First Year at UMBC

It’s been a busy here at the end of my first year at UMBC! While getting used to the new students, faculty, campus culture, Baltimore, and life on the east coast in general, I’ve had the chance to teach some excellent students, work on my book, and attend several great conferences.

Some highlights:

I taught GWST 100: Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies and GWST 340: Global Perspectives on Gender and Women in both the fall and spring this year. In GWST 100, we had a great time incorporating semi-structured debates to help students develop their analytical reasoning, argumentation, and presentation skills.

In GWST 340, we just finished the semester off with a Gender Research Symposium. Students created posters based on independent research they conducted on organizations aimed at addressing them global gender issues. The symposium was a great success with students presenting on topics ranging from HIV intervention programs in Nigeria to sex worker empowerment programs in Brazil.

In April 2012, I had the opportunity to present a draft of an article at the Yale Modern South Asia Workshop. The paper, “From NRI Zero to Indian Hero: The Indian IT Worker as Development Entrepreneur” examines how NRIs view their relationship to the Indian nation while living abroad. In it, I argue that rather than simply feeling dislocated or displaced from the nation, younger generations of NRIs are re-framing their ties to India through their volunteer work aimed at development and social uplift.

On campus at UMBC, in February 2012, I was invited to present at the Dresher Center for the Humanities Brownbag Series on the ethics of feminist ethnography. Earlier in the year, I guest lectured in Dr. Constantine Vaporis’ ASIA 100 class on my research in India.

In the fall semester, I had the chance to present at two national conferences. In October 2011, I had the chance to participate in the Feminist Pre-Conference at the 40th Annual Conference on South Asia in Madison WI. I gave a paper entitled: “From Facebook to Face-to Face Encounters: Feminist Ethnography in an Era of Globalization.” In November 2011, I presented a paper, “State-Led Feminisms, Community Responses: The Specter of Domestic Violence and Temporary Migration” at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in Atlanta, GA.

I’m looking forward to what the summer and next year hold in store.