Gaurika Mehta, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Religion at Columbia University, has been named a Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellow by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars (formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation).
In her dissertation, Bearing the Burden of History: Religion and the Minority Ethics of the Indo-Caribbean Madrasi Diaspora, Gaurika combines archival and ethnographic research in Guyana, India, and the U.S. to examine the role of religion in the making of the Madrasis—a diasporic community and religious minority formed as a result of colonial forced migration and indentured labor. Her project lies at the intersection of three geographical subfields in Religious Studies—the Caribbean, South Asia, and North America—and highlights the centrality of the study of religion to research on race, migration, minorities, diasporas, and the environment.
The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values.
The full press release can be found on the Citizens & Scholars’ website.