Anthropologist studies the intersection of gender and global affairs

Note: Julia Kowalski, assistant professor of global affairs, was highlighted as part of Notre Dame’s special International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month feature “Women Lead.” “Women Lead” showcases eight individuals who are accelerating progress in their respective fields and advancing the university’s mission as a leading research institution that is a means for good in the world.

Julia Kowalski, a cultural anthropologist in the Keough School of Global Affairs, studies how abstract social phenomena such as gender inequality and democracy manifest themselves in intimate lived experiences, especially in India and South Asia more broadly.

“I explore the methodologies and theories that can help us connect small-scale, everyday lived experiences and practices to the big abstract categories that seem to govern our lives from above,” said Kowalski, who holds a doctorate in comparative human development from the University of Chicago. “Part of what’s at stake is that inequality and power are often reproduced at micro levels in ways that can be hard to see. My research enables us to see how gender-based inequality gets grounded and naturalized in everyday life.”

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