Seminar: Giving Back’: Diaspora Philanthropy and the Transnationalisation of Caste in Guntur
Speaker: Dr. Sanam Roohi Reddy
This presentation focuses on a group of professionals (doctors, engineers,scientists) belonging to the agrarian landowning elite of Coastal AndhraPradesh, who have settled in the USA and other western countries and are extensively engaging in philanthropic projects in their home region. Basedon my doctoral research, where I conducted 15 months offield work in Andhra and the US, the presentation will examine the discursive and processual aspects of the philanthropic practices of this regionaldiaspora. These philanthropic flows are ostensibly oriented toward socialdevelopment (especially in education, health and rural development), but as I argue, the practices offer insights into theshaping of a transnational community that remains culturally and materiallyrooted in Andhra and in regional social formations of caste, class and kinship. The talk will begin by tracing how transnational philanthropybecame institutionalized within diasporic associations and within the local state in Guntur district and suggest that such institutionalisation can beseen as a mutation of earlier forms of giving with colonial roots, in whichcaste became a principle axis of community formation and assertion, and patronage. With the global dispersal of this regionally dominant group andthe accumulation of economic and cultural capital through migration, thisolder caste habitus has not only been reproduced but also altered in particular ways.Bio:
Dr. Sanam Roohi Reddy is an Assistant Professor of Sociology workingat St. Joseph's College, Bangalore. She has done her PhD from AISSR,University of Amsterdam on "*Giving back: Diaspora philanthropy and the transnationalisation of caste in Guntur, India". *Her work focuses on of agroup of professionals (doctors, engineers, scientists) belonging to theagrarian landowning elite of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, who have settled in the USA and other western countries and are extensively engaging inphilanthropic projects in their home region. Her current researchinterests extend to caste politics and agrarian transition in the region.