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Dr. O.K. (Olga) Sooudi

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Moving Matters: People, Goods, Power and Ideas
Photographer: Danka Kordas

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Room number: B5.04
Postal address
  • Postbus 15509
    1001 NA Amsterdam
  • Profile


    Olga Sooudi is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam.  She is a member of the AISSR Moving Matters Research Group. She is also a member of the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) Academic Committee. In 2011-2013, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies.


    PhD: Anthropology, Yale University; MPhil: Anthropology, Yale University; BA: Literature and French Studies, Duke University.


    Sooudi's research interests are in art markets, creative labor, and globalization, especially in Asian contexts, and she has conducted fieldwork in Mumbai, Tokyo, and New York City. Her research focuses on how the production and circulation of art are shaped by the market and on artistic labor. Her ongoing writing on the Mumbai art ecosystem examines marketization’s impacts since the 2000s onwards on the production and circulation of fine art, transformations in art infrastructure, as well as market influences on artists and artistic careers and how artists negotiate these. She is also the author of Japanese New York: Migrant artists and self-reinvention on the world stage (2014), an ethnographic study of Japanese artists and the links between migration, creative work, and self-reinvention.

    Japanese New York: Migrant Artists and Self-Reinvention on the World Stage
  • Teaching & Supervision

    Courses taught


    • Anthropological Research Methods (Bachelors Anthropology)
    • Anthropology of East Asia (Bachelors Anthropology)
    • Writing Ethnography (MA Anthropology)
    • Tutorial Group, (MA Anthropology)


    • Working with Fieldwork Data, Research Masters Social Sciences
    • East and Central Asia, MsC Contemporary Asian Studies
    • Anthropology of Modern Asia 
    • Youth Cultures in Transnational Context (ISW)
    • Youth: Contemporary Debates (ISW)
    • Age, City, Work (ISW)
    • BA Thesis class (ISW)
    • Urban Anthropology (Bachelors Anthropology)
    • Asian Cities
    • Introduction to East Asia: Powerhouse and Politics


    I am interested in supervising students with research interests in art, material culture, value, art markets, cultural production, and creative labor. 

    In addition to masters supervision, I currently co-supervise the following PhD students:

    • Sarita Jarmack (Johannesburg art world, Anthropology, with Eileen Moyer)
    • Andrea Friedmann Rozenbaum (Private museums in Brazil, Sociology, with Olav Velthuis)
    • Joanna Lu (Chinese migrant artists in the Netherlands, Anthropology, with Eileen Moyer)


  • Publications


    • Sooudi, O. K. (2023). From Mumbai to London: Co-constituting value in art from India via local and global circuits of valuation. In O. Salemink, A. Siegel Corrêa, J. Sejrup, & V. Nielsen (Eds.), Global art in local artworlds: Changing Hierarchies of Value (pp. 193-217). (Materializing Culture). Routledge. [details]


    • Sooudi, O. K. (2022). Neoliberalism and sustainability in the art ecosystem. In S. Patel, D. Parthasarathy, & G. Jose (Eds.), Mumbai/Bombay: Neoliberal Majoritarianism, Informality, Resistance and Wellbeing Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.






    • Sooudi, O. K. (2014). Japanese New York: Migrant Artists and Self-Reinvention on the World-Stage. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press. [details]


    • Sooudi, O. K. (2012). Art patron as 'taste scapegoat'? Complicity and disavowal in Mumbai's contemporary art world. Etnofoor, 24(2), 123-143. [details]



    • Sooudi, O. K. (2010). Connoisseurs of urban life: aesthetic practices and the everyday among Japanese migrants in New York City. In R. G. Davis, D. Fischer-Nornung, & J. C. Kardux (Eds.), Aesthetic practices and politics in media, music, and art: performing migration (pp. 212-226). (Routledge research in cultural and media studies; No. 26). New York: Routledge. [details]



    • Sooudi, O. (2018). The New Infrastructure for Art and the Rise of Neoliberal Economies in the Gulf: Auction Houses, Galleries, Fairs and the Art Market in the Middle East and Beyond. In S. Mikdadi, & N. Shabout (Eds.), The Global Circulation of Art and the New Markets: Abu Dhabi Art Talks 2018 (pp. 36-39). Abu Dhabi: Department of Culture and Tourism, for Abu Dhabi Art. [details]


    • Sooudi, O. K. (2017). Remaking Japan through Transnational Encounters, Difference, and Struggles for Social Equality: [Review of: J.D. Hankins (2014) Working skin : making leather, making a multicultural Japan; I.-A. Laemmerhirt (2013) Embracing differences : transnational cultural flows between Japan and the United States; D.J. Milly (2014) New policies for new residents : immigrants, advocacy, and governance in Japan and beyond; K. Tsuchiya (2014) Reinventing citizenship : Black Los Angeles, Korean Kawasaki, and community participation]. The Journal of Asian Studies, 76(3), 802-812. [details]


    Prize / grant

    Membership / relevant position

    • Sooudi, O. (2020-2023). Member of Academic Committee, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden.
    • Sooudi, O. (2016-2020). Member of Academic Committee, International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden.

    Talk / presentation

    • Sooudi, O. (speaker) (14-11-2018). Navigating the system: how artists relate to galleries and alternative art spaces in Mumbai, Abu Dhabi Art Talks, Abu Dhabi Art .


    • Nooteboom, G. (organiser), Sooudi, O. K. (organiser) & Baas, M. (participant) (12-6-2018 - 13-6-2018). Movement as Interregnum: People, Technologies, Goods, and Ideas, Singapore (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • Sooudi, O. (participant) (2018 - 2019). Judge for ICAS Book Prize, Social Sciences Reading Committee, ICAS (other).
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities