South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Student Directory

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Shehzad Arifeen

Graduate student

Education: MA Social Sciences (specialization in Anthropology), University of Chicago; MSc Economics, Tilburg University, Tilburg, Netherlands

Interests: Political economy, capital accumulation, labour, post-colonial state building, movements, Left and Communist history

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Sarah Eleazar Sadiq

Graduate student

Interests: Political ecology, water, toxicity, environmental inequalities, and labor

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Sardar Hussain

PhD student

Interests: City, Space and Place, Heritage, Gentrification, Everyday Life, the Ordinary

Jui-Han Kan

Graduate student

Education: MA, Anthropology, National Taiwan University

Interests: Political ecology, environmental change, fishery, river life

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Daniel Ng

PhD student

Education: MA, University of Texas at Austin

Shafaq Sohail

PhD student

Education: BSc. in Anthropology & Sociology, LUMS

Interests: Urbanization, spatial politics and inequality, colonial and postcolonial histories, collective memory.

Asian Studies

Amara Ali

Graduate student

Education: MPhil, Modern South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge

Interests: Islam in South Asia, Urdu Literature, Shia and Sufi devotional traditions

Sundas Amer

PhD student

Interests: Urdu Literature, Persian/Farsi

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Cicely Bonnin

PhD student

Education: BSc, BEd, MA (Linguistics), The University of Queensland

Interests: Sanskrit language and literature; Old Indic; Middle Indic; Hindi; Sense perception in linguistics, literature and religion; Color; Language change; Translation; Classical South Asian poetics and epistemology

Katharine Chandler

MA student

Education: BA in Philosophy, Religious Studies, History, and Great Books, East Carolina University

Interests: Ethnography, Women and Gender Studies in South Asia, Goddess Worship

Isaac Dwyer

MA Student in Contemporary South Asia

Education: BA, Literature & Spanish, Bennington College

Interests: Hindi-Urdu language and literature, queerness in South Asia, transgender studies, Dalit studies, disability studies, labor and migration.

Michael Fiden

PhD student

Education: MA in Religious Studies, University of South Florida.

Interests: Gṛhyasūtras; Vedas; Domestic Religion; Hinduism; Sanskrit Literature; Malayalam; Kerala Studies

Nina Gat

PhD candidate

Interests: Literatures of India with a special interest in the beginnings of modern Hindi literature; Classical Indian aesthetics; & Indian modernity as reflected in post-independence Hindi literature

Charlotte Giles

PhD candidate

Interests: Indo-Islamic culture and history, Urdu literature, labor, home-based production and the textile industry

M. Hammad

MA student

Education: BA, Political Science, University of Central Florida

Interests: Urdu poetics, postcolonial studies, performance studies, ethnic studies, biopolitics, material feminist studies, orientalism, diaspora studies, and gender studies.

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Katie Lazarowicz

PhD candidate

Interests: Indian Folk art (Madhubani Painting, Mithila Art), Material Culture & Visual Studies, Development & Labor, Bihar, Hindi, Economics & Economic History 19th Century - present, Contemporary Indian Art, Religious and Spiritual Traditions of India, Jesuits in India

Benjamin Simington

MA student

Education: B.A., History, Carthage College

Interests: Islam in South Asia, Sufi texts, Urdu, Anti-colonialism, Critical Whiteness Studies

John Taylor

PhD student

Interests: Classical Sanskrit literature, esp. the Mahabharata, ritual theory, gender & body theory, Indo-European linguistics

Business and Marketing

Mackenzie schnell

MBA Operations/MA Organizational Communication

Communication Studies

Paulami Banerjee

Postdoctoral Fellow

Education: PhD, Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso

Interests: Sustainability Challenges in the Global South, Public Participation, Social Justice and Grassroots Advocacy, Environmental Communication, Community Based Natural Resource Management.

Mackenzie schnell

MBA Operations/MA Organizational Communication

Meenakshi Yadav

PhD student

Education: MA Media in Development, SOAS, University of London

Interests: Digital Technologies, Anti-caste movements, Social movements, Cultural Studies, Political Communication

Comparative Literature

Hamza Iqbal

PhD student

Education: MA, Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Austin, and MA, Honours Philosophy, University of St Andrews, UK

Interests: Long nineteenth century, Urdu Poetics, French Literature, Continental Philosophy, Postcolonial Theory, Psychoanalysis, Critical and Literary Theory

Poorna Swami

Graduate student

Education: BA English and Dance-Theatre, Mount Holyoke College

Interests: 20th century Hindi-Urdu literature, contemporary literature, postcolonial studies, feminist theory, translation, modern Indian cultural and political histories, performance studies


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Sangita Vyas

Graduate student |
BRB 3.134G

Education: MPA, Princeton University

Interests: economic demography; applied microeconomics; public, health, and development economics


Aruna Kharod

MA/PhD student

Education: BA, Ethnomusicology, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Sitar

Caroline Rohm

Graduate student

Education: DMA, Flute Performance, University of Maryland

Interests: Flute, North India, networks of transnational music communities


Anuj Kaushal

Graduate student

Education: MPhil, MA, and BA (History), Delhi University (india)

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Kirtan Patel

Graduate student

Education: MA in History, Utah State University

Interests: British Empire, Colonial India, Hindu Religious History, Monastic Leadership and Culture, Migration History, History of Emotions, Religious Community Formation

Information Studies

Krishna Akhil Kumar Adavi

Graduate student

Education: BE, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, BITS Pilani; MA, Liberal Studies (Concentration in Sociology and Anthropology), Ashoka University

Interests: Technology Startups, Digital Labour, Markets

Middle Eastern Studies

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Bryan Sitzes

Graduate student

Education: PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Environmental histories of the Persianate world

Public Affairs

Gaurav Gaur

Graduate student

Education: Bachelors of Engineering, University of Delhi, India

Interests: E-governance, data driven public service delivery mechanisms, urban transportation

Vivek Shastry

Graduate student

Education: MS (Sustainable Design) and MS (Community and Regional Planning), University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Sustainable energy and Poverty alleviation, Energy technology innovation and adoption, Data science, machine learning and statistical modeling, Implementation science and action research.

Rania Sohail

Graduate student

Education: BSFS, International Economics, Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service

Interests: Poverty alleviation and social policy, Gender and development; especially the relationship between health, economic, and social determinants on individual choices and community welfare in Pakistan, Evaluations for development programs.

Religious Studies

Harsha Gautam

Graduate student

Education: MA and MPhil in Ancient History, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Interests: Premodern South Asia | Early Buddhism | Comparison of the Vinaya traditions | Buddhist Art | Gender and Identity-formation | Intellectual History

Evan LeBarre

Graduate student

Interests: Religions in History, Sanskrit, Tamil, Vedic studies, asceticism, philosophy, Native American studies

Blake Pye

Graduate student

Education: MA, Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Sufism and sainthood, the intersection of Sufism and politics, and knowledge hierarchies in premodern Islamic societies

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Jeff S. Wilson

PhD student

Education: MA in Religion, University of Chicago Divinity School


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Upama Bhattacharya

Graduate student

Education: MPhil, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Interests: Economic Sociology, Sociology of Money, Class, Work, Markets

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Upasana Garnaik

Graduate student

Education: LL.M., Duke University School of Law

Interests: Gender, Sexuality, Family Law, Social Movement and Property Rights

Vrinda Marwah

PhD student

Education: MA, London School of Economics and Political Science

Interests: Reproductive health and technologies, Gender, Sexuality, Race and Ethnicity, Qualitative Methodology, Contemporary India, Social Movements, Law and Policy, State

Beth Prosnitz

PhD student

Education: MA, The New School

Interests: Political Sociology, Social Movements, Citizenship, Gender

Jackson Walker

PhD student

Education: M.A., Asian Studies, The University of Texas at Austin