Lina M. Fruzzetti Professor of Anthropology

Professor Fruzzetti joined the Anthropology Department at Brown University in 1975. She holds numerous national and international professional appointments and has taught at the universities of Khartoum, Dar Es Salaam, University of Helsinki and ISCTE (Lisbon), and IIT Gandinagar (Ahmedabad, India. She has co-chaired the Year of India at Brown University and is the director of the South Asia Studies undergraduate major. She currently serves on TPAC and continues to be involved with ACLS selection committee, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Dissertation Grants Selection Panel.

 

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

 

Fruzzetti, L., 2013 When Marriages go Astray: Choices Made, Chocies Challenged, Orient Black Swan, New Delhi, India

Fruzzetti, L., and Tenhunen, Sirpa (eds), 2006. Culture, Power and Agency: Gender in Indian Ethnography. STREE , Calcutta , India.

Fruzzetti, L., Ostor, A. 2003. Calcutta Conversations. Delhi: Chronicle Books

Fruzzetti, L., and Perez, Rosa Maria. 2002. The Gender of the Nation: Allegoric Femininity and Women's Status in Bengal and Goa. Ethnographica 6, 1 (Lisbon , ISCTE).

Fruzzetti, L . 1998. Women Orphans, and Poverty: Social Movements and Ideologies of Work in India. Quebec: World Heritage Press.

Fruzzetti, L. 1993. 3rd reprint. [1982]. The Gift of a Virgin: Women, Marriage Ritual and Kinship in Bengali Society. New Introduction. Delhi: Oxford University Press; 1982, Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Ostor, A., Fruzzetti, L. and Barnett, S. 1992 second reprint. Concepts of Person: Kinship, Marriage, and Caste in India. New Introduction. Delhi: Oxford University .

Fruzzetti, L., Ostor, A. 1984. Kinship and Ritual in Bengal: Anthropological Essays. New Delhi : South Asian Press

research overview

Within social anthropology, Fruzzetti's specialty is in the relationship between kinship, marriage, and rituals and the meaning of the construction of gender in India. She has done extensive work on caste and the life cycle rites of Hindus; now addressing the recent structural changes to the institution of marriage and what constitutes the person. She works on two world regions, India and North East Africa covering Muslim and Hindu based societies. 

 

research statement

 

Her research on nationalism and post colonial studies has taken her to a more comparative approach questioning the feminist movement, and the problems and politics of identity and citizenship within Islam and Hinduism. In addition to the primary research work in India, her new focus is on East and North African communities and the changing focus of religion and politics

 Building on her earlier scholarship, she began her recent study of structural changes to the institution of marriage and what constitutes the new meaning of personhood. This research has driven her attention to a more comparative approach that considers the Indian feminist movement, and the problems and politics of identity and citizenship within Islam and Hinduism in India. Underlying this work is the question of the identity of the woman-citizen, resurrecting issues of nationalism within post-colonial studies, completing five years of research that resulted in a new book on feminism, nationalism and the post-colonial question of religious identity and citizenship in India.

Her interests in visual anthropology took me beyond using films to teach. I co-directed four documentary films on varied themes and topics about the communities have studied. Her current documentary work-Bishnupur Lives- looks at the changes of an urban town in West Bengal (India) over the last forty years. 
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Seed and Earth . Directed by Fruzzetti, L., Ostor, A., Guzzetti, A., and Johnston, N.

• Khalfan and Zanzibar . Directed by Fruzzetti, L., Ostor, A., and Guzzetti, A.

• Fishers of Dar . Directed by Fruzzetti, L., Ostor, A., Lihamba, A., and Ross, S.

• Singing Pictures . Directed by Fruzzetti, L., Ostor, A., and Sarkar, Aditinath

Her recent documentary film about an Eritrean woman whose life spans four continents and three colonial regimes, over a period of seven decades. This study analyzes her life in Eritrea under Italian colonial rule and Ethiopian occupation, her life as a refugee in Sudan, and finally her return home to a liberated, independent Eritrea. The study centers on her life experiences, trials, and accomplishments, as well as her transnational family and how her experiences inform our interconnected, global world.

funded research

2006: A grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York for an ethnographic case study on an Eritrean woman's national and transnational experiences

2002-04: A joint three-year grant through the University of Helsinki from the Finnish Academy of Social Sciences with A. Ostor (Wesleyan University) and S. Tenunhen (University of Helsinki) for research in exchange and kinship systems in Bengal

1995-1996: National Institute of Health (through the Minority International Training and Research Department of Howard University), support for summer research for ongoing research in central rural Ethiopia on "The Social Production and Migration of Disease in Southern Ethiopia"

1995: Mellon Foundation (through Brown University), summer research support for Ethiopia

1995: National Institute of Health (through the Minority International Training and Research Department of Howard University), support for summer research on the "Social Production and Migration of Disease in Southern Ethiopia"

1995: President's Fund, support to initiate new research on gender, health and the spread of diseases in Ethiopia

1994: Research support from the Center for the Comparative Study of Development for summer research in Ethiopia

1994: Odyssey Grant for summer research on new course on Race, Culture and Ethnicity in America

1993-94: President Gregorian Fund (Brown), grant to complete research/survey on "Causes for female student's high dropout rate from higher education at Addis Ababa University"

1993: Travel grant, Center for the Comparative Study of Development, to begin pilot research in Eritrea/Ethiopia

1991: Curricular Development Grant to offer new course, Anthro 108, "The Culture and Politics of Colonial Cities: Calcutta and Sekondi-Takoradi," as a Modes of Analysis course with Afro-American Studies

1990: Research and travel grant from Development Studies to undertake research in India

1990: Mellon Fresh Combination Grant to teach a graduate seminar on "Gender and Representation in Ethnography and Literature"

1989-90: Smithsonian Grant to complete work on the film Seed and Earth

1989-90: Curricular Development Grant to teach a new course, "Words and Worlds: Anthropology and Indian Fiction," with Nila Chatterjee

1988: Smithsonian Grant to initiate documentary film on The Ritual and Physical Uses of Rice in India

1988-89: Curricular Development Grant to teach new courses on "India and America in Cross-Cultural Comparison" with T. Gernes

1987: The Francis Wayland Collegium Planning Grant, for summer research on "Calcutta, the social and cultural city"

1983: Planning grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education (FISPE)

1982: The Francis Wayland Collegium Planning Grant on the social and cultural constructions of "Calcutta: The City"

1978: Grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (National Council for Research, Sudan) for research and fieldwork in Sudan

1977: Faculty Grant from Social Science Research Council (New York) for research and fieldwork in Sudan

1976: Henry Merritt Wriston Grant for Improvement of Education, Brown University, to prepare for a course on the comparative approaches of Islam and nationalism in Sudan and Senegal

1971-73: Social Science Research Council (New York), doctoral research grant

1971-73: American Institute of Indian Studies, travel and research grant for study in India

1969-70: University of Chicago South Asian Language and Area Center Fellowship