Please join us for a special fireside chat about the role of Tibet in the tense relations between the world’s two largest countries, India and China.
Dr. Ishani Dasgupta earned her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2022. She was awarded distinction for her dissertation, “Emergence of a Deterritorialized Nation: How Tibetan Political Practices Confront the Politics of Statelessness,” jointly by the departments of Anthropology and South Asia Study. In her work she centers the figure of the refugee, studying how their political practices result in the formation of a transnational Tibetan polity. Her research is based on 36 months of fieldwork in Tibetan settlements and communities across South Asia and North America. Her research was supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the American Institute of Indian Studies. It has also been supported by prestigious internal grants from the University of Pennsylvania, including the Dissertation Fieldwork Grant and the South Asia Dean’s Fund, that allowed her to spend a year in Dharamsala, India, studying advanced Tibetan language.
In 2019, her academic essay on Tibetan self-immolations and hunger strikes, “The Burning Body and the Withering Body,” won the Best Graduate Student Paper Prize from the Association of Political and Legal Anthropology. Apart from various academic conferences, she has also been invited to present her work at the Fels Policy Research Institute. She is the Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed, trans-Asian studies journal, Himalaya: The Journal of Nepal and Himalayan Studies. Ishani has been the Associate Scholar at the Wolf Humanities Center, UPenn, and a fellow at the Andrea Mitchell Center for Democracy, for her work on citizenship, migration, and refugees. Currently she is the postdoctoral associate at the Center for Asian Democracy at the University of Louisville. She speaks Tibetan, Hindi, and Bengali. She was born in Mumbai, India.