Skip to main content

School of Social and Political Science: Staff profiles


Jacob Copeman

Jacob Copeman
Dr Jacob Copeman
Senior Lecturer
5.03 Chrystal Macmillan Building Edinburgh UK EH11 1SZ
+44 (0)131 6506860
Research Interests
South Asia, Gurus, Atheism, Blood Donation, Tissue Economies, Social Reform, Media, Technology and society, India, Medical Anthropology, Names and Naming

Further information and access to most of my articles available here.

Selected publications

2018 'Contemporary Religiosities'. Contributions to Indian Sociology. (Co-authored with J. Quack). In press.

2018 'Blood'. In Wiley-Blackwell International Encyclopedia of Social Anthropology, ed. Hilary Callan. Oxford: Blackwell. In press.

2018 'Ungiven: Philanthropy as Critique'. Modern Asian Studies 52(1): 1-26 (Co-authored with D. Banerjee).

2017 'Devotion of Attractions'. India Today XLII(42): 60-63. Hindi version: आकर्षण की भाषा और वेशभूषा.

2016 'Tod Hartman, 1978-2016' Obituaries. Royal Anthropological Institute, 31 August 2016. (available on-line: (with Madeleine Reeves)

2015 ‘Secularism’s Names: Commitment to Confusion and the Pedagogy of the Name’ South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (SAMAJ)  12: 2-22.

2015 'Introduction. On Names in South Asia: Iteration, (Im)propriety and Dissimulation' SAMAJ 12: 2-21 (with Veena Das)

2015 ‘“Godless people” and dead bodies: materiality and the morality of atheist materialism’ Social Analysis 59, 2: 40-61 (with Johannes Quack). 

2014 ‘The Image After Strathern: Art and Persuasive Relationality in India’s Sanguinary Politics’ Theory, Culture & Society 31, 2-3: 185-220. (with Alice Street)

2012 'The Mimetic Guru' in Copeman & Ikegame eds. The Guru in South Asia: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

2011 'The Gift and Its Forms of Life in Contemporary India' Modern Asian Studies, 45, 5, 1051-1094. 

Books/edited collections

2015 On Names in South Asia: Iteration, (Im)propriety and Dissimulation (co-edited with Veena Das). Special Issue of South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (SAMAJ) 12.

2014 Social Theory After Strathern (co-edited with Alice Street). Special Issue of Theory, Culture & Society 31, 2-3. 

2013 South Asian Tissue Economies (edited). Special Issue of Contemporary South Asia 21, 3. (also a Routledge book, 2014). 

2012 The Guru in South Asia: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives (co-edited with Aya Ikegame). Routledge. (South Asian edition - Routledge India, 2013). 

2009 Blood Donation, Bioeconomy, Culture (edited). Special Issue of Body & Society 15, 2.

2009 Veins of Devotion: Blood Donation and Religious Experience in North India. Rutgers University Press. (Revised and expanded edition - Routledge India, 2012).


Topics interested in supervising

I welcome enquiries from students interested in pursuing projects that relate to my broad interests in tissue economies/biological exchange, medical anthropology, technological cultures and radical social reform movements; and in aspects of South Asian society, especially caste and communal politics, 'guru cultures', and the politics of names and naming.

If you are interested in being supervised by Jacob Copeman, please see the links below for more information:

PhD in Social Anthropology; PhD in South Asian Studies