Sareeta Amrute

Person Profile

Personal Information
Assistant Professor
Contact Information
Box 353100
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Academic Information
Research Summary: 
My scholarship focuses on contemporary capitalism and ways of working. I am particularly interested in how race and class are revisited and remade in sites of new economy work, such as coding and software economies. I investigate how post-genomic racial imaginaries inform popular conceptions of person, population, and proclivity. I am currently completing a book manuscript called 'Encoding Race, Encoding Class: Indian IT workers in Berlin'. This book tells the story of short-term coders from India who sought work in Germany under a temporary visa program called the German Green Card. I investigate how their middle class aspirations both are made possible by and are stymied by the regimes of racialized labor that greet them as temporary programmers. My aim in this book is, in part, to re-materialize what has thusfar been called an immaterial economy. I have another project researching the politics of infant and baby sleep in the United States. This project emerges out of my ongoing interest in understanding how the future is lived in the present, and in the ways that subjectivities are formed against a horizon of uncertainty. Finally, I am developing new work on gendered violence in post-liberalization India. An article I wrote on this subject titled 'Moving Rape: trafficking in the violence of Postliberalization' has been published in the journal Public Culture in Spring 2015.
Sociocultural Anthropology
<p>Sociocultural anthropology and science and technology studies, Information Technology, history of the present, theories of circulation, race and gender; South Asia</p>
Selected Publications
Amrute, Sareeta (2016). Encoding Race, Ecoding Class: Indian IT Workers in Berlin. Durham: Duke University Press.
Go the Fuck to Sleep: Well-Being, Welfare, and the Ends of Capitalism in US Discourses on Infant Sleep South Atlantic Quarterly (2016) 115(1): 125-148
<p>Amrute, Sareeta (2015). &quot;Moving Rape: trafficking in the violence of postliberalization&quot; Public Culture 27(2). This article discusses assaults on female call center workers by their male drivers to think about the relationship between economic privatization and privacy in India today.</p>
<p>Amrute, Sareeta (2014). &quot;Proprietary freedoms in an IT office: how Indian IT workers negotiate code and cultural branding&quot; Social Anthropology 22(1):101-117. This article explores how Indian IT workers who have been hired on short-term contracts in Germany negotiate their racialisation as fast, cheap and disposable. They elaborate modes of freedom that take advantage of the pace of work and its varied temporalities while simultaneously developing a critique of corporate coding as limiting mobility. Their critique upends the usual way that freedom and ownership are conceived, since they try to own the code they write rather than making claims for &lsquo;open&rsquo; or &lsquo;free&rsquo; software. Indian IT workers&rsquo; strategies demonstrate the need for a reconsideration of the meaning of freedom within corporate coding economies and neoliberal knowledge regimes more generally. This article develops a concept of &lsquo;proprietary freedom&rsquo; to do so.</p>
<p>Amrute, Sareeta (2011). &quot;Where the World Ceases to be Flat&quot; India Review 10(3):329-340. This article reviews two recent contributions to the study of Indian Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Working the Night Shift: Women in India&#39;s Call Center Industry by Reena Patel and Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves by Shehzad Nadeem. The contributions each makes to the study of outsourcing, especially to analyses of gender and consumer citizenship, are reviewed. The article concludes that further work in the field should investigate the relationship between ITES and the post-colonial nation and the study of the emerging class formations that striate labor in this industry.</p>
<p>Amrute, Sareeta (2010). &quot;The New Non-Residents of India&quot; in D&rsquo;Costa, Anthony, ed. A New India? Critical Reflections in the Long Twentieth Century. London: Anthem, pp. 127-150.</p>
<p>Amrute, Sareeta (2010). &quot;Living and Praying in the Code: The Flexibility and Discipline of Indian Information Technology Workers (ITers) in a Global Economy&quot; Anthropology Quarterly 83(3):519-550.</p>