Gayatri Reddy

    Email Address:
    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: Gender and Women's Studies
    Secondary Department: Anthropology
    Title: Associate Professor
    Office: 1226 UH M/C 360 Phone: 4135658
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    Gender and sexuality, transgender studies, India, South Asian diaspora, race, blackness, and masculinity in India, slavery in India, racial, economic, and social justice movements in India and the U.S.

    My earlier project explored processes of subject and community-formation among the so-called transgendered community, the hijras, of India. I am still exploring some threads of this research, including the most recent (legislative and legal) rulings in India that have provided this community with a range of different rights in recent years, even as it has taken away other rights.

    I am currently pursuing two projects:

    1) Tentatively titled Tracing Routes, this project explores the afterlives of slavery between the east coast of Africa and India, looking in particular at the intersections of race, masculinity, caste, and religion in India. This is a historical and anthropological research project exploring the Siddi or "African" and Hadrami or "Arab" diaspora in Hyderabad, India. Specifically, it focuses on migrant histories from the 16-20th centuries, including the migrant histories of "slaves" brought from Africa and the Arabian peninsulas to work as soldiers in the Hyderabadi Army. Through these migrant journeys and the lives of the descendants of the soldiers still living in Hyderabad, this project explores the ways that race, gender, caste, religion, and sexuality intersect in complicated ways to shape belonging.

    2) Tentatively titled Uptown Chronicles, this project (jointly conducted with Professor Anna Guevarra in Global Asian Studies) brings together scholars, students, and community members to create a city virtualization project mapping ostensibly "Asian" neighborhoods in Chicago. Given that these “Asian” neighborhoods were almost always also immigrant and migrant portals for working class people of all racels/ethnicities, it is also a project to map multiracial histories and solidarities, which is the focus of the project. It creates three-dimensional maps – encoding spatial, temporal, and ethnographic data - that capture the struggles and resilience of these neighborhoods, as well as their complex transnational and multi-racial histories. The current map/project focuses on the Uptown neighborhood, and specifically, the Argyle-Kenmore-Winthrop corridor. Eventually the three-dimensional city virtualization project will expand to include Chinatown/Cermak-Wentworth-Archer corridor; what used to be Koreatown/Albany Park-Lawrence-Kimball-Kedzie corridor; what used to be Japantown/Lakeview-Belmont Avenue; Filipinotown/Skokie; and West Ridge/Devon Street also known as Little India/Pakistan.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 5

    Qualifications of a Student:
    Ideally, a student with some experience in doing humanities/social science library research. Someone organized, and a self-starter. Graphic design and art skills would be a bonus. As would GIS or mapping skills. We are also creating a virtual reality platform, so skills relating to AR and VR would be an additional bonus.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Doing secondary literature searches
    Helping to organize online databases
    Managing social media related to the project
    If relevant, helping visualize data using GIS and artistic rendering and/or helping flesh out a VR platform.

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