I am a Postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Anthropology Department and the Woods Institute for the Environment. My research develops a conversation among the anthropology of bureaucracy, law, ethics and Islam; corporate capital and political ecology; science and technology studies and postcolonial critique.
I am working on my book manuscript, Ecologies of water theft in Pakistan: the colony, the corporation and the contemporary. Ecologies of water theft is a historical-legal ethnography that examines the ways and wiles of people, corporations, states, and bureaucracies. It builds upon two years of fieldwork in Pakistan’s Punjab, the country’s agricultural heartland and most populous province, shorter research stints at water fora in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Tajikistan, and the U.S., and archival research at the British Library. The chapters pursue productions of the distinction between the public and the private, and are grouped, broadly, into three nodes along which the public/private distinction is produced: labor, adjudication, and valuation.
Another ongoing project, a study of postcolonial sovereignty as it is interrupted by imperial projects, traces the waxing and waning of the promise of the postcolonial in Pakistan through an examination of forms of government and jurisdiction in Pakistan’s northwest. The most recent phase of this research examines legal action taken by families of drone strike victims.
My research has received fellowship support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives, Pakistan. At the University of Chicago, the Pozen Center for Human Rights, the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, the Nicholson Center for British Studies, and the Leiffer and Orin William Fellowships have provided support.
You can contact me at maira8 *at-sign* stanford *dot* edu.