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Leo Coleman

Associate Professor

Email: leo.coleman@hunter.cuny.edu
    Tel: (212)396-6780
    Fax: (212) 772-5423
    Office: North Bldg, Rm 733B 
Website: leocoleman.org


Education

Ph.D. 2008, Princeton University
M.A. (Hons) 2002, University of St Andrews


Areas of Specialization

Political & Legal Anthropology; Urban Anthropology; Science & Technology Studies; Colonialism & Postcolonialism; Constitutionalism & Nationalism; India, Scotland, and the British Empire

Overview of Research

Leo Coleman is a political anthropologist with broad interests in technology, law, and the material and imaginative forms of collective life. Through ethnographic and archival research in India, Scotland, and on the British Empire, he examines interactions between people, things, and collective aspirations in shifting historical and political contexts, with a special focus on urban environments, infrastructures, and experiences. He also conducts research on the history of anthropology and the mutual entanglements of anthropological thought, psychoanalytic theory, and artistic modernism since the beginning of the twentieth century. He writes widely about anthropological theory, solitude, knowledge and consciousness, contemporary technoscience, and food and culture. Dr. Coleman is currently pursuing two long-term research projects: on energy, environment, and constitutional law in Scotland; and an anthropological history of equality as a legal form, a political ideal, and an urban ethic.

Publications

Dr. Coleman is the author of A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi (Cornell University Press, 2017), a historical and ethnographic study of electrification in India's capital city, that explores how technological installations helped organize and transform urban political life across Delhi's twentieth-century history, from imperial enclave to national capital to global city. He has published articles on topics including urban solitude in Delhi, power and knowledge in the British Empire, the corporation and American constitutional thought, and reflections on imagination and materiality in political anthropology. He has edited a collection of essays about cross-cultural dining and sharing food in ethnographic fieldwork, titled Food: Ethnographic Encounters (Berg/Bloomsbury, 2011). In addition, Dr. Coleman writes reviews and criticism for a variety of publications.

Monograph

2017. A Moral Technology: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

[South Asian Edition]: Electrification as Political Ritual in New Delhi: A Moral Technology. Delhi: Speaking Tiger Books.

Edited Book

2011. Food: Ethnographic Encounters. Oxford: Berg Press.

Selected Essays, Articles, and Reviews

Coleman, Leo. 2017. Material as Opposed to What? Three Recent Ethnographies of Welfare, Biological Labor, and Human Dignity. Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, and Anthropology.

Coleman, Leo. 2016. Why to Read Winnicott After the US Election, and How. Somatosphere: Science, Medicine, and Anthropology. (http://somatosphere.net/2016/11/why-to-read-winnicott-after-the-us-election-and-how.html)

Coleman, Leo. 2016. Inside and Outside the House: A Narrative of Mobility and Becoming in Delhi. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

Coleman, Leo. 2015. Power and Ignorance in British India: The Native Fetish of the Crown. In Regimes of Ignorance: Anthropological Perspectives on the Production and Reproduction of Non-Knowledge. Roy Dilley and Thomas Kirsch, eds. Pp. 159-187. New York: Berghahn.

Coleman, Leo. 2015. The Imagining Life: Reflections on Imagination in Political Anthropology, in Reflections on Imagination: Human Capacity and Ethnographic Method. Mark Harris and Nigel Rapport, eds. Pp. 195-214. Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Coleman, Leo. 2014. Infrastructure and Interpretation: Meters, Dams, and State Imagination in Scotland and India. American Ethnologist 41(3): 457–472. (http://americanethnologist.org/2014/infrastructure-scotland-india/)

Coleman, Leo. 2014. Corporate Identity in Citizens United: Legal Fictions and Anthropological Theory. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 37(2): 308-328. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/plar.12077/abstract)

Coleman, Leo. 2014. A View from Anthropology: Anomie and Urban Solitude. In The Handbook of Solitude: Psychological Perspectives on Social Isolation, Social Withdrawal, and Being Alone. Robert J. Coplan and Julie C. Bowker, eds. Pp. 483-498. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Coleman, Leo. 2012. Review essay on The Accompaniment: Assembling the Contemporary, by Paul Rabinow. Anthropological Quarterly 85(1). https://muse.jhu.edu/article/467130

Coleman, Leo. 2009. Being Alone Together: From Solidarity to Solitude in Urban Anthropology. Anthropological Quarterly 82/3: 755-778. (https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/anq/summary/v082/82.3.coleman.html)

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