Research Programs: Fellowship Programs at Independent Research Institutions

Period of Performance

10/1/2003 - 12/31/2008

Funding Totals

$210,000.00 (approved)
$210,000.00 (awarded)

Research Fellowships for Senior Humanists to Work in India

FAIN: RA-50002-03

American Institute of Indian Studies (Chicago, IL 60637-1539)
Frederick M. Asher (Project Director: September 2002 to October 2002)
Ralph W. Nicholas (Project Director: October 2002 to July 2009)

Depending upon the length of tenure of the awards, three or four fellowships per year for three years.

This proposal seeks support for the award of fellowships to post-doctoral scholars in all fields of the humanities to enable them to undertake their research projects in India.

Associated Products

Disquieting Gifts: Humanitarianism in New Delhi (Book)
Title: Disquieting Gifts: Humanitarianism in New Delhi
Author: Erica Bornstein
Abstract: "Disquieting Gifts" takes a close look at people working on humanitarian projects in New Delhi to explore why they engage in philanthropic work, what humanitarianism looks like to them, and the ethical and political tangles they encounter. Bornstein investigates specific cases of people engaged in humanitarian work to reveal different perceptions of assistance to strangers versus assistance to kin, how the impulse to give to others in distress is tempered by its regulation, suspicions about recipient suitability, and why the figure of the orphan is so valuable in humanitarian discourse. The book also focuses on vital humanitarian efforts that often go undocumented and ignored and explores the role of empathy in humanitarian work
Year: 2012
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Stanford University Press
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: WorldCat
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780804770026
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes

Sur's Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition (Book)
Title: Sur's Ocean: Poems from the Early Tradition
Author: Surdas
Editor: Kenneth E. Bryant
Abstract: Surdas has been regarded as the epitome of artistry in Old Hindi religious poetry from the end of the sixteenth century, when he lived, to the present day. His fame rests upon his remarkable refashioning of the widely known narrative of the cowherd deity Krishna and his lover Radha into lyrics that are at once elegant and approachable. Surdas’s popularity led to the proliferation, through an energetic oral tradition, of poems ascribed to him, known as the Sursagar. This is a new edition in Devanagari script and a lyrical English translation. This volume reconstructs the early tradition of Surdas’s verse—the 433 poems that were known to the singers of Surdas’s own time as his.
Year: 2015
Primary URL:
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Type: Translation
ISBN: 9780674427778
Translator: John Stratton Hawley
Copy sent to NEH?: Yes

Quarantined: Women and the Partition (Book Section)
Title: Quarantined: Women and the Partition
Author: Debali Mookerjea-Leonard
Editor: Debali Mookerjea-Leonard
Editor: Rini Bhattacharya Mehta
Abstract: This book presents an examination of fictional representations, in books and films, of the 1947 Partition that led to the creation of the sovereign nation-states of India and Pakistan. While the process of representing the Partition experience through words and images began in the late 1940s, it is only in the last few decades that literary critics and film scholars have begun to analyse the work. The emerging critical scholarship on the Partition and its aftermath has deepened our understanding of the relationship between historical trauma, collective memory, and cultural processes, and this book provides critical readings of literary and cinematic texts on the impact of the Partition both in the Punjab and in Bengal. The collection assembles studies on Anglophone writings with those on the largely unexplored vernacular works, and those which have rarely found a place in discussions on the Partition. It looks at representations of women's experiences of gendered violence in the Partition riots, and how literary texts have filled in the lack of the 'human dimension' in Partition histories. The book goes on to highlight how the memory of the Partition is preserved, and how the creative arts' relation to public memory and its place within the public sphere has changed through time. Collectively, the essays present a nuanced understanding of how the experience of violence, displacement, and trauma shaped postcolonial societies and subjectivities in the Indian subcontinent. (book description)
Year: 2014
Publisher: Routledge
Book Title: The Indian Partition in Literature and Films: History, Politics, and Aesthetics
ISBN: 9781138781801

“Religion and the Public Sphere in Premodern India,” (Article)
Title: “Religion and the Public Sphere in Premodern India,”
Author: Christian Novetzke
Abstract: When in 1962 Habermas formulated his theory of the public sphere as “a society engaged in critical debate” he sought to describe something he felt was unique to the modern liberal democratic Western world. Yet the creation of discursive spheres where people across lines of social difference debate questions of the common good, mutual interest, and forms of equality long predates the modern era and flourished well outside the “Western” world. This essay adapts Habermas’ influential concept to highlight the emergence of a nascent public sphere at the earliest layers of Marathi literary creation in 13th century India. At this inaugural stage of a regional language’s full shift to writing, we see traces of a debate in the language of everyday life that struggled over the ethics of social difference, a public deliberation that might presage key aspects of Indian modernity and democracy today.
Year: 2018
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: web site of the journal
Access Model: open access
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Asiatische Studien—Etudes Asiatiques 72, 1
Publisher: De Gruyter

The Political Theology of Bhakti, or when Devotionalism Meets Vernacularization,” (Book Section)
Title: The Political Theology of Bhakti, or when Devotionalism Meets Vernacularization,”
Author: Christian Novetzke
Editor: Christian Lee Novetzke
Editor: John Stratton Hawley
Abstract: Is bhakti a language of power or of pro test?” This is a very provocative question. Bhakti informs a vast literature, but does it constitute a language? If we think of a language as a symbolic system oriented around expressing something, it does seem right to call bhakti a language. Bhakti forms a symbolic system for communicating the sentiment of devotion, and like other languages it has its own dictionary
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: University of Washington Press web site
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Book Title: Bhakti and Power: Debating India’s Religion of the Heart
ISBN: 9780295745503

A Mother in a War: Jahanara Imam’s Memoir Ekattorer Dinguli (Book Section)
Title: A Mother in a War: Jahanara Imam’s Memoir Ekattorer Dinguli
Author: Debali Mookerjea-Leonard
Editor: Doaa Omran
Editor: Feroza Jussawalla
Abstract: Jahanara Imam’s war memoir Days of ’71 presents an eye-witness account of the nine-month long liberation struggle blending a personal narrative with the political destiny of the nation. Through the lens of her memoir, this paper explores women’s roles in war. It examines Imam as a nationalist in the unfolding political ferment and the continuing negotiations she undertakes with respect to Bengali nationalism in East Pakistan. Despite her staggering losses, Imam had a stake in nationalism, and her motherhood, as powerful as she feels it, does not obviate that. Finally, the paper asks whether a biological category like “motherhood” is relevant to the analyses and understanding of social phenomena such as war.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Taylor & Francis website
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: publisher web site
Access Model: open access through Taylor & Francis
Publisher: Routledge
Book Title: Muslim Women’s Writing from across South and Southeast Asia
ISBN: 9781032163215

The Emergence of Brand-Name Capitalism in Late Colonial India; Advertising and the Making of Middle-Class Conjugality (Book)
Title: The Emergence of Brand-Name Capitalism in Late Colonial India; Advertising and the Making of Middle-Class Conjugality
Author: Douglas Haynes
Abstract: This book examines the emergence of professional advertising in western India during the interwar period. It explores the ways in which global manufacturers advanced a 'brand-name capitalism' among the Indian middle class by promoting the sale of global commodities during the 1920s and 1930s, a time when advertising was first introduced in India as a profession and underwent critical transformations.Analysing the cultural strategies, both verbal and visual, used by foreign businesses in their advertisements to capture urban consumers, Haynes argues that the promoters of various commodities crystalized their campaigns around principles of modern conjugality. He also highlights the limitations of brand-name capitalism during this period, examining both its inability to cultivate markets in the countryside or among the urban poor, and its failure to secure middle-class customers. With numerous examples of illustrated advertisements taken from Indian newspapers, the book discusses campaigns for male sex tonics and women's medicines, hot drinks such as Ovaltine and Horlicks, soaps such as Lifebuoy, Lux and Sunlight, cooking mediums such as Dalda and electrical household technologies. By examining the formation of 'brand-name capitalism' and two key structures that accompanied it- the advertising agency and the field of professional advertising- this book sheds new light on the global consumer economy in interwar India, and places developments in South Asia into a larger global history of consumer capitalism.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: publisher web site
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781350278042
Copy sent to NEH?: No

The Guru Function in the Emergence of Marathi Literature in Thirteenth Century India (Book Section)
Title: The Guru Function in the Emergence of Marathi Literature in Thirteenth Century India
Author: Christian Novetzke
Editor: Srilata Raman
Editor: Istvan Keul
Abstract: This chapter discusses the role of the guru within a reconfiguration of the spiritual economy of thirteenth century Maharashtra that propelled the era of vernacularization. Christian Novetzke positions Chakradhar, one of the key figures of this era as a metonymic index of a larger reconfiguration of the social capital of literacy within the field of Marathi public discourse. He argues that Chakradhar is emblematic of the rise of literacy as a social value within a new vernacular sphere. The aim is to avoid either a “great man” theory of vernacularization or the idea that the vernacular sphere was a reconfiguration of the cosmopolitan or courtly sphere. Instead, a nexus of old social values placed on literacy transcended the field of Sanskrit and courtly culture, and permeated an already-vibrant oral Marathi sphere. Chakradhar was not necessarily an agent of this change, but his life and the work associated with him conveys the history of a broad-based paradigm shift that brought the elite world of Brahminical literacy into the everyday world of vernacular discursive life.
Year: 2022
Primary URL:,movements%20and%20global%20guru%20organizations.
Primary URL Description: publisher web site
Publisher: Routledge
Book Title: Religious Authority in South Asia: Generating the Guru
ISBN: 9781032259307