Mathangi Krishnamurty

Waking Life/ Working Life: The Sleepless Subjects of the Indian Call Center Economy

Regimes of late capital seem to demand increasingly more flexible life practices from its worker subjects. For example, in India, the foray of call center work among young urban populations has led to an entire economy of sleeplessness. Based on two years of ethnographic research among a set of such workers in the university town of Pune, India this paper looks at sleep as one among the various properties of the body sought to be managed within the realm of global work. Through ethnography, montage, film,
legislation and event, I track the individual, societal and cultural practices that are both essential to, and arise out of this maintenance of sleeplessness.

Mathangi Krishnamurthy joins the Institute for Research in the Humanities and the Department of Anthropology as an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow under the World Citizenship program. She moves from The University of Texas at Austin where she completed her doctoral work entitled “1-800 Worlds: Embodiment and Experience in the Indian Call Center Economy”.