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Congratulations 2021 South Asia Studies MA Graduates!

June 7, 2021

The UW South Asia Center congratulates the 2021 graduates of the Master of Arts Program in South Asia Studies!

Urooj Hanafi

Degree: MA in South Asia Studies, Jackson School of International Studies

Research interests: Islam as practiced in South Asia; Sufism; Islamic mysticism; qawwali; female qawwals; the concept of sharafat in Pakistan; folk Islam; the role of shrines and pirs in Pakistani politics; female participation in forms of Sufism and dynastic patronage politics.

Final papers:

  • Fluidity in Performative Spaces: Maintaining Respect, Spiritual Authority and the Body in the Public Sphere
  • Sacralizing a Political Dynasty: “Kal Bhi Bhutto Zinda Tha, Aaj Bhi Bhutto Zinda Hai”

Honors & awards: Fulbright Scholarship (2019-21)

Favorite class: Anything with Prof. Purnima Dhavan and Mughal history!

Future plans: Currently looking into teaching or working for NGOs in Pakistan as I am interested in impact-driven and community-oriented work.

Advice for new students: Try to stick to a schedule, stay organized and rest when you need to! Nothing is worth damaging your body or mental health.

J. Shelby House

Degree: MA in South Asia Studies, Jackson School of International Studies

Research interests: Multispecies ethnography; critical medical anthropology; anthropology of heat; labor and ways of working; caste in Islamic societies; Sindh, Pakistan.

Final papers:

  • Viral Ethnographies: Humans, Animals, and One Health Governance in a Zoonotic Age
  • #BilloKiWapsi: Caste, Masculinity, and the Rise of Insafian Nationalism

Honors & awards: Top Scholar Fellowship (2019-2020); Summer FLAS, Advanced Urdu (2020, 2021); AY FLAS, Advanced Hindi (2020-2021); Chester Fritz International Research and Study Fellowship (2020-2021); AIIS Capstone Summer Research Funding (2020); AIPS Conference Travel Award (2020); University of Washington South Asia Studies Conference Travel Grant (2020)

Favorite class: ANTH 469: Environmental Politics and Social Justice in the Anthropocene with Prof. Radhika Govindrajan

Advice for new students: It’s easier said than done, but take care of yourself! Nothing is more important than your health and well-being, and you can’t show up fully and do your work well if you’re completely burnt out. The quarter system can be really brutal – it’s a marathon, not a sprint – but you have an incredible community of faculty and colleagues who will help you at every step of the way. Ask for extensions, communicate openly and honestly with your advisers, nourish your body with the good food around Seattle, and make time to enjoy the beauty of the city and the PNW.

Maham Nasir

Degree: MA in South Asia Studies, Jackson School of International Studies

Research interests: Anthropology of religion and the state, minority communities, citizenship, and particularly Christianity in South Asia

Final papers:

  • Islam ki rooh say aklityon ko raazi rakhna mazhabi farz hai”: The Imagined State and the Construction of Minority-Majority Relations in Pakistan’s History
  • New Religious Technologies: The Emergence of Tehreek-e-Labbaik in the Religious-Political Terrain in Pakistan

Honors & awards: Fulbright Scholarship (2019-21)

Favorite class: Gender and Sexuality in India; Theory of Socio-cultural Anthropology

Advice for new students: You are more than your research and work. Look for friendships and a sense of community in spaces that allow you to be a person outside of your work. Build relationships with your professors: they will be your mentors, your friends and your biggest support system in graduate school. Also just take a break and read fiction, it will make you a better person and a better graduate student.