CCSU Anthropology

Daniel Bass
(860) 832-2611

Daniel Bass received his B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology, with a concentration in South Asian Studies, from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1995.  He then earned an M.A. in South Asian Studies and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1998, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the same institution in 2004.  After teaching at several public and private universities in Florida and Connecticut, he started teaching at CCSU in August 2013. 

He is a cultural anthropologist, primarily interested in issues of ethnicity, diaspora, globalization, religion and identity in Sri Lanka and India.  He focuses on the development of a distinct ethnic identity among Up-Country Tamils in Sri Lanka, who are descendants of migrants who came from India between the 1870s and 1930s to work on tea plantations in the central highlands, or up-country, of Sri Lanka.  He examines the roles of politics, place, labor unions, gender and religion in the formation of ethnic identifications, especially in the context of Sri Lanka’s long-running civil war from 1983 to 2009.  He is currently expanding his research to analyze changes in the political process for ethnic minorities in Sri Lanka after the war’s end and to examine ethnic identifications among the Sri Lankan diaspora in the New York City metropolitan area. He has also served as the Treasurer of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies since 2010.


Post-War Sri Lanka: Problems and Prospects, co-edited with Amarnath Amarasingam. Asia in the New Millennium Series. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press (forthcoming 2014).

“Incomplete Integration: Local Government, Citizenship and Tamil Identity in the Up-country.” In  Post-War Sri Lanka: Problems and Prospects, Amarnath Amarasingam & Daniel Bass, eds. Asia in the New Millennium Series. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press (forthcoming 2014).

Everyday Ethnicity in Sri Lanka: Up-country Tamil Identity Politics. Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series No. 61. London: Routledge (2012).

 “Making Sense of the Census: Up-country Tamils and the Contours of Tamil Nationalism” In Pathways of Dissent: Tamil Nationalism in Sri Lanka, R. Cheran, ed., p. 139-151. New Delhi: Sage (2009).

“Paper Tigers on the Prowl: Rumors, Violence and Agency in the Up-country of Sri Lanka.” Anthropological Quarterly 81 (1): 269-296 (2008).         

Landscapes of Malaiyaha Tamil Identity. Marga Monograph Series on Ethnic Reconciliation No. 8. Colombo: Marga Institute, 22 pp (2001).

Malaiyaha (Up-Country) Identity and Politics in the Twenty-first Century. ICES Lecture/ Discussion Series No. 2. Colombo: International Centre for Ethnic Studies, 16 pp (2000).

Bass’s courses taught at CCSU include: 

ANTH 170 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 240 The Supernatural

ANTH 374 Research Methods

ANTH 475 Topics in Anthropology: Global Popular Culture