Francis Cody, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 2007)
Associate Professor, 50% UTM Anthropology, 50% Asian Institute (MCIS)
(416) 946-8988 (MCIS)
(905) 569-4295 (UTM)
Office: MCIS 269S and HSC 358
Research Keywords: Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology, Critical Social Theory, Activism, Media Studies, Postcolonial State, Public Sphere, Politics
Research Region: India, Tamilnadu
Francis Cody is an Associate Professor in the the Department of Anthropology and the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on language and politics in southern India. He first brought these interests to bear on a study of citizenship, literacy, and social movement politics in rural Tamilnadu. This work was published as a book called The Light of Knowledge (Cornell 2013), winner of the 2014 Edward Sapir Book Prize awarded by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. Cody’s more recent research traces the emergence of populism and transformations of political publicity through Tamil and English news media. This work explores questions of law, technology, and violence in claims to representing popular sovereignty. Taken as a whole, his work contributes to the transdisciplinary project of elaborating critical social theories of mass mediation and politics in the postcolonial world.
2013. The Light of Knowledge: Literacy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. (South Asia edition published in 2013, Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan). Winner of the Edward Sapir Book Prize (Society for Linguistic Anthropology).
Articles and Chapters
2016. “The obligation to act: Gender and reciprocity in political mobilization.” Hau: The Journal of Ethnographic Theory. special section: Language and Political Economy Revisited, edited by Andy Graan. 6(3): 179-199.
2015. “Populist Publics: Print Capitalism and Crowd Violence Beyond Liberal Frameworks.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. special issue: Media/Utopia, edited by Arvind Rajagopal and Anupama Rao. 35(1): 50-65.
2011. “Publics and Politics” Annual Review of Anthropology, 40:37-52.
2011. “Vaacippin Inavaraiviyal: Dinathanthi – Dinamalar Adippadaiyil Amaiyum Uraiyaadal.” (Tamil version of “Daily Wires and Daily Blossoms” translated by N. Manoharan) Maatruveli. 7:41-70.
2011. “Echoes of the Teashop in a Tamil Newspaper.” Language and Communication, Special Issue: Mediatized Processes in Contemporary Societies, edited by Asif Agha, 31(2):243-254.
2011. “Arivoli’s Humanism: Literacy Activism and the Senses of Enlightenment.” In World without Walls: Being Human, Being Tamil, C. Kanaganayakam, R. Cheran, D. Ambalavanar, eds. Toronto: TSAR. (peer reviewed)
2010. “Linguistic Anthropology at the End of the Naughts: A Review of 2009.” American Anthropologist, 112(2):200-207
2009. “Daily Wires and Daily Blossoms: Cultivating Regimes of Circulation in Tamil India’s Newspaper Revolution,” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 19(2): 286-309.
2009. “Inscribing Subjects to Citizenship: Petitions, Literacy Activism, and the Performativity of Signature in rural Tamil India.” Cultural Anthropology 24(3): 347-380.
Book Reviews and Commentaries
2014. Comment on “Suspended Kinship and Youth Sociality in Tamil Nadu, India.” by Constantine Nakassis, Current Anthropology, 55(2): 193.
2012. Review of Tamil Oratory and the Dravidian Aesthetic: Democratic Practice in South India, by Bernard Bate, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 22(1):126-127.
2008. Review of Little India: Diaspora, Time and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius, by Patrick Eisenlohr, Language in Society, 37(5): 741-744.
Wrought of Iron Until She Was No More: Jayalalithaa’s Passing. Kafila. Online 7 Dec. 2016.
How ‘Amma’ Became the Master of the Politics of Branding. The Wire 8 Dec. 2016.