Dr. Rudabeh Shahid is a nonresident senior fellow at the South Asia Center and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the “Rethinking Civil Society” Project in the Department of Politics, University of York (UK). A part of this project considers civil society in post-partition South Asia and is funded by the Leverhulme Trust, a UK-based charity. For the “Rethinking Civil Society” research group, Dr. Shahid is specifically working on a project concerning the situation of the stateless Rohingya Muslim population from the Rakhine state of Myanmar and comparing it to the ongoing process of disenfranchisement happening to Bengali-speaking Muslims in India’s North-East state of Assam.
In 2019, Dr. Shahid defended her PhD at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University (UK). The title of her PhD thesis is “The Social Capital Formation among the Bengali-speaking Muslims in Three Indian Border States.” This research is on the contemporary politics of the Bengali-speaking Muslim communities in states of India surrounding Bangladesh. Dr. Shahid holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Sussex (UK) and a BA from Middlebury College (USA).
During the winters of 2018 and 2019, Dr. Shahid designed and taught two courses at her undergraduate alma mater as a visiting instructor. In January 2018, Dr. Shahid taught a course at Middlebury College called “South Asia Beyond New Delhi-Islamabad” which analyzed areas and aspects of South Asian politics that are not frequently studied at the global policy level, such as the birth of the Madhesi movement of Nepal and the rise of cow vigilante groups in North India. In January 2019, her course titled “Refugee Crises in South Asia” took a multidisciplinary approach to study cases of refugee crises in contemporary South Asia, including the ongoing Rohingya Refugee Crisis.
Dr. Shahid has also contributed to scholarly works on South Asian religious traditions. During her undergraduate years, she assisted the Chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Middlebury College with preparing an academic book manuscript titled “The Art of Loving Krishna: Ornamentation and Devotion,” relating to the worship of the Hindu deity Krishna. Dr. Shahid is also the author of “The Mystic Contribution: Khan Jahan Ali and the Creation of Bagerhat,” a monograph which outlines the life of the fifteenth-century Islamic saint of Southern Bengal and his contribution towards building a Muslim settlement which is now deemed a UNESCO world heritage site.