I received my PhD in East Asian Studies from McGill University, where I trained as a specialist of China and Central Asia.
My current writing focuses on bazaars and markets in Central Asia and China’s border regions, inquiring what these ubiquitous public spaces reveal about the economies and political structures in which they operate. I have also published widely on transnational connections and geopolitical alignments between China, Central Asia and north Pakistan that register variously in local histories and affects, multilateral initiatives, and curated Silk Road imaginaries. More broadly, I am interested in development, governance and securitization on state peripheries, and in the deployment and representation of Chinese economic and strategic power, including how Chinese authority responds to—and is contoured by—ground realities in countries where China is pursuing partnership.
I am co-lead of the British Academy global convening programme Chinese Global Orders. My research on informal markets and trade in Central Asia and the Caucasus has received generous support from the Volkswagen Foundation. I am a member of the editorial board of Asian Anthropology, the advisory board of the International Quarterly of Asian Studies, and the academic committee of the Asian Borderlands Research Network. I have previously served as department chair, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at LUMS, and have had visiting affiliations with institutions in Canada and China. My Google Scholar page is here. Many of my writings can be found on this page—please send me a request email if something you are looking for has not been uploaded.