Arjun Appadurai is the Goddard Professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, where he is also Senior Fellow at the Institute for Public Knowledge. He also serves as Tata Chair Professor at The Tata Institute for Social Sciences in Mumbai and as a Senior Research Partner at the Max-Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Gottingen. He was previously Senior Advisor for Global Initiatives at The New School in New York City, where he also held a Distinguished Professorship as the John Dewey Distinguished Professor in the Social Sciences and was formerly the William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of International Studies, Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Center on Cities and Globalization at Yale University. Appadurai is the founder and now the President of PUKAR (Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and Research), a non-profit organisation based in and oriented to the city of Mumbai.
Professor Appadurai was born and educated in Mumbai. He graduated from St. Xavier’s High School and took his Intermediate, Arts degree from Elphinstone College before going to the United States. He earned his BA from Brandeis University in 1967, and his MA (1973) and PhD (1976) from The Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He has also held professorial chairs at The New School, Yale University, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania.
He has also served as a consultant or advisor to a wide range of public and private organisations, including many major foundations (Ford, MacArthur, and Rockefeller); UNESCO; UNDP; the World Bank; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the National Science Foundation; and the Infosys Foundation. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Asian Art Initiative at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Forum D’Avignon in Paris.