Mythri Jegathesan spent two and half months Sri Lanka this past summer conducting in and around the tea plantations in Central Province and with migrant and NGO workers in the capital, Colombo. She spent the first half of research collecting follow-up data on gender, kinship, and place-making practices among Tamil tea plantation residents and acting as a participant observer in a psycho-social formation course on yoga and mindfulness carried out by a local Jesuit NGO following postwar funding cuts for rights-based programs and their necessary turn to vocational economic models of sustainability. She spent the latter half of her time tracing the practices of migrant workers and studying the outreach practices of UTZ tea certification programs and the first women's trade union in Sri Lanka, the Working Women's Front.
Fieldwork was eventful as usual--complete with Parliamentary Election suspense (and upsets) and at one point, during a 5-hour barefoot walk on a tea plantation, leaping leeches, but miraculously no bites. This fall, she presented at 3 academic conferences in South Asian studies and Anthropology--in Singapore, Madison, and Denver and published an article on healing rituals, expertise, and deficiency in a special issue on Sri Lanka in Dialectical Anthropology. In addition to having captivating student discussions in both the Women, Gender, and Sexuality and the Anthropology Internship courses in the fall, she is enjoying teaching Intro to Social and Cultural Anthropology for a third time and the first section of the Department's newest Culture and Ideas (C&I) course, Human Rights and Humanitarianism this Winter.