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Stig Toft Madsen
Fil.Dr, Senior Research Fellow

(+45) 22 80 56 11
Research areas: 

India, South Asia, the Nordic countries, Eurasia




Counting myself among those who rely on empirically-informed guesswork, I have been, and to an extent remain, a South Asianist with an interest in India. However, I have developed an interest in Europe, including the Nordic region. Simultaneously, I have cultivated an interest in natural history as distinguished from social science and history. Having developed a taste for science, I would like to look more closely at the way in which communities of knowledge rise and thrive. Thus, my present interest covers the study of birders and birdwatching in the Nordic region and in Asia. Birders constitute a community of knowledge and practice. Many are given to twitching. I would like to pursue a study of birders not only through the standard tricks of the interdisciplinary trade, but also through Science and Technology Studies. As for fieldwork, I have visited Japan in 2015 and intend to visit China in 2019. The photo below by Ulhas Anand is from a recent sitting with the non-twitching type of birders from Bangalore. On the table is Grimmett, Inskipp and Inskipp Birds of the Indian Subcontinent and opposite to MB Krishna lies a copy of my article “Narratives of Nature as Metaphors of Society”, Folk 46/47:121-41, 2004-05 brought along by Shyamal Lakshminarayanan, who is sitting next to me.

















In December 2018, I participated in a seminar on “Caste and Policy in Contemporary India” at the National Law School University in Bangalore, India. My paper was on reservation policies. It also touched on Jat history. I will rework my presentation for the intended future publication. 
I have a number of other interests relating to India/South Asia/Asia/Eurasia, some of which may be gleaned from the publication list below.
Selected publications: 
“Asian studies in the Nordic region: Status, relevance, prospects”, Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Asian and African Studies, 2018, vol. 10, issue 3, pp. 392–404.,
”Indien – Tranquebar, Serampore og Nicobarerne”, anmeldelse af Niels Brimnes, Esther Fihl, Erik Gøbel, Helle Jørgensen, Søren Mentz, Simon Rastén, Louise Sebro og Asger Svane-Knudsen, Indien – Tranquebar, Serampore og Nicobarerne, i Temp 16: 187-91, 2018
Book review of Michael Youngblood. 2016. Cultivating Community: Interest, Identity, and Ambiguity in an Indian Social Mobilization. Pasadena, CA: SASA Books in Journal of South Asian Development 13, 1: 115-17, 2018
“How Udupi hotels unwittingly helped curb caste segregation in Indian public spaces. The hotel owners once carried with them discriminatory Brahminical traditions. One such feature was caste segregation” by Stig Toft Madsen and Geoffrey Gardella. Book excerpt, October 13, 2017.
”Fugle på forhånd”, Kinabladet 74, sommer 2017, side 10-11,
“Nekrolog. John Liep”, Tidsskriftet Antropologi 71: 125-8, 2015
Pakistan’s Experience with Formal Law: An Alien Justice, Osama Siddique, Delhi: Cambridge University Press, first published 2013, pp. xvii+469. Book Review published in Navein Reet: Nordic Journal of Law and Social Research volume 2, Number 6, 2015, pp. 201-5. Available at via
“Post Festum: The Bifurcation of the Karnataka State Farmers’ Association in the Wake of the Inter-Continental Caravan” pp. 201-23 in N. Jayaram (ed.) Interrogating Ideas, Institutions, and Processes: Essays in Memory of Satish Saberwal, New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2014
Stig Toft Madsen and Nicol Foulkes, “Showtime and Exposures in New India: The Revelations of Lucky Farmhouse”, pp. 89-104 in Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Anne Waldrop (eds.), Women, Gender and Everyday Social Transformation in India, London, New York and Delhi: Anthem Press, 2014
Stig Toft Madsen and Kenneth Bo Nielsen, “Hindutva and its Discontents in Denmark”, pp.  155-170 in Migration and Religion in Europe: Comparative Perspectives on South Asian Experiences, Ester Gallo (ed.), Surrey and Burlington: Ashgate, 2014
Jacob Graves Sørensen og Tom Sig Jessen, Indien – den nye stormagt, København: Columbus, 2014, 304 sider, ISBN: 978 87 7970 220 2. Reviewed in Økonomi og Politik 87, 4: 91-93, 2014
“Legal monism and white violence in South Asia”, pp. 24-41 in Livia Holden (ed.) Legal Pluralism and Governance in South Asia and Diasporas, Routledge: London and New York, 2015. Earlier published in Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 45: 1, 24-41, 2013
Stig Toft Madsen and Geoffrey Gardella, ”Udupi Hotels: Entrepreneurship, Reform and Revival”, pp. 91-109 in Krishnendu Ray and Tulasi Srinivas (eds.) Curried Cultures, Globalization, Food, and South Asia, Berkeley and Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 2012
Review of Nagaraj, R (ed.), Growth, Inequality and Social Development in India, Is Inclusive Growth Possible? UNRISD and Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire, 2012, pp. 238. The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 30, 2: 128-30, 2012 
“Introduction” pp. 1-16 with Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Uwe Skoda, and “Ajit Singh S/O Charan Singh”, pp. 73-102 in Stig Toft Madsen, Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Uwe Skoda (eds.) Trysts with Democracy: Political Practice in South Asia, London and New York: Anthem, 2011 and later Indian edition
“Being on and being in: exposure and influence of academic experts in contemporary Denmark”, pp. 73-93 in Livia Holden (ed.) Cultural Expertise and Litigation: Patterns, Conflicts, Narratives, London: Routledge, 2011
“Clan, Kinship and Panchayat Justice Among Jats of Western Uttar Pradesh”, pp. 402-12 in N. Jayaram and Satish Saberwal (eds.), Social Conflict, second edition,  paperback. Oxford in India Readings in Sociology and Social Anthropology, New Delhi, 2011
“Scaling up or remaining rooted?: The Karnataka Farmers’ Movement in 1999”, talk at Nehru Museum and Library on April 25, 2014. 43 minutes, sound file available at
“Stig Toft Madsen on Indian Standard Time”, interview with Jyoti Malhotra on Rajya Sabha TV, April 25, 2014. Available on YouTube at
I am also uploading three films relating to Udupi hotels onto YouTube. They are titled A Holy Meal, Coffee and Tiffin and Udupi Hotels in Madras. They were shot in 1991 and should be available from January 2019.