Graduate Assistant

August 2022–present

Garima Plawat is a PhD candidate at Indiana University Bloomington’s Folklore and Ethnomusicology department. She works at the intersection of folklore, ethnography, and religion studies. Her professional background is in content creation, editorial, community outreach for Indian indigenous communities (with a focus on Karbi community), and education. She has been a member of Centre for Karbi Studies in India, working closely with them in archival, documentation, preservation of folklore and customs of the community. She has also been working with several literary projects with people of the Karbi community to bring the disappearing traditions of indigenous communities to the spotlight.

Hailing from Delhi, India, Garima has worked as a professional literary editor, working closely with writers from a spectrum of areas. In addition, she has helped in editing books for the Karbi community such as The Handy Book of the Indigenous Edible Plants of the Karbis, funded by the state government of Assam. She has also worked as a freelance writer, focusing on both the literary world and grassroot issues from different parts of India. She also has her chapter “Monologue” published in the book Bhor Anthology: Side Effects of Living.

Garima has been working towards equity and safety of people from LGBTQIA+ and disability with a focus on Indian diaspora. As a member of various queer circles and queer community, she actively seeks to create spaces to promote the representation and fight towards safeguarding the rights of queers within India. 

Garima has worked with the Heritage Learning Program in India to help the youth in indigenous communities with their academic learning and general counselling sessions to apply for fellowships and scholarships. She has also volunteered in the Karbi Youth Festival, considered as the largest indigenous festival in northeast India. In addition, she volunteered to plan the exhibition of graphic narrative of “The Legend of Ponnivala” with Dr. Brenda Beck. She also aided Dr. Beck in organizing and executing a week-long government-funded course “Indian Folk Epics: A South Indian Perspective.”

Currently, Garima is focusing on documenting and archiving the funeral festival Chomangkan of the indigenous community Karbi in India, working actively with the leading Karbi scholar Dharamsing Teron in preserving the festival.

As the AFS Graduate Assistant, Garima updates the Society’s calendar and news and assists staff on a variety of projects.

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