Mona Bhan is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Ford-Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Policy. Professor Bhan is a cultural anthropologist whose work explores the role of economic and infrastructural development in counterinsurgency operations and people’s resistance movements to protracted war and conflict.
Bhan has written a variety of books, including Counterinsurgency, Development, and the Politics of Identity: From Warfare to Welfare? , which examines the relationship between everyday forms of militarization and social life in Kashmir, with a focus on how state-based economic development and environmental interventions normalize everyday forms of violence through registers of care, compassion, and humanitarianism. In 2018, she co-authored Climate without Nature: A Critical Anthropology of the Anthropocene , which challenges the modernist binaries between nature and humanity, and offers a situated and place-based assessment on how human and nonhuman entanglements produce climatic assemblages across space and time.
With her colleagues from the Critical Kashmir Studies Collective that she helped co-found in 2013, she co-edited Resisting Occupation in Kashmir . Envisioned as a critical feminist collaboration among scholars who do engaged and advocacy work in Kashmir, the book foregrounds voices of Kashmiri scholars, and explores the social and legal logic of India’s occupation of Kashmir.
Professor Bhan is co-editor of the HIMALAYA, the flagship journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, and on the editorial board of AGITATE, published through the University of Minnesota Libraries. Her writings and interviews have appeared in several media and print outlets such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, TRT, Kindle, Open Democracy, and Outlook.
Before coming to Syracuse, Mona taught at DePauw for twelve years where she was the Otto L. Sonder Jr. Chair of Anthropology. Bhan received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Rutgers University.