• Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi
  • Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi
  • Associate Professor, SAS
  • Specialization: Social and Cultural Anthropology, violence, ritual, memory, identification, nationalism, social theory, psychoanalysis
  • Degree and University: Ph.D, Cornell, 2006
  • Office: RAB Room 313
  • Office Hours: Spring 2024 - on leave
  • Phone: 848-932-4104



I am indebted to long term field work in diverse contexts which emphasizes dynamics of encounter,   transference, and reflexivity. The ethnographic engagement includes a thorough reading of  ethnographic and anthropological literature, as well as an engagement with social and cultural   theory. I have conducted ethnographic research in rural and urban India, Gibraltar, the United   States, and in Germany.



1/06 Cornell University. Ph.D. 2006. Anthropology.  
12/00 Cornell University. M.A. 2000. Anthropology
7/98 Freie Universität Berlin. Magister Artium (M.A.).
5/94 Freie Universität Berlin. Zwischenprüfung (B.A.).



2012. Pogrom in Gujarat: Hindu Nationalism and Anti-Muslim Violence in India. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press. 335 pages. ISBN 978-0-691-15177-9
2009, ed., Violence: Ethnographic Encounters. NYC: Berg Press. 164 pages. ISBN 978-1-84788-417-6.
2008. Muslimische Heilige in Gujarat: Sufismus, Synkretismus und Praxis im westlichen Indien. (in German). Berlin: ECA, 141 pages. ISBN 978-3-940842-61-9. 






2021. “Guilty dreams: Culpability and Reactionary Violence in Gujarat” ZiF, Katharina von Kellenbach and Matthias Buschmeier (eds.), In Guilt: A Force of Cultural Transformation. Oxford University Press

2021. “Pratikriya, Guilt and Reactionary Violence.” New Hindutva, Thomas Boom Hansen and Srirupa Roy (eds), In Saffron Republic: Hindu Nationalism and State Power in India. Cambridge University Press

2020. “The Erotic in Foreigner Incorporation: First Encounters between Germans and Syrians.” In Digesting Difference: Migrant Incorporation and Mutual Belonging in Europe. Ed. by Kelly McKowen and John Borneman. Palgrave Macmillan.

2019. “Reflections in the Crowd: Delegation, Verisimilitude, and the Modi Mask.” In Majoritarian State: How Hindu Nationalism is Changing India, Angana P. Chatterji, Thomas Blom Hansen and Christophe Jaffrelot (eds.), Hurst & Company

2017 "The concept of Stimmung: From Indifference to Xenophobia in Germany's refugee crisis" (co-author John Borneman). Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 7 (3): 1-17. 

2017. “Syrian Refugees in Germany: Erotic Conflict and Foreigner Integration,” (co-author John Borneman). Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences XXII (1): 20-47. Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), India: Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS).

2017. In Conversation with Sindre Bangstad and Karin Kapadia while at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), Himachal Pradesh, Shimla, India. October/November 2016. In Anthropology of Our Times, Palgrave Macmillan

2016. “Mimetic Failure: Politics, Prayer and Possession.” Journal of Religious and Political Practice. Vol. 2, 1, Special Issue, Prayer and Politics.

2015. “Macht des Anschaulichen: Fritz Kramer and Mimesis in Africa.” Erhard Schüttpelz und Martin Zillinger (Hrsg.). In Begeisterung und Blasphemie, Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften, 2, pp. 165-186.

2015. “Urban thresholds: Crevices, Crossroads and Magic Remainders” (reprinted from Ethnography). In Cities of South Asia, Crispin Bates and Minoru Mio (eds.), Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-83276-3.

2013.  “Naming and Omission,” In under Essays and Exchanges of Reverberations: New Directions in the Study of Prayer, online magazine: http://forums.ssrc.org/ndsp/2013/10/11/naming-and- omission/

2012. “The city threshold: Mushroom temples and magic remains in Ahmedabad.” Ethnography Vol. 13, No.1, pp. 12-27. ISSN 1466-1381. (Republished as “Urban thresholds: Crevices, crossroads and magic remainders” in book chapter, see above)

2012. Interview (video) at the Institut d'Études Avancée de Nantes, France: https://www.iea-nantes.fr/en/chercheurs/ghassem-fachandi-parvis_233

2011. “On the Political Uses of Disgust in Gujarat.” (Reprinted from South Asian History and Culture, see below) In Politics, Conflict and Society in Gujarat: Fifty Years of a Modern Indian State (1960-2010), edited by Nalin Mehta, Mona Mehta, and Boria Majumdar. ISBN-10: 0415556120. That volume was also published with the title Gujarat Beyond Gandhi: Identity, Society and Conflict, edited by Nalin Mehta, Mona Mehta ISBN: 978-0-415-55612-5. 

2011. “Religious Synthesis in India: Delegation and Exchange at a Muslim Shrine.” In A Companion to the Anthropology of India. Edited by Isabelle Clark-Decès Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, pp. 260-276. ISBN-13: 978-1-4051-9892-9.

2010. “On the Political Uses of Disgust in Gujarat,” (Reprinted as book chapter; see above). South Asian History and Culture (“Gujarat Special Issue”) Vol. 1, Issue 4, pp. 557-576. ISSN 1947-2498.

2010. “Ahimsa, Identification and Sacrifice in the Gujarat Pogrom.” Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale 18:155-175.

2009. “The Hyperbolic Vegetarian: Notes on a Fragile Subject in Gujarat.” In Being There: The Fieldwork Encounter and the Making of Truth. Edited by John Borneman and Abdellah Hammoudi. Berkeley: California University Press, pp. 77-112. ISBN 978-0-520-25776-4.

2009. “Bandh in Ahmedabad.” In Ghassem-Fachandi, Parvis (ed.). Violence: Ethnographic Encounters. (In “Encounters: Experience and Anthropological Insight” series.) New York: Berg Publishers, pp. 35-49. ISBN 978-1-84788-417-6.

2009. “Introduction,” In Violence: Ethnographic Encounters (In “Encounters: Experience and Anthropological Insight” series.) New York: Berg Publishers, pp. 1-13. ISBN 978-1-84788-417-6.

2009. “Guide to Further Reading.” In Violence: Ethnographic Encounters. (In “Encounters: Experience and Anthropological Insight” series.) New York: Berg Publishers, pp. 145-156. ISBN 978-1-84788-417-6.

2008. “Bridge over the Sabarmati: An Urban Journey into Violence and Back”. Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 68-94. ISSN 1465-2609. 

2007. “About Prayer: Abjection and Repetition in an American Holiness Church.” Ethnography Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 235-265. ISSN 1466-1381.

2005. “December 26, 2004, in Unawatuna near Galle, Southern Sri Lanka,” Anthropology News 46(3): 10-11.





2018 – 2019 Fellowship at Zentrum für Interdisziplinäre Forschung (ZiF - Center for Interdisciplinary Research), Universität Bielefeld, Germany

2017 Research Scholarship of Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Germany (EURO 6000)

2016 Visiting Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

2014 The Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence. Rutgers University

2012 – 2014 Social Science Research Council, New Directions in the Study of Prayer (SSRC NDSP) 

2012 – 2013 Fellowship at Institut d' Études Avancées de Nantes (IEA - Inst. of Adv. Studies), France 

2011 Rutgers University Faculty Research Grant (FRG), Rutgers University ($15,000)

2008 Rutgers Global Opportunity Award (GOA) for International Research Projects, Rutgers ($4000) 

2006 – 2007 Center for Religion and Media Postdoctoral Fellowship, New York University (NYU)

2006 Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies (PIIRS), declined

2005 – 2006 Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, ($14,250.00)

2003 Cornell Sage Fellowship for Graduate Studies at Cornell University

2001 – 2002 Social Science Research Council, International Pre-dissertation Fellowship (SSRC IPDF)

2000 Cornell University Graduate School Grant

1999 Cornell University Department of Anthropology Endowment Fund Grant

1999 Cornell University South Asia Program Travel Grant

1999 Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies Travel Grant, Cornell University

1998 – 1999 Cornell University Sage Fellowship for Graduate Studies

1996 Grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Research Assistant to Dr. Dieter Haller. Prof. Schiffauer (Viadrina Universität, Frankfurt/Oder) 

1995 Grant from the Freie Universität Berlin (DFG), research in Gujarat, India

1994 Erasmus stipend for studying at the Université St. Denis, Paris (Paris VIII.), declined





101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

220 The Politics of Food and Sex in South Asia

244 Inequality in South Asia (South Asian Ethnography)

293 Guest, Enemy, Neighbor: Xenophobia and the Other in Europe Today

297 Sacrifice, Sorcery, Society

308 Magic, Witchcraft, Reason

380 Trauma, Memory, Loss


505 The History of Anthropological Theory

519 Authority, Power, and Political Form

522 Sacrifice, Violence, and Immortality

603 Dream, Recall, Disavowal