.