Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Lunch with Director of Undergraduate Studies, Sarah Besky

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Kim Koo Library, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer St

This event is intended for Brown University undergraduates who are interested in South Asia and the SAS Concentration at Brown.

Sarah Besky received received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  From 2012 to 2015, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan, where she completed a project based on fieldwork in Darjeeling, India.  Her book, The Darjeeling Distinction: Labor and Justice on Fair-Trade Tea Plantations in India (University of California Press, 2014) explores how legacies of colonialism intersect with contemporary market reforms to reconfigure notions of value—of labor, of place, and of tea itself.  My current research explores agrarian and industrial reform in the Indian tea industry through the lenses of taste and masculinity.   

Selected Teaching:

ANTH 0110: Anthropology and Global Social Problems

This course offers students an opportunity to examine and analyze a range of contemporary global social problems from an anthropological perspective.  We will explore human-environment entanglements with particular attention to intersecting issues of capitalism, international development, and state and non-state governance.  Course materials will look at various kinds of work in, on, and with the environment, asking questions about the possibilities of over-working our landscapes, while addressing the potentials for social and environment justice and sustainability. 

Anthropology of the Himalayas.  ANTH 1345

This course critically examines the Himalayas, drawing on anthropological studies from Afghanistan to Northeast India.  Despite the region’s rugged terrain, Himalayan peoples have long been linked through trade and migration.  The Himalayas are sites of Hindu and Buddhist legend.  Today, however, they are beset by environmental degradation and disaster.  Long the object of romantic representations, people in the Himalayas struggle to find work and make ends meet.  This course brings these themes together to examine the political, economic, environmental, religious, sensory, and affective aspects of everyday life in the Himalayas.