2020-2021 International Dissertation Research Grants

The AAR is pleased to announce the 2021 winners of the International Dissertation Research Grants (IDRG) program:

Anna Lee White —winner of the 2021 Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship—is a doctoral student at McGill University’s School of Religious Studies with a concentration in gender and women’s studies. Her research is on the history of Hindu devotional literature in Hindi and Sanskrit, and she focuses particularly on the Ramanandi community in early modern North India. She received her MA from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2018 and her BA in Anthropology and South Asian Studies from Mount Holyoke College in 2015.  

Nisheeta Jigtiani —winner of the 2021 International Dissertation Research Grant—is a Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University’s Religious Studies Department. Her research interests lie in the relationship between religion and politics as well as the effect religion has on both elites and commoners. Her dissertation investigates sectarianism and rimé (non-sectarianism) in Tibetan Buddhism. She examines the biographies and works of Tibet’s renowned rimé figures such as Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, Khyentse Choyki Lodro, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and Dzongsar Khyentse. Her doctoral research is informed by diaspora studies, psychology of religion and lived religion. Engaging in both ethnographic fieldwork and textual research, Nisheeta is motivated by study and work in Kham (East Tibet) and in Tibetan settlements in India such as Dharamsala, Chauntra and Bylakuppe. Before joining Northwestern, Nisheeta completed her M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago in 2016.