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Photograph of Maina Chawla Singh

Maina Chawla Singh Scholar in Residence School of International Service

Dr. Maina Chawla Singh has lectured widely at international institutions including Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Cornell, Michigan, Indiana, Brandeis, and at the Library of Congress. She was Scholar-in-Residence, Haddasah-Brandeis Institute(2008); Fellow at Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, Brandeis University (2009) and has been Scholar-in-Residence, American University, since 2009.

Dr. Singh has lived in Russia, Ethiopia, Japan, France and Israel, and her cross-cultural experiences inspire a strong interest in Identity and Diaspora communities. Current research projects include: the role of Indian Americans in US politics and the Migration Narratives of Indian-Jewish (born in India and now living in Israel).

In Washington DC, Singh has engaged actively with Georgetown and American Universities lecturing and organizing campus events on Contemporary India, Indian Diaspora communities, Indian Jews and India-Israel Relations.


Between 2013-16, Dr. Singh has received Advanced Professional Certifications at AU in Online /Asynchronous Teaching, Creating Digital Classrooms and the use of Web Tools / Apps in Higher Ed" 
Certifications (see below).
See Also
Dr. Singh's Page
Google Scholar Citations
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Professor Singh’s research focuses on colonial and contemporary India. Indian Diaspora communities and cross-cultural identities are also area of special interest.

Professional Presentations


  • Speaker at Colloquium on ‘India-Israel Relations’ Embassy of India, Washington DC February 29, 2016. Talk: ‘Israelis in India; Indian Jews in Israel’.
  • Invited Speaker/ Moderator at Jaipur Literature Festival, India (January 25, 2016) Panel on Diaspora and Migration.
  • Invited Speaker: OP Jindal Global University, India. February 8, 2016. Title: “Ethnicity, Identity and Complexities of Homeland”
  • Presented Paper at International Conference: "Indian Diaspora & Cultural Heritage: Past, Present & Future". New Delhi. 11-13 February, 2015
  • Invited Speaker: Talk on “Indian Jewish Diaspora”, Brandeis University. October 22, 2015
  • Speaker at Jaipur Literary Festival (Sept 19-20, 2015 Boulder, Colorado).
  • Panelist: “Teaching Israel Studies in India” Center for Israel Studies, American University. Nov. 5, 2015
  • Moderator: Post-screening Discussion on award-winning documentary “Daughters of Mother India”. Embassy of India, Washington DC (Nov. 12, 2015).
  • Invited Speaker : Talk on “Indian Israeli Identities”, Baghdadi Jewish Community at Golders’ Green, London, UK . April 16 ,2015




  • "Indian Jewish Identities in Israel". Jewish Community Center, Northern Virginia. October 4, 2012
  • “Indian American Stereotypes and US Media: Strategizing for Change”. The Indiaspora Forum, Mohonk Mountain House, New York. September 14-16, 2012.
  • "Indian Jewish Communities in Israel". Talk at Annual Meeting, American Jewish Committee, Chicago. Il. Aug 30, 2012.
  • "Indians and Jews : Diaspora Stories" . Cleveland State University April 30, 2012 (Annual Presidential lecture)
  • "From Colonialism to Globalization : Gender Relations in India" .Cleveland State University April 30, 2012
  • Moderator : Panel “Innovation, Leadership and Diaspora: Sharing Jewish and Indian Experiences.” Sikh Art & Film Foundation (SAFF), New York City on October 22, 2011.


  • “Who are the Jews of India?” 31st AIJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy. Washington, DC, 08/14/2011
  • “When we look East, our closest friend is India: India-Israel relations”.Conference : Association of Israel Studies , Brandeis University, June 2011
  • “Religion, Diversity, and Social Cleavages: Challenges in Contemporary Israeli Society” Conference : American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies’ College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.April 8-9, 2011
  • “Writing Our Lives: Migration Narratives of Indian-Jewish Women,” her current research project.Brandeis University, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies 03/23/2011
  • Seattle Jewish Film Festival, 03/21/2011: Dr. Singh speaks about her book, Being Indian, Being Israeli, and converses with Nissim Reuben, American Jewish Committee Program Director of Indian-Jewish American Relations, about the film “Rafting to Bombay”.


  • The Library of Congress, 3/31/2010: Israelis of Indian descent continue to live on the periphery, where they were settled by the state of Israel between the 1950s and 1970s. The story of Indian migration, acculturation and identity in Israel is the subject of a new book by Maina Chawla Singh titled “Being Indian, Being Israeli: Migration, Ethnicity and Gender in the Jewish Homeland.” Maina Chawla Singh discusses her book at a lecture at the Library of Congress. This event is sponsored by the Asian Division, the Asian Division Friends Society and the Library of Congress Hebrew Language table in cooperation with the Embassy of India.


Selected Publications

  • "What India Day Celebrations in the U.S. Say About the Indian-American Diaspora". The World Post (August 13, 2015).
  • "What Young Indians in Silicon Valley Have to Say About Modi’s India". The World Post (September 23, 2015).
  • “Indians and Israelis: Beyond Strategic Partnerships”. In Israel Studies, (Indiana University Press). Vol. 17, No. 3 (Fall 2012), pp. 22-44
  • “‘Where Have You Brought Us, Sir?’ Gender, Displacement, and the Challenges of ‘Homecoming’ for Indian Jews in Dimona, 1950s-60s.” Shofar, vol. 32, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1–26.
  • “The Indian Jews in Israel – A Forgotten Diaspora?” in the FPRC’s (Foreign Policy Research Centre, New Delhi) Journal-5 (Special Issue: ‘India-Israel Relations’) January 2011.
  • “Gender, Thrift and Indigenous Adaptations: money and missionary medicine in colonial India”. London: Women’s History Review, Vol. 15, No. 5, November 2006, pp. 701-717.
  • “Hazards’ of Health and Discourses of Disease: British Medical Handbooks for ‘The Tropics’”. The Indian Historical Review. Vol XXXIII No. 2, July 2006. Pp 66-88.
  • "Political Activism and the politics of spirituality: The layered identities of Sister Nivedita/ Margaret Noble (1867-1911)", In Tadgh Foley and Maureen O’Connor eds. Ireland and India: Colonies, Culture and Empire. (Dublin: Irish Academic press, 2006). Pp. 39-57.
  • “Women, Mission and Medicine: Clara Swain, Anna Kugler and early medical endeavors in Colonial India". International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Vol 29, No. 3, July 1, 2005. Pp. 128-134.
  • "Gender, Medicine and Empire: Early Initiatives in Institution-building and Professionalization (1870s – 1940s)". In Shakti Kak and Biswamoy Pati (eds.) Exploring Gender Equations: Colonial and Post-Colonial India (Teen Murti Nehru Memorial and Library, New Delhi: 2005).Pp. 93-115.
  • “Gender, Mission, and Higher Education in a Cross-cultural Context: Isabella Thoburn in India.” International Bulletin of Missionary Research Vol 25, No. 4, October 2001. Pp. 165-169.
  • "Philanthropy, Voluntarism and Women’s Education in Colonial India : A study of The Bethune College, Calcutta". Asian Journal of Gender Studies. Vol.2, No. 3, 2000. Pp. 65-92.
  • “Missionary Legacies and Christ-filled Doctors: Gender, Religion and Professionalization in the History of The Christian Medical College, Vellore.” In Mushirul Hasan (ed.), Knowledge, Power and Politics: Educational Institutions in India. (Roli Books, New Delhi: 1998). Pp. 430-63.


Professional Certifications

Expertise in curriculum design, online teaching, web-based pedagogies.

Between 2013-16, Dr. Singh has received Advanced Professional Certifications at AU in Online/Asynchronous Teaching, Creating Digital Classrooms and the use of Web Tools/Apps in Higher Ed.


  • Completed Online Learning Faculty Training program (2013)
  • Offered Online (for credit) Courses at American University (2013)
  • Awarded Provost’s Curriculum Development grant (Course: “Intro. to South Asia”) (2014)
  • Successfully offered Hybrid courses (combining Face-to-Face and Asynchronous learning) (2015)
  • Online Instructor Training (Advanced Level) (2016)
  • Awarded “Jack Child Teaching with Technology Award” at American University  (2017)
  • Awarded Curriculum Development grant (Senior Capstone: “Asian Identities in Multicultural America”) (2017)