Mr. John Mathias
Specialization: Anthropology
Home institution in US: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Host Institution in India: Centre for the Developmental Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala  
Start date/Month in India: August 2012
Duration of grant: 9 months

Brief Bio:
Mr. John Mathias received his B.A. in creative writing and social sciences from the University of Michigan in 2002. He received his M.S.W. in 2011 and his M.A. in anthropology with a certificate in South Asian studies in 2012, both from the University of Michigan. He is currently a candidate in the University of Michigan’s joint doctoral program in social work and anthropology. Mr. Mathias is interested in the role of epistemic and moral reasoning in civil society, especially among environmentalists and social workers.

Mr. Mathias’ Fulbright research project, “Deliberation and Moral Community in the Making of an Indian Public,” focuses on group discussion and the circulation of small magazines as modes of interaction through which people construct accounts of how contemporary social issues should best be understood and what should be done about them. His ethnographic study is centered on the publishers of a small environmental magazine in Thrissur, Kerala and the discussions that take place in the process of publication. The study moves outward from there to consider how the magazine influences and is influenced by broader issues in Keralan democracy.