Dr. Sanam Roohi

Dr. Sanam Roohi is the recipient of a postdoctoral fellowship by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. She joins CeMIS from September 2020 until August 2022 and is hosted by prof. Rupa Viswanath.

As a social anthropologist, Sanam’s work straddles the themes of embodied migration infrastructures, transnational resource flows and their ramifications on caste-and-religious inflected community formations in India. With a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam, her research outputs include the publication of a few book chapters and articles in journals including Modern Asian Studies, Journal of Contemporary Asia, International Political Sociology and Ethnic and Migration Studies, apart from a co-produced film on diaspora philanthropy. Sanam has worked as an assistant professor at St. Joseph’s (Autonomous), Bangalore, between September 2016 and April 2018. She was a 2018 SSRC InterAsia Fellow at the Global and Transregional Studies Platform, Georg-August University, Göttingen and a Marie Curie COFUND fellow at Max Weber Kolleg, Erfurt, Germany between September 2018 - August 2020. She is on the editorial board of Comparative Migration Studies journal.

In June 2014, the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, was bifurcated and a new state of Telangana was carved out of it. The bifurcation was the result of a long-standing demand for a separate state within India, with its history rooted in India’s colonial past. Since the early 2000s, this demand for a state found much resonance among many ‘high skilled’, largely upper caste diaspora from the Telangana region domiciled particularly in the United States, thereby stretching the movement from a localized topography onto a transnational plane. After the creation of a separate state, the Telangana diaspora has become small but unusually significant stakeholders in the development of the region. Tracking the transnational flows of resources and ideas from the migrants for the cause of Telangana’s ‘development’, the research focus of this postdoc project will be to explore how transnational projects of development have interfaced with the recently formed state of Telangana and what that can tell us about the changing nature of the state and federalism in contemporary India.

CV Dr. Sanam Roohi