Dr. Ariel Sophia Bardi is an independent researcher and writer, currently based in South Asia. Her work has appeared in BBC, The Guardian, Slate, Roads & Kingdoms, France 24, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, Quartz, Aeon, LA Review of Books, Columbia Journalism Review, and VICE.
An American born in Japan, she has lived in six countries and reported across four continents. Her stories have covered archaeology and right-wing politics in India, Delhi's female biker gang, post-disaster planning in Nepal, the politics of the Sri Lankan tourism industry, a Palestinian no man’s land caught between the green line and the security barrier, Bollywood-themed travel to the Tibetan plateau, and the refugee crisis and the history of hospitality. She is interested in the nexus between tourism, nationalism, human rights, and heritage.
Her academic work looks at the relationship between space and power, focusing on militarization, borders, partition, and occupied zones. Her dissertation compared the partition of India with the founding of Israel, mapping the ways new nationalist ideologies were coded in the built environment, looking at demolition movements, transit and refugee camps, and archaeological sites.
She holds an M.A. from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from Yale University, and has been awarded fellowships from Cagatay, Fulbright, and the James Foley Foundation.