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Nayanika Mathur

Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies


Professor Nayanika Mathur is an Anthropologist of South Asia with wide-ranging research and teaching interests in the anthropology of politics, development, environment, law, human-animal studies, and research methods. Her first monograph, Paper Tiger: Law Bureaucracy and the Developmental State in Himalayan India, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Paper Tiger is an ethnography of the developmental Indian state. It traces the translation of two widely commended laws into practice through an ethnography of quotidian bureaucratic life. Mathur is currently completing a second book centred upon human-big cat conflict in South Asia and tentatively entitled Crooked Cats: Human-Big Cat Entanglements in South Asia.


Anthropology of politics, economics, and development; bureaucracy; cultures of institutions; documents and materiality; law; wildlife conservationism and environmentalism; human-animal relations and conflict; multispecies ethnography; politics of climate change; anthropology of the Anthropocene; capitalism, liberalization, and neoliberalism; technologies of statecraft; IDs; space; the state; ethnographic methods; the everyday.