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Curriculum Vitae

Constantine Valenzuela Nakassis
Department of Anthropology, The University of Chicago
1126 E. 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 USA
email : cnakassi@uchicago.edu

Employment
• Assistant Professor (2012–)
The University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology
• Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow (2010–2012)
The University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology

Education
PhD 2010 University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology
• BA 2001 Magna Cum Laude, University of Pennsylvania, Double Major with distinctions — Psychology and Anthropology (concentration in Human Biology)

Book
• Nakassis, C. 2016. Doing Style: Youth and Mass Mediation in South India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Published April 11, 2016); Hyderabad, India: Orient Blackswan (Published June 11, 2016).
*  *– Read the introduction here.
* * – Interview with Ilana Gershon about Doing Style for CaMP Anthropology (5.16.2016).
* * தி இந்துயில் வந்த டூயிங் ஸ்டைல்-ஐப் பற்றிய ஒரு செய்தி/பேட்டி (எழுத்தாளர்: கி.
* * * * – மகாராஜன், 7.25.2016)
* * – Review by Kathryn Hardy, Anthropological Quarterly 89(3):910–916 (Summer 2016)
* * – Review by Maitrayee Deka, Hong Kong Review of Books (8.4.2016)
* * – Review by Sneha Annavarapu, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 40(1):200–202 (Winter 2017)
* * – Review by Nalini Rajan, The Book Review (2.2.2017)
* * – Review by Shakuntala Banaji, Economic and Political Weekly 52(16):27–28 (April 21, 2017)

Articles
• Nakassis, C. In press (2017). “Rajini’s Finger, Indexicality, and the Metapragmatics of Presence.” Signs and Society  5(2)
• Nakassis, C. 2016. “Scaling Red and the Horror of Trademark.” In E. Summerson Carr and Michael Lempert, eds. Scale: Discourse and Dimension in Social Life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, pp. 159–184. *** The entire volume is available for download here.***
• Nakassis, C. 2016. “Linguistic Anthropology in 2015: Not the Study of Language.” American Anthropologist 118(2):330–345.
• Nakassis, C. 2015. “A Tamil-speaking Heroine.” Bioscope 6(2):165-186.
• Nakassis, C. 2014. “Suspended Kinship and Youth Sociality in Tamil Nadu, India.” Current Anthropology 55(2):175–199. JSTOR
• Nakassis, C. 2014. “Realism, On and Off the Screen.” In Anand Pandian, ed. Subramaniyapuram: The Tamil Film in English Translation. Chennai: Blaft Publications, pp. 217–223.
• Nakassis, C. 2013. “Materiality, Materialization. A Comment on Hull, Matthew. 2012. Government of Paper. Berkeley: University of California Press.” HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 3(3):399–406. pdf
• Nakassis, C. 2013. “The Quality of a Copy.” In T. Kuldova, ed. Fashion India: Spectacular Capitalism. Trondheim: Akademika forlag, pp. 142–165.
• Nakassis, C. and Llerena Searle. 2013. “Introduction: Social value projects in post-liberalisation India.” Contributions to Indian Sociology 47(2) (June):169-183,special issue, Social Value Projects in Post-liberalisation India (edited by C. Nakassis and Llerena Searle).
• Nakassis, C. 2013. “Youth Masculinity, ‘Style’, and the Peer Group in Tamil Nadu, India.” Contributions to Indian Sociology 47(2) (June):245-269, special issue, Social Value Projects in Post-liberalisation India (edited by C. Nakassis and Llerena Searle).
• 
Nakassis, C. 2013. “Para-s/cite, Part I. The Parasite.” The Semiotic Review (N.S.) 1 (May 2013). PDF
• Nakassis, C. 2013. “Para-s/cite, Part II. The Paracite.” The Semiotic Review (N.S.) 1 (June 2013). PDF
 Nakassis, C. 2013. “Citation and Citationality.” Signs and Society 1(1) (April):51-78.
Nakassis, C. 2013. “Brand and Their Surfeits.” Cultural Anthropology, theme issue Brand Neoliberalism (edited by C. Nakassis), 28(1):111-126.
• Nakassis, C. 2013. “Introduction: Brand Neoliberalism.” Cultural Anthropology, theme issue Brand Neoliberalism (edited by C. Nakassis), 28(1):110.
• Nakassis, C. 2012. “Brand, Citationality, Performativity.” American Anthropologist 114(4):624-638.
• Nakassis, C. 2012. “Counterfeiting What? Aesthetics of Brandedness and BRAND in Tamil Nadu, India.” Anthropological Quarterly 85(3):701-722, Special Collection – Pirates and Piracy, Broadly Conceived.
Nakassis, C. 2010. Youth and Status in Tamil Nadu, PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology.
Nakassis, C. 2009. “Theorizing Realism Empirically.” New Cinemas 7(3): 211-235.
• Nakassis, C. and Dean, Melanie. 2007. “Desire, Youth, and Realism in Tamil Cinema.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. 17(1): 77-104.
• Nakassis, C. and Snedeker, Jesse. 2002. “Beyond Sarcasm: Intonation and Context as Relational Cues in Children’s Recognition of Irony.” In Proceedings-of-the-Annual-Boston-University-Conference-on-Language-Development. 26(2): 429-440.
• Nakassis, C. 1982. Solution, 6321Amer. Math. Monthly, 89:505.

Translations
• Hart, Kausalya, Nakassis, C, and Pandian, Anand. 2014. “Subramaniyapuram: The Screenplay (by M. Sasikumar).” In Anand Pandian, ed. Subramaniyapuram: The Tamil Film in English Translation. Chennai: Blaft Publications, pp. 1–205.

Book Reviews
Nakassis, C. 2015. Review of LaDousa, C. (2014) Hindi Is Our Ground, English Is Our Sky. New York: Berghahn Books. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 25(3):358-360.
• Nakassis, C. 2015. Review of Clark- Decès, I. (2014) The Right Spouse: Preferential Marriages in Tamil Nadu. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Journal of Anthropological Research 71(2):268-270.
• Nakassis, C. 2012. Review of Annamalai, E. (2011) Social Dimensions of Modern Tamil. Chennai, India: Cre-A: . Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 22(3):261-263.
• Nakassis, C. 2012. Review of Sharma, N. (2010) Hip Hop Desis. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 22(3):277-279.
• Nakassis, C. (2005) “Formalizing Context.” Review of Gauker, C. (2003) Words without Meaning. Cambridge, MA : MIT Press. Theory and Psychology . 15(1): 128-131.

Working Papers (email cnakassi@uchicago.edu for a copy of these papers)
• Nakassis, C. “Poetics of Praise and Cinematic Encompassment.” Working Papers of the Chicago Tamil Forum – Poesis/Politics of Language and Praise in Tamilagam (May 25-27, 2017). Version: 6.1.2017
• Nakassis, C. “Spoofs and the Politics of the Film Image’s Ontology in Tamil Cinema.” Working Papers of the Chicago Tamil Forum – Politics of Media, Media of Politics (May 19-21, 2016). Version: 12.15.2016
• Nakassis, C. “The Hero’s Mass and the Ontological Politics of the Image in Tamil Cinema.”
• Nakassis, C. “Item Numbers, Performativity, and the Ontology of the Image in South Indian Film.”
• Nakassis, C. “Bus Routes.”

Other
For Barney.” Remembrance and introduction read at Remembering John Bernard Bate (1960-2016), a memorial session of the Chicago Tamil Forum, May 20, 2016. (Also included in the .pdf are remembrances from Paul Friedrich, James Fernandez, E. Annamalai, Whitney Cox, Blake Wentworth, among others.)

Presentations
• 
“Adulation and Encompassment in Tamil Cinema.” Langage et Société: Un dialogue entre Paris et Chicago.” University of Chicago Center in Paris, France, June 12–14, 2017.
• “Poetics of Praise and Cinematic Encompassment.” Chicago Tamil Forum – Poesis/Politics of Language and Space in Tamilagam, a workshop in honor of John Bernard Bate (1960–2016). May 25–27, 2017.
• “Horizons of Semiosis” (Commentary paper on the panel: Bounding Identities and Identifying Boundaries: Predestined Social Roles), Michicagoan Graduate Student Conference, Ann Arbor, MI, May 5–6, 2017.

“The Hero’s Mass and the Ontological Politics of the Image in Tamil Cinema.” Paper presented at New York University, Media, Culture, and Communication department (invited), December 8, 2016; presented at Mass Culture Workshop, The University of Chicago, December 2, 2016; paper presented at Indiana University – Bloomington, March 9, 2017.
• Commentary on Webb Keane’s Ethical Life. American Anthropological Association, Minneapolis, MI, November 17, 2016.
• “Rajini’s Finger, Indexicality, and the Metapragmatics of Presence.” Paper presented to the Semiotics of the Image workshop (C. Nakassis – organizer), October 14–15, 2016.
• “Introduction: Opening Up the Indexicality of the Image, Again,” a roundtable at the Franke Institute of Humanities (C. Nakassis – organizer), October 13, 2016.
• Remembering John Bernard Bate (1960–2016), a memorial session of the Chicago Tamil Forum. Introductory comments and remembrances. May 20, 2016, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
• “Spoofs and the Ontology of the Film Image in Tamil Cinema.” Paper presented at the Chicago Tamil Forum workshop (organizer, paper participant), University of Chicago, May 19–21, 2016.

• “Onscreen/Offscreen: Ontologies of the Image in South Indian Cinema.” Linguistic Anthropology Working Group, Department of Anthropology, University of California – Berkeley, December 4, 2015 (invited).
• “Identity / Quality, a commentary on Regimes of Iconicity.” Commentary paper for the panel “Regimes of Iconicity,” American Anthropological Association, Denver, CO, November 18, 2015.
• “Spoofs and the Politics of the Film Image’s Ontology in Tamil Cinema.” Paper presented for the panel, “Tamilness in Cinema: Deconstruction, Interrogation, and Entrenchment of Stereotypes,” Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison, WI, October 25, 2015.
• “Bus Routes.” Paper presented at the Chicago Tamil Forum workshop (organizer, paper participant), University of Chicago, May 21–23, 2015.
• “Item Numbers and the Ontology of the Image in Tamil Cinema.” Department of Anthropology and the South Asia Studies Program Colloquium, University of California – San Diego, April 13, 2015 (invited).
• “The Style of Tamil Youth Linguistic Practice, On and Off the Screen.” Workshop, Linguistic Anthropology interest group, University of California – San Diego, April 13, 2015 (invited).
• Roundtable discussant, Neoliberal Frontiers” (with Susan Gal, Michael Silverstein, and Susanne Cohen). Neoliberal Frontiers: Language and Political Economy Revisited, The University of Chicago, 6 March, 2015 (co-organizer with Andrew Graan and Susan Gal).

 “The Finger.” Paper presented for the panel: “Parsing the Body,” American Anthropological Association meetings, Washington, DC, December 4, 2014.
 
“Bringing the Distant Voice Close: Language, Youth, and Belonging in Urban Tamil Nadu.” Tamil Studies Conference, The University of Toronto, May 17, 2014.
 “NEED FLUENCY”: English-Tamil Code-Mixing and the Double Voicing of Youth “Style.” ISLA Language and Linguistics Group, University of Notre Dame, March 21, 2014. (invited)
• “‘Item Numbers’ and the Performativity of the Image in Tamil Film.” Department of Anthropology, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, University of Notre Dame, March 20, 2014 (invited); presented at the Chicago Tamil Forum (May 29-31, 2014)

 “What is a brand that a nation could be one? And what is a nation that it could be branded?” Discussant paper presented for the panel: “Semiotics of Nation Branding,” American Anthropological Association meetings, Chicago, IL November 24, 2013.
 “The Horror of Trademark.” Paper presented for the panel: “The Pragmatics of Scale,” American Anthropological Association meetings, Chicago, IL November 21, 2013.
 “Symptomatic Interdiscursivity, Feeling, and the Time of Enregisterment.” Discussant paper for the panel: “Space, Scale, and Stratification.” Michicagoan Graduate Student Conference, Ann Arbor, MI May 11, 2013.
• “The Beyond of Parody.” Discussant paper for the panel: “Parody and Sincerity in Contemporary Political Culture.” AES/APLA Conference, Chicago, IL April 13, 2013.

• “Roundtable discussion: Trans-communications and the productions of sociality” (with Miyako Inuoue, Michael Fisch, and Phillip Grant). Trans-Science Conference, The University of Chicago, 15 December, 2012.
• “From English to Tamil on Music Television.” Paper presented at the Tamil Studies Workshop, The University of Chicago, 19 October 2012.
• “Disfluent Speech, Foreign Bodies: Femininity and Film in Tamil Nadu, India.” Paper presented at The Annual Conference on South Asia (Panel: Femininity, Transgression and Embodiment in Contemporary India), Madison, WI, 12 October 2012.
• “Ontology, Brand, Citationality: Brand and Brandedness in Tamil Nadu, India.” Paper presented at the European Association for Social Anthropology meetings, July 12, 2012, Nanterre, France.
• “Commenting on Uttering Others.” Discussant comments on the panel Uttering Others, Michicagoan Graduate Student Conference in Linguistic Anthropology,” University of Chicago, May 12, 2012.
• “Suspended Kinship and Youth Sociality in Tamil Nadu, India.” Paper presented at the Tamil Studies Workshop, The University of Chicago, 2 March 2012.
• “Item Numbers, Performativity, and the Ontology of the Filmic Image in South Indian Film.” Paper presented at Audible Intimacies: A Symposium on Song in South Indian Cinema, The University of Chicago, 16 February 2012;  presented at the Berkeley Tamil Studies Conference, Berkeley California, 20–22 April 2012.

• “Hybrid performativities, English use, and youth peer groups in Tamil Nadu, India.” Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Meetings, Montreal, 18 November 2011; presented at the Tamil Studies Workshop, The University of Chicago, 11 November 2011.
• “Classing, Middling, Spacing.” Commentary paper for the panel Spatial Practice and New Middle Classes: Situating Class in the Postcolonial City, Anthropological Association Meetings, Montreal, 19 November 2011.
• “The Aesthetics of Realisms: Between the “New Face” and the “Super Star.” Paper presented to Toronto Tamil Studies Conference, University of Toronto, May 14, 2011.
• “Brand Desires, Anxieties, Ignorances: Young Men’s Peer Groups and the Aesthetics of Brandedness in Tamil Nadu, India.” Paper presented to the Semiotics Workshop, University of Chicago, April 7, 2011.
• “Status through the Screen: Rethinking Realism in Tamil Commercial Cinema.” Paper presented to the University of Chicago, South Asia Languages and Civilization, March 10, 2011. (invited)
• “Youth Status, Style, and Branded Forms in South India.” Paper presented to the Chicago-area Consumer Culture Community (C4), DePaul University, March 4, 2011.
•  “Status through the Screen: Audiences and Actors in Commercial Tamil Cinema.” Paper presented to the University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology, February 28, 2011. (invited)

• “Style, Brand, and Globalization in Tamil Nadu, India.” Paper presented to the University of Oklahoma, School of International and Area Studies. December 16, 2010. (invited)
• “Counterfeiting What? Aesthetics of Brandedness and BRAND in Tamil Nadu, India.” American Anthropological Association Meetings. (New Orleans, LA), November 17, 2010 (Panel: “Brands, Counterfeiting, Authenticity, Authority”; organized by Constantine V. Nakassis).
• “Youth Status and Hero-Oriented, Commercial Film in Tamil Nadu, India.” The Annual Conference on South Asia (Madison, WI), October 17, 2010 (Panel: “Media and New Technologies”).

• “Youth Masculinity, “Style” and the Brand in Tamil Nadu, India.” American Anthropological Association Meetings (Philadelphia, PA). December 5, 2009. (Panel: Self-fashioning Projects and Class Anxiety in Contemporary Urban India; organized by L. Searle, M. Dean, and C. Nakassis)

• “Notes on higher education in Madurai , Tamil Nadu.” College Education: Challenges of the Market, the Academia and the Political Society. (Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore , India ). June 20–21, 2008.
• “Youth masculinity and style in Madurai , Tamil Nadu.” AIIS Junior Fellows Annual Conference (Gurgaon , India) January 7-8, 2008.

• “The meaningfulness of eating disorders.” Semiotics Workshop (University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia , PA). December 11, 2001.
• “Beyond Sarcasm: Intonation and Context as Relational Cues in Children’s Recognition of Irony.” Annual-Boston-University-Conference-on-Language-Development (BUCLD, Fall 2001).

Awards and fellowships
• Franke Institute for the Humanities Fellowship, University of Chicago (2014–2015)
• Norman Cutler Travel Grant, COSAS, University of Chicago (Summer 2014)
• Norman Cutler Travel Grant, COSAS, University of Chicago (Summer 2011)
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, Tamil (Fall 2009-Summer 2010)
Zwicker Fund, Dissertation Writing Grant, University of Pennsylvania (Summer 2009–Spring 2010)
•  American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Dissertation Research Fellowship (Summer 2007–Winter 2009)
•  UPENN, Excellence in Graduate Teaching award (Spring 2007)
•  AIIS Summer Fieldwork Funds (Summer 2005: Madurai , Chennai, Tirunelveli)
•  AIIS Language Fellow (2004–2005: Madurai , India )
•  UPENN Department of Anthropology Field Funds (Summer 2003, Pondicherry , Tamil Nadu)
•  UPENN, William Penn Fellowship for graduate study (2001-2006)
•  Miles Murphy award 2001 – Best undergraduate psychology honors thesis (Psychology Department, UPENN)

Research interests
Linguistic and cultural anthropology; Semiotics; Mass media; Trademark law, brands, counterfeiting; Codeswitching and codemixing; youth culture; Tamil Nadu, India.

Fieldwork experience
• Summer 2014 Chennai and Madurai, Tamil Nadu: Followup research on the film Tamizh Padam, television show Tamizh Peesum Kathaanaayaki and college “bus routes” and student politics in Chennai.
• Summer 2011 Chennai and Madurai, Tamil Nadu: Research on film actors’ and actresses’ biographic narratives; interviews with Tamil youth on tropic kinship terms, Tanglish, and English usage.
• Summer 2010 Chennai, Tamil Nadu: research on film actors; tropic usage of kin terms among Tamil youth.
• Spring 2008–Summer 2009 Chennai, Tiruppur, Erode, Tamil Nadu: Dissertation research ‘Mass Mediation and Youth Culture in Tamil Nadu, India’: ethnography with college-going youth; ethnography at SS MUSIC television station; ethnography with director Venkat Prabhu’s Goa film; interviews with producers, directors, actors, cinematographers, editors, stylists in Tamil cinema industry; interviews with shop owners, distributors, sourcing agents, factory owners in (counterfeit) Western branded clothing.
• Summer 2007–Spring 2008 Madurai, Tamil Nadu: Dissertation research ‘Mass Mediation and Youth Culture in Tamil Nadu, India’: ethnography with college-going youth; interviews with shop owners, distributors of (counterfeit) Western branded clothing.
• Winter 2004–Summer 2005 Madurai and Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Research about realist, youth film in Tamil Nadu with viewers, film producers, directors.
• Summer 2005 Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu: Archival research at St. Xavier’s College, Folklore department on Vinayagar Chathurthi Uurvalam and Hindutva political mobilization.

Teaching
• Spring 2014, Spring 2011 Advanced Readings in Semiotics and Media (graduate seminar), Department of Anthropology, The University of Chicago. 
• Winter 2016, 2014 Self, Culture, Society (undergraduate seminar), The University of Chicago. 
• Fall 2012 Citationality and Performativity (graduate seminar), The University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology
• Spring 2014, 2012 Linguistic Anthropology Practicum (graduate seminar; co-taught with Justin Richland), The University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology.
• Spring 2011 Engaging Media: Thinking about Media and Their Audiences (undergraduate). The University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology.
• Winter 2016, 2014, 2013 (co-taught with Justin Richland), Winter 2012, Winter 2011 Language in Culture II (graduate). The University of Chicago, Department of Anthropology.
• Spring 2007 Language and Culture . University of Pennsylvania , Department of Anthropology.
• Spring 2004 Introduction to the Modern World (teaching assistant; principal instructor: Greg Urban) . UPENN, Department of Anthropology.
• Fall 2003 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (teaching assistant; principal instructor: Greg Urban). UPENN, Department of Anthropology.
• Fall 2002 Communication and Culture (co-taught with A. Agha). UPENN, Department of Anthropology.

Other professional activity
• Fall 2008: Consultant evaluating PUKAR’s (Mumbai, India) “Youth Fellowship Program” (grant from the Sri Ratan Tata Trust); evaluation conducted for the Strategic Resource Group, Pravah (New Delhi, India).
• Fall 2005–Spring 2006, Summer 2007: Assistant editor, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology
• Summer 2004: Multi-media (CD-Rom, internet) Tamil pedagogy project under Vasu Renganathan (South Asia Studies Department; University of Pennsylvania); writing Tamil lessons for the website; copy-editing; translation. http://www.thetamillanguage.com/

Languages: English, Tamil.

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