Elliot Montpellier

BSPH (UNC), MA (McGill), MA (UPenn), PhD (UPenn)


Elliot joined KPU in Fall 2021 and teaches in the Asian Studies and Anthropology departments. He is a cultural anthropologist and completed a joint degree PhD program in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his MA in Islamic Studies from McGill University in 2015.

His work examines how mass media interactional frameworks in Pakistan are impacted by emergent big data practices and digital distribution technologies. His work considers how these processes of digitalization in South Asia interact with and reconfigure mediatized discourse about Islamic piety and morality. His work examines the intersection of Pakistani broadcast media productions, specifically popular television drama serials, and social media, and how these generate new kinds of digital publics.

His ethnographic work is multi-sited and multi-modal and situated between Karachi, Pakistan, Metro Vancouver, and in digital spaces where drama fans interact with and remediate drama content. He connects these overlapping virtual and physical worlds by examining the interplay of media production and reception and the impact of the Internet on shaping pious digital publics in South Asia and South Asia diasporas. His work has been published in Bioscope: South Asian Screen Studies. He is working on a book tentatively titled Dramatic Surveillance: Pakistani Publics, Digital Enclosure, and the Mediatisation of Pious Entertainment Television. He was recently a Research Fellow at Center for Advanced Internet Studies at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, working on follow-up research for the book.

At KPU, he teaches introductory courses in Asian Studies and Anthropology as well as courses on Muslim South Asia and South Asian Film and Media.

Areas of Interest

Anthropology of Media; Anthropology of Religion; Publics and the Public Sphere; Social Media and Television; Cultural Study of Data, Algorithms, and the Attention Economy; Mediatization; Semiotics; Digital Anthropological Research Methods; Digital Humanities; Pakistan studies; Everyday Islam; Piety; Urdu literary culture; Political Anthropology; and active transportation cultures in the global South.