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About Wendy Singer

Wendy Singer is an historian of South Asia, whose research focuses on modern Indian politics. Most recently she was a Fulbright-Nehru senior research fellow in Chennai, India. Her current project is on the history of "Reservations," India policy that provides designated seats in Parliament, state legislatures, and other institutions for under represented groups. This follows from her longstanding interest in the social history of India's elections. Her recent essay, about reservations and elections, “A Seat at the Table,” appeared in the Election Law Journal.
Singer’s work is often based in the state of Bihar in north India, where she has lived and worked for a number of years and which was the focus of her first book, Creating Histories: Oral Narratives and the Politics of History-Making. Her most recent book is a textbook, shaped around primary source documents, called Independent India: 1947-2000.
The study of elections frequently takes her back to India to watch the extraordinary events that take place in the world's largest democracy, from the multi-faceted forms of campaigning to the mechanics of getting 400 million people to the polls on election days. She wrote about some of this in A Constituency Suitable for Ladies. In addition she has engaged in extended projects Asian migrations, including research among the Indian community in Hong Kong. The result, with the support of the Kenyon's NEH Professorship, has been a series of new courses on global migrations and the Indian Ocean. In 2001 and 2002, she undertook a project on Tibetans-in-exile in Dharamsala, India, which was in fact inspired by an interview with the Dalai Lama. One can read about her observations from those trips in “Post Colonial Dharamsala,” in the journal Salt and “The Dalai Lama’s Many Tibetan Landscapes,” in The Kenyon Review.


Present Roy T. Wortman Distinguished Professor of History, Kenyon College

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