South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Student Directory

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Sarah Fahim

MA student

Interests: Communication strategy & analysis, creativity in copywriting & advertising concepts, effects of advertising and mass communication on cultural diversity and tolerance


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Krishantha Fedricks

PhD student |
5.114 SAC

Education: MA, California State University at Long Beach

Interests: Language, Religion and Media; Sinhala Language and Linguistics; Sri Lankan Buddhism; English to Sinhala Translations

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Sardar Hussain

PhD student

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

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Daniel Ng

MA/PhD student

Education: MA, University of Texas at Austin

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Aniruddhan Vasudevan

PhD candidate |
5.114 Student Activity Center (SAC)

Interests: Gender and Sexuality Politics in India, LGBTQ Rights Activism in Chennai, Theater and Dance, Ideologies of the Self respect Movement of Early 20th Century Tamil Nadu, Tamil to English Translations

Art History

Maryam Ohadi-Hamadani

Graduate student

Education: MA, Art History and Museum Studies, Case Western Reserve University

Interests: Post-war abstraction in Britain, postcolonialism, transnationalism during decolonization, history of immigration

Asian Studies

Sundas Amer

MA/PhD student

Interests: Urdu Literature, Persian/Farsi

Emily Beissner

MA student

Education: BA Philosophy and Malayalam, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Sri Narayana Guru, Sri Narayana Guru’s Malayalam and Sanskrit adages, Sanskrit and Malayalam religious texts of Kerala, caste in Kerala, Temple Entry Movement of Kerala, Malayalam Lierature, and Malayalam to English translation

Justin Ben-Hain

PhD student

Interests: Vallabhite Vartas, Old Rajasthani Literature, Community formation, circulation of texts and ideas

Cicely Bonnin

Graduate student

Education: MA, Linguistics, The University of Queensland

Interests: Sanskrit language and literature; sense perception in linguistics, literature and religion; colour; language change; Sanskrit to English translation; Classical South Asian poetics and epistemology; Hindi

Katharine Chandler

Graduate 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

daniel dillon

PhD candidate |
BEL 212 H

Education: BA Anthropology, Asian Religions and Cultures; MA Religious Studies, Western Kentucky University

Interests: Globalization, Mobility, Gender & Sexuality (especially Masculinity), the Tamil Ethnoscape, Religious & Ethnic Violence, Modernity, Visual Ethnography, Contemporary Sri Lanka

Michael Fiden

Graduate student

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

Interests: Early South-Indian devotional traditions; the development of śrauta ritual in the early Vedic period; sociopolitical and religious contexts and development during the second urbanization; and formative Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism.

Nina Gat

PhD student

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

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Andrea Gutierrez

PhD candidate

Interests: Animal Studies and Animal Language, Foodways, Food Manuals, Cookbooks and Food Prescriptions, Hindu and Buddhist Studies, Sanskrit, Prakrits, and Tamil Language

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

Photo of Zeltzyn Rubi Sanchez Lozoya

Zeltzyn Rubi Sanchez Lozoya

PhD candidate

Interests: Hindi cinema, gender studies, queer theory, affect theory, censorship

Aaron Sherraden

PhD candidate

Interests: Hindi, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Epic Literature of India and associated performance traditions

David St. John

PhD student

Education: MA in Religious Studies, Florida International University

Interests: Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Quakerism, the history of the formation of ethics, lay ethics, mendicant-lay interactions, ownership principles

John Taylor

PhD student

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

Comparative Literature

Hamza Iqbal

PhD student

Education: 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


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Sangita Vyas

Graduate student

Education: MPA, Princeton University

Interests: The causes of poor health in rural India


Fiza Mairaj

MA student

Interests: Educational policy, International development, Non-profit sustainability and Teacher practices in a classroom


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Meghan Gorman-Darif

Graduate student

Education: MA, Breadloaf School of English, Middlebury College

Interests: Representations of the Naxalite and Maoist movements in contemporary literature


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


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Sandy Chang

PhD candidate

Education: MA, The University of British Columbia

Interests: British Empire; Colonial South & Southeast Asia; Chinese Diaspora; Gender and Sexuality; Inter-Asia Mobilities and Connections

Anuj Kaushal

Graduate student

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

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

International Relations


Paromita Pain

PhD student

Education: MA Specialized Journalism, University of Southern California

Interests: Participatory media process, Citizen’s journalism,Women’s empowerment via mobile technologies


Justin Power

PhD student

Education: MA Linguistics, University of North Dakota

Middle Eastern Studies

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Bryan Sitzes

Graduate student

Education: MA, University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Environmental histories of the Persianate world

Public Affairs

Anushree Deb

Graduate student

Education: MA in Urban Policy & Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

Interests: Urban governance and development in South East Asia and India

Taylor Foody

Graduate student

Education: BA, Government, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Efficacy and transparency of social impact, corporate social responsibility, and impact investing initiatives; global development

Olivia Hay

Graduate student

Education: BA, Anthropology, Oberlin College

Interests: Tamil language, conflict management, and climate security

Adam Materne

Masters candidate in Global Policy Studies

Education: BA, Government, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests: Persian language, military affairs in South Asia, civil-military relationships in South Asia, and cybersecurity and national security

Sadikshya Nepal

Masters candidate in Global Policy Studies

Education: BA in Art History, University of Massachusetts

Interests: South Asian Migration particularly focusing on Nepal, Gender, Labor, Citizenship, and Refugee Rights

Radio, Television & Film

Nabeeha Chaudhary

PhD student

Education: MA, International Studies, University of Washington

Interests: Television in Pakistan, Changing representations of women in entertainment media, Interconnections between Cultural/Entertainment Media, Women’s Issues, and Education, Regional focus on South Asia, particularly Pakistan

Jacob Hustedt

PhD student

Education: MA, University of Sussex

Interests: Growth of urban centers of information technology in India and simultaneous emergence of LGBT activist organizations, Confluence of queer theory, New media theory, Theories of diaspora and the new global city

Swapnil Rai

PhD candidate

Education: MA (Cinematic Arts), Southern Methodist University

Interests: Media Globalization, Indian Cinema, Media Convergence, BRICS, Network Society

Ramna Walia

Graduate student

Education: MA, English, Delhi University; MPhil, Cinema Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Interests: Informal media, media industries in India, video film cultures, film remakes

Religious Studies

Evan Hanks

Graduate student

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

Hemal Trivedi

Graduate student

Education: MA in Religious Studies, Rutgers University

Interests: Mind & Ego in Indian Philosophy, Sāṅkhya-Yoga, Vedic Psychology, Vedic Astrology (Jyotiṣa), Sanskrit

Social Work

Swathi Reddy

PhD student

Education: MA Social Work, University of Chicago

Interests: Immigrant Children exposed to Interpersonal Violence, Intergenerational conflict in transnational families, Cultural perspectives on mental health. Effects of acculturation on South Asian immigrants


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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