I am an anthropologist focussing on practices of “doing good” (charity, development, humanitarianism, philanthropy), infrastructure and religion. I also have expertise in global health. While much of my research has evolved around societies in Central and South Asia, I look at these themes from a broader comparative and theoretical perspective. I am a Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at The Graduate Institute Geneva and currently the Principal Investigator of the Swiss National Science Foundation funded project “Quiet Aid: Service and Salvation in the Balkans-to-Bengal-Complex”.
Born in Germany to Swiss parents I received an MA from the University of Vienna in Austria and completed my PhD at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Before taking up my position in Geneva I lectured at the University of Bern and The University of Hong Kong, and I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Hong Kong.
In addition to my past and present academic positions, I have worked on a range of different collaborative research projects. I was the editor of the series “MUHUM – Muslim Humanitarianism” at Allegra Lab. With Allegra Lab, I have also co-produced the webinar series “Mobile Humanitarians” – a multimodal resource to better understand the complex of global mobility and humanitarianism. Furthermore, I am a specialist member in the European Research Council funded project “China, Law and Development” at the University of Oxford, an associate in the Hong Kong Research Grants Council funded project “The Infrastructures of Faith: Mobility on the Belt and Road” at The University of Hong Kong, and a collaborator in the Swiss National Science Foundation funded project “Roadwork: An Anthropology of Infrastructure at China’s Inner Asian Borders” at the University of Zurich.