Mr. Jeffrey Roy
Field of Study: Ethnomusicology
Home Institution in the U.S.: University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Host Institution in India: Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai  
Start Date/Month in India: TBD
Duration of Grant: Six monthss

Brief Bio:
Mr. Jeffrey Roy is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His PhD research focuses on the music and dance practices of India’s hijra (male-to-female transgender) communities. Mr. Roy’s research has been supported by fellowships from Fulbright-mtvU, the American Institute for Indian Studies, and the Society for Asian Music. Mr. Roy has worked as a teaching fellow at UCLA and was recently a Project Involve fellow at Film Independent in Los Angeles. His documentary feature projects have screened at the Director’s Guild of America, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and in film festivals around the world, earning him several awards. Mr. Roy is also a concert-level violinist in the Hindustani, Western classical, and Near East traditions, and has performed with Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Ali Jihad Racy, and Dave Brubeck. Before entering graduate school, Mr. Roy directed several orchestras in two St. Louis school districts and studied Hindustani violin intensively with Ustad Imrat Khan.

Mr. Roy’s research investigates how music and dance create and contest conceptions of gender performativity within India’s cross-regional communities. The questions he raises are: In what ways do individual musical talent, versatility, and overall “passability” contribute to (re)presentations of selfhood? In what ways are these representations tied to social identity? And how are they tied to LGBTQ identity politics and conceptions of gender and sexuality in India? In exploring these questions, Mr. Roy’s work incorporates documentary filmmaking as a research method to provide an “emic” perspective of the ways music and dance phrase these movements of change.