Chaitanya's interests lie in the ancient Middle East, and the history of ancient Iraq specifically. Since his undergraduate years - during which he wrote a thesis exploring the cheerful, happy aspects of the usually violently-depicted Assyrian kings - he has concentrated particularly on the history of affect and emotion. His PhD research, supported by an ESRC/AHRC Multidisciplinary grant, intergrates social and linguistic anthropology to understand how conceptions of interiority - ideas regarding thinking, feeling, and the mind - shaped and constituted the daily practice and politics of the Assyrian empire, which ruled the Middle East with mighty armies of soldiers and administrators during the first millennium BC.
Supervisor: Eleanor Robson (History) and Alex Pillen (Anthropology)
Working title: 'Empire's Inner Theatre: Interiority and Assyrian Administration 745-669 BC'
Expected completion date: Chaintanya passed his viva in September 2018
Conference papers and presentations
- '"In the treaty it says: 'write me whatever you see or hear'": Evidence and power in the ancient Assyrian empire 745-612 BC', American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis 2016