Dr Chandana Mathur

Anthropology, Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI)

Associate Professor

Rowan House
1st Floor
(01) 708 6083


Dr. Chandana Mathur was educated at the University of Delhi and the New School for Social Research, New York, and has been teaching at the Maynooth University Department of Anthropology since 2003. She is a former Chair of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (2016-18) and now a permanent member of its Advisory Board. More recently, she was the Vice-President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (2021-23). She has been honoured with a Distinguished Service Award from the International Union for Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, and a Presidential Award from the American Anthropological Association. She has been a Visiting Professor at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Centre Norbert Elias, Marseille (2018-19) and at the University of Vienna (2021-22), as well as a Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics (2019-21).

Drawing on the perspectives of anthropological political economy and political ecology, her research focuses principally on the contemporary United States, South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. With the historian Deana Heath, she is the co-editor of the volume Communalism and Globalization in South Asia and Its Diaspora (2011: Routledge). 
Her published work has appeared in such journals as American Anthropologist, Critique of Anthropology, Dialectical Anthropology, Solar Energy, Wiley Interdisciplinary Review Essays – Water (WIREs Water), among others. She is a member of the editorial committee of the journal Dialectical Anthropology, and an Editorial Advisory Board member for Feminist Anthropology, Social Anthropology/ Anthropologie Sociale, and for sapiens.org, an editorially independent magazine of the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. For a fuller picture, see her interview in the June 2017 issue of American Anthropologist, where she reflects on her trajectory [IR Link]

She has participated in two transdisciplinary EU Horizon 2020 funded projects, WATERSPOUTT (2016-2020) and PANI_Water (2019-2024), contributing anthropological perspectives (as part of a Maynooth-based social science team) to research led by STEM scientists working on the solar disinfection of water. She has served as a review panel member for the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (2010-12) and currently does so for the European Research Council (since 2023). 

She has supervised/co-supervised 8 PhDs to completion, and was awarded a Research Ally Prize in 2021 by the Irish Research Council for her  work as a mentor. Five of her former and current doctoral students have been awarded postgraduate scholarships by the Irish Research Council, and one of them also received the Council's Eda Sagarra Medal of Excellence.

Edited Book

Year Publication
2011 Deana Heath and Chandana Mathur (Ed.). (2011) Communalism and Globalization in South Asia and Its Diaspora. London and New York: Routledge,

Edited Journal Issue

Year Publication
2023 Mathur, C. (2023) 'Class within class: his interlocutors and Jonathan Parry', Special forum in Dialectical Anthropology, Vol 47, Issue 2. [Edited Journal Issue]
2022 Kingsolver, A., Mathur, C. and Onto, G. (2022) Thematic Section: 'Economic Nationalisms in a World on Fire' in the journal Anuac: Rivista dell'Associazione Nazionale Universitaria Antropologi Culturali, 11 (2). [Edited Journal Issue] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 C Mathur and S Kasmir (2018) 'The Making of the US Working Class' Special issue of the journal Dialectical Anthropology, Vol. 42, No. 2, June 2018. Guest editors' Introduction: 'On the heterogeneity of the US working class'. [Edited Journal Issue] [Full-Text]
2015 Mathur C. (2015) Special Forum: ‘Marx at the Margins: Four Ways’ in the journal Dialectical Anthropology, Vol. 39, No. 2, June 2015. With guest editor's Forum Statement. [Edited Journal Issue] [DOI] [Full-Text]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 McGrath, P; GAcciaioli; C Mathur; etal (2022) 'The WCAA Global Survey of Anthropological Practice (2014-2018): Reported Findings'. Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology, 19 . [DOI]
2020 Mathur, C. (2020) 'Singing about the dark times in the US and India: notes on situated understandings in our age of essentialisms'. Anthropology Southern Africa, 43 (2):133-142. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 Mathur, C; Mulwafu, W (2018) 'Colonialism and its legacies, as reflected in water, incorporating a view from Malawi'. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews-Water, 5 . [DOI] [Full-Text]
2018 Mathur, C. (2018) 'Redefining ethnography ‘in the strict sense of the term’: Perspectives gained from non-standard, old-new fieldwork'. Anuac: Rivista dell'Associazione Nazionale Universitaria Antropologi Culturali, 7 (2). http://dx.doi.org/10.7340/anuac2239-625X-3520 [Full-Text]
2015 Keogh, MB; Castro-Alferez, M; Polo-Lopez, MI; Calderero, IF; Al-Eryani, YA; Joseph-Titus, C; Sawant, B; Dhodapkar, R; Mathur, C; McGuigan, KG; Fernandez-Ibanez, P (2015) 'Capability of 19-L polycarbonate plastic water cooler containers for efficient solar water disinfection (SODIS): Field case studies in India, Bahrain and Spain'. Solar Energy, 116 :1-11. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2006 C. Mathur (2006) 'The International Medical Commission on Bhopal: Rewriting the Experience of Bhopal Victims into the Professional Literature'. Irish Journal of Anthropology, 9 :19-23. [Full-Text]
2006 C. Mathur (2006) 'A Passage to Indiana: Reflections on Fieldwork in a Reverse Direction'. INDIAN FOLKLIFE, 23 . [Full-Text]
2002 C. Mathur and W. Morehouse (2002) 'Twice-poisoned Bhopal: Notes on the Continuing Aftermath of the World’s Worst Industrial Disaste'. 62 :69-75. [Full-Text]
1998 C. Mathur (1998) 'Transformation as Usual?: The Meanings of a Changing Labour Process for Indiana Aluminium Workers'. Critique of Anthropology, 18 :263-277. [Full-Text]
2018 C. Mathur and W.O. Mulwafu (2018) 'Colonialism and its legacies, as reflected in water, incorporating a view from Malawi'. WIREs Water, . https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1287 [Full-Text]

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2022 Mathur, C (2022) 'A Strike to Remember: Ethnographic Reflections on the Conditions of Possibility for Labor Resistance in the US Heartland' In: The Routledge Handbook of the Anthropology of Labor. London and New York : Routledge.
2013 Mathur C. (2013) 'The indian state, the diasporic Hindu Right and the 'Desire Named Development'' In: Enacting Globalization: Multidisciplinary Perspectives on International Integration. [DOI]
2011 Mathur, C (2011) 'Communalism and globalization An opening gambit in a conversation between two literatures' In: COMMUNALISM AND GLOBALIZATION IN SOUTH ASIA AND ITS DIASPORA. LONDON : ROUTLEDGE.
2009 Mathur, C. and Dix, D. (2009) 'The Irish Question in Karl Marx's and Friedrich Engels' Writings on Capitalism and Empire' In: Social Thought on Ireland in the Nineteenth Century. Dublin : UCD Press. [Full-Text]
2009 Mathur, C. (2009) 'Noblesse Oblige?: The Fraught Relationship between Domestic Worker Organising and Middle-class Activism' In: K. Hall(Eds.). Studies in Inequality and Social Justice: Festschrift for Ved Prakash Vatuk. Meerut, India : Archana Publications.
2006 C. Mathur (2006) 'Shades of Difference: Towards an Analysis of the Spatial Ideologies of the Orange and Saffron Orders in Northern Ireland and India' In: T. Foley and M. O’Connor(Eds.). Ireland and India: Colonies, Culture and Empire. : Irish Academic Press.
2003 C. Mathur (2003) 'After 9/11: Perspective from the New York Arab American Family Support Center' In: A. Clarkin and A. Zolberg(Eds.). Sharing Integration Experiences: Innovative Community Practices on Two Continents. New York : International Center for Migration, Ethnicity, and Citizenship.


Year Publication
2022 Nešković, V.V.; Mathur, C.; McGrath, P.; Acciaioli, G.; Millard, A.; Metzner, E. (2022) A Brief History of the First Global Survey of Anthropological Practice and Some Lessons Learned. [Article] [Link] [DOI]
2021 Mathur, C (2021) Challenging cow dung COVID therapies and bullshit state policies in India in 2021. In Dialectical Anthropology, Vol 45, Issue 4. DORDRECHT: [Article] [DOI]
2020 Mathur, C. (2020) COVID-19 and India's Trail of Tears. In Dialectical Anthropology, Vol. 44, Issue 3. [Article] [DOI]
2019 C Mathur (2019) Precarious Employment and Political Peril in Anthropology on a World Scale. In Social Anthropology/Anthropologie Sociale, Vol. 27, Issue S2. [Article] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2017 Mathur, C. (2017) The Ethnographic Past. In Anthropology News. Vol 58, Issue 1, January/February 2017, p. 26. [Article] [Full-Text]


Year Publication
2017 Ferreira, VK; Mathur, C; Patnaik, S (2017) Two Interviews by Vinicius Kaue Ferreira: Chandana Mathur (National University of Ireland, Maynooth) and Soumendra Patnaik (University of Delhi). In American Anthropologist, Vol. 119, Issue 2, June 2017. HOBOKEN: [Discussion] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2015 Mathur, C (2015) Anthropology and the Irish Encounter. In American Anthropologist, Vol. 117, Issue 1, March 2015, pp 145-146. [Discussion] [DOI] [Full-Text]
2009 Mathur, C. (2009) Response to Eamonn Slater and Eoin Flaherty, Marx on Primitive Communism: The Irish Rundale Agrarian Commune, its Internal Dynamics and the Metabolic Rift. [Discussion] [Full-Text]

Published Report

Year Publication
2021 Mathur, C., K. Vijayalakshmi, N. Agarwal, U. Sethia, G.H. Fagan, C. Valatheeswaran (2021) Report synthesizing secondary data on sources of conflict over water in India. PANI Water Research Project, .
2020 Bates, S., G.H. Fagan, C.Mathur et al (2020) A Qualitative Report On Negotiating Water Lives In Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, and South Africa. The Water Sustainable Point of Use Treatment Technologies (WaterSPOUTT) Programme, .
2017 Mathur, C. and WATERSPOUTT team members (2017) Report on the influence of conflict, gender and class on the availability of water in the household. WATERSPOUTT Research Project, . [Full-Text]


Year Publication
2022 Mathur, C. (2022) 'Professor Hari Mohan Mathur (15 July 1937–5 October 2022), Council for Social Development, New Delhi' in the journal Social Change, 52(4). [Biographical-Item] https://doi.org/10.1177/00490857221139929

Book Review

Year Publication
2015 Dr Chandana Mathur (2015) Review of 'The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India' by Sarah Besky. Berkeley: University of California Press. [Book Review] [Full-Text]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Chair, World Council of Anthropological Associations Chair 03/05/2016 - 14/07/2018

Honors and Awards

Date Title Awarding Body
01/11/2018 Presidential Award American Anthropological Association
01/07/2018 Distinguished Service Award International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences


Committee Function From / To
American Anthropological Association's Members' Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee World Anthropologies Seat 30/11/2017 -
European Association of Social Anthropologists' Code of Conduct Working Group member 21/12/2018 -