Jiya Pandya, GS, PSY

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History
Social Impact Fellow, Critical Design Lab

Jiya is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University in the Department of History and Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Their interests include the history of South Asia, theories of the body, crip, feminist, and queer theory, and transnational networks of race, caste, and disability. Their dissertation project, on which they are currently working, focuses on the traffic of the concept of “disability” and its connection to “social disability” in social welfare spaces in postcolonial India, with an eye to hierarchies of care, tiered forms of participation in the nation-state, the delineation of “social” versus “civic” sectors, and alternative notions of welfare and embodiment. They co-organize the Princeton Gender, Sexuality, and Disability Working Group, serve on the boards of the Disability History Association and the Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative, work with the Princeton Ad-Hoc Committee on Sexual Culture and Climate, and are doing their GradFutures internship with the Critical Design Lab as an archival consultant for the Remote Access Archive. 

"Graduate school can be all-consuming, so it's important to figure out ways to make it sustainable and find joy in it. For me this means rest, boundaries, and engaging in an active practice of care for myself and others around me. It has also taken me a village to get and stay where I am, so I am happy to share whatever information or resources I can with colleagues. Please feel free to reach out to me, especially if you are thinking through similar intellectual, political, and personal questions. I have been lucky to avail of an opportunity that is invaluable to my work through the GradFUTURES program at the Critical Design Lab based out of Vanderbilt University. Dean Van Wyck is extremely thoughtful and helpful, and makes it possible for international students like me to follow career meaningful trajectories which are otherwise often foreclosed to us."