Key People for the Yale InterAsia Initiative

<Principal Investigators>

Professor Helen Siu (Department of Anthropology, Council on East Asian Studies)

Professor Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan (Department of Anthropology, India and South Asian Studies Council, Forestry and Environmental Studies)


<Affiliated Faculty>

Professor Eric Harms (Department of Anthropology, Council on Southeast Asian Studies)

Professor Peter Perdue (Department of History, Council on East Asian Studies)

Professor Julia Stephens (Department of History)
(Sponsored by the Yale InterAsia Initiative and the South Asian Studies Council)
The majority of the world’s Muslims live in Asia, but research and teaching on Islam often focuses more narrowly on the Middle East. Through a cluster of workshops and events on campus, this nexus of InterAsia programming seeks to foster new approaches to studying Islam that focus on its connections to wider Asian geographies and trans-regional flows of people, texts, ideas, and material goods.


<Postdoctoral Associates/Fellows>

James Pickett is the InterAsia postdoctoral associate and specializes in the history of empire and Islamic authority. His first book project explores transregional networks of Persianate exchange among religious scholars in Bukhara during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Related articles also trace the cultural memory of this era as a subsequent influence on Soviet propaganda in Iran and language ideology in Central Eurasia. James’ second project will compare Bukhara’s transformation into a Russian protectorate with the Indian princely state of Hyderabad’s parallel trajectory into semi-colonial status. He teaches a seminar entitled “Islam and Empire in Central / South Asia.” James received his Ph.D. from Princeton (2015) and is concurrently an assistant professor in the history department at the University of Pittsburgh.


Rajashree Mazumder (InterAsia Postdoctoral Associate, South Asian Studies Council)
Rajashree Mazumder received her Ph.D. in Spring 2013 from the Department of History at University of California, Los Angeles.  Her dissertation is titled: “Constructing the Indian Immigrant to Colonial Burma 1885-1948.” Beyond India and Burma, her research interests relate to networks of circulation: people, commodities and ideas in the Indian Ocean region both in the early modern and the modern period. As a postdoctoral associate and lecturer at Yale University, she taught a seminar course: “Migration in the Indian Ocean Region.” Beginning academic year 2014-15, she will be joining Union College, NY as an Assistant Professor of History. Select publications include: “I Do Not Envy You: Mixed Marriages and Immigration Debates in the 1920s and 1930s Rangoon, Burma” in Indian Economic and Social History Review (IESHR, March 2015).

Chika Watanabe (InterAsia Postdoctoral Associate, Council on East Asian Studies)
Chika Watanabe holds a PhD in Anthropology from Cornell University, where she researched Japanese NGO aid in Myanmar. She is currently working on her book manuscript, The Muddy Labor of Aid: Moral Imaginaries of Sustainable Development Across Asia. Her research interests include development and humanitarian aid, sustainability, religion/secularity, questions of personhood, and issues of morality and ethics. While keeping an eye on Myanmar, her next major project will examine aid practices and disaster preparedness in the aftermath of the March 2011 disasters in Japan. As of August 2014, she will be a permanent Lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester (UK).

Yukiko Tonoike (Part-time InterAsia Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Anthropology)
Yukiko Tonoike received her PhD in Anthropology from Yale University in December 2009, where she focused on Near Eastern prehistory.  Her main research interests are understanding human interaction patterns from the objects that have been left behind and using technology to analyze, interpret, archive, collaborate, and present research data.