Amanda Lanzillo is a historian of South Asia, researching artisanship and experiences of labor, technology, and social change within Indian Muslim communities. Her research analyzes the intersections of British colonial claims on technological change, South Asian conceptions of industrial modernity, and changing articulations of Islamic artisanal heritage.
While at Princeton, she is preparing her book manuscript, "Pious Labor: Islam, Artisanship, and Technology in Colonial India," for which she recently received a publication grant from the Association of Asian Studies. The book argues that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Muslim artisans articulated religious traditions through and for new technologies and practices of work. Centering Urdu- and Persian-language archival materials, it shows how artisans contested elite Muslim narratives about the Islamic past, as well as colonial era social hierarchies. Since joining the Society of Fellows, she co-organized a semester-long workshop on technology, empire, and decolonization through Princeton’s South Asian Studies Program in spring 2021.
Lanzillo received her Ph.D. in History from Indiana University. She completed an M.A. in Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University and a B.A. in International History at Georgetown University. Lanzillo’s work has appeared in journals including Modern Asian Studies, South Asian History and Culture, South Asia, and is forthcoming in the Journal of Social History. She has also written for the Indian media organization The Wire, and the review magazine Himal SouthAsian. Lanzillo has been awarded research fellowships by Fulbright-Hays, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the American Historical Association, and the Library of Congress, and by several programs at Indiana University. Her language studies were supported by Critical Language Scholarships and the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship.