The International Division is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Christine Garlough (Gender and Women’s Studies/Comparative Literature and Folklore) as Interim Director of the Center for South Asia. Professor Garlough is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hamline University, and the University of Minnesota. Her research, constellating around issues of art and activism, explores how feminist groups, both in India and the South Asian diaspora, use street plays, poster work, performance art, and oral narratives to address social and political exigencies. In 2013 she published the scholarly monograph, Desi Devas: Activism in South Asian American Cultural Performance (University Press of Mississippi). Her research also appears in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Journal of American Folklore, Women’s Studies in Communication, Journal of American Folklore, and Western Folklore. In addition, she has developed the South Asian Feminist Activism Archive (SAFAA), which digitizes and catalogs rare grassroots feminist posters from India and Nepal. This work was funded, in part, by a Vilas Associates Award. She also has served as a consultant for the Smithsonian Institution on the development of the Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation exhibit and curriculum. Her new book project, The Danger of Safe Space, takes up questions of restricting discourse to shared political or social viewpoints, and the relation of this to the ethics of care, activism, and acknowledgment in a range of contexts.
Dean Guido Podesta of the UW-Madison International Division appointed Professor Garlough as Interim Director after former Director Mark Sidel stepped down from his position this summer. The Center will hold an election for a permanent faculty director later in this academic year. The Division thanks Professor Sidel for his service, and welcomes Professor Garlough to the position!