Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Congratulations to Asian Studies faculty member Heather Hindman on her promotion!

Wed, March 19, 2014

Heather Hindman has been promoted to Associate Professor, effective Fall 2014. 

Dr. Hindman received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2003 and joined the faculty at UT Austin in fall 2009 as an Assistant Professor. Prior to teaching at UT, Dr. Hindman taught at Northeastern University in Boston.

In her recent book, Mediating the Global (Stanford 2013), she examines how transnational laborers seek to navigate the bureaucracy nation-states and supernational organizations as they pursue work in business, diplomacy and development. Often, what are projected as merely policies for efficient employment influence the kind of work they do as well as their families in unintended ways. Bringing together public and private sphere concerns allows Hindman to consider how what are seen as mere "best practices" of work have wide ranging implications for gender, race and labor in a global world. These concerns can also be seen in her examination of development work as devalued labor in The Inside the Everyday Lives of Development Workers (Kumarian 2011).

Dr. Hindman's work on development and expatriates has also led to interest in the deskilling and hyperskilling of transnational labor in South Asia and beyond. Coming out of the issues developed in these books, she has begun new work on the rise of voluntourism as a means of replacing skilled development laborers and the expectation that people pursue public service activities as a means of achieving success and (humanitarian) citizenship - voluntary labor that is often costly and difficult for anyone but the most elite to achieve.

Her current research looks at the "long-term provisional" generation in Nepal - those who came of age during Nepal's difficult experiment with democracy over the past two decades. In particular, she is examining how divergent politics appear within this generation, many of whom spent much of Nepal's difficult Civil War period abroad. These youth combine interests in punk and black metal music with an investment in entrepreneurship and business promotion. Her most recent articles juxtapose new genres of satire in music and performance with neoliberal projects of business creation, considering how the unusual political and economic trajectory of Nepal forces scholars to rethink a singular teleology of finance and politics.

Please see Dr. Hindman's faculty page for more information about her research and courses. 

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