Naveeda Khan is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Her doctoral and postdoctoral project was on Islam, state and the everyday in Pakistan. She is the editor of Beyond Crisis: Re-Evaluating Pakistan (2010). She is the author of Muslim Becoming: Aspiration and Skepticism in Pakistan (2012), which won the American Institute of Pakistan Studies Book Prize (2013). Her research and writing on Pakistan was funded by the National Science Foundation, Fulbright Hayes, Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation, American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Columbia University Lindt Fellowship, United States Institute of Peace and the American Philosophical Society. Her work on this topic has been published in Social Text, Cultural Anthropology, Comparative Studies in Society and History among other journals and books.
Khan is completing a second project on river life and climate change in Bangladesh across the scales of the self/unconscious, the domestic, the national and the global. This project will culminate in three manuscripts collectively titled As Is/As If: Conundrums of Living with Climate Change. The manuscripts are individually titled, Climate Governance at the End of the World, River Life and a Philosophy of Nature and Householding on a Warming Earth. The research and writing for this project was funded by the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the American Philosophical Society. Funding for new training in support of this work, specifically, introduction to climate science and policy, hydrology, geo-fluvial morphology, ecology, GIS and network analysis and German nature philosophy was provided by the Andrew Mellon New Directions Fellowship and the Johns Hopkins University Catalyst Grant. Her work has been published in Environment and Planning D, Anthropologica, Contributions to Indian Sociology, Theory and Event, Hau, The Yale Yearbook in Comparative Literature among other journals and books.
Khan has attempted to bridge the gap in scholarship between Pakistan and Bangladesh through a review article, "Of What Does Self-Knowing Consist? Perspectives from Bangladesh and Pakistan" in the Annual Review of Anthropology. She is conceiving a collection of essays tracking theological, literary, intellectual and filmic transactions across the two through the mediation of angels and jinns, dreams, ghost stories, the reception of Goethe, a consideration of the films of the artist Naeem Mohaieman among others.
Papers on the concept-affect dyad within the industrial-military complex in the U.S., theological uses of the copyright in Pakistan, road building as the aspiration to another modernity in Pakistan, magic squares in Islamic theology as the experience of Oneness, the potency of images within the context of the Danish cartoon controversy and mosque construction and desecration in Pakistan, alternate theories of evolution within the writings and garden projects of Patrick Geddes and the aesthetics of scientific writings on the Brahmaputra River, publications that fringe her two main projects, show Khan's enduring interest in how the technical, the rational and the material capture the imagination and are suffused with aesthetic, theological and utopian sensibilities. With Drs. Veena Das and Jeremy Greene, Khan is the co-organizer of a Andrew Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar on "Precision and Uncertainty in a World of Data" (2019-2021).
Khan is also an amateur photographer and is planning an exhibition on how anthropologists think with their images, with the intent to show in Dhaka and Chauhali, her field sites.