Dattathreya is a lawyer by training and is finishing his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology at Columbia University in New York City, from where also he has M.A. and M.Phil degrees. He is primarily from southern Karnataka and worked with the International Centre for Ethnic Studies and the Law and Society Trust in Colombo, Sri Lanka, between 1997 and 2000. He currently researches, publishes and teaches social science and law at Christ College of Law in Bengaluru. Amongst other things, he is co-editor of "Ethnicity and the Politics of Identity in Sri Lanka" (Colombo: 1998).