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2020-21 IAWW Scholarship Recipients

August 31, 2020

The South Asia Center is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipients of the India Association of Western Washington (IAWW) Scholarship. The IAWW Scholarship supports the shared mission of the South Asia Center and IAWW to advance the study of Indian languages, arts, and culture. This scholarship was formalized in December 1995 with an agreement between Professor Frank Conlon and IAWW President Jagdish Sharma. The first scholarships were awarded in the 1997-1998 school year, and the scholarship has since been awarded annually to qualified graduate and undergraduate students.

The South Asia Center is a National Resource Center funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program. IAWW is a pan-Indian, secular, volunteer-driven service organization operating in the greater Seattle area.

2020-21 IAWW Scholarship Recipients

Julia Chatterjee
MA, Asian Languages & Literature

I have just received my Masters degree in South Asian Studies from the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the UW. While I attended UW, I conducted two separate research projects. First, I studied the writing systems of South Asia, specifically the phenomenon of multiscriptuality (i.e. the use of two or more scripts in a single text) in early historic inscriptions from Greater Gandhara. For this research I utilized my language training in Sanskrit and Prakrit. Second, I studied the idioms and anxieties of occult, sorcerous, and divine power in a 19th-century version of the medieval Persian romance, Dastan-e-Amir Hamza. For this project, I utilized my Urdu and Persian training. This past summer, as I finished up both of my research projects, I took an intensive elementary Bangla course so that I could learn my mother tongue. In the coming year, I look forward to doing translation work while I search for a job. Additionally, I hope to nurture my dream of writing historical fiction.

Yogasai Gazula
BA, International Studies

I am a rising senior in the International Studies program at the Jackson School, with a concentration on South Asia. I was initially drawn to South Asian Studies in order to learn more about religious traditions in India, and studied Sanskrit and Hindi in order to read classical and contemporary religious texts. After taking more classes on religion and politics in South Asia and around the world, I became interested in how other aspects of societal change continue to influence religious practices, such as transformations in labor and technology. Currently, I have been exploring these “digital humanities” approaches to studying technology and social change. I am also continuing to study Hindi in order to conduct future research in India. This past summer, I studied with the AIIS Hindi program, and will continue with the UW Hindi program during the 2020-21 academic year. After graduation, I hope to pursue graduate studies that involve a focus on South Asia.

Sauharda Rai
PhD, International Studies

I am a PhD candidate at the Jackson School of International Studies and also working on my graduate certificate in Global Health. My research focuses on understanding the mental health effect of migration in South Asia, particularly in rural Nepal. Combining social sciences, anthropological, and health sciences methods; my work looks to understand 1) The cultural concepts of mental health, autonomy, social support, and gender stigma among women in South Asia and 2) Taking this locally constructed understanding of key variables, how does the migration of their husband affect the mental health of women staying back at sending communities? I am a native Nepali speaker and also speak and read Hindi. This summer I was also the Teaching Assistant for UW’s first Nepali language workshop. In the future, I plan to work at the intersection of theory and practice – researching, writing, teaching, and at the same time spending a lot of time working with local communities back home. My work will also aim on decolonizing theories and methods in both academia and practice.