Laura Dudley Jenkins is a Professor of Political Science and affiliated with Asian Studies and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her research focuses on social justice policies in the context of culturally diverse democracies, especially India, but also Indonesia, South Africa and the United States.
Jenkins' book Identity and Identification in India: Defining the Disadvantaged (Routledge, 2003, 2009) examines competing demands for affirmative action on the basis of caste, religion, class and gender and the ways governments identify various categories through the courts, census and official certificates. She was a Fulbright New Century Scholar in South Africa and India, researching access and equity in higher education. She co-edited (with Michele S. Moses) and coauthored several chapters in Affirmative Action Matters: Creating Opportunities for Students Around the World (Routledge 2014).
In her articles, she analyzes religious freedom and conversion, competing minorities’ claims for affirmative action, colonial and contemporary government anthropology, the role of social science in anti-discrimination law, reserved legislative seats for women, and the role of culture and the arts in sustainable development. Her book chapters include her research on religious family law systems, mass religious conversion as a route to social mobility, comparative affirmative action, minority rights, colleges for nondominant groups, and secularism. In addition to two Fulbrights, she has received fellowships from the Dartmouth Humanities Center and the United States Institute of Peace.
Fulbright New Century Scholar