Philippe Messier
Philippe Messier
Assistant Professor
Sociology and Anthropology
Island Scholar:
Island Scholar Biography

Assistant Professor (Anthropology)

BSc (Montréal); MA (Laval); PhD (McGill)

I am a sociocultural and visual anthropologist who primarily researches the relationship between economic and technological transformations in South Asia. I am currently preparing a book manuscript which questions superficial contrasts made between high- and low-skill workers and their contribution to South India’s growing technology economies. The monograph builds on ethnographic research and collaborative video production with both computer engineers and Vaddera caste stonecutters in Hyderabad, in the newly formed state of Telangana.

At UPEI, I am also the principal investigator of a SSHRC Insight Grant (2022-2027) titled “Coping with Infrastructural Curves: Marginalized Citizens Challenging State Plans in India and Vietnam” (with co-investigators: Karine Gagné (Guelph), Sarah Turner (McGill), and Jean Michaud (Laval)). The research project focuses on four communities characterized by economic, political, and ethnic marginalisation – two in India and two in Vietnam – and analyzes how ‘secondary’ roads, wireless communication technologies, and physical marketplaces act as socio-technical systems and state-making projects in Asia (website:

My research has been published in Anthropologie et Sociétés (2022 & 2012), Verge: Studies in Global Asias (2020), Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies (2020), Visual Anthropology (2019), and Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power (2012).

PDF copies of my publications are available for free upon request. Students are also welcome to contact me to discuss their ideas for directed studies, honours, and graduate studies projects.

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