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Kalady Osowski–Fulbright Scholarship (Research: India)

Name: Kathryn “Kalady” Osowski

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Hartland, WI

Major(s): Art history, Mathematics

Minors or Concentrations: Middle East & South Asia Studies

Opportunity and Year: Fulbright Program for U.S. Students, 2019-20

Project Summary: Contrary to popular depictions, art theft today rarely involves dramatic museum break-ins, famous paintings, or mastermind forgers; instead, it is the looting and illicit sale of material culture from the Global South at center stage. In archeologically-rich areas like India’s Golden Triangle, looting is both quotidian and overlooked. I will use the Fulbright-Nehru Research grant to characterize small-scale looting operations in this region in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of looting cycles. Perhaps, this knowledge will allow heritage advocates, policy-makers, educators, and common citizens to reform India’s current return systems and laws.

How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? The biggest problems facing our world today, like looting, are complicated ones that require interdisciplinary strategies and collaboration to be solved. Over the past four years, my mentors at W&L have encouraged me to pull together all my different interests in art history, law, international relations, and research; now, I’m ready to mobilize that knowledge in this project.

I specifically want to thank my adviser Dr. Melissa Kerin for being my ultimate role-model both professionally and personally; the Art History department for taking me under its wing; Dr. Tim Lubin for guiding me through South Asia for the first time; Dr. Jonathan Eastwood for his thoughtful edits on my Fulbright application; and the Johnson scholarship program for funding my education, my many months abroad, and my independent research projects.

Why did you apply for this opportunity? Since I was a first-year, my amazing adviser Dr. Melissa Kerin had encouraged me to apply for the Fulbright. She always recognized both my love of Indian material culture and conducting research and knew that Fulbright would offer me the opportunity to follow these passions professionally. Dr. Kerin was central to this fellowship because she guided me to not only the award but this field.

Post-graduation Plans: From August 2019-2020, I will move to Delhi to carry out my Fulbright-Nehru grant. Then, I will attend the University of Pennsylvania for my Master’s degree in South Asia Studies.

Extracurricular Involvement:

W&L Mock Trial (Secretary)
Admissions (Tour Guide)
Research (Anthropology/Archeology Department, Biochemistry, and Philadelphia Museum of Art)

Off-campus Experience:

Field Research in India
Intern in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Costume/Textile Conservation
Lab
Research for the Anthropology/Archeology Department
Summer Research Scholar in the Biochemistry Department

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