Ac know ledg ments
The idea for this book emerged in 2004 during a gradu ate seminar with Pro-
fessor Carol Breckenridge, an early mentor whose deep aﬀection and curiosity
for the city of Mumbai was contagious. Over the following years the pro ject
came to life under the guidance of my advisors and mentors at the New School
for Social Research, especially that of Vyjayanthi Rao, Timothy Pachirat, San-
jay Ruparelia, Michael Cohen, Arjun Appadurai, and Victoria Hattam, each of
whom influenced the pro ject in distinct and im portant ways.
I owe tremendous thanks to the American Institute of Indian Studies (aiis)
for their consistent support for my research over the years. Fieldwork in Mum-
bai between 2008 and 2011 was made possi ble by an American Institute of
Indian Studies Ju nior Research Fellowship, and Hindi training in Jaipur was
supported by language fellowships in 2004 and in 2007–8. I would like to thank
Elise Auerbach, Philip Lutgendorf, Purnima Mehta, the aiis trustees, as well
as the extraordinary faculty at the aiis Hindi Language Program in Jaipur.
Early support for this pro ject was provided by a New School India China In-
stitute Fellowship in 2006, and a New School for Social Research Dissertation
Fellowship in 2007–8. I am grateful to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in
Mumbai for providing aﬃliation during the period of my ﬁeldwork, and to the
Institute of Advanced Studies in Lucca for providing a warm and welcoming
work environment in 2011. Much of the writing of this book took place while I
was a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious
and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, which oﬀered an intellectually invigorating
and exceedingly pleasant atmosphere in which to read, think, and write.