Saiba Varma

Professor Saiba Varma is a member of the Psychological/Medical Anthropology subfield. She received her PhD from Cornell University in 2013 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University until 2015.  Professor Varma is a medical and cultural anthropologist working on questions of violence, medicine, psychiatry, and politics as they pertain to Indian-controlled Kashmir and South Asia more generally.  Saiba spent twenty months doing ethnographic research in Kashmir, the site of a chronic, unresolved conflict, and one of the most militarized places on earth. In her research, she explores how spaces of psychiatric and humanitarian care confront, but also become microcosms of, the broader politics of violence and occupation that characterize life in Kashmir.  She is interested in how medicine and psychiatry, as forms of knowledge and relations, are not only ways of shoring up "facts" about illness, the body, or health, but also spaces where mistrust, doubt, and suspicion proliferate.

2016Disappearing the Asylum: Modernizing Psychiatry and Generating Manpower in India. Transcultural Psychiatry 53(6): 783-803

2016Love in the Time of Occupation: Reveries, Longing, and Intoxication in Kashmir. American Ethologist 43(1): 50-62

2012Where There Are Only Doctors: Counselors as Psychiatrists in Indian administered KashmirEthos 40(4): 517-535 (Winner of the Condon Prize, Society for Psychological Anthropology, American Anthropological Association)

2010Curfewed in Kashmir: Voices from the Valley. In Economic and Political Weekly 45(35), pp.10-14 (co-authored with Aaliya Anjum)