Monty BadamiFreelance Anthropologist
My name is Dr Sumant Badami (or Monty as I am known to most). I am an Anthropologist who gained my PhD from Macquarie University. Apart from being a passionate educator at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels, I am a public speaker, celebrant, jazz singer, martial arts instructor and currently training to become an officer in the Australian Army Reserves.
I am fascinated by the experiences and habits of real people all over the world. I am driven to understand our humanity in all its shapes and forms; from how we physically evolved to become this completely weird and flawed species, to how we survived in spite of these flaws to populate nearly every square inch of the planet and live successfully in so many different ways.
I get really excited about human evolution, religion and ritual, identity, human agency, gender, power, politics and the state. In essence, I spend my time exploring how we communicate with each other; how we relate to other people and other groups; and how we understand ourselves and or place in the world.
Most of my research has been spent living with the Paniya, a marginalised indigenous ethnic group in South India, who were slaves until quite recently. However, I am now working closer to home, where I am interested in how change happens in schools and communities. I work closely with men and boys, using my anthropological knowledge to challenge the norms of toxic masculinity as well as other stereotypes of class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and race.
As the Founder and CEO of Habitus, I have recently moved into the social enterprise space to work with young people, parents, schools and communities. Habitus is all about giving you lifehacks to be a good human. We run bush camps, creative programs, training and consultancy that empowers people to become agents of change!
I am currently an Honorary Associate at Macquarie University, a core faculty member at The School of Life in Sydney and co-present a podcast called The Meaning of… with fellow School of Life Faculty member, Dr Tim Dean.