“We are proud that our students know about ways of life that are both incredibly different yet, in many ways, intimately similar to the lives they lead in the US. At this moment they can walk away knowing more about life in this part of the world, because they lived it.” – Dr. Ted, Fall 2015 SITA Farewell Tea
Ted manages program operations in India, teaches the ethnography course and supervises students’ field research projects, advises students on cultural adjustment, and assists students in integrating their personal experiences into an academic framework. Ted first traveled to Madurai in the 2003-2004 academic year as a student of the University of Wisconsin’s College Year in India program. During this timeframe, he extensively studied the Tamil language and Karagattam, a local folk dance that requires the performer to balance a brass pot on his head. He also began researching the social mobilization of Thirunangais, Tamil Nadu’s largest transgender community. Twelve years later, Ted still performs Karagattam, having made appearances in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and the US, and has continued researching the use of performance art in the Thirunangai social movement. Ted holds a BA in International Studies from Kenyon College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Socio-cultural Anthropology from American University. In addition to his undergrad experience, Ted has come back to South Asia on several research grants and professional fellowships including a Fulbright Research fellowship in 2005-2006, an Advocacy Project Peace Fellowship (which took him to Kathmandu, Nepal for six months) in 2007, and an American India Foundation Clinton Fellowship in 2012-2013. Additionally, Ted has spent seven summers leading programs for Putney Student Travel in India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Ted joined South India Term Abroad in 2015, and is so excited about his return to Madurai, and to share his love for all that is Tamil Nadu with all SITA students!