Arjun Shankar

Anthropology, Education

Arjun is currently a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he just received his PhD in Anthropology and Education. His dissertation research weaves together education NGOs, the Kannada film industry, sericulture, educational aspiration, and everyday violence into a single story of rapid change and development in villages surrounding Bangalore. He is a co-founder of Camra, a collective of researchers and educators committed to participatory, experimental mediamaking ( He recently completed two short collaborative documentary films on the pan-African Rastafarian movement in South Africa. He is also a co-director of the Center for Curiosity, which engages in transdisciplinary research into the concept of ‘curiosity’ with the specific purpose of creating curricular tools for teachers and students. He encourages teachers at all levels to "think with multimodality", making the audiovisual part of classroom instruction as well as classroom assignments. 

Research Interests: globalization and development, media and digitality, affect, ethnography and storytelling, urban-rural linkages, NGOs, critical pedagogy, curiosity, South Asia, everyday violence and suicide, visual and participatory research.