Dr. Holly Donahue Singh
Read Dr. Singh's full bio below and click here for a special faculty spotlight Q&A.
Dr. Singh is a full-time instructor in the Honors College, teaching primarily Social/Behavioral Science courses. An alumna of Kenyon College, she received her A.B. in Religious Studies with a concentration in Asian Studies before attending the University of Virginia, where she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology. As an undergraduate student, Dr. Singh lived abroad in India, and traveled in Thailand and the United Kingdom. She has continued to return to India ever since for study, research, writing, and travel. She held graduate research and training fellowships from the Fulbright United States Student Program, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the University of Virginia, and the United States Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies Program. She also held two postdoctoral fellowships, the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center and the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in Anthropology at Bowdoin College.
Long-term anthropological research in northern India grounds Dr. Singh's scholarly work, which emphasizes women's situated perspectives on reproduction, kinship, and health. Dr. Singh regularly draws on global and applied perspectives on health, healing, and culture in the analysis of contemporary and historical circumstances.
Dr. Singh was a faculty member at Kenyon College, the University of Notre Dame, and Bowdoin College before joining USF's Honors College in 2017. In her classes at USF, Dr. Singh engages with current and historical ethnographic works, literature, film, and other sources from popular culture and governmental and non-governmental health programs. Her courses often include critical media analysis and by times, media production. Some of her favorite courses are "Fertility and the Future," which explores cross-cultural constructions of human reproduction and debates about, for example, population, childbirth, and infant feeding; "Histories of Healing in South Asia," which focuses on the many approaches to promoting health and addressing illness across the diverse historical, cultural, and religious contexts of the South Asian region; and "Masculinities, Health, and (Dis)Order," which addresses global perspectives on the intersections of gender, culture, health, and violence. Students in her classes have completed podcasts, songs, academic posters, and community service, as well as a variety of writing projects.
Dr. Singh's range of interests can also be seen in her record of publication, which includes scholarly articles such as, ""Fertility Control: Reproductive Desires, Kin Work, and Women's Status in Contemporary India," in Medical Anthropology Quarterly; "Patriarchy, Privilege, and Power: Intimacies and Bargains in Ethnographic Production," in Anthropology & Humanism; and "The World's Back Womb?: Commercial Surrogacy and Infertility Inequalities in India," in American Anthropologist. Her forthcoming book, Infertility in a Crowded Country: Hiding Reproduction in India, will be published by Indiana University Press. Her publications also include a translation of Rajinder Singh Bedi's Urdu short story "Give Me Your Sorrows" ("Apne Dukh Mujhe De Do") in The Annual of Urdu Studies and the foreword to Deepak Singh's book How May I Help You? An Immigrant's Journey from MBA to Minimum Wage (University of California Press, 2017).