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Dr. Leah Lowthorp is a cultural anthropologist and folklorist whose work engages art and social change, critical heritage studies, cosmopolitanism(s), post-colonial theory, and the online circulation of biopolitical narratives. She has conducted ethnographic research with the Kutiyattam Sanskrit theater community in Kerala, India, since 2006, and more recently with online communities in an investigation of the digital folklore of human genetic and reproductive technologies. Her work has been funded by the Mellon Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Prior to joining the department, Dr. Lowthorp was a College Fellow in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University (2014-16) and a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow at the Center for Genetics and Society (2016-18). 

Her current book project, Deep Cosmopolitanism: Kutiyattam, Dynamic Tradition, and Globalizing Heritage in Kerala, India, is an ethnographic exploration of India's first UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, Kutiyattam Sanskrit theater, that offers a unique perspective on cosmopolitanism, heritage, and tradition over the longue durée  The project considers how the world’s oldest continuously performed theater has engaged in multiple ways of “thinking and acting beyond the local” over its thousand year history, and in the process pluralizes experiences of cosmopolitanism over time. An ethnography of unprecedented temporal depth, Deep Cosmopolitanism challenges and broadens existing approaches to cosmopolitanism, heritage, and tradition by questioning Eurocentric genealogies and assumptions about what it means to be cosmopolitan, modern, and traditional in the world today.