South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Faculty Advisory Committee

The primary governing body for SAI is an elected faculty advisory committee (FAC) that follows the by-laws in SAI’s governing document. Elections for two-year terms take place each summer. The FAC reflects diversity of rank, discipline, college affiliation, and gender, and meets once each semester to review the working of SAI, its budget, and plans for program development. The Institute's voting member list is updated each academic year, in consultation with the FAC. In addition, the Director, through personal meetings and online communication, keeps all faculty affiliates aware of programs and strategic initiatives.

2020-2021 Committee

Kamran Ali, Professor, Anthropology

Kamran AliKamran Asdar Ali is professor of anthropology, Middle East Studies and Asian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Communism in Pakistan: Politics and Class Activism 1947-1972 (IB Tauris, 2015) and Planning the Family in Egypt: New Bodies, New Selves (UT Press, 2002). He is the co-editor of Gendering Urban Space in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa (Palgrave 2008) and Comparing Cities: Middle East and South Asia, both with Martina Rieker, with whom he also coordinates the Shehr Network on Comparative Urban Landscapes. He has published several articles on issues of health and gender in Egypt and on Pakistani politics and popular culture. He previously taught at the University of Rochester (1995-2001) and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1998-99). His more recent work has been on ethnic, class and gender issues in Pakistan and is currently finishing a book length manuscript on the social history of the working class movement during Pakistan's early years.

Indrani Chatterjee, Professor, History

Indrani Chatterjee"I have taught young people in three continents, and over two decades. My teaching interests have evolved to keep pace with my own travels in time. So the courses I have taught include Slavery and South Asian History, the Gender of South Asian pasts, Early Modernity in the subcontinent, and The Power of Performance.  

Recently, I find myself drawn simultaenously to both intellectual and economic histories of the subcontinent. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which wealth travelled between and within monastic lineages in the past. Having worked on the ways in which monastic governmentality was forgotten in Indian historiography by the early decades of the twentieth century, I am currently revisiting the costs of such forgetting to women's wealth in eastern India."

Heather Hindman, Associate Professor, Asian Studies

Heather HindmanHeather Hindman is Associate Professor of Asian Studies and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. She has published Mediating the Global: Expatria's Forms and Consequences in Kathmandu (Stanford, 2013) and co-authored Inside the Everyday Lives of Development Workers: The Challenges and Futures of Aidland (Kumarian, 2011). Her interests include, gender, bureaucracy, entrepreneurialism, social theory, critical development, transnational labor and finance.  Recently, she has published articles about Nepal-Korea labor migration and voluntourism and is currently working on a project on the anthropology of garbage and waste disposal sites. Hindman served for several years as President of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies, and worked with SAI to host the 2016 Himalayan Studies Conference at UT-Austin.  She has also been the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Asian Studies for Comparative and Transnational Scholarship for the past several years.  She is deeply invested in graduate training, working with a half-dozen PhD students in the Department of Asian Studies, as well as scholars in Anthropology, Radio, Television and Film (RTF), Sociology and Geography at UT, as well as several anthropology doctoral candidates in the US, UK and Australia. 

Erin Lentz, Associate Professor, Public Affairs

Erin LentzErin Lentz is an Assistant Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School, at UT Austin. Erin has a PhD in Sociology (2014) and Masters in Applied Economics and Management (2005), both from Cornell University. Her research explores food security; gender, nutrition, and agriculture linkages in South Asia; early warning systems; and U.S. food aid and food assistance policies. Her work is interdisciplinary: her collaborators include agricultural economists, nutritionists, and sociologists. Erin and her collaborators have developed the Women’s Empowerment in Nutrition Index, recently developed for and field-tested in rural South Asia. Erin has also received a Fulbright fellowship to Bangladesh to research the secondary effects of food aid in local communities.

Ahmed Shamim, Lecturer, Asian Studies

Shamim AhmedAhmed Shamim is a lecturer in the Department of Asian Studies. He has taught Bangla at UT since 2015. He taught Linguistics and Modern Bangla Literature at CUNY LaGuardia Community College and Bangla Language at SASLI, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He completed his MA in Linguistics from the City University of New York and now is a doctoral candidate in Linguistics in the same university. His research interests include Endangered Language Documentation and Description, Phonology, Morphology, Grammar, and Language Policies and Ideologies. He is currently working on a morphophonological description of Koda, an endangered Munda language of Bangladesh. He penned two books on Bangla language, literature, and linguistics: Bangla Kotha (2013) and Shobdo Hoy Shobder Ghore (2018).

Stephen Slawek, Professor, Ethnomusicology

Stephen SlawekStephen Slawek is Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin. He specializes in the musical traditions of South Asia and has secondary interests in Southeast Asian music and American popular music. His publications draw upon extensive field experience and personal studies of performance practice in India. A senior disciple of the late Pandit Ravi Shankar, he has an international reputation as an accomplished performer on the Indian sitar. In addition to teaching undergraduate academic courses and graduate seminars in ethnomusicology, Professor Slawek directs the Indian Classical Music Ensemble and the Javanese Gamelan Ensemble.

Raji Srinavasan, Professor, Marketing

Raji SrinavasanRaji Srinivasan is the inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion and Sam Barshop Centennial Professor of Marketing Administration. Raji who has been working at the University of Texas at Austin since 2000 is an active esearcher who does high-impact research in the areas of marketing strategy, organizational innovation and marketing metrics. She has published several research publications in leading peer-reviewed marketing journals.

Raji has a distinguished Research and Teaching record. She is the recipient of the Marketing Strategy SIG of the American Marketing Association’s Varadarajan Award for Early Career Contributions to Marketing Strategy Research (2010) and the Inaugural Recipient of the American Marketing Association’s Erin Anderson Award for an Emerging Female Marketing Scholar and Mentor 2009). She was awarded the CBA Foundation Research Excellence Award for Assistant Professors by the Red McCombs School of Business and the Trammell/CBA Foundation Teaching Award for Assistant Professors by the Red McCombs School of Business in Spring 2006 and has been nominated on multiple occasions on the faculty honor roll at the McCombs School of Business.