Kamran Asdar Ali is Professor of Anthropology, Middle East Studies and Asian Studies, and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as President of the Association of Asian Studies (2022–2023). His research interests range from gender, sexuality, health and political economy to postcolonialism, labour history, urban studies and popular culture, and his work focuses mainly on South Asia and the Middle East, particularly Pakistan and Egypt.
Co-editor of the journal Critical Pakistan Studies (2022–ongoing), Ali has also co-edited special issues of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature (2022), International Quarterly of Asian Studies (2021) and Social Text (2008) as well as a number of books, including Towards Peoples’ Histories in Pakistan: (In)audible Voices, Forgotten Pasts (Bloomsbury, 2023), Gender, Politics, and Performance in South Asia (OUP, 2015), Comparing Cities: Middle East and South Asia (OUP, 2009) and Gendering Urban Space in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa (Palgrave, 2008). He is the author of Communism in Pakistan: Politics and Class Activism 1947-1972 (IB Tauris, 2015) and Planning the Family in Egypt: New Bodies, New Selves (UT Press, 2002), and his articles have appeared in the Journal of South Asian History and Culture (2013), International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2012), Social Text (2011), Modern Asian Studies (2011), International Journal of Middle East Studies (2005) and Comparative Studies in Society and History (2002).
Ali has received a Humanities Research Award, University of Texas, Austin (2019–2022); Texas Global Faculty Research Seed Grant, University of Texas, Austin, and American University in Cairo (2021); PI Title VI Overseas Research Center Grant, US Department of Education (2016); and a Pilot Project Award, Endangered Archives Programme, British Library (2014), among others. He has also been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1998–1999), a senior fellow at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World, University of Leiden (2005), and a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin (2010--2011).
He earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Dow Medical College, University of Karachi (1987), and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1991 and 1997, respectively).
Born in 1961 in Karachi, he currently lives and works in Austin.
March Meeting 2023