A native of Mumbai, India, Ari lived in Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla among other cities in India before pursuing higher education in the United States, where he has lived in Michigan, Oregon, Arizona, California and most recently Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Having completed his doctorate in anthropology at the University of Arizona, Ari teaches socio-cultural and some linguistic anthropology at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire.Being married to a Minnesotan is mostly why he finds himself scrambling to survive upper Midwest winters, and now he also has a Minnesota-born daughter to contend with in his moribund fantasies about living in warmer climes.
His academic and research interests are varied, and include various aspects of subject formation, including gender/racial/ethnic/class processes, nationalism, state-formation, civil and political society, capitalism and its neoliberal variants, and broad structural processes that go under the name of globalization.In addition to classic anthropological approaches to these issues, he finds various theoretical frameworks useful to think with, including Marxist and poststructuralist theory, theories of knowledge and "reason", feminist and postcolonial theory, and most recently critical theories of race and racism.
Ari has conducted fieldwork in diverse settings including southern Louisiana and Muslim Mumbai.For his dissertation, he focused on contemporary debates in India surrounding religious identities, difference, and the secular, focusing on everyday life in Muslim neighbourhoods of Mumbai.He maintains an active research interest in religious formations in contemporary societies.
Ari enjoys teaching at UW—Eau Claire, and appreciates the generally serious and earnest approach that students here bring to their studies.When asked about one change he would like to see at Eau Claire, he feels that it is particularly urgent that we have far more engaged, authentic and sophisticated discussions about equity, diversity and inclusion on campus and in our communities at large.Although "diversity" is often a buzzword on college campuses and in professional contexts in the United States, we live in a largely segregated society, and need to work on issues related to diversity as going beyond assumptions and celebrations of physical or cultural differences to an understanding of how we interact across socially meaningful forms of difference.Ari feels that we need to address concerns about who is privileged or excluded by those interactions, on whose terms those interactions occur, and how we might be able to remake our lives and social structures to establish relationships that are fundamentally equitable and imbued with dignity and mutual respect.