Grant TypePost PhD Research Grant
Institutional AffiliationIllinois, Chicago, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9311
Approve DateApril 21, 2016
Project TitleReddy, Dr. Gayatri, U. of Illinois, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Karma of Black Folk in India: Siddis and Meanings of Race and Masculinity in Hyderabad'
GAYATRI REDDY, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, was awarded a grant in April 2016 to aid research on “Karma of Black Folk in India: Siddis and Meanings of Race and Masculinity in Hyderabad.” This project explores contemporary meanings of blackness, masculinity, religion, and belonging in India, through the lens of the Indian community of Siddis, third and fourth-generation people of African-descent who are believed to have migrated as slaves, in contemporary Hyderabad. It asks the question: What does it mean for Siddis to belong in contemporary India? How do Siddis see themselves in a landscape where the ways in which they are perceived – as black, as descendants of slaves, and as Muslim – are fraught categories of identification in India? Drawing on data gathered through archival and ethnographic fieldwork among Siddis in Hyderabad, this project unpacks these processes of marginalization and Siddi negotiations of these positionings, exploring the ways in which constructions of race, gender, religion, and history animate contemporary narratives of Siddi identification and dis- identification, belonging and alienation, in Hyderabad. The research reveals the ways in which Siddi articulations are as much a statement of the place of Siddis in contemporary India, as they are about social, economic, and political precarity in the world today.