Sitarist, teaching artist, ethnomusicologist
My theoretical and ethnographic orientation can be summed up as the following, elaborated in the list of writings below.
- Unpacking, through feminist ethnography and oral history, the historiography of socially marginalized musicians from the late colonial period through the present day , especially the diffuse community of courtesans in India, referred to as tawaif-s in the North and devadasi-s in the South;
- Identifying and examining issues of women’s rights, human rights, and sustainability in the flows of transmission and patronage of diverse musics and musicians in North India and Pakistan (particularly courtesans and their communities)– from the local to the global;
- Critical examination and interpretation of the complex relationship between gender and genre in performance practice, transmission, and literature;
- Action research and culture-brokering on behalf of the abovementioned musicians’ community through teaching, writing, performing, and ethnographic films;
- Reflexive interrogation of the use of performance practice and study as a tool for research and re-presentation–with my own Hindustani music ensemble work, private instruction, and performance practice; as well as with the above mentioned community.