Dr Harjant S Gill

Assistant Professor


Contact Information

CLA, Room 3352


Ph.D, Anthropology,
American University, 2012
B.A., Anthropology,
San Francisco State University, 2005

Areas of Expertise

South Asia
Gender and Sexuality
Media Studies
Visual Anthropology
Ethnographic Film


Dr. Gill's research examines the intersections of masculinity, modernity and transnational migration in India. He is also an award-winning filmmaker and has made several films that have screened at film festivals, academic conferences and on television networks worldwide including BBC, Doordarshan (Indian National TV) and PBS. His films include Mardistan (Macholand) which explores Indian manhood focusing on issues of sexual violence, son preference and homophobia, and Roots of Love which looks at the changing significance of hair and turban among Sikhs in India. His latest film Sent Away Boys looks at how provincial communities in India are transformed by the exodus of young men giving up farming to seek a better future abroad. Dr. Gill has also served on the board of directors of Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) and co-directed the SVA Film and Media Festival (2012-14). Currently, he is co-editing the "Multi-Modal Anthropologies" section of American Anthropologist. He is fluent in Hindi and Punjabi. 


Articles & CHAPTERS
  • 2017 Censorship and Ethnographic Film: Confronting Homophobia, State Bureaucracies and Cultural Regulation in India,” Visual Anthropology Review, 33 (1): forthcoming 
  • 2017 “Placing the Transnational Urban Migrant,” in Alison Bain and Linda Peake eds. Urbanization in a Global Perspective: A Canadian Perspective. Oxford University Press: 245-259 (Co-written w/ Margaret Walton-Roberts
  • 2017 “Multimodaility: An Invitation,” American Anthropologist, 119 (1): 142-146 (Co-written w/Samuel G. Collins and Matthew Durington)
  • 2014 “Before Picking Up the Camera: My Process to Ethnographic Film.” Anthropology Now 6 (1): 72-80
  • 2012 “Masculinity, Mobility and Transformation in Punjabi Cinema: From Putt Jattan De [Sons of JatFarmers] to Munde UK De [Boys of UK].” South Asian Popular Culture, 10 (2): 109-122
  • 2010 “How Milind Soman Made Me Gay: Exploring Issues of Belonging and Citizenship Among Gay South Asian Men in Diaspora.” Anthropology Today: Contemporary Trends in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Special Volume 7: 87-96
Book Reviews & Essays
  • 2016 “Review of Stanley I. Thangaraj’s Desi Hoop Dreams: Pickup Basketball and the Making of Asian American Masculinity.Anthropological Quarterly 89 (3): 957-962
  • 2016 “Review of The Sound of Old Rooms, dir. Sandeep Ray.” American Anthropologist 118 (3): 630-631
  • 2016 “What the Sikh Turban Means to Masculinity in These Transnational Times,” In Plainspeak – Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues (TARSHI), Sept 15
  • 2016 “Orlando: Observances,” Feminist Studies 42 (2): 530-531
  • 2015 “इससे पोर्न (कामुक सामग्री) का क्या लेना देना? भारत में नारीवाद, यौनिकता, पोर्नोग्राफी और मर्दानगी [What’s Porn Got to Do With It]: On Feminism, Masculinity and Sexuality in India.” In Plainspeak, Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues (TARSHI), Nov 1
  • 2015 “Two Supreme Courts With Two Very Different Ideas of Gay Rights,” The Wire, July 2
  • 2015 “Review of Naisargi N. Dave’s Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics.” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 21: 246-247
  • 2015 “Why India’s Daughter Does a Disservice to Both Men & Women,” The Huffington Post, March 12
  • 2014 “Review of Nicholas Nisbett’s Growing Up in the Knowledge Society: Living the IT Dream in Bangalore.” The Canadian Geographer 58 (2): 28-29
  • 2013 “Review of Tejaswani Ganti’s Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry.” Visual Anthropology Review 29 (2): 154-156.
  • 2013 “Refusing to be Criminals (Again): Struggle for LGBT Equality Continues in India,” The Huffington Post, December 14
  • 2012 “Unthreatening the Sikh Turban,” Anthropology News (AAA), August 29

Fellowships & Grants

  • MDOCS Storyteller Institute Fellowship and Residency, Skidmore College, 2017
  • Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, 2015 – 2016
  • Fejos Post Doctoral Fellowship in Ethnographic Film, The Wenner-Gren Foundation, 2015
  • National Film Commission Grant, Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT), 2010, 2013 & 2016