Naveeda Khan

Naveeda Khan

Professor and Department Chair

Contact Information

Research Interests: riverine society, nature philosophy and nature in Islamic theology, migration and memory, global warming and everyday life, animal-human relations, framings of the future, national and global climate governance, Bangladesh and Bonn

Naveeda Khan is a professor in the Department of Anthropology. She received her BA in History from Vassar College, her MA in Anthropology from the New School for Social Research and her PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University. She has also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Dhaka and Cox's Bazaar, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Travelers and Immigrants Aid of Chicago (TIA) and The Field Museum of Natural History.

In my research I explore insights into the experience of crisis in our present, through (1) the crisis of the nation state as indexed in sectarian violence within neighborhoods in urban Pakistan, and (2) the crisis of climate change as it is foreshadowed within everyday life, development projects and global climate governance in riverine Bangladesh. My earlier work on the formation of Pakistan has developed into an exploration of the role Islam plays more broadly in everyday life, specifically through the uptake of environmental issues within theology. Similarly, my work on Bangladesh has expanded from a consideration of the concrete experience of climate change on the ground, to a parallel study of the role Bangladesh plays in international governmental negotiations on climate policy. In all of my work, I bring together methods from anthropology and the humanities with insights from the philosophy of nature, climate policy, and environmental science, in order to develop a robust multidisciplinary vantage on complex issues.

In addition to my ethnographic work, I have also written on how the technical, the rational and the material capture the imagination and are suffused with aesthetic, theological and utopian sensibilities.

Finally, I am passionate about working with photography to explore ephemeral aspects of everyday life, the fleeting quality of time and the dynamism of movement.  This orientation arises from encountering limits within my research and writing, which are also limits of photography but which offers a different vantage.   

Please see my curriculum vitae, personal website and academia page for more detail.

Courses Taught

Anthropological Concepts and Methods

  • 600 Proseminar: Evolution/History/Time
  • 600 Defining Region
  • 400 Logic of Anthropological Inquiry
  • 300 Methods: Getting to Know Hopkins
  • 200 Ethnographies: Everyday Religion and Ethics
  • 100 Invitation to Anthropology (x4)

Anthropology of Religion and the Everyday

  • 600 Belief
  • 600 Anthropology of the Everyday
  • 300 Modernity of Religion
  • 300 Magic/Science/Religion (x2)
  • 300 Film/Fate/Law
  • 300 Anthropology of the Senses (x2)
  • 300 Back to the Future
  • 200 Religion and Secularism

Islam and South Asia

  • 400/600 Concepts: How to Read Hindu and Islamic Texts
  • 300 Readings in Islam
  • 300 The Political Culture of Pakistan
  • 300 Islam between History and Anthropology
  • 300 Sex, Law and Islam
  • 300 The Occult in South Asia
  • 200 Modern South Asia: Bangladesh/Pakistan

Environment and Nature

  • 600 Death and Extinction
  • 600 The Machine in Nature
  • 600 Nature in Romantic Thought
  • 600 Death of Nature?
  • 300 The City in South Asia
  • 300 Jr/Sr Seminar The Animal in Anthropology
  • 300/600 Evolution, Ecology, Becoming
  • 300 Romantic Legacy of Anthropology
  • 100 Climate Change and Everyday Life
  • 100 Photography in Anthropology

If interested in the syllabus of any of these courses, please get in touch with me.

Islam, State and the Everyday, Pakistan

“The Acoustics of Muslim Striving: Loudspeaker Use in Ritual Practice in Pakistan” Comparative Studies on Society and History (CSSH) 53(3), 2011: 571-594

“Introduction” Beyond Crisis: Reevaluating Pakistan, Routledge, 2010: 1-28

“Mosque Construction, Or the Violence of the Ordinary” Beyond Crisis: Reevaluating Pakistan, Routledge, 2010: 482-518

“Images that come Unbidden: Some Thoughts on the Danish Cartoon Controversy” special issue of Borderlands on Religion and Sexuality.  9(3), 2010

“Maulana Yusuf Ludhianvi on the Limits of Legitimate Religious Difference” in Islam in South Asia in Practice ed. Barbara Metcalf, Princeton University Press, 2009, pp. 438-446.

“The Martyrdom of Mosques: Imagery and Iconoclasm in Modern Pakistan” in Enchantments of Modernity ed. Saurabh Dube, Routledge, 2008, pp. 372-401

 “Of Children and Jinns: An Inquiry into an Unexpected Friendship During Uncertain Times” Cultural Anthropology vol 21(6), May 2006, pp. 234-264

  • Republished in abridged form as “In Friendship: A Father, A Child and A Jinn” in Everyday Life in South Asia, eds. Diane Mines and Sarah Lamb, Indiana University Press, 2010
  • Republished in Islam and Society in Pakistan: Anthropological Perspectives, eds. Ali Khan and Magnus Marsden, Oxford University Press, 2011
  • Republished in a curated collection on Everyday Islam in Cultural Anthropology, 2014

“Trespasses of the State: Ministering the Copyright to Theological Dilemmas” Bare Acts, Sarai Reader 5, (CSDS, Delhi, 2005), pp. 178-188

River Life, Climate Change, Bangladesh

“Living Paradox in Riverine Bangladesh: Whiteheadian Perspectives on Ganga Devi and Khwaja Khijir” in “An Amphibious Anthropology: The Production of Place at the Confluence of Land and Water,” eds. Karine Gagne and Mattias Borg Rasmussen, special issue of Anthropologica, 58(2), 2016, 179-192

“Corruption:  A Conceptual Note” in Contributions to Indian Sociology, 49(3), 2015, 287-304

“River and the Corruption of Memory” in Contributions to Indian Sociology, 9(3), 2015, 389-409

“Of What Does Self-Knowing Consist? Perspectives from Bangladesh and Pakistan” in Annual Review of Anthropology 44, 2015, 457-475

“Fragile En-souling: Reading William Connolly in Pakistan and Bangladesh” in Theory and Event 18(3), 2015

“Dogs and Humans and What Earth Can Be: Filaments of Muslim Ecological Thought” in Hau 4(3), 2014, 245-264

“Insect Trails Across my Field Notes” in The Yearbook of Comparative Literature 58: 169-173 (published 2014)

“The Death of Nature in the Era of Global Warming” in Wording the World: Veena Das and her Interlocutors ed. Roma Chatterji.  Forthcoming from Fordham University Press, 2014, 288-299

Miscellaneous Essays

“Geddes in India: Town Planning, Plant Sentience, Cooperative Evolution” Environment and Planning(D) 29(5), 2011: 840-856

“Introduction” co-authored with Jane I. Guyer, Juan Obarrio, Caroline Bledsoe, Julie Chu, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Catherine Eagleton, Keith Hart, Paul Kockelman, Jean Lave, Caroline McLoughlin, Bill Maurer, Federico Neiburg, Diane Nelson, Charles Stafford and Helen Verran in “Number as Inventive Frontier,” special issue of Anthropological Theory, 10(1-2) May: 2010, 36-61

“Nineteen: A Story” in “Number as Inventive Frontier,” special issue of Anthropological Theory, May: 2010, 112-122

“Flaws in the Flow: Roads and their Modernity in Pakistan” Social Text Winter 2006, pp. 87-113

"Networks Actual and Potential: Think Tanks, War Games and the Creation of Contemporary American Politics" co-authored with Bhrigupati Singh, Deborah Poole and Richard Baxstrom, Theory and Event, September 2005

Please see my academia page for access to publications.


Monographs and Special Issues of Journals

Three monographs in series tentatively titled “As Is/As If: Conundrums of Living with Climate Change” (in preparation)

  • “Climate Governance at the End of the World”
  • “River Life and a Philosophy of Nature”
  • “Householding on a Warming Earth”

Editor, “The Fate of Our Corruption,” special issue of Contributions to Indian Sociology, 49(3), 2015

“Number as Inventive Frontier” co-edited with Jane I. Guyer and Juan Obarrio, special issue of Anthropological Theory 10(1-2), May: 2010