South Asia Center Presents: Collaborations, Conflicts, and Dependencies: Transnational NGOs in Bodhgaya, India

On Tuesday, February 5th, the South Asia Center has the pleasure of hosting Jason Rodriguez, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Rodriguez Headshot Resized

In this talk, Rodriguez will draw from fieldwork among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Bodhgaya, India to explore the collaborations and conflicts that inform governance in the context of transnational NGOs. The NGO he foregrounds was co-directed by local Biharis and Spaniard whose relations were characterized by a lack of trust, concerns about transparency, and divergent agendas. These collaborations were messy, characterized by complex dependencies, and were fraught with conflict over land ownership, finances, and the degree to which faith-based motivations should inform everyday NGO operations Transnational NGOs offer an important node for understanding how international inequalities manifest in everyday life in the Global South.

Professor Rodriguez pursued his dissertation research in the Indian state of Bihar on Buddhism and development in the context of both NGOs and government-led tourism development projects, paying particular attention to the influence of varieties of Buddhist practice on issues of governance and policy. He has completed a book manuscript that builds upon this research and is currently in the process of publishing. Mr. Rodriguez has also pursued research and written on race and racism in higher education, student evaluations of teaching, consumerism in the US, and teacher training and social reproduction in US public schools. He is working on a number of projects that pursue anthropological and feminist approaches to social inequality through fiction writing with the goal of reaching audiences beyond academia.

This lecture will take place at 12:30pm in 341 Eggers. We hope to see you there!