Sussex Asia Centre

Prof Filippo Osella

Filippo Osella is Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies in the School of Global Studies.  Over the years, he has conducted research in South Asia, the Gulf countries of West Asia, and, more recently, in China.  He has explored relations between Islamic reformism and economic practice across the Indian Ocean, focusing on the development on novel modalities of piety and entrepreneurship in Kerala and the Gulf.  At the same time, he has researched contemporary expressions of Islamic charity and philanthropy in both India and Sri Lanka. Amongst his recent publications on these topics we find Money and the Morality of Markets [co-edited with D. Rudnyckyj; CUP 2017] and Charity and Philanthropy in South Asia [co-edited with S. Ramaswamy; Modern Asian Studies, 2018]. Drawing on ongoing interest on the circulation of people, goods and ideas across Asia, he has worked on the everyday experiences of Indian migrants in West Asia, and on the effects of this long-term migration on sending communities in Kerala.  His recent research considers the lifeworld of Indian export agents in Yiwu (China), focusing on relations of trust which are produced through practices of conviviality and complicity which straddle China, India and Dubai. In a new research project supported by Sussex Sustainability Research Programme, he is working to support the development of accurate and accessible marine forecasts for safer and sustainable fishing on the Kerala coast. It combines the knowledge of the fishing communities and scientific observations to understand climatic and environmental hazards and vulnerabilities of artisanal fishers, and their risk culture.