Suryamayi Aswini Clarence-Smith was born and raised in Auroville, India, which is the subject of her autoethnographic doctoral research. She began developing this research as an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, where her thesis “Auroville: A Practical Experiment in Utopian Society” was awarded highest honors, and won the annual undergraduate paper prize of the Center for Communal Studies at the University of Southern Indiana. She is also a teacher of the Auroville-created educational technique called Awareness Through the Body, a yoga instructor, and a project manager for numerous collective projects, here in Auroville. She majored in Interdisciplinary Studies, a problem-based, research-driven program of liberal education, in which students develop an individualized cross-disciplinary curriculum to support them in addressing a significant research problem in the social sciences and humanities from an interdisciplinary perspective, culminating in an original thesis. Her course of study was focussed on social sciences – Socio-Cultural anthropology, Sociology, Native American Studies, Geography and Economics – building on her BA programme in Human Geography and Development Studies at the University of Sussex.