Dr. Jhala is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Temple University, where he serves as the Director of the Visual Anthropology Media Lab and the Director of the Graduate and Undergraduate tracks in Visual Anthropology. He has been involved in interpreting culture on film and video since the 1970s. He received his B.A. in English Literature (1968) at St. Stephens College in Delhi, India, an M.V.S. (1983) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Ph.D. (1991) from Harvard University.
Over his career, Dr. Jhala has produced, directed, filmed, and edited over fifteen ethnographic films that illustrate the cultures of India and the United States while speaking to various issues in Visual Anthropology. His films, which have been seen by national and international audiences, include Forgotten Headhunters and Apatani Sacrifice (1978), A Zenana and Tragada Bhavai (1981), Journey with Ganapati (1982), Bharvad Predicament (1994), Whose Paintings? (1995), Morning with Asch (1996), and Conversation with a Collector: Dialogue with a Docent (1997), Letter to My Nieces (2000), Close Encounters of No Kind (2002), ShaktiMa no Veh (2006), among others.
In addition, Dr. Jhala has published numerous written texts, which have addressed issues about art and anthropology, nomadism, religious worship, indigenous interpretations of local culture, ethnographic filmmaking and its reception, photography, Hindu marriage, and Rajput ideology and politics.