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Maira Hayat

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Maira Hayat

Post Doctoral Scholar


My research develops a conversation among the anthropology of bureaucracy, law, ethics and Islam; corporate capital and political ecology; science and technology studies and postcolonial critique. My current book project, Ecologies of water theft in Pakistan: the colony, the corporation and the contemporary, is a historical-legal ethnography that shows how the changing terrain of water use and land ownership in the Punjab – Pakistan’s most populous province and its agricultural heartland – is entangled in the shoring up and undermining of the law, state sovereignty, corporate power, and projects of ethical self-formation. The chapters pursue productions of the distinction between the public and the private, and are grouped, broadly, into three nodes along which the public/private distinction is produced: labor, adjudication, and valuation.

I completed my PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago in December 2018.

For more information, see my website at