Erik de Maaker‘s research specialisation is South Asia, notably the upland communities of its eastern borderlands. His research focuses on changing notions of relatedness and belonging. Past research has dealt with the social implications of religious practices and their growing importance in terms of ethnicity, indigeneity, and the nation. More recently, his research has extended to understandings of land and the environment, and how its access and use is contested between distinct claim holders, such as local communities and the state. He has published in academic journals and books, produced ethnographic films, and is currently working on a monograph based on his research on religious and social change in Northeast India. He is one of the founders of the Asian Borderlands Research Network.
- Asian Borderlands: Introducing their Permeability, Strategic Use and Meanings. Journal of Borderland Studies 29(1):3-10. (2014)
- Performing the Garo Nation? Garo Wangala Dancing between Faith and Folklore. Asian Ethnology 72(2): 221-239. (2013)
- ‘Have the Mitdes Gone Silent? Conversion, Rhetoric, and the Continuing Importance of the Lower Deities in Northeast India,’ in Richard Fox Young and Jonathan Seitz (eds.) Asia in the Making of Christianity: Conversion, Agency, Indigeneity 1600s to the Present; Leiden, Brill (2013)
- Indigeneity as a cultural practice: ‘tribe’ and the state in India (introduction to the focus section ‘Indigenous India’), IIAS Newsletter, 53:16-17. (2010)