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RESEARCH PROJECTS

2010 - 2013
Associate Researcher
Project: "Creativity and Innovation in a World of Movement" (CIM).
Funded by Humanities European Research Area (HERA), UK

The project analyses how globalising forces may stimulate or hamper creative forms of cultural production in concrete interlinked social spheres in Europe, India, Africa Australia and the Caribbean. It provides new understandings of the practices/conditions of visual production in an era of increasing global interconnectedness.

Dr. Kala Shreen's research focuses broadly on the crafts, textiles and material culture in Tamilnadu and diaspora Tamils. This has led to her working with the Project Leader (PL) Dr. Maruska Svasek in various capacities in the CIM project. In 2013 she has submitted a chapter for publication in the volume edited by Maruska Svasek and Birgit Meyer. In 2013, she has produced a joint paper with the PL which was presented in the UK and is intended to lead to a joint publication. In 2011 some of the research findings were presented in seminars and conferences in Cambridge, Oxford and Brighton in the UK.


2011 - 2013
Co-ordinator, World Crafts Summit,
World Crafts Council, Belgium (affiliated to UNESCO)
Project: "Documentation of the World Crafts Summit".
Funded by World Crafts Council

Was involved in the organization of the seminar 'Future is Handmade' and in the documentation of all the activities and deliberations of the World Crafts Summit held in Chennai in 2012. The documentation was based on research work conducted through the observation of the various events, interviewing the participants and visitors and the visual documentation of the summit. The outcome of this assignment was a 250-page book "Celebrating Crafts" covering the summit in detail and comprising over 100 photographs.


The following three research projects have led to continuing outcomes for the Centre, such as paper presentations, publications and film screenings on Nagarathar material culture and ceremonies from 2010 onwards. For details please see (conferences, seminars and lectures, publications, collaborations and visual productions).

Nov 2008-Feb 2009
Principal Investigator
Project: "Material Religion & Emotions: Rites of Passage of Nagarathar Children".
Funded by The Chettinad House, Chennai, India

A research study was conducted in Chennai on the rituals of the Nagarathar community. The outcomes of this research were a book and docufilm titled "Return of the Rituals: Rites of Passage of Nagarathar Children".

Sep 2008-Oct 2008
Visiting Research Fellow at CERIS, University of Toronto, Canada.
Project: "Immigrant Religiosity: A Case of Canadian Nagarathars".
Funded by Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Canada

A research study was conducted on the religious practices and its continuities and adaptations among the Nagarathar community in and around Toronto Area.

March 2007 - June 2007
Visiting Research Fellow at Queen's University Belfast, U.K.
Research area: The religious practices of (a) Nagarathar community and (b) Non-Brahminical shrines on the sidewalks of Chennai city.


Other Research Experience of Chairperson

Research Assistant (1996-1999) and Research/Project Associate (1999-2004) Dr.V. Sudarsen, Head, Department of Anthropology, University of Madras.

2003-2004: Project: "Tribal Development in Watershed Areas Through Community Participation: A Study at Javadhu hills, Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu" sponsored by a major corporate trust (TVS-Sundaram Services Trust).

Feb 2003- July 2003: Project: "An Ethnographic Study of Oddar, Godda, Boya and Bandi" - Chennai city, sponsored by Society for the Upliftment of Boyar community.

2001-2002: Project: "An Assessment of Status of Elementary Education in Tamil Nadu", sponsored by TANPIC, an NGO in Chennai.

2001-2002: Project: "Tribes and Development: A Study of Tribes of Tamil Nadu" for the Tamil Nadu Tribal People's Association.

1997-2000: Project: "Operations Research for Reducing Maternal Anaemia", sponsored by UNICEF: Educating the women of low socio-economic status on maternal anaemia (in Tamilnadu.)