Fox-Knudtsen, Karlie: Travel Grant - 2017-2018

Graduate School
socio-cultural anthropology
Project Title: 
PhD Dissertation Research on Mining, Caste Politics, and Religion in Western Odisha
Project Abstract: 
I am a second year PhD student in the Anthropology Department and am applying for a $1300 Einaudi Travel Grant to cover the cost of roundtrip international airfare from Syracuse International Airport, NY, USA, to Biju Patnaiak International Airport, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India, from May 15, 2017, to August 20, 2017. My research considers the historically entangled categories of religion, politics, and violence (both structural and overtly physical) (Asad 1993; Mahmood 2016) to understand how the Bilco Khai movement in rural Western Odisha harnesses religiosity to grapple with the promises and failures of secular modernity and to negotiate informal and shifting configurations of tradition, authority, modernity, and subjectivity.  During my stay, I will conduct preliminary fieldwork in Sambalpur, in order to build my network of connections at the field site, locate important archival collections, conduct participant-observation with current informants, and assess the viability of long-term and in-depth engagement with key female activists.