Award Ceremony


The Award ceremony is based on the announcement of the winner for the Sardar Patel Award, as well as a celebration of Sardar Patels' significance.

Here are excerpts from the previous award ceremonies along with information of the winners and their dissertations.

You can also find press clippings as well as pictures in the Press Section.

2012 Sardar Patel Award Winner
Dr. Tariq Omar Ali
Assistant Professor of History, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“The Envelope of Global Trade: Political Economy and Intellectual History of Jute in Eastern Bengal, 1853 to 1950”


2011 Sardar Patel Award Winner
Dr. Nikhil Anand
Assistant Professor of Geography, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis
“Infrapolitics: The Social Life of Water in Mumbai”


2010 Sardar Patel Award Winner
Dr. Tariq Thachil
Cornell University
"The Saffron Wave Meets the Silent Revolution: Why the Poor Vote for Hindu Nationalism in India"


2009 Sardar Patel Award Winner
Dr. Gayatri A. Menon
Cornell University
"Living Conditions: Citizens, 'Squatters,' and the Politics of Accommodation in Mumbai"


2008 Sardar Patel Award Winner
Dr. Jahnavi Phalkey
Georgia Institute of Technology
"Science, State-Formation and Development: The Organization of Nuclear Research In India"


2007 Sardar Patel Award Winner
Dr. Bhavani Raman
University of Michigan
"Raj: Scribes and Writing Under Early Colonial Rule in Madras, 1771-1860"


2006 Sardar Patel Award Winner
2005 Sardar Patel Award Winner
2002 Sardar Patel Award Winner
2001 Sardar Patel Award Winner
2000 Sardar Patel Award Winner

2006 Sardar Patel Award

Gillian M. Goslinga

     Gillian M. Goslinga is a cultural and visual anthropologist, feminist, and graduate of the History of Consciousness Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research on gender, reproductive technologies, and so called "traditional" god-assisted reproduction or virgin birth beliefs in contemporary Tamil Nadu, South India, explores the intersections of religion, science, and modernity in the lives of women, as well as the question of subalterity in the representation of religious experience. Gillian Goslinga has also published in Feminist Studies on gestational surrogacy in the U.S., and directed/produced an ethnographic film on the subject, The Child The Stork Brought Home (1997). She is currently in post-production on her next ethnographic film, The Pujari's Daughter, an intimate chronicle of the life and work of the big priestess (periya pujari) of the Hindu temple that is the principal site of her research in South India. Gillian M. Goslinga teaches at San Francisco State University.

2006 Award Ceremony:
Abstract of Dissertation
Ceremony Program
Keynote Speakers
Letter from the Chairman of FSPAA
Letter from the UCLA History Chair

2005 Sardar Patel Award

Dr. Michael Youngblood

     Michael Youngblood, who received the award on June 11, 2006, earned his PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2004 under the guidance of his advisor, Professor Kirin Narayan. He completed his MA in anthropology at that same department and his BA in anthropology at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. During his first visit to India, in 1986, he also earned a Certificate in Marathi Language and Culture from the Western Regional Language Center of Deccan College, Pune. Over the years, Youngblood’s scholarship has received recognition from a number of sources, including a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Fellowship, the American Institute of Indian Studies Dissertation Fellowship, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, the Percy H. Buchannan Prize for Writing on Asian Affairs, and the Christine Gerdes Award in anthropology at Lawrence University. In 2005, his PhD dissertation was recognized with the Robert Miller Prize for Innovation in Anthropological Research at the University of Wisconsin. While most of his research experience has been in India, he has also conducted field studies in North Africa, the Arctic, and in many locations across the US.

Formerly adjunct professor and Academic Director for India programs with the School for International Training (Brattleboro, Vt.), Youngblood currently lives in New York City, where he is an independent scholar and consultant. In his consulting work, he studies human interaction with environments, interfaces, products, services, and messages in order to solve usability breakdowns that result from inappropriate design. His clients include private sector businesses, public sector social services, and progressive non-profit organizations.

2005 Award Ceremony:
Abstract of Dissertation
Ceremony Program
Keynote Speakers
Letter from the Chairman of FSPAA
Letter from the UCLA History Chair

2002 Sardar Patel Award

Dr. Farina Mir                      Dr. Rachel Sturman

     Farina Mir was born in Nairobi, Kenya to the parents of South Asian descent. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to England where she received her early schooling. Farina moved to the United States in 1980, completing all of her education in New York. She received her B.A. from Barnard College in 1993, majoring in both English Literature and South Asian studies. While she chose to go on for a Ph.D. in history (She received her Ph.D. from Columbia university's Department of History), she pursued a topic that brought her interests in literature, history, and South Asia together. Her dissertation, entitled "The Social Space of Language: Punjabi Popular Narrative in Colonial India, c. 1850-1900", focuses on language as a crucial site of cultural engagement in a religiously plural society, and underlines how regional oral and literary cultures provide critical insights into the nature of social relations in nineteenth-century North India. Farina is currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation.

    Farina was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University during the 2001-2002 academic year. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Virginia, where she teaches courses on Modern South Asia.

    Rachel grew up in upstate New York and received her B.A. from the University of Chicago in 1991. It was at Chicago that she began to study modern South Asia and the history of colonialism, inspired by the emergent scholarship in the field at that time. She also began to learn Hindi and after graduation, spent a year in Benaras continuing her language training while applying to graduate school. She completed her M.A. at the University of California Davis in 1993, and her PhD. at the same institution in 2001.

    Her dissertation, "Family Values: Refashioning Property and Family in Colonial Bombay Presidency, 1818-1937" examined the linkages between colonial transformations in property and colonial histories of the family. The project explored the multiple British and Indian ways of imagining the relationships that defined family in the region, and it traced the changing ways in which property was seen to structure those relationships and to express broader forms of social authority and legal subjecthood. She argues that the contradictions in modern personal law and debates about women's property rights emerged from this particular colonial history. Rachel's graduate training was funded by a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, and her eighteen months of dissertation research in Bombay and Pune were conducted through an American Institute of Indian Studies Dissertation Research Fellowship, The dissertation writing itself was supported by grants from the University of California President's Dissertation Fellowship, by the Mabelle McLeod Lewis Dissertation Fellowship, and by the Phi Beta Kappa Dissertation Award.

    Rachel is currently a Fellow at the Michigan Society of Fellows and an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan, where she is revising her dissertation for publication and teaching courses on the history of colonial and post-colonial India on Gandhi, on comparative imperialism & colonialism, and on South Asian migration & transnational communities. Her larger scholarly interests include histories of the family, personal narrative, colonial law, and theories of translation and exchange. She has spent more than three years studying and researching in the subcontinent; she is proficient in Hindi, and is currently learning Marathi for her next project, a study of family histories and personal narrative in western India from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.

2002 Award Ceremony:
Abstract of Dr. Mir's Dissertation
Abstract of Dr. Sturman's Dissertation
Ceremony Program
Keynote Speakers
Letter from the Chairman of FSPAA
Letter from the UCLA History Chair

2001 Sardar Patel Award

Dr. David Stuligross

     Born in 1963, David Stuligross is the fourth of five sons born to John and Katherine Stuligross. After growing up in Wisconsin, his worldview was challenged in 1982, when he lived for a year in Bharuch, Gujarat as a Rotary Exchange Student. In addition to attending high school, he worked for an extended period in a watch factory and attended thrice-weekly voice and tabla classes. He traveled widely throughout India, including a trip to Bangalore ostensibly to escape an outbreak of jaundice in Bharuch. The disease, he learned much later, was one of jaundiced political perceptions that led to one of India’s worst bouts of Hindu-Muslim-Tribal violence.

While at Oberlin College (BA/BMus 1987) and Stanford University (MA 1990), Stuligross continued to share his enthusiasm for India by performing on tabla and a monthlong World Music Festival. He lived in China and Washington DC for a year each before beginning a PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley. Supported by a Henry Braden Fellowship, he studied Hindi for three summers in Uttar Pradesh. Between 1995-1997, supported by a MacArthur&Mellon research fellowship, he engaged in field work in Delhi, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Meghalaya, and Assam.

During 2000-2001, Mr. Stuligross was a visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. Currently, he is a visiting Assistant Professor of Peace Studies at Colgate University.

2001 Award Ceremony:
Abstract of Dissertation
Ceremony Program
Keynote Speakers
Letter from the Chairman of FSPAA
Letter from the UCLA History Chair

2000 Sardar Patel Award

Dr. Srirupa Roy

     Srirupa Roy grew up in Calcutta, India and received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and her Ph.D. from the department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. Her dissertation, “Divided We Stand: Diversity and National Identity in India” examines official nationalism in post- colonial India, and the state’s attempts to produce and disseminate national identity from 1947 until the present. She has received grants and awards from several organizations, including the SSRC-MacArthur Foundation’s Program on Inter national Peace and Security.

Srirupa is currently an associate professor in the department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and senior advisor for international collaboration at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Her research and teaching interests focus on the comparative politics of nationalism and state-formation; secularism and religious politics in the Middle East and South Asia; and visual culture/visual politics. She is the author of Beyond Belief: India and the politics of postcolonial nationalism (Duke University Press, 2007); co-editor (with Amrita Basu) of Violence and Democracy in India (Palgrave/Seagull Books, 2006); co-editor (with Alev Cinar and Maha Yahya) of Secular Publicities: Visual Practices of Secularism and Nationalism in the Middle East and South Asia (University of Michigan Press, forthcoming 2008), and numerous other book chapters and journal articles. Her current book project is on television news media and democracy in India, based on ethnographic fieldwork in India conducted as a senior fellow of the American Institute of Indian Studies (2006-07).

2000 Award Ceremony:
Abstract of Dissertation
Ceremony Program
Keynote Speakers
Letter from the Chairman of FSPAA
Letter from the UCLA History Chair