Alumni Spotlight: Nayantara S. Appleton's New Faculty Position

Alumni Spotlight: Nayantara S. Appleton's New Faculty Position

Congratulations to CS alumna Nayantara Sheoran Appleton  on her new full-time position as senior lecturer in Centre for Science in Society at Victoria University of Wellington. PhD student Esma H. Celebioglu has conducted a short interview with Nayantara in order to learn more about her appointment and future research plans.

Could you tell us about your new position? What will you be teaching?

In January 2019 I started as a senior lecturer in an interdisciplinary Centre for Science in Society. It is a permanent position (which reflects the tenured position model of the US) and housed in the Faculty of Science.

The Centre has recently launched a taught masters programme, and I will be largely teaching into that – on health, medicine, feminist STS theory, on race and indigeneity in science and medicine, and research methods.

Do you have any current research projects you're working on?

First, I am working on converting my dissertation into a book manuscript which is under contract at Rutgers University Press. Titled Emergency Contraception: Media, Medicine, and the (re)Imagined Family Planning Project in Contemporary India the book looks at political economy of pharmaceutical and hormonal contraceptives and their advertisements. In particular, I situate this analysis within a critique of neo-liberal and neo-Malthusian frameworks. My second project, which began in 2013 as part of my post-doctoral research fellowship, extends my engagement with bio-medically promoted health and burgeoning biotechnologies. Here, by focusing on the regulations and everyday ethics around stem cell research and therapies in India, I look at regulatory liminality as a generative space for imagining a new bioethical framework that emerges from the global South.

Having recently moved to Aotearoa New Zealand, I am now starting to conceptualize a project that explores relationship between immigrant and indigenous communities – both within and beyond the medical space.

What is one of your best memories from your time in the PhD program in Cultural Studies?

So many wonderful memories, it is hard to narrow down to one! But I have to say, it will have to be the amazing sense of camaraderie that developed within (and sometimes beyond) my cohort. Attending conferences, dinners after seminars, learning how to organize panels and conferences…the list could go on.

Ah, another memory that stands out above all is the first time I got an A on a paper! I remember that well…second year, and I suddenly felt that I belonged, and I could actually do the PhD in cultural studies!

Do you have any advice for colleagues regarding their time at Cultural Studies and/or the job market?

I was really lucky to have amazing and supportive supervisors…and my best advice would be find people that support you and that you get along well with! It makes a world of difference.