Dr. Ravi Nandan Singh | Department of Sociology


Dr Ravi Nandan Singh
Dr. Ravi Nandan
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS)
Shiv Nadar University
Profile Summary 

Dr. Ravi Nandan Singh has taught Sociology for more than a decade at the Hindu College, University of Delhi. He has also taught, briefly, at the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi and was associated with the department for M.Phil. and Ph.D. research supervision.

Singh’s work emphasises on a sociology of the dead. He pitches death as a connected event to life and society by positing the empiricisms of the dead at the centre of his enquiry. His forthcoming book on ethnography of funeral travelling in Banaras is based on following the dead across the multiple sites of river bank open-air cremation, electric crematorium, hospital, morgue, home, Shaivite hermitage-clinic and autobiographical necrology. His ethnographic work on the dead and death published as essays has been well received. He uses his work on the dead, death, mourning and grief as an affirmative link to his other research interests.

His other research interests include medical sociology; forms of religious and spiritual lives; morbid humour; literary sociology; philosophy of names; kinship.

Singh has a growing collection of world ethnographic films and he makes use of his collection to create a combination of the spoken, textual and filmic as key elements in the teaching and learning of sociology at the department.

Educational Qualifications 
Ph.D. (Sociology)
Jawaharlal Nehru University
MPhil (Sociology)
Jawaharlal Nehru University
MA (Sociology)
Jawaharlal Nehru University
B.Sc. Honours (Zoology)
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College, University of Delhi
Work Experience 
Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi
Hindu College, University of Delhi
Teaching & Research Interests: 

Sociology of death and the dead; Shifting funerary forms; Grief and mourning; Cremation; Medical sociology; Forms of religious and spiritual lives; Morbid Humour; Literary sociology; Philosophy of names; Kinship.

Conferences (Select): 
  • Research paper presentation: Open Pyres and Closed Morgues : Socialising the Pandemic Suffering. Mobilising Methods in Medical Anthropology (18-21 January 2022). The Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

Selected member of NCERT, New Delhi, translation board for sociology textbooks (2007).


Invited panellist at ‘Last Minute Exercise’, a discursive installation project on Death as a matter of the heart or the brain.
Hannah Hurtzig/Mobile Academy Berlin, IGNCA, New Delhi (2014).


Fieldwork grant under the European Studies Program, University of Delhi, funded by European Union for ethnographic research on a crematorium in Aarhus, Denmark (2011).


Awarded Nostra Aetate Foundation Fellowship, Vatican/Italy (2018-2019).

Scholarly Activity

Journal Articles


“Modes of Processing the Dead: Ethnography of Crematoria.” In Society and Culture in South Asia, 1(1). New Delhi: Sage. 2015.


“Many Lives of the Dead: Towards an Anthropology of the Indefinite Social.” Contributions to Indian Sociology, vol. 50. New Delhi: Sage. 2016.


“COVID-19: Mourning, Knowledge and Improvisation.” In Society and Culture in South Asia. New Delhi: Sage. 2021.



Dead in Banaras: Ethnography of Funeral Travelling. London: Oxford University Press (Forthcoming).