Prof. Dr. Patrick Eisenlohr


Patrick Eisenlohr heads the research group "Society and Culture in Modern India" .

Patrick Eisenlohr received a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2001 and previously held positions at Utrecht University, Washington University in St. Louis, and New York University.

His work Sounding Islam: Voice, Media, and Sonic Atmospheres in an Indian Ocean World (University of California Press, 2018) provides an account of a key dimension of religion, voices’ sonic incitement of sensations that are often difficult to translate into language. Its setting is Mauritius, including a transnational world of Islamic networks in the Indian Ocean region linking Mauritius with India. His Little India: Diaspora, Time and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius . (University of California Press, 2006) explores the intersections of diasporic belonging, notions of time, and linguistic practice, including the cultivation of religiously charged ancestral languages, among Hindus in Mauritius.

Patrick Eisenlohr’s research focuses on the anthropology of media, sound studies, especially the sonic dimensions of religion, media and religion, linguistic anthropology, language, religion, andcitizenship, as well as language and diaspora.

In 2010 he received a five-year VIDI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).

Together with other members of the research group "Society and Culture in Modern India" he directs Professor Eisenlohr addresses questions of religious and ethnic diversity in contemporary India and in Indian diasporas, with a particular emphasis on urban contexts and its transnational ramifications. The key themes for the research group are:


  • Media and religion
  • Transregional religious networks
  • Sonic dimensions of religion
  • Media, temporality, and aesthetics
  • Language and religion
  • Civic Islam and the public sphere
  • Religion and questions of citizenship in India and Indian diasporas