Professor Chris Fuller
The anthropology of India, including popular Hinduism and Hindu nationalism, the caste system, the modern state, globalisation and the middle class; field research mainly in Tamil Nadu.
- Anthropology, Religion
Fuller’s first fieldwork (1971-2) was in Kerala, southwest India, among the Nayars and Syrian Christians. From 1976 to 2001, Fuller undertook field research in the great temple of Madurai in Tamilnadu, southeast India, which is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Minakshi, mainly to study the priests and the temple's elaborate ritual cycle., With Haripriya Narasimhan, Fuller carried out research on middle-class company managers and software professionals in the city of Chennai (Madras) in 2003-5, followed by research on a group of Tamil Brahmans in 2005-8, which focused on this traditional elite's modern transformation into a migratory, urbanised, trans-national community. Fuller has also researched and written extensively on popular Hinduism and Hindu nationalism, the caste system, the anthropology of the state and other topics. His current research is on the history of the anthropology of India in the colonial period. Publications Servants of the goddess: the priests of a south Indian temple, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984 The renewal of the priesthood: modernity and traditionalism in a south Indian temple, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003 The camphor flame: popular Hinduism and society in India, Princeton: Princeton University Press, (revised and expanded edition, with an Afterword) 2004 Tamil Brahmans: the making of a middle-class caste, with Haripriya Narasimhan, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2014 ‘Anthropologists and Viceroys: Colonial Knowledge and Policy Making in India, 1871-1911’, Modern Asian Studies 50 (1), 2016, pp. 217-58