PhD Candidate, Cultural Anthropology, The CUNY Graduate Center
Priya Chandrasekaran is a Doctoral Candidate in Cultural Anthropology at The CUNY Graduate Center and an Instructor at Pratt Institute and Hunter College. She returned to academia after a decade as an outdoor educator and Group Leader of service learning programs throughout the Global South. Her National Science Foundation-supported dissertation research investigates how women farmers and rainfed grains in the north Indian hills are situated in regional, national, and transnational circuits of political economy, food production, and rural activism; as well as how women farmers' (embodied/living) knowledge is implicated in competing projects for “food security/sovereignty,” “biodiversity,” and “development.” She uses multi-sited ethnographic methods to analyze how competing philosophies of human/nature are written into land, bodies, tastes, and (gendered/classed/raced) social relations, and correspondingly into law, intellectual property rights, plant genetic material, and social campaigns. She will be a 2014-2015 Graduate Fellow at both the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and the Committee on Globalization and Social Change at The CUNY Graduate Center.