|Rachel Fleming holds a B.A. in anthropology from Dartmouth College, a Masters in regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is currently a Ph.D. student in anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In her doctoral work, Ms. Fleming has combined her interests in culture and identity, livelihood and class mobility, urban economic change, and gender with a longstanding interest in South Asia for her dissertation on aspiring professional women in Bangalore. At CU Boulder, she received the Chancellor's Fellowship and the Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, which supported her second and third years of Hindi language study and South Asia coursework. She has traveled in Nepal and North India, and spent time in Bangalore in the past two summers studying Kannada, establishing academic contacts, and learning about the city and culture. At Dartmouth College, she received the Wesbrook Prize for Best Senior Thesis in Anthropology for her ethnographic research on traditional music and postcolonial politics in Ireland, published as "Resisting Cultural Standardization: Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and the Revitalization of Traditional Music in Ireland" (2004, Journal of Folklore Research, 41(2-3):227-257). She later received the Coker Award for Best Masters Thesis for her project on local arts-based economic development, published as "Creative Economic Development, Sustainability, and Exclusion in Rural Areas" (2009, Geographical Review 98(1):61-80). Ms. Fleming has work experience in economic development and planning, and has presented academic papers at national conferences, co-organized two interdisciplinary conferences at CU Boulder, and lectured on India to elementary schoolteachers for the CU Boulder Center for Asian Studies outreach program. She is committed to women's education in India and the US, and to collaborating with academics in India throughout her career.
Ms. Fleming's Fulbright-Nehru research is titled as "Education, Technology, and New Career Aspirations for Young Women in Bangalore." Bangalore, the Information Technology (IT) hub of India, is an important center for studying change in livelihoods, lifestyles, and gender roles in modern South Asia. Through ethnographic research in one city neighborhood with young women aspiring to work in IT, this project asks: as India's economy globalizes and job opportunities continue to grow in the IT field, how is the meaning of an education and a career changing for young women today? More broadly, how do they and their families understand new opportunities and challenges for young women in India today, and what do they hope for in the future?