Dr. Sarah Strauss
Specialization: Anthropology, Environment, Energy
Home institution in US: University of Wyoming, Laramie
Host Institution in India: University of Pondicherry, Puducherry      
Start date/Month in India: November/December 2012
Duration of grant: 5 months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Sarah Strauss is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Wyoming. She received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997, her B.A. in comparative religion from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire in 1984, and her M.P.H. in community health from San Jose State University, California in 1987. In addition to teaching and researching at the University of Wyoming for the past 16 years, she has been a visiting scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado (2008-2009) and visiting professor at the Department of Geosciences of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland (2005-2006). Dr. Strauss has conducted ethnographic research on the transnational practice of yoga in Rishikesh, India and the social and cultural aspects of water and climate in Leukerbad, Switzerland. Her books include Positioning Yoga (Berg 2004) and Weather, Climate, Culture (Berg 2003, edited with Ben Orlove); a new book, Cultures of Energy, is under contract for publication in the coming year. Dr. Strauss enjoys music of all kinds, as well as hiking, skiing, riding horses, and especially traveling with her family and enjoying time at their off-grid cabin in the mountains.

Dr. Strauss’ Fulbright research project, “Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Change in Auroville, India,” will investigate a crucial interface between the cultural, the natural and the technological through an ethnographic exploration of the “energyscapes” of Auroville, India. The research will engage questions of scale and siting in relation to a wide array of energy technologies, in addition to the sociocultural transformations of ideas, values and actions that accompany the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources in light of global environmental change. She also plans to teach a seminar on energy, climate and culture while conducting an international field school and ongoing research with the University of Pondicherry.