Headshot of Arjun SHankar

Arjun Shankar, PhD

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Penn SP2

Research Interests

Visual anthropology

Anthropology of value

Globalization and development

Urban-rural linkage

Postcolonial theory

Affect theory

Ethnographic writing

Participatory and multimodal methods

Critical pedagogy

Curiosity studies

Theory of social change


Arjun Shankar’s work brings together theories in globalization and development, literary and visual ethnography, affect theory, and curiosity studies. In his current book project, How Development Feels, Shankar analyzes the changing nature of development work in postliberalization India. His work at SP2 concerns the politics of curiosity: who can be curious, when, how, and why? He is co-editing (with Perry Zurn) a manuscript, under contract with University of Minnesota Press, to build the interdisciplinary field of curiosity studies.

SP2 News

Faculty & Research, Global Engagement

International Experts Assemble to Examine, Investigate Public Health and Epidemics

On May 13 and 14, Jennifer Prah Ruger, PhD, and other international scholars and public health experts will assemble in...

Students from the MSSP 797 course in Havana, with instructor Azahara Palomeque

Student Life, Global Engagement

Social Issues Through a Global Lens: SP2 Students Reflect on Their Immersion Experience in Cuba

For students in the Master of Science in Social Policy (MSSP) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), having both a...

Faculty & Research

National Survey Examines Emergency Department Management of Deliberate Self-Harm

How routinely do emergency room staff members properly provide help to individuals who present for self-harm? Do they appropriately assess...

SP2 Student Emily Berkowitz presents at the APPAM Student Conference

Student Life

Students Present Policy Research on Housing, Immigration, Harassment

Four students from the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) shared their research across a wide range of...

Discover More