Dr. Shirley A. Huston-Findley   
Fulbright-Nehru Project Title: "Voicing Gender: Indian Female Playwrights Speak Out"
Field of Study: Study of India
Home Institution in US: The College of Wooster, Wooster, OH
Host Institution in India: Stella Maris College, Chennai  
Start date/Month in India: January 2014
Duration of grant: Four months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Shirley Huston-Findley, associate professor of theatre, teaches a variety of history and literature courses, including Feminism and Theatre, and Playwriting. Her research about South Asia has led to the creation of a first-year seminar, Theatre and Film: East and West, and a Wooster-in-India course entitled Exploring India at Home and Abroad through the Arts. She has directed a number of plays, as well as the premiere of Peter Mowrey's opera Sangreal at the 2010 Ingenuity Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. Her production of Adam Rapp's Nocturne received a performance at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Washington, D.C. (2007), for which she was honored with an Outstanding Director Award. Dr. Huston-Findley has presented papers at the American Association of Colleges and Universities, the Asian Studies Development Program, the Mid-American Theatre Conference and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She has published in Text and Performance Quarterly, Education About Asia, Theatre/Practice, and an anthology, Footpaths and Bridges: Voices from the Native American Women Playwrights Archive (The University of Michigan Press, 2008).

Using a feminist lens, Dr. Huston-Findley's Fulbright project examines the relationship between how the work of contemporary female playwrights in India is gendered based on their distance from partition and how they have conformed to and/or resisted culturally inscribed gender identities. In other words, as India moves toward greater globalization, where outside influences such as capitalism and global media are rapidly altering Indian culture, how has the degree to which female playwrights' voices are muffled differed based on their opposition to or acceptance of the social construction of gender? To begin to answer that question, Dr. Huston-Findley's project relies on qualitative methodology, including direct observation and the gathering of oral histories from a variety of Indian female playwrights.