Faculty Updates

Carol M Babiracki presented a paper, “Making it in Modernity: Sustainability and Vernacular Music Professionals” at the Conference on the Music of South, Central, and West Asia at Harvard University in March; organized and presented at the CNY Humanities Corridor mini-seminar “Taking Sides: Music Research, and Activism in India” at Syracuse University in April 2016; and co-organized and presented on the roundtable “Between Fiction and Ethnography” at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology in Washington D.C. in November.


Prema Ann Kurien published several articles this year including “Race, Religion, and the Political Incorporation of Indian Americans,” in the Journal of Religious and Political Practice and “Contemporary Ethno-Religious Groups and Political Activism in the United States” in Politics and Religion in America. Kurien is also serving as the Chair-Elect for the Asia and Asian America section of the American Sociological Association.


Ann Grodzins Gold was selected as the subject for a Portrait in the journal Religion and Society: Advances in Research. The 2016 issue includes Gold's own reflections on being a anthropologist of religion and four essays by other scholars who review her contributions to the field. In addition, Gold published a chapter, "Carving place: Foundational narratives from a North Indian market town," in her colleague Joanne Waghorne’s edited volume Place/No-Place in Urban Asian Religiosity.


Tej Bhatia gave a plenary address at the Indo-French International Conference on Hindi Studies on “Discovering the European Hindi Grammatical Tradition.” He gave a second plenary address at the 46th Conference of the New York State Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). His presentation centered on the key issue of how to empower rural farmers of India (and similar population)—economically and linguistically— by forging the new partnerships between social networking and marketing models. Bhatia was also a featured speaker at the National Association for Bilingual Education in Chicago.


Romita Ray wrapped up her year-long NEH Fellowship at the end of December 2016, which allowed her to go on a detective hunt in archives, museums, and research institutes in India, UK, and Sri Lanka, in search of material for her book tentatively titled, From Two Leaves and a Bud: The Visual Cultures of Tea in Colonial India. Romita has been chronicling her tea adventures in blogpost she has been invited to write for teabox.com. She also has three publications forthcoming in 2017 related to Calcutta and the China Tea Trade, indigo and the politics of color, and the 19th century American artist Edwin Lord Weeks’ preoccupation with royal India (a painting by Weeks in the SUArt Galleries inspired her to write the last essay).


Farhana Sultana co-edited a book, Eating, Drinking: Surviving, delivered a keynote lecture at the University of Helsinki, and gave a TED style talk on water justice to 700 students and educators, among other activities and publications.


Cecilia Van Hollen joined the Editorial Board of Maternal and Child Health to focus on submissions relating to South Asia. In the Economic and Politcal Weekly, Van Hollen published an article, “Feminist Critical Medical Anthropology Methodologies: Implications for understanding gender and healthcare in India.” She was also awarded the 2016 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award for her commitment to excellence in graduate teaching and mentoring at Syracuse University.