Maura Finkelstein, Ph.D. Sociology and Anthropology

Associate Professor of Anthropology

I am a broadly trained cultural anthropologist with an MA in anthropology from Columbia University (2005) and a PhD in anthropology from Stanford University (2012).  I have two long-term ethnographic projects in the subfields of urban anthropology and medical anthropology/interspecies ethnography.


My first book, The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai, (Duke University Press, 2019) reveals how the temporal frame of the postindustrial city eclipses the experiences of contemporary industrial workers living and laboring within the modern moment. While the book adds to growing literature on infrastructure, gentrification, deindustrialization, and urban renewal - central to current trends in anthropological scholarship - The Archive of Loss also pushes against the flow of these trends, instead, posing a different kind of question: What is it like to live a life that is no longer supposed to exist - to be an urban ghost, a worker in an industry relegated to the past?

Emerging from these questions surrounding embodiment and labor, I am currently at work on a book-length monograph about equine assisted therapy located at "True Hearts" (a pseudonym), an urban farm and therapeutic riding school in Eastern Pennsylvania. This research utilizes the term "horsemanship" (horse-human communication) in order to draw attention to the work of both horses and humans engaged in equine therapy.

Peer reviewed articles:

2022. "The Art of Therapeutic Horsemanship: Collaboration and Communication in Equine Therapy." Anthropological Quarterly. 95(3)
2021. "Raj: The Vada Pav Vendor." Bombay Brokers (Ed. Lisa Bjorkman). Duke University Press.
2018. "Ghosts in the Gallery: The Vitality of Anachronism in a Mumbai Chawl." Anthropological Quarterly. 91(3): 936-966
2015. "Landscapes of Invisibility: Anachronistic Subjects and Allochronous Spaces in Mill Land Mumbai," City and Society 27(3): 250-271
For more publications and pdfs, please see:
Personal website: