New Faces at the South Asia Center - 2013
We are happy to welcome Dr. Rashmi Gangamma to the SAC
community this year. An assistant professor in the David B. Falk College of
Sport and Human Dynamics, Rashmi’ s appointment is within the Marriage and
Family Therapy department.
She joins us from Ohio State University, where she earned
her Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy and conducted post-doctoral research.
Prior to that Rashmi spent her childhood and early academic career in Mysore, a
city located in the southwestern state of Karnataka.
Rashmi began studying Psychology at the University of Mysore
before transitioning into social work. She says of India, “There, social work
is not established as a separate discipline.” This fixed structure inspired her
to look abroad for further, more interdisciplinary study. Her work looks
primarily at fairness in relationships among heterosexual couples. Her approach
is a symptomatic one; she views distress in a relationship as symptomatic of
something going on in the larger system of an individual.
Additionally Rashmi is working with the National Institute
of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Karnataka to build a training program for
therapists in India. Rashmi has a warmth and kindness that instantly puts one
at ease, qualities which certainly make her an asset to her field.
Anisha Saxena comes to Syracuse as a Fulbright fellow from
New Delhi. Her scholarship focuses on contested sacred spaces in India,
specifically in Kutch, Udaipur, and Jodhpur. Anisha’s research involves
understanding religious pluralism in the world’s largest democracy. She seeks
to explore how different populations and different faiths have found their own
significance in the same sacred spaces.
While she is in Syracuse, she will dedicate the bulk of her
time to research and writing, taking full advantage of her fellowship. When she
leaves in June, Anisha plans to return to India to submit her dissertation. In
the future, she hopes to continue her academic work on South Asian spaces.
Anisha began her academic career with a Master’s program at
the National Museum Institute in New Delhi. She is a trained art historian and
completed her Master’s thesis on early Harappan pottery motives. This initial
work generated her interest in the role of symbols in religion.
In her free time,
Anisha is fond of gardening and visiting museums. She has spent a great deal of
time abroad, traveling and furthering her academic career. Find out more about
her research when Anisha gives a talk on Tuesday, February 5 in 100 Eggers at
Dr. Lars Rodseth is a new faculty member in the Anthropology
department. He came to Syracuse University last year after spending 17 years
teaching at the University of Utah. He identifies himself a theoretical and
His initial interest in the South Asian region, which
continues in his current work, began in Nepal in 1990. Lars conducted long-term
fieldwork in Nepal studying marriage systems, religious associations, and the
political history of a Tibetan Buddhist town. Shortly thereafter, the political
situation in Nepal bubbled over and this area became a less accessible research
site for Lars leading him to expand upon an early interest in comparative
perspectives by shifting his fieldwork to the United States.
These days he is beginning a project on a particular
community of Indian Americans, who originate from the West Indies, specifically
Trinidad and Guyana. He has made preliminary visits to the Richmond Hill
neighborhood of Queens, where there is a large Indo-Caribbean population. In
Fall 2012, he taught a first year graduate core course in addition to a new,
experimental course called Ungoverned Spaces. He uses these curricula to delve
deeper into South Asian topics, including the implications of geographically
removed spaces in this region of the world.