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The Center for the Advanced Study of India provides funding and support to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania to conduct independent research and volunteer internships in India. Funds for the CASI internships are made possible through the support of Penn’s Office of the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives in conjunction with Penn Abroad and Penn’s Global Internship Program (IIP) and through the generous support of CASI donors.
Updated: 12 hours 27 min ago

Update Two from Akhil!

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 17:23
Andaz (1949)

Hello again! This is my second blog update on the summer research I am conducting with Professor Ramya Sreenivasan on early Hindi cinema and the emergence of mass culture in India. So far, it has been an amazing experience!

I started with films from the late 1940s and am slowly making my way through the films of the 1950s. Some of my favorites so far include Andaz (1949), Do Bigha Zamin (1953), Mr. and Mrs. ’55 (1955), and C.I.D (1956). I also completed compiling published box office data for each decade from the 1940s to the 1970s which has guided my film assignments for each week. Finally, I have started working on a database that lists the personnel and production crew for each film I watch, allowing us to notice patterns and connections among the networks of film industry workers.

It has been an absolute pleasure conducting this research for the past several weeks. I have been surprised and delighted by the writing, themes, and technical prowess of the films I have watched so far. While these movies are certainly not perfect and are dated in many ways, it is refreshing and rewarding to invest myself in this media. I look forward to gathering my thoughts and developing my opinions on every movie I watch, as well as being able to share them with Professor Sreenivasan. Moreover, I really enjoy discussing our varying thoughts on these films when I meet with her, especially considering our vastly different experiences with these films.

For the rest of my time doing research this summer, I hope to finish my work in the 1950s decade and continue updating the database. I look forward to uploading my final post in the coming weeks!

Wrapping Up Summer Research

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 11:47

Hello! I am writing one last time to debrief my experience conducting research through CASI under the supervision of Dr. Robert DeRubeis and Akash Wasil.

My experience over the past months has been overwhelmingly positive and has taught me many important skills necessary for a career in psychology.

This summer I assisted with analysis and data cleaning related to project investigating the efficacy of a single-session mental health intervention meant to increase mental well-being among Indian students. Through this experience, I gained valuable knowledge of RStudio and, more broadly, strong data management and analysis practices. Additionally, I was involved in a project seeking to compare the rates of stigmatized beliefs endorsed by Indian adolescents versus American adolescents. Notably, through this work, I got hands-on experience in manuscript editing. Overall, I feel very satisfied knowing that I contributed to the important knowledge base of mental health in India.

Looking forward, I am now even more certain that I want to pursue a career in clinical psychology, and I plan to apply to graduate schools in the fall. Additionally, I will stay involved in the DeRubeis Lab to finish existing projects and start new ones!

I would like to sincerely thank CASI and the DeRubeis Lab for their support this summer and for making my research experience so amazing!

Wrapping Up Summer Research

Mon, 08/16/2021 - 22:38

After a phenomenal ten weeks working under Professor Megan Robb and her incredible team on the Unstable Archives project, I have concluded my summer research internship! I can wholeheartedly say that it was a phenomenal experience that allowed me to take on a number of roles. From metadata creation to transcribing Elizabeth Sharaf un-Nisa Ducarel’s penmanship book, this role has taught me more about the period of British imperialism in South Asia, as well as the work of an academic historian, than I had known previously.

Before this position, I had limited experience with archival research and had no idea what the digital humanities were. I took this position because I was curious about digging deeper into issues of race and colonialism that I had not known more than surface-level information. Some of the material I extensively read through contained details of the British East India Company’s operations and takeover of the Indian subcontinent, something I had not learned beforehand, as well as the related history of sexual violence inflicted on native women. It can be quite difficult to comprehend certain elements of actions taken to subjugate the local people, especially in the context of how today’s standards and laws. I found myself having issues viewing this information objectively at times as I tended to make judgements based on what I read. However, it was great to piece together the scattered information available in archives to draw conclusions about Mrs. Ducarel and her exceptional story to become a woman of English society.

It would have been great to have worked in person, but I found it to be more effective virtually than I originally anticipated. Whether I continue to pursue History beyond graduation or not, I feel this experience was quite valuable for two main reasons: 1) working in a non-traditional setting has taught me to be flexible and willing to change, and 2) completing this work has accentuated my analytical capabilities and attention to details. I will be presenting a final poster on my contributions to the project very soon, so this is not the complete end!

Hello from Emma!

Sun, 08/15/2021 - 12:20

Hello! My name is Emma Palermo and I’m a rising senior in the College from Philadelphia, PA! I’m currently majoring in psychology with minors in neuroscience and statistics. This summer, I have been working with Dr. Robert DeRubeis and Akash Wasil (a graduate student in the lab) to analyze cross-cultural data to examine how the perceptions of online interventions differ between college students in the US and college students in India. Throughout my work on this project, I have developed a deeper understanding of global mental health and the work associated with translating the content of online mental health interventions in a culturally sensitive way. Working on this project will continue to allow me to cultivate my skills in applied statistics and data analysis, as well as offer me the opportunity to delve more deeply into the literature on culturally sensitive interventions and how mental health interventions are perceived globally. This is an amazing opportunity through which I am developing skills to help me in my future endeavors as I aim to become a clinical psychologist.