Dr. Arpita Roy

Dr. Arpita Roy

Anthropology

Fon: +49 (551) 4956 - 221
Fax: +49 (551) 4956 - 170
roy(at)mmg.mpg.de

As a post-doctoral scholar working at the MPI-MMG, Arpita Roy is conducting research on alchemy and occult Tantrism on the basis of extensive fieldwork in rural Bengal, India. A critical component of her research involves examining how alchemy forms a matchlessly supple instrument, which aligns the local landscape with the grand scale of cosmogenesis, to open up several lines of questioning at the base of myth, history and science. Her project, entitled Tantrism in Contemporary Bengal, is committed to taking textual material seriously and integrating it with fieldwork data in the hope that ethnography may clarify the rich layering and multi-directionality of Tantric thought.  

Arpita Roy received her doctorate in Anthropology in 2011 at the University of California, Berkeley, where she taught as a Lecturer for two years thereafter, followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Paris. Her doctoral dissertation was an ethnographic study of physics and physicists at the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. The radical shift in focus from particle physics to occult Tantrism is part of her commitment to interrogate, in a full sense, the boundaries and interrelations of fundamental categories called magic, religion and science, a topic whose seductive possibility once inhabited the heart of classical anthropology. 

Publications

Journal articles

[2017] Signatura rerum: Semiotics of the subnuclear. Signs and society, 5(S1), S77-S99. Link

[2014] Ethnography and Theory of the Signature in Physics. August 2014, Volume 29, Number 3: 479-502, Cultural Anthropology, Wiley-Blackwell. http://dx.doi.org/10.14506/ca29.3.03

[2012] Science and the Large Hadron Collider: A Probe into Instrumentation, Periodization and Classification. December 2012, Volume 36, Number 3-4: 291-316, Dialectical Anthropology, Springer. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10624-012-9278-6

Other publications

[2012] Semiotics of the Sub-Nuclear. La Ricerca Semiotica, Aracne Editrice. Roma Nuova Serie 1. February 2012.

[2002] Black-Body Problematic: Genesis and Structure. December 2002. Volume 3, Issue 1, Theory and Science, International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication. ISSN: 1527-5558.