Introducing our new China India Scholar-Leaders (2017-19)


We are excited to announce the selection of the first cohort of China India Scholar-Leaders for 2017-2019. The eight finalists of this new initiative are: Wenrui Chen, Qudsiya Contractor, Aveivey Dahrii, Xiaowen Hu, Marina Kaneti, Joe Thomas Karackattu, Yang Lu and Shuxi Yin. Congratulations to all of these talented young scholars.

It aims at strengthening interdisciplinary inquiries in the field of India China studies and expanding a distinct network of scholarly community. This collaborative initiative involves partnerships with select scholars and institutions, including Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Centre for Policy Research in India, the National Development School at Peking University in China, and the Global Studies program at The New School.

The China India Scholar-Leader Fellows are recent PhDs who come from underrepresented backgrounds or areas of scholarship and have shown a demonstrated commitment to studying issues of Prosperity and Inequality in India and China. “The eight finalists demonstrated both extraordinary promise and commitment to pursuing challenging questions related to Prosperity and Inequality,” stated ICI Senior Director Ashok Gurung. He also noted that the selection committee was truly excited by their backgrounds and their interest in pursuing interdisciplinary understandings of the growing importance of India and China in the world.

Fellows will have the opportunity to engage in a transboundary and interdisciplinary collaboration and conduct field work in India and China to advance their research projects. “One of the unique aspects of the Fellowship is that in addition to supporting field research in India and China, it affords the recipients a special opportunity to spend a month-long residency at The New School in New York City. Fellows will enhance their interdisciplinary research skills while also benefitting from ICI’s expertise and The New School’s world-class faculty in New York” said Gurung.

Along with Fellowship support for two cohorts of recent PhD graduates, the China India Scholar-Leaders Initiative will also develop a series of courses focused on Prosperity and Inequality in India and China. These courses which will be taught at partner institutions in India, China and the US. The China India Scholar-Leader Initiative is supported by a generous grant from the Ford Foundation.

Selection for the second cohort of Fellows will begin in the fall of 2017. More details about the Fellowship are available here.

First Cohort Fellows (2017-19)

Wenrui Chen

Professor Chen received her PhD in Anthropology from New York University in 2015. She also holds an MA in Anthropology from New York University and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Her research draws from two years of ethnographic fieldwork at the Beijing Family Therapy Center and explores the unique problems Chinese families face in contemporary China and the ramifications of learning to understand and manage familial problems in psychotherapeutic terms. She is currently an Independent Researcher and Adjunct Instructor at Emmanuel College in Boston. She was awarded the Annette B. Weiner Fellowship in Cultural Anthropology from 2012-13 and the New York University MacCracken Fellowship for Doctoral Students from 2008-2015. Her publications include “Enveloping Mothers, Enveloped Sons: Positions in Chinese Family Therapy” in Medical Anthropology Quarterly (forthcoming).

Qudsiya Contractor

Professor Contractor received her PhD in Development Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Science, India in 2014. She also holds an MA from Tata Institute of Social Science and a BSc from the University of Mumbai. Her research focused on spatial politics and urban marginality of Muslim slums in Mumbai. She is currently Assistant Professor at the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policies at the Tata Institute of Social Science in Mumbai, India. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Religious and Ethnic Diversity in 2015 and the CERI-Sciences Po Fellowship from 2009-2010. Her publications include “Kitchen politics: Muslim women, caste and the beef ban in Mumbai” in Anupama Rao (ed), The Difference of Caste. (Women Unlimited, forthcoming) and Uprooted Homes, Uprooted Lives – A Study on the Impact of Resettlement on a Slum Community in Mumbai, co-authored with Neha Madhiwala and Meena Gopal (CEHAT, 2006).

Aveivey Dahrii

Professor Aveivey Dahrii received her PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India in 2015. She also holds an MPhil in International Studies from the University of Delhi and a MA in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics. Her research focused on social inequalities and gender in China and India, with a focus on Yunnan and Manipur. She is currently working as a Research Consultant. She was awarded the Dr. Ambedkar National Merit Award in 2016 and served as a consultant for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India in 2015 and 2016. Her publications include “Julia Gillard’s China Policy: An Analysis” in Eurasia Review (2013) and “Muivah’s Intended Visit to Somdal Stirs up Demand for Nagalim” in Mainstream (2010).

Xiaowen Hu

Professor Hu received her PhD in International Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India in 2016. She also holds an MA in Southeast Asia Studies from Jinan University, China and a BA in Business Administration from the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, China. Her research focused on She is currently an Assistant Professor at Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences (YASS) in China. She was recognized as an Outstanding Research Fellow at YASS in 2011 and 2012, and she is currently leading the “Chinese Studies in Indian Think Tanks” project at the Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Sciences of Yunnan Province. Her publications include “Promoting BRICS: The Role of China’s Think-Tanksin China and the BRICS: Setting up a Different Kitchen (Pentagon Press, 2016) and “India-Myanmar relations after democratic reform of Myanmar” in Contemporary South Asian Countries (Social Sciences Academic Press, 2016).

Marina Kaneti

Professor Kaneti’s main specialization is in global politics and political theory, with a thematic focus on migration, state policies and economic development. She received her PhD from the New School for Social Research, USA in 2016; and was the recipient of the 2016 Hannah Arendt Dissertation Award. She also holds an MPhil in political theory from the New School, as well as MS in Social Enterprise Administration and BA in East Asian Studies from Columbia University.

She is teaching as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University, New York.

Her current research studies the intersection between trade agreements, migrants’ networks, and urbanization dynamics in the context of the Chinese New Silk Road, also known as the Belt-Road initiative (一带一路). Her most recent publications include “(Re)branding the state: border control and the moral imperative of state sovereignty”, co-authored with Mariana Assis in Social Research (2016) and “Mêtis, Migrants, and the Autonomy of Migration” in Citizenship Studies (2015).

 Joe Thomas Karackattu

Professor Karackattu received his PhD in Chinese Studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India in 2012. He also holds an MPhil in Chinese Studies and an MA in Politics, both from Jawaharlal Nehru University. His research focused on economic interdependence and vulnerability in recent Chinese-Taiwanese relations. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras, India. He was a recipient of the Centenary Visiting Fellowship Award at the University of London in 2013 and the President’s Award from the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in 2011. His publications include “Assessing Sino-Indian Economic Relations in an Interdependence Framework: 1992-2008” in Economic and Political Studies (2015) and The Economic Partnership between India and Taiwan in a Post-ECFA Ecosystem (Springer, 2013).

Yang Lu

Professor Lu received her PhD in Political Science from Heidelberg University, Germany in 2014. She also holds a Masters in South Asian Politics and Cultural Anthropology from Heidelberg University, Germany and a BA in Music Education from Xiamen University in China. Her research focused on national identity and national interest in India-China relations. She is currently a Post-Doc scholar at Tsinghua University in China. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for East Asian Studies at JNU in 2013, and Chinese government’s Award for Outstanding Students Abroad in 2011. Her publications include “Ethno-national Movements and State Governance in Pakistan” in Transformation of Comparative Institutions: Theories and Practices (Gezhi Publishing, forthcoming) and China-India Relations in the Contemporary World: Dynamics of National Interest and Identity (Routledge, 2016).

Shuxi Yin

Professor Yin received his PhD in Economics from the University of Tuebingen, Germany in 2012. He also holds an MPA in International Development from Harvard and a double BA in Economics and Law from Peking University in China. His research focused on inequalities across ethnicities in China. He is currently teaching at Hefei University of Technology in China. He was the recipient of the Japanese government’s Asian Leaders Fellowship Program in 2015, and a Social Science Research Council, also in 2015. His publications include “Determinants of Health Inequality in China: An Empirical Study” in the Journal of Economic Inequality (2016) and “Inequality across Ethnicities in China: Problems and Solutions” in Issue and Studies (2015).