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Faculties and Administrators

 

Faculty

Abhishek Amar

Prof. Abhishek S. Amar
(Hamilton College)

Abhishek S. Amar specializes in the archaeological history of South Asian religions. He received his doctorate in history from SOAS, University of London, and then got a fellowship from Kate Hamburger Kolleg at Ruhr University, Germany. He is now working on a monograph that examines the issues of expansion, sustenance and religious transformation of Buddhism at the site of Buddha’s enlightenment. He directs a digital research project, Sacred Centers in India, which examines material, culture and texts to unravel the histories of the Hindu and Buddhist cities of Gaya and Bodhgaya, respectively.

Areas of expertise: archaeological history of South Asian religions, especially Buddhist and Hindu traditions; research in themes of inter-religious dynamics, syncretism and religious transformation; colonialism and reconfigurations of sacred centers; and religion and water management in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions

Prof. Chandreyi Basu

Prof. Chandreyi Basu
(St. Lawrence University)

Chandreyi Basu trained as an historian and art historian in India and Italy before earning a Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. She is interested in researching issues of identity formation, gender, patronage and cross-cultural interaction in ancient Indian art. She has written a catalogue and several essays about early Buddhist sculpture from northwestern India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and she regularly conducts fieldwork in Mathura, a small town located 90 miles southeast of Delhi. Her current research focuses on the beliefs and lifestyles of cattle and sheep herders and their impact on religious art in ancient Mathura. Read her work here.

Her courses on Buddhist Art, South Asian art, and Gender Issues compare art cross culturally. She also teaches a course that examines the Taj Mahal as an icon of Islamic Architecture. She traveled to Thailand with students from her Buddhist Art and Ritual class in 2003 and she has been involved with the NYSICCSI program since 2001. She will be directing the program in 2017 with a thematic focus on youth culture.

Prof. Sheila Bennett

Prof. Sheila Bennett
(Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Sheila Bennett, Emerita Professor of Sociology and Asian Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is an interdisciplinary sociologist whose scholarly interests include the study of contemporary Tibet and Tibetans, ayurveda, the history and philosophy of yoga, social change in women’s economic roles, and processes of desecularization in the contemporary Middle East and South Asia. She received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and held faculty and senior administrative positions at Emory University and Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr Colleges prior to appointment at Hobart and William Smith. Her published research includes studies of social change in the life course, women’s career mobility, and the impact of institutional climates on teaching evaluation and student achievement, as well as multiple consultancies on study abroad programming and assessment. Her current work focuses on the social construction of historical memories of the Armenian genocide. A much-traveled and long-time student of South Asia, she directed the Consortium’s program in 2009 and 2011.

Prof. Natalia Singer

Prof. Natalia Singer
(St. Lawrence University)

Natalia Rachel Singer, the Craig Professor of English at St. Lawrence University, directed the NYSICCSI program in 2014. The author of Scraping by in the Big Eighties, a memoir, and co-editor of Living North Country: Essays on Life and Landscapes in Northern New York, Singer specializes in the literature and poetics of place. She has taught environmental writing in India and the Adirondacks, travel writing in St. Lawrence’s Global Francophone Cultures Program, and memoir in workshops around the U.S. Her essays and stories have been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The American Scholar, Harper’s, Redbook, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Best Writing on Writing, The North American Review, where she is a contributing editor, and other magazines and journals. She is completing a novel set in France and is at work on a travel memoir set in India, On Temple Road.

At St. Lawrence University and on the NYSICCSI program she has taught the work of many contemporary Indian and Anglo authors who write about India, including Salman Rushdie, William Dalrymple, Vandana Shiva, and Katherine Boo. The theme of her 2014 program was “The River Goddess and the Desert Step Well: an Ecological, Literary, and Historical Journey through North India.”

Prof. Lisa Trivedi

Prof. Lisa Trivedi
(Hamilton College)

Lisa Trivedi, a cultural and social historian of modern South Asia, received her doctorate from the University of California at Davis. Her first monograph, Clothing Gandhi’s Nation: Homespun and Modern India (Indiana, 2007) was supported by a Fulbright Scholarship to India in 1996. She was a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University’s Pembroke College, where she began research on her second monograph, Bound By Cloth: women textile workers in Bombay and Lancashire, 1890-1940. She directed the NYSICCSI program in 2007 and 2010.

Trivedi recently finished work on a project of 70 photographs of ordinary women at work in Ahmedabad, India, taken by Pranlal Patel, in 1937. She oversaw the first-time publication of the photos and curated their exhibition at Hamilton’s Wellin Museum of Art.

Areas of expertise: cultural and social history of modern South Asia, specializing in the history of nationalism, colonialism and women

Prof. Vikash Yadav

Prof. Vikash Yadav
(Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Vikash Yadav works at the intersection of Political Science, International Relations, and Asian Studies. He earned his doctorate in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is on the relationship between sovereignty, security, and identity in South Asia, as well as, the political economy of international aid and development assistance in South Asia. He is an Executive Editor at Asian Affairs: An American Review, published quarterly by Taylor & Francis. Professor Yadav directed the NYSICCSI program in 2013.

   
Administrators  

Yogesh Kumar Wadhwa (Resident Director)

Yogesh Kumar Wadhwa
(Resident Director)

Yogesh Wadhwa is responsible for organizing program logistics which includes travel, lodging, and organizing home stays accommodation during the semester. He assists students with their visa, travel arrangements, health concerns, communications, and generally acculturating to life in India. He is also responsible for managing program finances in India and assisting Faculty Director with student disciplinary matters among other things.

Yogesh has been a part of NYSICCSI since Spring 2013. He is an avid cyclist, also a player of Cricket and Badminton. Either he loves folding himself in a quiet corner with coffee in one hand and a book in another or climbing mountains in some part of the country.