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2017 South Asia Conference: Inequality in South Asia
February 24, 2017, 4:00 am - February 25, 2017, 2:00 pm
February 24-25 2017
Institute for Public Knowledge (IPK)
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
All events are free and open to the public
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24 2017
12.00 Noon: Welcome And Opening Remarks
Kanchan Chandra (NYU Politics) and Paula Chakravartty (NYU, Media, Communications and Culture and the Gallatin School)
12.30 – 2.00: INAUGURAL KEYNOTE: CAN CLIENTELISM IMPROVE WELFARE? AN ASSESSMENT OF PRO-POOR POLICIES IN INDIA
Dilip Mookerjee (Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)
Chair: Debraj Ray (NYU, Economics)
Prerna Singh (Brown University, Political Science)
Kanchan Chandra (NYU, Politics)
2.00: COFFEE BREAK
2.30-4.00: PANEL ON USING TECHNOLOGY TO ADDRESS INEQUALITY
Chair: Siddharth Garg (NYU Tandon School of Engineering)
“Data for Development.” Lakshmi Subramanian (NYU, Computer Science and Courant Institute of Mathematics)
“Telemedicine: Delivering Quality Eye Care to Rural India.” Cassie Thiel (NYU School of Medicine, Wagner School of Public Service, and Tandon School of Engineering)
4.00: COFFEE BREAK
4.30: KEYNOTE: FOOD SECURITY IN THE WAR ZONES OF SOUTH ASIA
Azra Talat Sayeed, Executive Director, Roots for Equity (Pakistan)
Chair: Rob Jenkins (Hunter College & CUNY, Political Science)
7.00 – 9.00: FILM “CITIES OF SLEEP,” directed by Shaunak Sen
Chair: Tejaswini Ganti (NYU, Anthropology)
Followed by Discussion with Filmmaker Shaunak Sen, moderated by Debashree Mukherjee, (Columbia University, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies)
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 25 2017
10.00-12.00 KEYNOTE: UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME: AN ANTI-CAPITALIST CRITIQUE
Nivedita Menon, Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University
Chair: Paula Chakravartty (NYU, Media, Communications and Culture and the Gallatin School)
Ravinder Kaur (Modern South Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen)
Kaushik Ghosh, (South Asia Center, University of Pennsylvania)
1.00-2.00: KEYNOTE: THE LEFT AND THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IN BANGLADESH
Sara Hossain, Supreme Court Lawyer and Executive Director, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust.
Chair: Dina Siddiqi (Anthropology, BRAC University)
2.00-2.30: COFFEE BREAK
2.30-4.00: PANEL ON THE LEFT AND ISLAM
Chair: Saadia Toor (Sociology and Anthropology, College of Staten Island)
“Turn to the Right? The Indian Left and the ‘Muslim Question’ in Post-1947 India.” Irfan Ahmad (Anthropology, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, and the Max Planck Institute, Germany)
“Wars of Terror: Linkages from North America to Sri Lanka, and Back.” Fathima Cader (Lawyer, Toronto)
“Kashmir, Caste, A-zādī/A-jātī and JNU Left-Nationalism.” Huma Dar (Race & Resistance Studies Program, Department of Ethnic Studies, SFSU)
“Maulana Bhashani: Red Maulana of East Pakistan.” Layli Uddin, (British Library, London)
4.00: COFFEE BREAK
4.30-6.00: PANEL ON SOUTH ASIAN GLOBALIZED LABOR: ADVOCACY, DOCUMENTATION AND RESEARCH
Chair: Timothy V. Johnson, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives NYU
“Bangladeshi garment labor organizing: Where transnational solidarity collides with grass-root resistance.” Nafisa Tanjeem (Rutgers, Women’s and Gender Studies)
“Using Research, Media & Technology to Amplify Workers Voices.” Chaumtoli Huq (Editor, Attorney; Law@The Margins)
“Adhikaar’s Advocacy with Nepali Immigrant Labor in New York.” Namrata Pradhan (Adhikaar/NYC)
“Interviews, Videos, Social Media and Reports: Why Preserve this Documentation of Grassroots Labor Groups?” Aruna Magier (NYU, South Asian Studies & International Relations Librarian)
Discussion: Paula Chakravartty (NYU, Media, Communications and Culture and the Gallatin School)
6.00-7.00: CLOSING KEYNOTE: INEQUALITY AND DEMOCRACY IN THE ASIAN CENTURY: THE PROMISE AND LIMITS OF INCLUSIVE GROWTH
Ananya Roy, Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles, and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA
Chair and closing remarks: David Ludden (NYU, History)
7.00-9.00 RECEPTION AND OPEN MIC PERFORMANCES (NYU STUDENTS)
Co-sponsors: Afghanistan Student Association at NYU, Bengali Student Association at NYU, Pakistani Students Association at NYU, Nepali Students Association at NYU, Indian Cultural Exchange
Department of Anthropology, Department of Computer Science, Department of Economics, Department of History, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Wilf Family Department of Politics, Tandon School of Engineering, Gallatin, Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
Irfan Ahmad. Until January 2017, Irfan Ahmad was Associate Professor of Political Anthropology at Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. From June 2017 he will work as a research fellow at The Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany. His second book Religion As Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace is to appear in the Fall from the University of North Carolina Press. He is founding Co-Editor of Journal of Religious and Political Practice, published by Taylor & Francis. With Natalie Doyle, he is also the co-editor of the volume (Il)liberal Europe: Islamophobia, Modernity and Radicalization (Routledge, 2017).
Fathima Cader is a human rights litigator in Toronto. In 2010, Fathima helped coordinate jail support for asylum seekers, including infants, had been detained upon their arrival in British Columbia from Sri Lanka. Her subsequent article, “Tamil, tiger, terrorist?,” in Briarpatch Magazine, assessed the ways Canadian refugee laws were contributing to the criminalization of refugee claimants. She is currently researching migrant work flows between Sri Lanka and the Middle East, and in particular how these economies of vulnerability are used to bolster to claims of a rising Muslim “fundamentalism” in post-2009 Sri Lanka. Preliminary parts of this research have appeared in her 2016 article “The View from Madinah” in Hazlitt, and her 2017 article “Labor of Faith: Migrant Work and Exploitation in Makkah” in The Funambulist. Her other writing on Sri Lanka has appeared in Warscapes and Apogee.
Paula Chakravartty (Steering Committee 2016-7, South Asia @ NYU) is Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communications at NYU. Her interests focus on global media and politics. Her research and teaching interests span comparative political economy of media industries, postcolonial and critical race theory, and social movements and global governance. Her recent publications include a special issue on “Infrastructures of Empire: Towards a Critical Geopolitics of Media and Information Studies,” for Media, Culture and Society (2016). She is the co-editor of Race, Empire and the Crisis of the Subprime (with Denise Ferreira da Silva, Johns Hopkins Press, 2013), the co-author, with Katharine Sarikakis, of Media Policy and Globalization (University of Edinburgh Press and Palgrave, 2006), and co-editor, with Yuezhi Zhao, of Global Communications: Towards a Transcultural Political Economy (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Her current research includes a project on new frontiers of labor and migration in India and an on-going research in the area of digital media and the new political, through her involvement in the Inter-Asia research network of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
Kanchan Chandra (Chair, Steering Committee 2016-7, South Asia @ NYU), Professor of Politics at NYU, works on questions of ethnicity, democracy, violence, patronage and clientelism, party politics and the politics of South Asia. She is editor and lead author of Democratic Dynasties (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Constructivist Theories of Ethnic Politics (Oxford University Press, 2012) and author of Why Ethnic Parties Succeed: Patronage and Ethnic Headcounts in India (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and of articles in several leading journals. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Princeton Program on Democracy and Development, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioural Sciences, the Russell Sage Foundation and research grants from the National Science Foundation, and the United States Institute of Peace.
Huma Dar‘s work is focused on the intersections and co-formations of race, religion, class, caste, gender, sexuality, and national politics of South Asia and South Asian diasporas, centered on intellectual and political activism for social justice. Dar is a feature writer at Pulse Media, a collaborative political, activist, and academic weblog. She is a founding member of the Townsend Center & Center for Race & Gender working group on “Muslim Identities & Cultures,” and organized the feminist conference, Boundaries in Question on the theme of Women and War, both at UC Berkeley.
Tejaswini Ganti is Associate Professor of Anthropology and core faculty in the Program in Culture & Media at New York University. She has been conducting research about the social world and filmmaking practices of the Hindi film industry since 1996 and is the author of Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry (Duke University Press 2012) and Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema (Routledge 2004; 2nd edition 2013). Her current research projects focus on film schools and film training in India; language ideologies, specifically the relationship between Hindi and English within the Bombay film industry; and the history of Indian cinema in the United States.
Siddharth Garg received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2009, and a B.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He joined NYU in Fall 2014 as an Assistant Professor, and prior to that, was an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo from 2010-2014. His general research interests are in computer engineering, and more particularly in secure, reliable and energy-efficient computing. In 2016, Siddharth was listed in Popular Science Magazine’s annual list of “Brilliant 10” researchers. Siddharth has received the NSF CAREER Award (2015), and paper awards at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (S&P) 2016, USENIX Security Symposium 2013, at the Semiconductor Research Consortium TECHCON in 2010, and the International Symposium on Quality in Electronic Design (ISQED) in 2009. Siddharth also received the Angel G. Jordan Award from ECE department of Carnegie Mellon University for outstanding thesis contributions and service to the community.
Kaushik Ghosh is a cultural anthropologist who focuses broadly on questions of land and displacement in Jharkhand. Trained at Princeton University, he is broadly interested in the connections between the ecological and the postcolonial and has conducted long-term historical and ethnographic research on adivasi worlds as shaped by the histories of displacement. His articles have appeared in Cultural Anthropology and Subaltern Studies among other places. He is currently completing an experimental ethnography on adivasi inhabitation of place and a book of essays on postcolonial biopolitics. He has been one of the editors of Cultural Dynamics and was a member of the editorial board of Cultural Anthropology. Currently he is affiliated to the South Asia Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a faculty at a number of institutions including University of Texas at Austin, Center for Studies in Social Sciences (Calcutta), the University of Washington (Seattle) and Shiv Nadar University.
Sara Hossain is a lawyer at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, a partner in the law firm Dr. Kamal Hossain and Associates, and an honorary executive director of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). Apart from BLAST, Hossain is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Dhaka-based human rights organisation Ain-O-Salish Kendra, a member of the Human Rights Committee of the International Law Association (ILA) and the Advisory Committee of the Women’s International Coalition on Gender Justice (WICG). Hossain played a key role in drafting Bangladesh’s first comprehensive legislation on violence against women, which went on to become law in 2010. In 2016, Hossain received the International Women of Courage Award awarded by the US Secretary of State for “empowering women and girls and for giving voice to the voiceless in Bangladesh through relentless legal advocacy.”
Chaumtoli Huq is an attorney/Editor of an innovative organization focused on law and social justice called Law@theMargins (www.lawatthemargins.com). She is also an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. Her expertise is in labor and employment, and human rights. From 2014 to 2015, she was a Senior Research Fellow with the American Institute for Bangladesh Studies (AIBS) where she researched the labor conditions of garment workers after the Rana Plaza building collapse. She has produced two short documentaries on her work in Bangladesh called Sramik Awaaz: Workers Voices, and a video on Bangladeshi women organizing in New York called Naree Shongotok. Along with holding leadership roles at Legal Services of NYC and MFY Legal Services, she also served as Director of the first South Asian Workers’ Rights Project at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, as a Skadden Fellow, and as the first staff attorney to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a multi-ethnic, immigrant and worker led labor organization. She is a contributor to the anthology Voices of Resistance: Muslim Women on War, Faith and Sexuality (Ed. Sarah Husain; Seal Press 2006), co-author of “Laying the Groundwork for Post 9-11 Alliances: Reflections Ten Years Later on Desis and Organizing” (Asian American Literary Review, Volume 2, Issue 1.5, Fall 2011) and has authored Op-Eds in Al Jazeera, Huffington Post and Daily Star, the largest English daily in Bangladesh. You can follow her on twitter @lawatmargins
Rob Jenkins is Professor of Political Science, Hunter College & The Graduate Center, City University of New York. His latest book, Politics and the Right to Work: India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (coauthored with James Manor), was published in the UK this month by Hurst, and (as of March 2017) will be available in North America from Oxford University Press.
Timothy Johnson is the Director of the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive at New York University’s Bobst Library and Co-Director of the Center for the United States and the Cold War. He is the editor of the journal American Communist History, a member of the editorial board of Science & Society and has published articles in both journals on the relationship between African Americans and the Communist Party, USA. He has been in the library profession for over thirty-five years and has served on the library staffs of Case Western Reserve University, Northwestern University, and the University of Illinois-Chicago. He has a B.A. from Earlham College (Afro-American Studies), an MLS from Case Western Reserve University, an M.A. from the City College of New York, CUNY (African History), and further coursework at Rutgers University in African Diaspora Studies.
Ravinder Kaur is Associate Professor of Modern South Asian Studies in the Department of Cross Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. She is currently engaged in two long-term research projects. The first focuses on post-reform India’s transition into an attractive ‘emerging market’ in the global political economy, and second, explores the yet unfolding connections between Asia and Africa via a study of new business connections between India, China and Ethiopia. She is the Primary Investigator of two major projects ‘Nation in Motion: Globalization, Governance and Development in New India’ (2010-2015) and ‘Emerging Worlds: Explorations of New South-South Connections’ (2014-2018). Her previous research focused on the questions of forced migration, refugee resettlement, social class and caste and the making of modern citizenship during India’s Partition in 1947. She is the author of Since 1947: Partition Narratives among Punjabi Migrants of Delhi (Oxford, 2007), editor of Religion, Violence and Political Mobilization in South Asia (Sage, 2005), co-editor of ‘Governing Difference: Identity, Inequity and Inequality in India and China’, Special Issue, Third World Quarterly (2012), co-editor of ‘Aesthetics of Arrival: Spectacle, Capital, Novelty in post-reform India’, Journal Special Issue, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power (2016), and most recently, co-editor of ‘Social Mobility in Post-reform India’, Journal Special Issue, Contemporary South Asia (2016).
David Ludden studies the very-long term history of globalization. He focused originally on southern India and then shifted his focus to Bangladesh and adjacent tropical mountains and coastal regions. He is now finishing a book entitled Global Asia: Making Space for Modernity, to narrate the expansive formation of spaces of connectivity in Asia over two millennia before 1850.
Aruna Magier Phd, MLS, is on NYU’s faculty as South Asia Librarian and International Relations Librarian at Bobst Library, previously serving on the teaching faculty at Rutgers, Columbia, and University of Pennsylvania. With her responsibility to shape NYU’s interdisciplinary print and digital research collections and primary sources from and about South Asia, and to create online research guides to support scholars working in this broad field, Dr. Magier has been focusing on the collection on issues of gender and sexuality, environmental studies, and labor.
Nivedita Menon is Professor in the Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. She writes with a feminist perspective on political theory and contemporary politics and has published widely in both Indian and international academic journals. Menon regularly contributes to debates on current issues in newspapers and the team blog kafila.online. Her books are Seeing Like a Feminist (2012), the edited volume Sexualities (2007), Power and Contestation: India Since 1989 (2014, co-authored with Aditya Nigam), and Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law (2004). Menon also translates fiction between Hindi, Malayalam and English and has been involved in a wide range of political and social movements.
Dilip Mookherjee teaches economics at Boston University. He received his PhD from the London School of Economics in 1982, and has previously taught at Stanford University and the Indian Statistical Institute. His research interests include development economics, contract and organization theory. Recent projects on the Indian economy include rural development; microfinance and financial development, entrepreneurship and governance reforms. He is Lead Academic of the IGC India Central Program, and serves on the editorial board of Ideas For India.
Debashree Mukherjee is an assistant professor in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University. She works on modern South Asian visual cultures and industries, with a focus on late colonial Bombay cinema. Trained as a filmmaker she has worked in the Bombay’s film and television industries on projects such as Omkara (dir. Vishal Bhardwaj, 2006). Her current book project, Parallel Action: Cinema and the Practice of Modernity, presents a cultural history of early Bombay cinema (1920s-1940s) that privileges material practice and circuits of work. Debashree is currently a core editor with the peer-reviewed journal, BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies.
Namrata Pradhan was a human rights lawyer in Nepal. When she moved to the US, she found employment as a domestic worker. As an Organizer at Adhikaar, an organization that supports the Nepali-speaking community in New York, Namrata organizes workers to fight for their rights. She graduated from the SOL leadership program: https://www.domesticworkers.org//sol-strategy-organizing-and-leadership and is a newly elected board member of the National Domestic Workers Association (NDWA).
Debraj Ray is currently Julius Silver Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, and Professor of Economics at New York University. Ray has held long-term positions at Stanford University, the Indian Statistical Institute, and at Boston University, and visiting appointments at Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and the London School of Economics, among other institutions. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Econometric Society, and the Society for Economic Theory, a Guggenheim Fellow. He is a recipient of the Mahalanobis Memorial Medal, and the Outstanding Young Scientists Award in Mathematics from the Indian National Science Academy. He is a past Foreign Editor of the Review of Economic Studies and Co-editor of the Econometric Society journal, Theoretical Economics. Ray is currently Co-Editor of the American Economic Review.
Ananya Roy is Professor of Urban Planning and Social Welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles, and inaugural Director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin. Ananya’s scholarship has focused on urban transformations in the global South, new regimes of global financialization, and most recently, the urban land question. Her authored and co-edited books include City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty; Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia; Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global; Poverty Capital: Microfinance and the Making of Development; Territories of Poverty: Rethinking North and South; and Encountering Poverty: Thinking and Acting in an Unequal World.
Azra Talat Sayeed has worked with small and landless farmers, particularly women in Pakistan for the past 21 years, struggling for food sovereignty in her country and Asia. She is the Executive Director, Roots for Equity formed in 1997, as part of the anti-globalization movement and has fought against the WTO and neoliberal policies, fighting for farmer’s rights. Azra serves on the Steering Committee, People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), a global coalition fighting for small producers. She is also the Chairperson for the International Women’s Alliance. She obtained her Ph.D in Social Pharmacy in 1995 from the University of Minnesota, USA.
Shaunak Sen is a filmmaker, video artist and film-scholar based in Delhi. ‘Cities of Sleep’ (2016) his first feature length documentary film that has shown and won awards at various major international film festivals including the Taiwan International Film Festival, Seattle South Asian Film Festival, Dok Leipzig Documentary Festival, and the New York Indian Film Festival. He co-curated a live-event installation called Downtime held simultaneously at Delhi and Berlin (at the Goethe Institute in New Delhi and Neukölln in Berlin) in November 2014. He also co-curated a live performance/video installation event ‘Notes on Mourning’ at Khoj Studios in January 2015 (co-curated by Arnika Ahldag and Amitesh Grover).He curated the group exhibition ‘A Brief History of Horizontality’ for Stadtgalerie in Bern, Switzerland in May 2016. He has been a recipient of the Copycat Academy Residency, curated by Hannah Hurtzig at the Luminatos Film Festival in Toronto in June 2015, the Pro Helvetia residency in Switzerland for 2016 and the Digital and Social Media Fellowship from Sarai in 2014, as well as the Films Division of India Documentary Film Fellowship in 2013. A mass communication graduate of AJK MCRC Jamia Milia, New Delhi he is currently enrolled as a PhD student at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at the Jawahar Lal Nehru University in Delhi. His academic writing has been published in various journals including Bioscope and Widescreen. He has also worked as a journalist for Tehelka and as a freelance investigative journalist for other media portals.
Dina M. Siddiqi divides her time between New York and Dhaka, where she is Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Economics and Socials Sciences, BRAC University. Her publications, grounded in the study of Bangladesh, cover a broad spectrum: the global garment industry; gender justice and non-state dispute resolution systems, and the intersections of Islam, nationalism and feminist cultural politics. Siddiqi is on the editorial board of Routledge’s Women in Asia Publication Series, a member of the South Asia Council of the Association of Asian Studies (AAS), and on the Gender Advisory Council of the Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS). She is also part of the Advisory Council of the South Asian Network of Gender Activists and Trainers (SANGAT). She is currently a fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD) at Columbia University.
Prerna Singh is Mahatma Gandhi Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies and faculty fellow at the Watson Institute, and co-convenor of the Brown-Harvard-MIT Joint Seminar in South Asian Politics. Prior to joining Brown, she taught in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Her book How Solidarity Works for Welfare: Subnationalism and Social Development in India (Cambridge University Press 2016) was awarded the Woodrow Wilson prize by the American Political Science Association and the Barrington Moore prize by the American Sociological Association. Singh’s articles have been published in several journals, including Comparative Political Studies, Comparative Politics, World Development, World Politics, and Studies in Comparative International Development. Singh is the co-editor of the Handbook of Indian Politics (Routledge 2013). She is presently working on a book that compares the differential success of interventions against disease across and within China and India.
Lakshminarayanan Subramanian is an Associate Professor in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU. His research interests are in the areas of networked systems and data science with applications in computing for development (also referred by the acronymn ICTD). He leads the Open Networks and Big Data Lab and is a member of the NYU Systems group. He is associated with the Center for Technology and Economic Development, Center for Data Science and NYU WIRELESS.
Nafisa Tanjeem is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies of Rutgers University. Her research in the USA and Bangladesh aspires to develop new insights into labor activism, examining different actors and institutions located across various nodes of the apparel supply chain. Nafisa has extensive undergraduate teaching experiences at Rutgers University in the USA, University of Toronto in Canada, and University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. She has closely worked with various activist groups and organizations such as United Students against Sweatshops in the USA, Council of Agencies Serving South Asians in Canada, and Bangladesh Garment Sromik Sanghati (Bangladesh Garment Workers’ Solidarity) and “Meye” (Women) network in Bangladesh.
Cassandra Thiel is an Assistant Professor at New York University in the School of Medicine, the Wagner School of Public Service, and the Tandon School of Engineering. Her research utilizes life cycle assessment and principles of industrial ecology to analyze and improve the environmental performance of infrastructure systems, hospital design, healthcare practice, and medical technologies. As a 2014-2015 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence fellow, Dr. Thiel calculated the environmental footprint of cataract surgery at Aravind Eye Care System in southern India, finding that Aravind’s carbon footprint for phacoemulsification was 5% of the same surgery done in the United Kingdom. She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and BS from Michigan Technological University, both in Civil Engineering. Her graduate training was supported by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and an NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT).
Saadia Toor is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Staten Island. Dr Toor’s scholarship revolves around issues of culture, nationalism, gender/sexuality, state formation, and international political economy. Her book, The State of Islam: Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan was published by Pluto Press in 2011. A special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly on the theme of Solidarity co-edited by Dr Toor was published in November 2014.
Layli Uddin is a social historian of late 19th and 20th century East Bengal and Bangladesh. She recently completed her PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis explored the political mobilisation of peasants and workers in the making and unmaking of East Pakistan, and the emergence of Bangladesh. In particular, she explored their relationship to the charismatic Sufi leader and politician Maulana Bhashani. At present, she is the research curator of the British Library ‘Two Centuries of Indian Print’ project.