Mr Taberez Ahmed Neyazi has been selected as Visiting Fellow for the East-West Center Visiting Fellow Programme for 2009-2010 by the East-West Centre located in Hawaii for research in the broad area of deepening of democracy in India. Taberez joined the South Asian Studies Programme for a PhD after securing an M. Phil in Political Studies from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. Taberez has successfully defended his doctoral thesis in May 2009. His thesis engaged with the causes and consequences of the rise of the Hindi language media in India. The doctoral project has resulted in the acceptance of a paper in the prestigious journal, Media, Culture and Society. Taberez has also published papers on Indian Muslims in the Asian Journal of Political Science and in the Journal of Muslim and Minority Affairs.
His post-doctoral project on media and politics in India at the East-West Center seeks to explore the relationship between the rise of the vernacular media, and a phenomenon that is popularly known as India’s “democratic upsurge”. India’s is not only the most populous democracy – it is one where people from lower caste and class groups are increasingly beginning to participate in electoral politics. Taberez’s main hypothesis is that the process of the deepening of India’s democracy has occurred largely due to the rise of the vernacular media with its ability to reach the masses that could not be reached by English newspapers and television.
Dr Sujoy Dutta received a PhD in South Asian Studies from NUS in December 2008. He has recently been appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. The present appointment includes teaching Microeconomics and Agricultural economics at the undergraduate level. He is also involved in designing a module on research methodology for doctorate students who come from a variety of disciplines. His research interests includes transformation of peasant economies in South Asia and political economy of development and change in South Asia.
Ms Gauri S. Pathak has won funding to pursue doctoral studies in the Medical Anthropology programme of the University of Arizona. Gauri came to SASP with a BBA degree from the NUS Business School. Her strong interest in the Social Sciences drew her to the South Asian Studies Programme where she wrote a Master’s thesis on the social organisation and identity of the Dabbawallas in Mumbai, India.
At the University of Arizona Gauri will pursue further studies in the area of South Asian medical anthropology. Her interests lie in examining cultures of biomedicine, the indigenisation of biomedical conceptualisations, and tensions between cultural variations and globalising influences on medical knowledge, as well as the themes of subjectivity, embodiment, and citizenship. As it undergoes rapid change, South Asia provides fertile material on such themes and the practiced medicine resulting from globalisation’s homogenising and heterogenising forces, and she is interested in lived experiences and narratives of illness, especially chronic and psychiatric conditions, in the region. For doctoral research, she plans to zoom in on the subjective experiences of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), their families, and their health professionals in an urban Indian cultural world.