Tarangini Sriraman

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Indigeneous Modernities
  • Anthropology of the State
  • Histories of Identification Documents
  • Theories of Feminism


Tarangini Sriraman is a faculty with the School of Arts and Sciences.

Her research over the last six years has been invested in the histories of identification documents in the disparate colonial and postcolonial spaces of India. She has looked at debates over the material forms, the legal and cultural aspects of identification documents at various moments like epidemic control in late 19th century India, rationing during the Second World War, compensation for Partition-displaced persons, the resettlement of slum residents post 1990 and the implications of Aadhaar for urban poor subjects. OUP Delhi recently published her book titled In Pursuit of Proof: A History of Identification Documents in India which uses eclectic ethnographic approaches to trace genealogies of identification documents within domains of urban welfare production in contemporary India and Delhi in particular. She is currently working on a new research project on the gendered histories of alcohol regimes in two states of South India, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

She was awarded the Cornell University South Asia Program Fellowship, Charles Wallace Research Grant, London, a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Centre de Science Humaines (also called the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities), New Delhi and a Visiting Associate Fellowship in the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. She has also taught in a couple of colleges affiliated to the University of Delhi and has wide-ranging interests in the fields of urban sociology, colonial historiography, feminist political theory and modern Indian political thought.


Publications and Writings

  • Book titled In Pursuit of Proof: A History of Identification Documents in India, Delhi: OUP2018
  • A Petition-like Application? Rhetoric and Rationing Documents in Wartime Delhi, 194145’ Indian Economic and Social History Review, 51 (3), 2014, pp.353 – 382.
  • Assault and Assuage: Identification Documents, Colonial Rationalities and Epidemic Control in British India’ in Nivedita Menon, Aditya Nigam and Sanjay Palshikar (eds.), Critical Studies in Politics: Exploring Sites, Selves, Power, Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2013, pp. 271318.
  • Enumeration as Pedagogic Process”: Gendered Encounters with Identity Documents in Delhi’s Urban Poor Spaces’, South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal, 82013.
  • The Fault-Lines of Informality: Documented Claims to Entitlement in Delhi’s Urban Poor Spaces’, Rethinking the Urban – 2, Conference Proceedings Book, ISBN: 9786055120245, Istanbul: Dakam Publishing, 2013, pp. 210 – 224.
  • Feeling the Rules: Documentary Practices of Rationing and the Signature’ of the Official’, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 47 (35), 2013, pp. 335 – 361.
  • Special Article, Revisiting Welfare: Ration Card Narratives in India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 46 (38), 2011, pp. 52 – 59.
  • Centre for the Study of Developing Societies Working Paper titled Pedagogies of Gendered Citizenship: Mobilizing Identity Documents in a Slum’, December 2017.

Interviews, review of my book and popular article written in the wake of the book

Book Reviews