Dr de Maaker is an assistant professor at the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is a member of the academic committee of the Leiden International Institute for Asian Studies and a founding member of the Asian Borderlands Research Network.
Dr de Maaker obtained his PhD from Leiden University in 2006. His research interests include place making, relatedness, religion, heritage, materiality, visuality, and the life cycle. He has made several ethnographic films, including Teyyam: The Annual Visit of the God Vishnumurti (which received the 1998 Award for Excellence from the American Anthropological Association). Some of his recent funded research projects include Markets, Ethics and Agency: Changing Land Utilization and Social Transformation in the Uplands of Northeast India (NWO–ICSSR) and Water and Climate Change in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HUC–ICIMOD). He has published extensively on social change in the uplands of eastern South Asia. His publications include the co-edited Media, Indigeneity and Nation in South Asia (2019) and Unequal Land Relations in North East India: Custom, Gender and the Market (2020). Among his forthcoming publications are Reworking Culture: Relatedness, Rites and Resources in Garo Hills, North-East India (2021) and the co-edited Trans-Himalayan Environmental Humanities: Symbiotic Indigeneity and the Animist Earth (2021). His ongoing project is titled Storying the Sustainable Intelligence of the Earth in the New Himalayas: Symbiotic Indigeneity and Transboundary Commons.