Dr. Julia Kowalski's analysis of responses to gendered violence in India shows that policy makers need to see family as a creative resource. Moving beyond traditional notions of Western feminism, she complicates and pushes beyond prevailing models of liberal personhood and imaginaries of what constitutes social progress. Kowalski reminds us that people are never quite as independent as scholars and policymakers often like to imagine them. Family and kinship relations are vital for women’s security and central to their social, emotional, and economic survival and well-being.
Kowalski is a cultural anthropologist who focuses on gender, kinship, and expertise, with a focus on the region of South Asia. Her first book, Counseling Women: Kinship Against Violence in India, investigates the social and communicative processes through which women’s rights projects lead people to reimagine their intimate relations with others, remaking the meanings of both violence and agency. The book was awarded the 2023 Michelle Z. Rosaldo Prize by the Association of Feminist Anthropology.
Supported by The Department of Family Science and Social Work, The Grayson Kirk Fund in International Studies, and the Humanities Center.