Dr. Svati P Shah   
Fulbright-Nehru Project Title: "Economic Class and Equality in India’s Emerging
LGBTQ Movement"
Field of Study: Study of India
Home Institution in US: University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Host Institution in India: Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi  
Start date/Month in India: September 2013
Duration of grant: Nine months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Svati Shah is currently an assistant professor of women's, gender and sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a position she has held since 2009. Previously, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in sexuality studies at Duke University, and had served as visiting assistant professor at Wellesley College and New York University. Dr. Shah earned a PhD in 2006 from Columbia University's joint doctoral program in anthropology and public health; she also holds an MPH from Emory University. Dr. Shah has taught sexuality studies extensively in Amherst courses and in workshops and short-term courses taught internationally. Dr. Shah’s first ethnographic monograph, entitled Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai, is due to be published in early 2014 by Duke University Press. She has published extensively in scholarly journals, and in popular print and online venues, on a range of topics that explore the intersections of sexuality, migration and political economy. Her research has examined these intersections ethnographically, through studies of sexual commerce and LGBTQ migration in India. Dr. Shah also works with a number of charitable foundations and community based organizations, both in the U.S. and in India.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities in India are presently enjoying an unprecedented level of visibility, as reflected in media and in the arts, particularly following the New Delhi High Court decision on Section 377 in 2009. The visibility of these communities provides new opportunities to explore questions that emerge at the intersections of sexuality and political economy. In India, as elsewhere, affluent LGBT networks exist alongside communities of lesbians, hijras, transgender people and men who have sex with men (MSMs) who negotiate a high degree of economic precarity. Dr. Shah's objective for her Fulbright project is to document and analyze the discourses of these disparities within these communities, including discourses on the relationship between class inequality and access to networks of community support.