Winners of the 2020 International Dissertation Research Grants


The AAR is pleased to announce the 2020 winners of the International Dissertation Research Grants (IDRG) program:

Emma Thompson—winner of the 2020 Selva J. Raj Endowed International Dissertation Research Fellowship—is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University. Their dissertation explores how queer activists in northern India navigate secular and religious pressures, with a particular focus on the role that Islam plays for both Muslim and non-Muslim queer activists. They are excited to conduct fieldwork in Lucknow and Delhi with the support of the AAR.  

Michael Ium—winner of the 2020 International Dissertation Research Grant—is a doctoral candidate in the department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation, Visions of the Joyous Land: The Early History of Ganden Monastery, is focused on the early history of Ganden Monastery, the seat of the nascent Geluk tradition. Michael has spent the better part of two years in Nepal and India, consulting with native Tibetan scholars in his efforts to translate relevant primary sources from a broad range of genres, including broader political and religious histories, individual biographies and encomia, and catalogs and rule books particular to Ganden.