International Sociological Association Election of the ISA officers
for the period Fall 2014 – Summer 2018
ISA home > Election ISA officers > List of nominees
Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Head of Department at the South Asian Studies Programme, NUS. She obtained her M.Soc.Sci from the NUS and her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University, USA.
Her research and teaching interests include the following areas: Hindu religiosity in the diaspora; religion-state encounters; religion, commodification and consumption; history and practice of sociology; critique of concepts and categories in the social sciences; rethinking the teaching of classical sociological theory.
Her publications straddle diverse platforms, including monographs, articles in peer-reviewed journals, contributions in special issues of journals, book chapters in edited volumes, book reviews and encyclopedia entries. She has published three monographs thus far: A New God in the Diaspora? Muneeswaran Worship in Contemporary Singapore (Singapore University Press & Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2005); Religion and Commodification:Merchandising Diasporic Hinduism (Routledge, 2010); Religion-State Encounters in Hindu Domains: From the Straits Settlements to Singapore (Springer, 2011).
She has been appointed as Deputy Head at the Department of Sociology, NUS and currently as Head of Department at the South Asian Studies Programme, NUS. She is also an elected Executive Committee member of the ISA (2010-2014). In July 2005, she was appointed founding editor of ISA’s eBulletin and has recently been appointed Director of ISA’s Social Justice and Democratization site. Her editorial work at the ISA adds to the other publishing and editorial responsibilities she performs. Currently, she is co-editor of the Asian Journal of Social Science (Brill), the Monograph Series, Social Sciences in Asia (Brill) and the Routledge International Library of Sociology. Her publishing portfolio includes the following appointments: Editorial Board member of the Sociopedia.isa, Asia-Pacific Journal of Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism, E-Journal of the Indian Sociological Society andSAGE Studies in International Sociology.
Priorities if elected Vice-President
My association with the International Sociological Association has initially been through my membership in ISA Research Committees, RC16 (Sociological Theory) and RC22 (Sociology of Religion). Recently I have joined ISA Thematic Group, TG03 (Human Rights and Global Justice). In July 2010, I was elected to ISA Executive Committee, as a member of the National Association Liaison Committee and the Research Coordinating Committee. However, my most sustained work with the ISA thus far has been with its Publications Committee.
I was appointed the founding editor of ISA’s new digital initiative, the E-Bulletin in July 2005 and thus have been a part of the Publishing Committee since. The journal was recently re-named the ISA eSymposium and I have just handed over the editorial responsibilities to a new editor in July 2013, when I was appointed Director of ISA’s Social Justice and Democratization initiative, which is conceptualized as a digital landing platform for ISA members. This is meant to be a dynamic and multifaceted digital portal that stores and then disseminates a wide range of resources for a global community of sociologists who are engaged in diverse practices ranging from policy work to activism to teaching and research.
In making myself available for election as ISA Vice-President (Publications), I would build on the very important work that has already been initiated by committed colleagues who have previously held this position. For academics, the proof of research lies in producing deliverables, i.e., public documents such as conference papers, journal articles, books, book chapters and monographs. Not writing, and worse, not publishing is not an option for academics while success is here subject to a variety of structural and institutional limits. Both the discipline of Sociology and Academia today face a number of challenges as socio-economic and political formations as well as institutional and organizational frames are unsettled globally.
The proliferation of new communication technologies has changed how we think about space, time, knowledge, and interaction. In the current manifestation of “knowledge economy,” the very question of what constitutes sociological knowledge and how it is produced, presented, disseminated and accessed by users has to be rethought. Within the remit of these changes, academic publishing now stands at the cusp of change. The increasing utilization of cyberspace and digital platforms for publication, debates about open access, hegemony of publication languages, internationalization of publications, democratization in publishing arenas, etc. have thrown up new arenas for discussion and sometimes created discord amongst authors, editors and publishers.
I believe I have the qualifications and passion to engage in these debates and contribute innovatively to ISA’s publication vision and agenda for the 21st century. In the current configuration of global academia, a set of publishing norms and practices frame one’s capacity to place sociological knowledge successfully in relevant publishing outlets, norms and practices which are limited and themselves need to be challenged. Being elected to this post will afford me an opportunity to push given boundaries and create novel possibilities for equitable production, exchange, dissemination of sociological knowledge globally.
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