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Dr L.J. (Luisa) Steur

Assistant Professor
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Moving Matters: People, Goods, Power and Ideas

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Room number: B5.07
Postal address
  • Postbus 15509
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Publications



    Indigenist Mobilization: Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books (Dislocations Series #20). 2017.



    (with Patrick Neveling) "Marxian anthropology resurgent". Focaal-Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 82: 1-15. 2018.

    “An “expanded” class perspective:  Bringing capitalism down to earth in the changing political lives of Adivasi workers in Kerala”. Modern Asia Studies. 48 (5). 2014. Pp. 1334-1357.

     “Adivasis, Communists and the rise of indigenism in Kerala”.  Dialectical Anthropology 35 (1):59-69. 2011.

    “Traveling models of indigenism and Kerala’s emergent adivasi politics”. Anthropological Notebooks 17 (2): 93-111. 2011.

    “Adivasi mobilization: ‘Identity’ versus ‘class’ after the Kerala model of development?”. Journal of South Asian Development  (SAGE) 4 (1): 25-44. 2009.



    "Contradictions of the "Common Man": A realist approach to India's Aam Aadmi Party". In Don Kalb and Massimiliano Mollona edss., Worldwide Mobilizations: Class Strugges and Urban Commoning. Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books. Pp. 187-207. 2018.

    “The emergence of adivasi political subjectivity in late socialist Kerala “. In Uday Chandra and Daniel Taghioff eds, Staking Claims: The Politics of Social Movements in Contemporary Rural India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 2016.

     “Class trajectories and indigenism among agricultural workers in Kerala”. In Anthropologies of class: Power, practice and inequality, ed. James Carrier and Don Kalb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 118-130. 2015.

    “Global South: anthropological reflections”.  Co-authored with Don Kalb. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences (Anthropology). 2nd. Edition ed. James Wright. Elsevier. 2015.  Pp 186-191.  Doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-097086-8.12195-6.

    “Theorizing Thervoy: Subaltern Studies and Dalit praxis in India’s land wars”. In New Subaltern politics: Reconceptualizing hegemony and resistance in contemporary India, ed. Alf Nilsen and Srila Roy. Oxford University Press. 2015. Pp. 175-198.

    “Adivasis and Communists in post-reform Kerala: Neoliberalism, political disillusionment, and the indigenist challenge.” Savage Attack:  Tribal insurgency in India ed. Crispin Bates and Alpa Shah. Social Science Press/Orient Blackswan. Pp. 228-249. 2014.

    “Adivasi workers’ struggles and the Kerala model: Interpreting the past, confronting the present”. In Development, democracy and the state: Critiquing the Kerala Model of development, ed. Ravi Raman. London: Routledge Southeast Asia Series. Pp. 221-236. 2010.



    “Accumulation by dispossession and Asia’s “modernizing” Left”. Forum of Focaal—European Journal of Anthropology 54. 2009.



    “Dalit civil society activism.” Seminar-The Monthly Symposium. Nr. 633. May 2012: 63-67. 2012.

    “What’s left?  Land expropriation, socialist “modernizers”, and peasant resistance in Asia.” Focaal—European Journal of Anthropology 54: pp. 67-73. 2009.



    Sweeping news from Havana. Global Dialogue: Newsletter of the International Sociological Association 5(4): 21-22. December 2015. (Translated into 16 languages)

    On Racism and Revolution: An interview with Norberto Mesa Carbonell. Global Dialogue: Newsletter of the International Sociological Association 5 (4): 18-20. December 2015. (Translated into 16 languages).

    Trajectories of the Common Man’s Party,” FocaalBlog, November 3, 2014. Http:

    “Indigeneity and precariousness: Ontological criticism or dialectical force?”. Focaalblog July 2014. Http://  ontological-criticism-or-dialectical-force-by-luisa-steur/

    Indigenous identity: burden or liberation? Reflections on “adivasi” politics in Kerala. International Institute for Asian Studies newsletter 53. 2010.

     “The Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha in Kerala: Resistance and the reproduction of political hegemonies.” IDPAD Newsletter IV (1): 74-78. 2006.



    “Land’s end: A conjunctural approach to capitalist relations, indigeneity, and the making of surplus populations.” The Copenhagen journal of Asian Studies 33 (2). 2015 (Forthcoming).

    “Airing dirty laundry or nursing caste?” Focaal—European Journal of Anthropology 50: 173-175. 2007.

    “The savage slot of class polarization”. Focaal -- European Journal of Anthropology 48: 169-72. 2006.

    “On the correct handling of contradictions”: liberal-culturalism in indigenous studies. Focaal European Journal of Anthropology 46: 169-76. 2005.



    “Adivasi mobilization: “Identity” versus “class” after the Kerala model of development?” In Dalit Politics: Past and Present, ed. K. Sunilkumar. 2011. (Malayalam)

    “Adivaszik”, kommunistak es az oslakos-tudat kialakulasa Keralaban.” Eszmélet: Journal for Social Critique and Culture 87. Pp. 115-134. 2010. (Hungarian)



    January 6 2019. "India" -- interview (in Dutch) about Sabarimala temple protests and women's wall in Kerala. OVT/VPRO.

    March 11 2018. "Lenin in India" -- interview (in Dutch) about toppling of Lenin statue in Tripura. OVT/VPRO.



  • Teaching


    "India Lecture Series". Blok 6. GPIO/IIS, UvA. Sprin 2018, 2019.

    "Presentatie Mondeling Examen". 3rd year course. Department of Anthropology, UvA Winter, Summer 2016, 2017, 2018.

    "Anthropology of Latin America and the Caribbean". 2nd year course. Blok 6. Department of Anthropology, UvA. Spring  2018, 2019.

    "Political Anthropology: Power and Protest". 3rd year course. Blok 1-2. Department of Anthropology, UvA. Autumn 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

    "Inleiding in de Sociologie der Niet-Westerse samenlevingen (NWS)". 1st year course. Blok 5. Department of Anthropology, UvA. Spring 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

    "Etnografisch praktikum" - werkgroep docent. Department of Anthropology. UvA. Spring 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.

    “Introduction to India: Relations of power in a changing society” (circa 100 students). 1st year undergraduate course. Department of Anthropology (AI), University of Copenhagen (KU). Autumn 2015. Autumn 2013.

     “Anthropological Analysis”, MA course, AI, KU. Autumn 2013, Autumn 2015.

     “Anthropology: Methods and analysis”, 2nd year BA course, AI, KU. Autumn 2015.

    “Economic growth and inequality”, part of Global Development MA, KU. Spring 2015.

     “Field methods with synopsis”. MA course, AI, KU. Spring 2015.

    “Master class in Global Ethnography”, AI, KU. February 2015.

    “Synopsis Workshops”, part of the Anthropological Field methods MA course. AI, KU. Autumn 2013, Winter 2014.

    “Political Movements”, Advanced MA course.  Department of Anthropology, Copenhagen University. Winter 2014.

    “Thesis Seminar” (15 students). MA course, AI, KU. Winter 2014.

    “Flows, frictions and critical connections: South Asian transformations in global perspective”. BA/MA course (circa 15 students). Spring semester 2013, AI, KU.

     “Introduction to Sociology”, Preparatory MA course Roma Access Program, Central European University, Budapest. Fall 2010.

    “Introduction to Sociology and Gender Studies”, preparatory-MA course, Roma Access Program, Central European University, Budapest. Fall 2008. Spring 2007. Fall 2007.

    “Debates in Cultural Anthropology”, optional MA course at Special College (TEK), Budapest. 2006.



    “Land grabbing in South India: Emerging strategies of accumulation and resistance, explored through the Thervoy case”, TOIndia summer school, University of Torino, July 2 2015.

    “Expanding class for local-global analysis”. Seminar on “Space Place and Time in anthropology, geography and history” University of Heidelberg, .23 January 2015.

     “The dilemmas of translating local uses of global indigenist discourse”. CREOLE Intensive Program lecture. July 5th 2013, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

    “Globalization and identity politics: A case study of the rise of indigenism in Kerala”, Kamala Nehru College, 31 January 2012.

    “Reading ‘Mother Forest’: The politics of representation of an adivasi leader in Kerala”. EFLU University, Hyderabad, March 6 2012.

     “Publishing in international peer-reviewed anthropology journals”, Institute for Social Anthropology, Academy of Science, Vienna, October 28th 2011.

    “The politicization of caste and tribal identity in Kerala”, University of Leiden, 24 November  2006.



    Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Training for Assistant Professors, University of Copenhagen. 200-hour course completed in August 2014.

    Teaching in Higher Education, CEU (Budapest), 2007.


  • Education & Previous positions


    Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen (01/2012 - 03/2016). Teaching and research -- including one semester (Fall-Winter 2014) sabbatical, spent in Centro Havana, affiliated to the Juan Marinello Institute for Cultural Research.

    Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, School of Oriental and African Studies, London (01/2011 – 12/2011). →ESRC-funded research project “Caste out of development: Civil society activism and transnational advocacy on Dalit rights and development”. ESRC impact evaluation (October 2014): highest rank of “outstanding research”.



    PhD - Sociology and Social Anthropology (Magna Cum Laude), Central European University Budapest. (10/2004 –12/ 2011). Dissertation: “Indigenist mobilization: ’Identity’ versus ‘class’ after the Kerala model of development?” Examiners: Judit Bodnar (internal), Prem Rajaram (internal), Jan Breman (external: University of Amsterdam).

    MSc - Development Studies, (Distinction), School of Oriental and African Studies, London (2002-2003).                                                                            

    BA - Social Science major (Cum Laude), University College Utrecht (1999-2002; including semester at University of Cape Town).                  



  • Journal editorship, Int. research collaboration


    Lead and Managing Editor, Focaal-Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology (01/2006 onwards)



     “Manufacturing poverty” research project, in collaboration with Don Kalb (CEU, Budapest, 2009-1014). Research in Utter Pradesh (India) and Chiapas (Mexico). CEU Research Grant + ADI small research grant.

    “Caste out of development” ESRC-funded research project in collaboration with David Mosse (SOAS, UK, 2009-2012). Research in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh Tamil Nadu.  ESRC Grant.

    “Global citizenship and education” research project (2003-2004), commissioned by the NCDO (Netherlands).

  • Publications


    • Neveling, P., & Steur, L. (2018). Introduction: Marxian Anthropology Resurgent. Focaal, 2018(82), 1-15. [details]
    • Steur, L. (2018). Contradictions of the 'Common Man': A Realist Approach to India’s Aam Aadmi Party. In D. Kalb, & M. Mollona (Eds.), Worldwide Mobilizations: Class Struggles and Urban Commoning (pp. 187-207). (Dislocations; Vol. 24). New York: Berghahn. [details]


    • Steur, L. (2017). Indigenist Mobilization: Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala. New York, NY: Berghahn Books. [details]


    • Steur, L. (2016). The Emergence of Adivasi Political Subjectivity in Late Socialist Kerala. In U. Chandra, & D. Taghioff (Eds.), Staking Claims: The politics of social movements in contemporary rural India (pp. 200-224). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. [details]


    Media appearance

    Journal editor

    • Steur, L. J. (editor) (2006-2021). Focaal (Journal).

    Talk / presentation

    • Steur, L. J. (invited speaker) (17-11-2017). Racism vs "lack of respect": Black consciousness and sanitation workers' sense of (in)justice in post-reform Cuba, London School of Economics Friday Seminar, Department of Anthropology.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities