Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and co-editor of the Multimodal Section of American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association. He received a joint PhD in Anthropology and Education from the University of Pennsylvania
For almost a decade Gabriel has utilized collaborative, multimodal, and speculative approaches to research how media consumption, production, and circulation shape understandings of migration, gender, race, and urban space. His first book, The Globally Familiar: Digital hip hop, masculinity and urban space in Delhi (Duke University Press, 2020), narrates how Delhi’s young working class and migrant men adopt hip hop’s globally circulating aesthetics— accessed through inexpensive smartphones and cheap internet connectivity that radically changed India’s media landscape in the early aughts— to productively re-fashion themselves and their city. Recently, Gabriel has become interested in the ways that corporate owned social media platforms have become a site for a rearticulation and disruption of enduring forms of coloniality. His second book, co-written with Sahana Udupa and titled Digital Unsettling:Decoloniality and Dispossession in the Age of Social Media (NYU Press, forthcoming), explores these developments and their material consequences.
Prior to joining NYU, Gabriel was a Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London where he co-directed the Centre for Visual Anthropology.