Biography

Assistant Professor (Anthropology)


BSc (Montréal); MA (Laval); PhD (McGill)


Dr. Messier is a sociocultural and visual anthropologist who primarily researches the relationship between economic and technological transformations in South Asia. Before joining UPEI, he was a FRQSC postdoctoral fellow at the Graduate Center (City University of New York) and at Trent University. He is currently preparing a book manuscript which questions superficial contrasts made between high- and low-skill workers and their contribution to South India’s growing technology economies. The monograph builds on ethnographic research and collaborative video production with both computer engineers and Vaddera caste stonecutters in Hyderabad, in the newly formed state of Telangana.


At UPEI, Philippe Messier is also the principal investigator of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2019-2022) titled “Connecting People Positively? The Infrastructure of Mobility in Democratic India and Socialist Vietnam.” (with co-investigators: Karine Gagné (Guelph), Sarah Turner (McGill), and Jean Michaud (Laval)). The research project focuses on four communities characterized by economic, political, and ethnic marginalisation – two in India and two in Vietnam – and analyzes if road networks and wireless communication technologies align with state goals, and if local and migrant populations can challenge state intentions through infrastructure projects.


Messier’s research focuses on media, video, art, aesthetics, infrastructures, materiality, technologies, economies, markets, and labour. Students interested by these themes are welcome to contact him to discuss their ideas for directed studies, honours, and graduate studies projects.


Messier’s research has been published in Anthropologie et Sociétés, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, Visual Anthropology, and Verge: Studies in Global Asias. PDF copies of these publications are available upon request.

Recent Publications

Research Classification

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