Trevor Birkenholtz (PhD 2007, Geography, Ohio State University) is a cultural and political ecologist who studies the politics of access to and control over groundwater for irrigation and domestic uses in Rajasthan, India. He has been working since 2001 near the city of Jaipur in an attempt to understand the impact that tubewell/groundwater led agricultural development has on agrarian life. He is specifically, interested in the tensions between local and state forms of groundwater and irrigation expertise. The interaction of these often divergent but sometimes complementary environmental knowledges results in new forms of formal and informal groundwater management institutions, and also leads to recursive ecological change. Together, these processes inform the creation of formal state regulation of groundwater, which is now being considered. He intends pursue these interests through ongoing research, while also expanding into the study of issues of water, equity and governance in South Asia’s urban areas.
Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2006. He also completed an M.A. in Ethnologie at the Freie Universität Berlin in 1998. He taught at Princeton in 2006, and held a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU in 2006-2007. Born in the divided former West-Berlin, he grew up in Germany, France, and Canada. He has completed field research on ethnicity, religion, and violence in Gibraltar, the United States, and India. He is currently completing a book on the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, India.