Akhil Kang

Ph.D. Student in Socio-Cultural Anthropology


Akhil Kang is a PhD candidate in Socio-cultural Anthropology at Cornell University. Akhil is academically and politically invested in shifting the anthropological gaze away from the marginalized and towards the elite. Their PhD project builds an anthropology of the elite and they study upper caste victimhood and woundedness in parts of North India. With a focus on questions related to affect and body politics, Akhil is ethnographically exploring what makes an upper caste - an upper caste. They are an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of several fields including critical caste and dalit studies; feminist and queer studies; affect and media studies; biopolitics and postcoloniality. Their project has received support from the Wenner Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant.  

Prior to enrolling at Cornell, Akhil received their B.A. LLB (Hons.) from NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad and is a registered Advocate with Bar Council of Delhi. They worked as a human rights lawyer in Delhi before pursuing their PhD. Born and raised in Jalandhar (Punjab, India), they have been involved in queer and anti-caste activism. They have worked on several projects including, role of men and masculinity in child marriages in India, feminist law archiving, and understanding gender and sexuality in institutional student movements & political formations in India. They write about sex, politics and desire at their blog Desi Underground Gay. Their academic works can be found on their Academia profile.

Recent Publications -

Savarna Citations of Desire: Queer Impossibilities of Inter-Caste Love 

Brahmin Men who love to Eat A**