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New Fellows and GSAs, clockwise from top left: Khyati Tripathi, Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Liaquat Channa, Ajmal Khan Areethala, Ian Talbot, Tania Saeed, Shristee Sethi, Annie Rachel Royson, Kartik Srivastava, Sarah Shaukat, Tyler M. Richard, Pariroo Rattan, Vaishnavi Patil, Natasha Murtaza, Nusrat Jahan Mim, Ashutosh Bhuradia, Sarthak Agarwal, Hansong Li, Ronak Jain, Akshay Govind Dixit. 

The Mittal Institute fosters South Asian scholarship by hosting Fellows and Graduate Student Associates. Fellows are scholars and practitioners who come to Harvard to utilize the university’s resources to contribute to self-driven, independent research. Graduate Student Associates (GSAs) are graduate and Ph.D students who hail from across the different schools at Harvard, who conduct research focused on South Asia. This Academic Year 2022-23 we welcome 8 Fellows and 12 GSAs.

Fellows – Cambridge

Ajmal Khan Areethala is the Raghunathan Family Fellow. He works at the intersection of Environment, Development, and Democratic Politics in India.

Yaqoob Khan Bangash, a United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) Fulbright Fellow, is a historian of Modern South Asia and a current Fulbright Fellow at the Mittal Institute. His current research interests lie in the emergence of Pakistan as a post-colonial state, with broader interests in decolonisation, modern state formation, formation of identities, and the emergence of ethnic and identity based conflicts.

Liaquat Channa, the Syed Babar Ali fellow, is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering & Management Sciences (BUITEMS), Quetta, Pakistan. His broad areas of interest are Hidden Curriculum and Second/Foreign Language Textbooks, Educational/Applied Linguistics, Second/Foreign Language Teacher Identity; Language Policy and Planning, Second/Foreign Language Learning and Teaching, Bilingual Education, and English as a/the Medium of Instruction.

Tania Saeed, a Visiting Scholar and Marie Curie Fellow, is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan. Her research focuses on Comparative and International Education, exploring questions around education in relation to securitization, citizenship and social justice.

Ian Talbot, a Visiting Scholar and emeritus Professor from University of South Hampton, focuses on the Environmental History of South Asia. His previous research was on British diplomacy in Pakistan.

Khyati Tripathi, the Jamnalal Kaniram Bajaj Trust Visiting Research Fellow, is a death scholar and, through her work, she tries to bring together events, emotions and practises related to death to explore the psychosocial significance and intricate connections between them. She is interested in exploring the ‘sacred’ in death and the pure and impure aspects of it. Her work is based at the intersection of social anthropology, psychology, and psychoanalysis.

Fellows – Delhi 

Annie Rachel Royson, a Mittal Institute India Fellow, is a literary scholar whose research lies at the intersections of translation, South Asian literature, religious studies, travel writing, and memory studies.

Srishtee Sethi, a Mittal Institute India Fellow, largely works within the ambit of Borderlands and Migration and has completed her Ph.D research on the same from Tata Institute of Social Sciences. As a Sociologist she is interested in the lifeworlds of borderland communities and how ‘border management’ encompasses their aspirations.

Graduate Student Associates – Cambridge

Sarthak Agarwal is a first-year doctoral student of Population Health Sciences with a focus on Public Health Nutrition. His academic interests include food security and nutrition as well as the policies and laws governing them.

Ashutosh Bhuradia is a Ph.D student in the Education Policy and Program Evaluation Concentration at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, where is a recipient of the Presidential Fellowship. His research focuses on better understanding the development of non-cognitive skills such as teamwork, digital literacy, and goal setting, among low-income youth and first-generation college students in South Asia.

Akshay Govind Dixit is a Ph.D. student of Political Economy & Government at Harvard University. His work focuses on youth civic engagement and the policy economy of public goods provision.

Ronak Jain is a Ph.D. student in Economics at Harvard University. Her research interests lie in the intersection of economic development and behavioral economics. Her work seeks to understand how beliefs and preferences shape economic and psychological outcomes of individuals and communities, with a regional focus on South Asia.

Hansong Li is a political scientist and intellectual historian in the Government Department at Harvard University. His research explores the languages and practices of interstate justice in South Asia, in comparison to East Asian and European traditions. In particular, he studies Vedic and later Sanskrit sources of social thought, and how they are reimagined in modern political and economic debates over diplomacy and development.

Natasha Murtaza is a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University. Her research focuses on political party behavior and bureaucratic politics, studying when and how governing parties build impartial and effective state institutions.

Nusrat Jahan Mim is a Doctor of Design candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Her research work is focused on studying the socio-economic politics embedded in resource-constrained contexts of the Global South and designing novel and creative urban spaces to facilitate an inclusive and democratic participation of the marginalized communities there.

Vaishnavi Patil is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University in the History of Art and Architecture department working on South and Southeast Asia. She is interested in studying female deities, especially mother goddesses in South Asia. Her work seeks to understand the networks of transmissions of ideas and imagery, the role of artists, patrons, and devotees in shaping religion, and the reciprocity and connectedness in the religions of South Asia, through the sacred feminine.

Pariroo Rattan is a rising G4 in the Ph.D student in Public Policy program and affiliated with Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Science, Technology and Society. Her doctoral work looks at how state-led efforts towards the digitization of the economy in India transforms economic subjectivity and citizenship, and explores the new regimes of value creation in a data economy.

Tyler M. Richard is a translator and scholar of South Asian literature. He is currently a  Harvard University Ph.D candidate, where he explores how different communities—especially those in South Asia—have articulated and explored questions related to beauty, identity, language, and perception.

Kartik Srivastava is a Ph.D candidate at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. His research focuses on development economics, labor economics, and political economy.

Sarah Shaukat is a third-year Ph.D student in the economics and public policy program at Tufts University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of development, behavioral, and labor economics.