Dr. Radha S. Hegde   
Fulbright-Nehru Project Title: “Communicating Aspirations: The Cultural Politics of English in India”
Field of Study: Communications
Home Institution in the U.S.: New York University, New York, NY
Host Institution in India: University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad  
Start Date/Month in India: October 2014
Duration of Grant: Nine months

Brief Bio:
Dr. Radha Hegde is an associate professor of media, culture, and communication at New York University (NYU). She has a PhD in communication from Ohio State University. Her teaching and research interests focus on issues of migration, transnational feminism, globalization, and media. Her edited book Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures was published by NYU Press in July 2011. Her current work lies in the areas of migration and media transformations in India. Her earlier work focused on gender identities and reproductive politics in South India. She is currently co-editor of the journal Feminist Media Studies. Before her academic career, she was a journalist with the Indian Express in Chennai. Dr. Hegde is one of the founding members of Manavi, the first feminist South Asian group in the United States.

Dr. Hegde’s project examines the changing cultural narrative regarding the place of English in public culture and its role in the aspirational narratives of global India. While class privilege and English-language fluencies are historically related, the ability to speak English is being reimagined as the key to access global and technological futures. This ethnographic study explores how English circulates and continues to reproduce social divisions between urban, English-educated elites and vernacular publics; how the teaching of English and its colonial legacies are currently being reinvented as a communication skill with democratic promise; and finally, how a new English-speaking Indian subject and workforce is being defined and produced.

Hegde Radha