My name is Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD.
I was born in Malaysia, of ethnic Tamil (South Indian) heritage and have been skipping across the globe (North America, Europe, Asia) since I was 16 on merit-based scholarships and awards from various universities.
I was one of those kids who read a lot and began using encyclopedias when I was 4 – in my early teens, I was certified as having a Mensan IQ of 172, in the top 2% of the global population, i.e. a genius-level score. After finishing primary school at 11, I basically took my education – and my future – into my own hands. In other words, I am auto-didactic/a self-taught learner.
I finished my high school education at 13 after months of intense self-tutelage, completed my Bachelor’s in record time at 19, skipped a Masters, and then completed a 100,000 word doctoral thesis (PhD) at the age of 25. Here’s a link to an interview where I speak about all of this (in Tamil) – this was aired in July 2013 on the ASTRO network.
I consider myself a self-made woman, driving herself but acknowledging the wider Universe in making that happen.
In between all this academic ‘stuff’, I engaged myself with several years’ worth of social work, contributing what I could to the social, educational and general improvement of the Malaysian-Indian community.
You can also look at my LinkedIn profile to get an overview of the various professional and academic chapters of my life thus far. https://www.linkedin.com/pub/bairavee-balasubramaniam/40/56/82
My academic interests have varied and evolved through different phases of my life. When I was little, I loved astronomy, astrophysics and neuroscience – and so began my first degree in the US (on scholarship). There I received an introduction to the liberal arts and my taste for politics and justice grew – I then switched my major and my university and studied International Politics and History in Germany.
My life-perspective (as an ethnic minority, as a woman) kept evolving through this time and I found myself with a scholarship to study Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament as part of a 5-year research project at the University of Warwick, UK. Those who’d like to view my thesis can do so here: http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/54359/
Through my academic studies of the world and its political institutions, after years of study I finally realize that I am (and happy to be labeled as such) a post-structural, post-colonial, third-wave-feminist. One who seeks to write and live by the works she invests her energies into – which brings me onto a totally different facet of my life – one which I am integrating into my public, social and academic identity (and vice versa).
In addition to the identities described above – I am a priestess, a holistic astrologer, a spiritualist, a writer, a poetess, an artist and a bunch of other things that I keep evolving into.My spiritual journey intensified when I went through several years of soul-searching during my PhD in the UK, and I have undertaken numerous pilgrimages to sacred sites in India, Nepal, Australia, the US, the UK, Malaysia (so far) – all of which have deeply moved, transformed and awakened parts of me that I did not realize I had. Now I know, and here it is.
One reason I wanted to make this profile and ‘go public’ as it were was to accept the different facets of my identity – a decidedly liberal academic – a post-colonial, post-structural political scientist – a internationalist- a Malaysian-Tamil – an ethnic minority – a public speaker – a motivator – a priestess – a woman – a feminist – a person taking a stand for social justice – a star-lover – a poetess – and to demonstrate (to myself first of all) that they can all coexist in one person.
So here’s to co-existence and creation.
Vanakkam, Namaste and Blessings to all,
Dr. Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD
Use the contact form below if you would like to get in touch