I am interested in examining the way notions of “tradition” and “modernity” are held in productive tension, and the way these categories get articulated and mobilized in the elaboration of personal identities and nationalist projects. Two lines of inquiry that compel me right now are 1) the affective and existential consequences of crafting a sense of self within this tension, and 2) the logics through which the temporal dimension of this tension (talk of past, present, future) can acquire a moral valence (e.g., a promising and progressive future vs. an apocalyptic future). My current project is situated in Bhutan, where concern over “rapid modernization” animates conversations about cultural authenticity and sustainability, national unity, and the need for more humane paradigms of economic development (GNH). Eventually, I hope to explore these questions in other parts of the broader South Asia region.
I earned my B.S. in Psychology, B.A. in Anthropology, and minor in Latin from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.