Conference Program

Day Time Event
Wednesday, October 21nd, 2015 5:30-
8:00pm
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 All-day Symposium
8:00am-
8:00pm
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
12:00-
8:00pm
Exibit Hall Open
Venue: Madison Ballroom
5:30-
6:00pm
Reception
Venue: WI Ballroom
Friday, October 23rd, 2015 8:00-
5:00pm
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
8:30am-
5:30pm
Exibit Hall Open
Venue: Madison Ballroom
8:30-
10:15am
Session 1 – 15 Panels
10:30am-
12:15pm
Session 2 – 15 Panels
1:45-
3:30pm
Session 3 – 17 Panels
3:45-
5:30pm
Session 4 – 16 Panels
5:30-
6:00pm
Reception
Venue: WI Ballroom
6:00-
7:00pm
Keynote Address (Wendy Doniger)
Venue: WI Ballroom
7:00-
8:30pm
All-conference Dinner & SABA Award Presentation
Venue: Capitol Ballroom B
9:00-
11:00pm
DJ Rekha Dance Party (with Tanuja Desai Hidier)
Venue: WI Ballroom
Saturday, October 24th, 2015 8:00am-
3:30pm
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
8:30am-
8:30pm
Exibit Hall Open
Venue: Madison Ballroom
8:30-
10:15am
Session 5- 15 Panels
9:30-
11:00am
2015 SABA Author Presentation
Venue: Assembly Room
10:30am-
12:15pm
Session 6- 16 Panels
1:45-
3:30pm
Session 7- 16 Panels
3:45-
5:30pm
Plenary Session (Thrity Umrigar, Shyam Selvadurai)
Venue: Capitol Ballroom A
5:30pm-
7:00pm
CET College year in India Alumni Reception
Venue: University Room
7:00-
8:00pm
Performance (Nautanki with Devesh Sharma)
Venue: WI Ballroom
9:00-
11:00pm
AIPS Reception
Venue: Senate Rooms A & B
Sunday, October 25th, 2015 8:00-
11:00am
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
8:30-
10:15am
Session 8- 16 Panels
10:30am-
12:15pm
Session 9- 17 Panels
Filter Schedule
 
  (Results found : 164)

Seals and Sealings of South Asia: Indus to Early Historic Period
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer - jkenoyer@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

The archaeological study of seals and sealings in South Asia began with the excavation of sites such as Taxila, Harappa and Mohenjo daro in the 1920s. Seals and sealings from well dated archaeological contexts and chronological frameworks helped scholars to begin to understand the development of South Asian languages and artistic traditions as well as the historical linkages between South Asia and surrounding regions. More recent excavations in Pakistan, India and adjacent regions have resulted in refined chronologies and new data that are radically changing our understanding of the role of seals in early states and empires. This symposium will bring together for the first time, a wide range of international scholars who study various aspects of South Asian seals and sealings from 4000 BCE to the 5th century CE. The study of Early Harappan and Harappan seals has made incredible advances over the past 10 years and this symposium will allow scholars to share their methods, interpretations and questions to help advance the study of Indus seals and sealings. Topics will include scientific analysis of raw materials, techniques of manufacture and carving styles, as well as the analysis of motifs. After the end of the Indus cities, seals continued to be produced during the Late Harappan and Early Historic Period. The continuity of some Indus motifs and technologies in later periods can now be investigated using both scientific analyses as well as the analysis of seal motifs. During the Early Historic Period, the importance of diamond drilling and engraving that appears to have originated in South Asia will be evaluated and compared with the use of emery and other abrasives common in the Mediterranean and Anatolia. Recent analyses of carved hard stone seals reveal important technological patterns that suggest multiple centers of stone carving emerged using slightly different techniques.


The Indus Valley Civilisation: A contextual approach to script
Single Paper

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Sareeta Zaid - sareeta.zaid@sydney.edu.au (University of Sydney)

The Harappan or Indus Valley script has been a topic of archaeological inquiry since its discovery and publication in the mid to late 19th century. The nature of the script, representing an unknown language with unknown meaning, has perpetuated scholarly interest in the writing system, particularly for would-be decipherers. However, decipherment attempts to date cannot be conclusively accepted or rejected due to the paucity of evidence resulting from lack of bilingual texts, brevity of inscriptions and indeterminate nature of the language being represented. Rather than treading the well worn decipherment route, an alternate approach has the potential to lead to new discoveries. Several scholars have reiterated that consideration of contexts and the media of Harappan inscriptions is a requisite for studies into the script. Such approaches have the potential to shed additional light on the nature of the script that has not been feasible in script-based studies alone. Like all material culture, the Indus inscriptions were situated within a wider sociocultural context which imbued them with meaning through interaction with manufacturers and users. Critical examination of the contexts in which these inscriptions were found will enable links between inscribed artefacts, their use and relationships with other aspects of Harappan material culture to be identified and explored. This is the basis of my doctoral study, which involves detailed study of inscribed Indus objects and published excavation reports from key Harappan sites, including Harappa, Mohenjo-daro and smaller settlements. Quantitative analysis of spatial distribution and relationships between inscribed and uninscribed artefacts, considering variables including material, object type, and iconography, will elucidate patterns that facilitate further insights into the quandary of the Indus script.


Mind the Gap: Erasures // Abundances // Transparencies (in Queer South Asia Studies)
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Jeff Roy - jeff.roy@live.com (Cal Poly Pomona)

Gaps in knowledge and its production are vexed phenomena, haunting the scholar and discipline with the anxieties of the unknown and perhaps unknowable. Too often are gaps represented as the failure of analytical skill or disciplinary training, to be filled and overcome in the interest of producing better, fuller knowledge. In this symposium, we invite reflection and discussion on such gaps as they confront queer, trans, hijra, khwaja sira and gender nonconforming South Asian subjects and scholars. We ask: How can we think of gaps in relation to the who, how, what, and why of knowledge production? What (hi)stories are narrated about gaps, and why do they persist? How can we map the topos of the gap, and its relations with the forms that surround it? We may also consider a wider geography of gaps, a constellation linked together by the epistemes and structures that circumscribe them. While gaps are understood to foreclose various epistemic possibilities, we nonetheless wish to consider alternative significations (Visweswaran, 1994). Keeping in mind the phobic impulse to narrate queerness as lacunae, we ask: What happens when we refuse to ascribe a negative value or affect to gaps? What generative potentialities inhere to the very space of the gap? How do gaps structure our theoretical and methodological entanglements, or lack thereof? How do gaps relate to the proper objects, analytics, affects, and relations of South Asian sexuality studies? How does the convergence of the “area” of South Asia and “queer” (re)produce elisions (Arondekar and Patel, 2016), and what promise lies in acknowledging, challenging, and resignifying such gaps? In addressing the gaps within our respective fields––and our own praxes, based on our varying privileges as scholars, artists, activists or teachers––we further consider, self-reflexively, what roles they play in the mapping of institutional power.


Annual Himalayan Policy Research Conference
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sakib Mahmud - smahmud@uwsuper.edu (University of Wisconsin-Superior )

The Nepal Study Center (NSC) at the University of New Mexico, its members and affiliated scholars request letting us organize the Annual Himalayan Policy Research Conference, the 15th in our series at the pre-conference venue of the University of Wisconsin's 49th Annual Conference on South Asia (October 15-20, 2020). We have had grand successes over the years in providing this platform to attract scholars from all over the world. The purpose of the event continues to be to promote scholarly interactions among the scholars with policy research interest on the Himalayan region and the countries in South Asia. We have had highly successful conferences in the past - 2006 through 2019 - at your venue where scholars came to participate from several countries such as the US, Canada, Europe, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Japan. We even did a live internet broadcast of the event in 2010. The abstracts, proceedings, feedback from participants, and photos from our previous conferences are available at the following website: http://nepalstudycenter.unm.edu/SeminarsWorkshopsConferences/HPRC_Conferences/HPRC_C onferecesMainHomePage.html The main theme of the Himalayan Policy Research Conference (HPRC) draws from the fields of development, democracy, governance, and environment. We consider these fields broadly as encompassing socio-economic growth (aggregate or sectoral), political transition, institutional development, governance and administrative reform, poverty and income distribution, education and health, regional development, gender and ethnicity, trade and remittances, aid and foreign direct investment, resource and environmental management, public-private partnership in technology and investment, child labor, and many other issues. The papers are expected to have important implications for public policy in one or more countries of the Himalayan region and South Asia.


Material Texts in Post-Print South Asia: Approaches to “History of the Book”
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Megan Robb - robbme@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

While scholarship has established that material cultures of texts in South Asia were radically altered by the rise of European-styled printing presses in South Asia, there has been less attention given to the interplay between manuscript and printing press text production. To the extent that the impact of print has been studied in South Asia, there has been a tendency to study it synchronically, resulting in studies that look at manuscript cultures and printing cultures separately. This workshop aims to approach the history of material texts diachronically, paying attention not only to the irruptive impact of typeset and lithographic print technologies but also to the possible overlaps between print technologies and manuscript cultures of textual production. The advent of the printing press to the subcontinent is of crucial importance to the workshop, forming as it did a key fulcrum in transformations in knowledge transmission and material text production. This workshop has purposefully left the period for the workshop open, allowing for studies focusing on the contemporary period as well as historical contexts. Conversations in traditional “history of the book” have tended to prioritize chronologies, in which the decline of manuscript production technologies give way to European-styled printing presses. Focusing on periodization implies clear beginnings and endings, whereas in South Asia multiple technologies of textual production existed simultaneously, rather than one set of technologies giving way to another set. In lieu of papers that adopt a narrative of straightforward transition from stone slabs to paper, we welcome papers that reflect on how textual production technologies simultaneously circulated and informed each other after the emergence of the printing press. By exploring how textual technologies confound traditional chronological accounts of the “arrival” of print to South Asia, we will redirect attention to the complicated paths of material texts themselves.


South Asia Translation Workshop
Round Table

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Aliya Ram - aliyar@princeton.edu ()

Chair
Meher Ali - msali@princeton.edu
Co-Chair
Asif Iqbal - iqbalas2@msu.edu (Michigan State University )

We are writing to propose a nine hour practical workshop on South Asian translation to take place in three hour sessions over three days. The aim of this workshop is for participants and attendees to collaborate on translating and discussing South Asian literature, texts and culture. The workshop will follow the format of Princeton’s South Asia Translation Workshop, which has become a thriving forum for practicing translation from South Asian languages. Each workshop session will focus on a pre-circulated 20th century text, the first in Hindi, the second in Urdu and the third in Bengali. Five roundtable participants will circulate their translations in advance of each session for distribution to other participants and members of the audience. On the day of each workshop, one participant will introduce the selected text for 10 minutes. After this, each member of the roundtable will read their translation and provide a short comment for 10 minutes. Then the floor will be opened for an hour of discussion with the audience. In the final hour of each workshop, audience members will be distributed into five breakout rooms, facilitated by roundtable participants. Audience members will share their own translations with one another in a dynamic translation exercise. Aliya Ram and Meher Ali, PhD candidates in, respectively, Comparative Literature and History at Princeton University, and co-founders of the South Asia Translation Workshop at Princeton, will lead the sessions on Hindi and Urdu. Pinaki Bhattacharya, a translator from Bengali and a human rights activist, will be invited to lead the third workshop on Bengali. Matt Reeck, award-winning translator from Urdu and French, and Robert Phillips, translator and lecturer in Hindi and Urdu at Princeton University, will also form part of the roundtable panel.


Presenter 1
Meher Ali - msali@princeton.edu
Presenter 2
Aliya Ram - aliyar@princeton.edu
Presenter 3
Matt Reeck - matt.reeck@gmail.com (UCLA)
Presenter 4
Robert Phillips - rlp2@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
Presenter 5
Asif Iqbal - iqbalas2@msu.edu (Michigan State University )

Science, Technology, and Medicine (STM) in South Asia Symposium: Interruptions and Failures
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Lisa Brooks - labrooks@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)

What constitutes a failure or interruption in the generation of knowledge, technological innovation, or treatment? Who decides, disputes, or performs ‘failure’ or ‘interruption’? In what ways can the analytics of failure and interruption help us disentangle multiple social, historical, and political strands and actors in the making of knowledge, technologies, and cures? Such claims and contestations do not point to objective realities or inherent truths, yet they play a role in guiding transformations in the generation, negotiation and embodiment of science, technology, and medicines in South Asia. When actors define processes as failed, failing, interrupted, or breaking down, questions of moral culpability and epistemic authority are enacted within uneven social, political and territorial relations. The papers in this transdisciplinary symposium will explore the ways that considering failure and interruption open up questions of voice, translation, privilege, access, and geo-political authority in South Asian and trans-national terrains of science, technology, and medicine, past and present. This symposium builds upon discussions from the 2019 STM symposium, which examined issues of the body as a material, sensorial and expressive resource for processes of boundary-making in South Asian traditions. We envision that a focus on failures and interruptions will serve as a point of departure for examining how plural voices and perspectives negotiate potentialities implicit in processes of knowledge formation and practice.


Worldmaking in Modern South Asia: Connected, Comparative, and Transnational Histories
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Matt Shutzer - shutzer.m@gmail.com (Harvard University)

Our symposium seeks to situate emergent comparative and connected methods of worlding modern South Asian histories. South Asia has long been the site of scholarly efforts to resist both the reductive presumptions of global history and the naturalization of the nation-state as the primary container of historical knowledge. Postcolonial methods have taught us to distrust the universality of frameworks constructed with Europe as the archetypal referent; while at the same time insisting that South Asian cases might provide the templates for new types of global knowledge. We see in recent scholarship an opportunity to engage this tradition of both refusing and reinscribing the “global” by putting into conversation histories of South Asia that take comparative, connected, and transnational methods as their points of departure. Drawing from the work of the political theorist Adom Getachew, we invoke the decolonial framework of “worldmaking” as a possible way of reimagining how South Asian histories construct global historical scales, inform situated comparisons, and define disciplinary formations of globally-aspirant concepts. Worldmaking provides a way of holding together the agentive labor of historical actors in shaping world scales, without valorizing a type of agency removed from history, structure, and hegemonic ideas. We seek to build from the approaches outlined by Indian Ocean and Borderlands history, while also pairing the fundamentally geographic and post-nationalist frameworks of these fields with approaches that take comparison and transnationality to different ends. Our goal is to uncover the unlikely archives, cosmopolitan itineraries, and liminal historical subjects that have brought into being real, imagined, and no longer present South Asian worlds.


Mutations of Sovereignty: Perspectives on Sanjib Baruah’s In the Name of the Nation
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Amit Baishya - arbaishya1@ou.edu (University of Oklahoma)

The multiple mutations that imaginaries of sovereignty assume in the colonial frontier/post-colony is a key idea permeating Sanjib Baruah’s book In the Name of the Nation: India and its Northeast (Stanford UP, 2020). This symposium approaches the book’s concern with the mutations of sovereign power/sovereignty in South Asia through a focus on two distinct, albeit interrelated, perspectives: 1) Flexible and “Ad-hoc” Sovereignty: While classical political theory envisages sovereignty through notions of the monopoly over violence and the power to impose taxes within a circumscribed territory, In the Name of the Nation, taking the Indian Northeast as its locus, shifts focus to “ad-hoc” models of sovereignty and elastic geographical imaginaries. A major dimension of this inquiry is to trace the genealogy of the post-colonial security state and the policies it implements in the borderlands back to “institutions of indirect rule” in a colonial frontier. The continuation of these “ad-hoc” forms of sovereign power entails that “a hard line separating institutional politics from politics through other means does not correspond to the realities of political life in Northeast India” (178). One purpose of this symposium is to explore the forms of politics that emerge in the interzones between “institutional politics” and “politics by other means” and the flexible forms through which sovereign power manifests and is refracted in frontiers/borderlands in South Asia. 2) Rethinking the Nation-Form from the Borderlands: Baruah reminds us that “frontiers and borderlands are productive sites from which to think about the world of territorially circumscribed nation-states in which we live” (178). Once again, two lines of inquiry flow out from here. First, how does “state-centric thinking” homogenize and nationalize space? Second, how do considerations of vernacular imaginaries of place and belonging offer lines of flight from quarantined imaginaries of security-thinking and towards the possibility of democratic futures?


Print, Representation, and Formation of Bhakti in the Long 19th Century
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Jon Keune - keunejon@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

We propose a full-day symposium to continue the Regional Bhakti Scholars Network’s nurturing of cross-regional and inter-linguistic conversations by investigating the impact of print technology on bhakti traditions during the long 19th century (roughly 1800-1930). The medium of print—both text and image—offered new possibilities for authorship, representation, and dissemination of knowledge. It conveyed information (both traditionally construed and critically formed) about bhakti groups to new configurations of literate audiences. Limited access to presses, especially when run by Christian missionary groups, privileged some voices over others. This critical period in Indian history, with its new inflows of foreign knowledge and power-knowledge disparities under colonialism, transformed in many ways how Indians perceived and talked about their earlier traditions—discussions that were frequently initiated, caught, and pursued in print. In some languages and regions, print not only brought traditional bhakti canons into publication; it contributed to the very process of canon formation itself. Yet, for as much as scholars and devotional communities today rely on printed materials as sources, the complex conditions under which they first came to be published are rarely considered. On a conceptual level, since early 20th-century scholars relied on printed materials as they theorized about bhakti generally, this medium shaped modern ideas about bhakti—including our own understandings. Across diverse languages and regions, there are many distinct and surprising stories to tell, shaped by local politics and personalities. Just as bhakti traditions differ from one another, these stories do not fit a single mold, and some question the boundaries and constitution of bhakti itself. Juxtaposing multiple histories of print and bhakti will deepen our understanding of this complex historical, textual, and discursive terrain.


World History in Urdu: The 2020 Urdu Symposium
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Walter Hakala - walterha@buffalo.edu (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

The fourth annual 2020 Urdu symposium will investigate “World History in Urdu.” Most scholarship on Urdu has treated it as a lens through which to examine the history of South Asia. The aims of the Urdu symposium will be to reverse the gaze by considering Urdu as a language in which major events in history, especially those outside South Asia, have been imagined. The aims of the group will be to prepare English translations of Urdu-language source materials for a future compilation of primary source materials. Examples may include mystical cosmographies, historical reference works, poetic meditations on the history of the world, fictional accounts that incorporate world historical events, etc. Symposium participants will be required to precirculate draft entries so that we may devote the daylong event to brief (approximately 5-minute) presentations followed by more substantial discussions of methods and sources. Translations must be 2500 words or less with a brief introductory essay. We intend to compile these translations for future publication.


New Directions in the Study of the Vernacular Millennium
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Ilanit Loewy Shacham - ilanits73@hotmail.com (Tel Aviv University )

In South Asian studies, Sheldon Pollock’s book, The Language of the Gods in the World of Men (2006), marked a watershed moment in the field. Pollock’s study divided the history of literary production in South and Southeast Asia into two distinct periods: the first millennium, characterized by the exclusive use of Sanskrit, through which ruling elites expressed political power in their courts; and the second millennium, which witnessed the rise of vernacular languages in courtly settings. A decade and a half after Language of the Gods, our proposed symposium brings together leading junior scholars working on literature and language in South Asia in order to consider new directions in scholarship on the vernacular millennium and the framework that Pollock’s pioneering work has established. We envision the symposium as a venue for teasing out common themes and, conversely, points of divergence in practices of local literary production, by taking advantage of a new critical mass of studies conducted on literature in vernacular languages. Our symposium participants include a range of junior scholars whose work focuses on literature in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, and Manipravalam, as well as vernacular Sanskrit in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Many of our participants integrate the theme of resistance in their papers—whether it is resistance to kingly patronage, religious authority, or the dominance of Sanskrit. While the symposium highlights the work of junior scholars in the field, we will invite senior scholars working in both Sanskrit and the vernacular to attend the session and participate in our concluding discussions. Through this symposium, we hope to begin an ongoing collaboration across junior scholars working in the field of vernacular literatures with the ultimate goal of another symposium followed by a special issue of a journal or edited volume.


South Asia In Motion: mobility | movement | bodies
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
daniel dillon - ddillon154@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

Studying South Asian mobilities presents opportunities to re-examine fundamental assumptions in our scholarly discourse on movement. The continued role that social factors play in shaping who gets to move and how compels a reworking of what it means to be (im)mobile in contemporary, globalized South Asia. In developing a collective vision of South Asian mobilities, we seek to highlight what can be gained by allowing such a capacious and fluid phenomenon to dictate the terms of our discussion rather than the fixities of disciplinary or national borders. Using (im)mobility as a site to explore connections between the body, infrastructures, and social structures as an explicitly international and interdisciplinary collective, we center our symposium around a central provocation: Can the subaltern move? We seek to collectively and critically theorize how a focus on movements rejuvenates our understanding of South Asia as a unit of analysis, especially when thinking about movement, mobility, and the body as being central to the constitution of everyday life in the subcontinent. We propose that mobile research reveals how bodies become embedded with memory, pain, intimacy, desire, work. Further, we ask how our respective research can be brought together to examine how everyday mobilities translate from individual experiences into intimate socioeconomic dependencies that can lead to wider social and political movements. In pursuing this line of thinking, we continue the reconfiguration of "South Asia" by bringing into conversation multiple registers of movements across the subcontinent, encouraging scholars to consider how their own bodies, thoughts, and words become (im)mobile, reaching across or becoming stuck within discursive and material space(s) alongside the problems and possibilities presented by their research.


The Ideal Home: Design, Housing, and Market Capital in Modern South Asia
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Llerena Searle - llerena.searle@rochester.edu (University of Rochester)

This symposium brings together scholars of design with those of housing to provide insights into the production of domestic space in India. “Design” is a growing field in India encompassing architecture, product design, fashion, etc. In the neoliberal era, design epitomizes an entrepreneurial ethos which recasts development as innovation (Irani 2019) – but it has deeper histories, central to colonial and nationalist projects (Mathur 2007; McGowan 2019). Those histories engage not just famous designers, but also the laborers who crucially gave ideas material form. For professionals and laborers alike, a central concern since the mid-twentieth century has been the home: its architectural form, material furnishings, and neighborhood context. Designs for homes offered an important proving ground for female architects, textile designers, international consultants, and architectural schools. Builders, plumbers, and others also brought their own ideas to buildings, shaping the results. Acknowledging these diverse contributors, we examine how design has been used to articulate novel ideals of gender, family, and community. We explore the history of housing design not through stories of iconic buildings, but through explorations of social change and market capital. Even as we rethink design history from the lens of capital, we argue for the need to rethink domestic space through materiality. We consider “the domestic” as instantiated in and shaped by material culture, from the cement used in construction to the textiles woven for furnishings. By attending to the production of material culture, we examine the home as a site of investment and profit marked by struggles over gender, labor, and cultural capital. This symposium is organized to foster cross-disciplinary discussions not possible in one panel session. To generate discussion, all papers will be pre-circulated, and discussants will provide framing. The day will end with a round-table discussion of themes, with an eye towards future publications.


Agrarian Urbanization: Emerging entanglements of Land, Labour, and Capital
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Half Day, Morning
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
SHUBHRA GURURANI - gururani@yorku.ca (York University)

In light of extensive urbanization of agrarian hinterlands in India, the proposed Symposium revives a question that has been of interest to scholars in development studies, agrarian studies, and urban studies for a few decades now: what is the relationship between processes of capitalist urbanization and agrarian change? How are agrarian and urban political economies and ecologies of land, labour, and capital linked in an extricable relationship with one another? These questions are certainly not new and there is a long and rich genealogy of agrarian scholarship that has examined how historically sedimented regimes of land and ownership articulate with capitalist regimes of property, work, and value in different regional contexts (Byres 1996, Bernstein 2006, Akram-Lodhi and Kay 2010, McMichael 2013, Sanyal 2014). In conversation with the debates in agrarian and urban studies, we propose a day-long conversation that will bring together interdisciplinary scholars to reflect on how the social-spatial dynamics of urban and agrarian change have come to be entangled in new ways and engage with some of the questions listed below:  How the question of land pivots the trajectories of agrarian-urban transformation?;  What are the idioms through which land-conversion is made possible? Who are the key actors and what does it tell us about the changing relations of caste, class, and authority?  How do new aspirations, mobility, and a desire for urbanity have produced a politically volatile landscape of contestation and accommodation?  What are the ways in which small and big landholders negotiate this moment of urban-agrarian change? How are new alliances created?  How do new regimes of work and labour and how they articulate with changing relations of caste, class, and gender?  Can a renewed engagement with the agrarian-urban question help us analyze the majoritarian assertion in contemporary India?


The Test
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Half Day, Afternoon
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

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1971: Cultural Lineages and Afterlives
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Half Day, Afternoon
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Sanjukta Sunderason - sanjukta.sunderason@gmail.com (Leiden University)

Organizers: Farhan Karim (University of Kansas), Sanjukta Sunderason (Leiden University) To mark 50 years of the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, this symposium gathers an inter-disciplinary set of experts to explore the cultural lineages and the afterlives that ’71 animates. In contemporary public discourse of Bangladesh, 1971 often serves as a reference point for interpreting the country’s ongoing political, cultural and social events. In many ways, ’71 is being considered not as a ‘past event’ fixed in distant time but a living, theoretical lens for visualizing the country’s future. As such the question of ’71 is one of temporality, re/imaginations, narrative re/constructions: its archives lie across political action, modalities of resistance, cultural imaginaries, spatial and material practices – not only of post-liberation Bangladesh, but indeed of post-partition East Pakistan. In this symposium, we will reflect on some key questions that re/configure 1971 via its echoes in historiographies of art, resistance, liberation and decolonization in South Asia: How have histories and imaginaries of ’71 entered cultural thought and political action in Bangladesh and across South Asia? How have genres of literature, films, art and visual culture narrativized ’71 – as precedent, event, aftermath? How do architecture and planning projects calibrate a memorial landscape of monuments of ’71 and its multiple narrative structures? How do the politics of media images generate diverse stories and lives of ’71? Furthermore: how have exhibitionary practices curated ’71 (critically)? And, what footprints do locational histories of East Pakistan/Bangladesh have on sub-continental and transnational historiographies from the Global South? Such questions not only mark the 50th anniversary of 1971, but generate archival, formal, and methodological dialogues, both timely and critical. This half-day symposium (afternoon slot 1345-1730) will carry two panels: Lineages and Afterlives, with allocated slots for a roundtable on collated historiographical issues.


Sources and Subjects of Mughal History
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Half Day, Afternoon
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Emma Kalb - emma.kalb@gmail.com (University of Chicago)

Organizers: Usman Hamid (Hamilton) and Emma Kalb (UChicago). Historically, Mughal historiography has been dominated by accounts centered on the person of the emperor on the one hand, and on Mughal imperial institutions on the other. Recent scholarship has begun to move away from these approaches to explore the importance of non-royal actors and institutions, as well as larger connections between the Mughals and the rest of the world, especially with Central Asia and the Persianate world. At the same time, scholars have also increasingly turned to non-Persian sources to fill the gaps left behind by a traditionally monolingual archive. This symposium builds on these new orientations to studying the Mughal period by exploring questions of both archive and methodology with an eye to writing histories that decenter the emperor. It encourages the use of better-known court chronicles in new ways as well as consideration of lesser-used archives and materials. In particular, it invites investigation into epigraphy, epistolary writing, prosopographia, illustrated manuscripts and paintings, architecture, chancery documents, regional histories, poetry, and religious texts, many of which were generated by either members of the Mughal court and its administration or those who engaged with it in one way or another. In doing so, this symposium aims to break new ground on writing narratives of the Mughal period that do not reproduce the logic of imperium.


Test 1
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

Chair
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

this is a test


Presenter 1
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

Test 1 2
Single Paper

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

this is a test


Test 1 2 3
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

this is a test


Presenter 1
Christine Garlough - conference@southasia.wisc.edu ()
test


test
Single Paper

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Center for South Asia - afowler3@wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

test


Splintered on Caste Lines?: Dalit Legislators in the Indian States
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Sharik Laliwala - shariklaliwala11@gmail.com (Independent researcher)

Discussant / Chair
Priyamvada Trivedi - priyamvada.trivedi@ashoka.edu.in

The postcolonial policy of affirmative action through quotas for marginalized castes (ethnic groups) has helped dominant Dalit castes (Scheduled Castes) gain socio-economic mobility. These jatis (caste groups) have influenced electoral politics predominantly through formations of regional political fronts—for instance, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for Jatavs in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and the Republican Party of India (RPI) for Mahars in Maharashtra. However, the political assertion of dominant Dalit jatis has cultivated resentment amongst numerically less significant Dalit jatis. In turn, this schism has enabled the Hindu right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) led by elite Hindu castes to co-opt non-dominant Dalit castes, especially in UP—a strategy coterminous with the growing Hinduization of Dalits in the last few decades and the right-wing authoritarian turn of Indian politics. How widespread is this pattern of intra-Dalit fragmentation on jati lines in Indian politics? What does it reflect about the Sanskritizing policies of the Hindu right-wing, in general, and the BJP, in particular? In this panel, we address these questions through original datasets on India’s Dalit Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs), especially jati and political dynasty backgrounds, produced as part of the Trivedi Centre for Political Data (TCPD) at Ashoka University and Sciences Po’s project, the Social Profiles of India’s National and Provincial Elected Representatives (SPINPER). Here, we present quantitative data collected through extensive fieldwork in four large states of India, i.e. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. We find evidence that the BJP is canvassing more candidates from non-dominant Dalit castes in recent years, leading to a higher number of legislators from non-dominant Dalit castes at the expense of dominant Dalit castes, except in Madhya Pradesh. This trend reflects the evolving and locally sensitive strategy of Hindu nationalists in accommodating Dalit politicians and challenging the Dalit-rights-oriented political parties.


Presenter 1
Gilles Verniers - gilles.verniers@ashoka.edu.in (Ashoka University)
Between Transformation and Fragmentation: Dalit Mobilizations in Uttar Pradesh

Presenter 2
Kalaiyarasan A - kalaijnu@brown.edu ()
Disunited amongst Themselves: Dalit Legislators in Rajasthan

Presenter 3
Sandeep Badole - sandeep.badole@kcl.ac.uk ()
Paradoxes of Dalit Politics: Social Profile of Dalit Legislators in Maharashtra

Presenter 4
Christophe Jaffrelot - christophe.jaffrelot@sciencespo.fr ()
Immunity from Bloc Fragmentation: Madhya Pradesh’s Dalit Legislators


Art and World-Making in Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Allan Life - arlife@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill )

Discussant / Chair
Allan Life - arlife@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill )

-


Presenter 1
Allan Life - arlife@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill )
M. V. Dhurandhar and the art of Strategic Resistance: picture postcards by an Indian artist of the Raj

Presenter 2
Gemma Sharpe - gsharpe@gradcenter.cuny.edu (Graduate Center, CUNY)
"I suppose the Asians must suffer." South Asian art and MoMA at the Midcentury.

Presenter 3
William Bamber - whbamber@gmail.com (University of Washington)
Picturing the World: Late 19th Century Visual Consumption and the Lithographed Muraqqa

Presenter 4
Kalyani Madhura Ramachandran - kmr2206@columbia.edu (Columbia University)
Isamu Noguchi and the Anonymous Artists of Ancient India


Community and Individual Impacts on the Environment
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Ramesh Sunam - rameshsunam@gmail.com (Waseda University)

Discussant / Chair
Ramesh Sunam - rameshsunam@gmail.com (Waseda University)

-


Presenter 1
Ramesh Sunam - rameshsunam@gmail.com (Waseda University)
Are young people in Nepal leaving farming and rural areas? Understanding the interconnections between transnational labour migration, agriculture and rural development in the global South

Presenter 2
Charles-Alexis Marie P Couvreur - charles-alexis.couvreur@kellogg.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford )
The Making and Unmaking of the Coast in Thiruvananthapuram District: Erosion(s), Accretion(s) and New Development Trajectories

Presenter 3
Aghaghia Rahimzadeh - aghaghia@berkeley.edu (The Ronin Institute, The National Coalition of Independent Scholars , Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education)
Socio-economic and Environmental Changes Leading to Chilgoza Pine Nut Decline in Kinnaur, Western Himalaya


Fifty Years in the Making: Decolonizing Bangladesh Studies
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
DINA SIDDIQI - dmsiddiqi@gmail.com (New York University)

Chair
DINA SIDDIQI - dms17@nyu.edu

2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state. Arguably today the nation functions as an empty signifier for the world of development, from early experiments with population control to the current interest in climate adaptation. And yet, Bangladesh is not simply a site of experimentation, bounded by national borders. It is a place of politics, labor, kinship, and activism, all of which have transnational linkages, regional and global. This roundtable seeks to open up conversations around the development regime’s constitutive but shifting role in shaping the idea of Bangladesh, as currently reflected in the field of South Asian Studies, as well as in popular culture. The speakers, representing a range of disciplines and generations, raise urgent questions thrown up by re-visiting practices of knowledge production around Bangladesh. Farhana Sultana will address the coloniality of power that inheres in mainstream development models, seeking to move beyond techno-managerial approaches and the hegemonies contained therein. Farida Khan will speak to the web of neoliberal ideology and institutions that Bangladesh is trapped in and the possibilities for “decolonizing development” through alternative paradigms. Nayma Qayum will raise a set of questions around re-conceptualizing development from the ground, with particular emphasis on women’s mobilization programs by NGOs. Nafisa Tanjeem will critically reflect on the establishment of the Department of Women and Gender Studies at Dhaka University and the prevailing conditions of neoliberal feminism that eventually made it difficult to decolonize feminist knowledge-making pedagogies. Hana Shams Ahmed will address the settler colonial violence and erasure of indigenous subjectivities that the rhetoric of development enables. Elora Shehabuddin takes on the project of nationalist history writing in cold war era East Pakistan and the gendered developments it produced.


Presenter 1
Farhana Sultana - farhana@jonosc.com
Presenter 2
Farida Khan - fkhan@uccs.edu (Univerity of Colorado Colorado Springs)
Presenter 3
Nayma Qayum - nayma.qayum@mville.edu
Presenter 4
Nafisa Tanjeem - ntanjeem@lesley.edu (Lesley University)
Presenter 5
Hana shams Ahmed - hana.s.ahmed@gmail.com
Presenter 6
Elora Shehabuddin - elora@rice.edu (Rice University)

Gender and Sexual Expressivities in Indian Music through Film
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Natalie Sarrazin - nsarrazi@brockport.edu (The College at Brockport)

Discussant / Chair
Natalie Sarrazin - nsarrazi@brockport.edu (The College at Brockport)

Film, with its vast panoply of visual and aural delights, continues in the 21st century to be a powerful tool for shaping society across South Asia. Mainstream Hindi language films, now collectively termed Bollywood, serve as the principal site for the production of popular music and culture on the subcontinent. Independent art films and non-fiction documentaries, meanwhile, flourish in counterpoint, projecting alternative possibilities and enabling the preservation and reshaping of traditions dimmed by the bright lights of the cinematic mainstream. Focused on how film and music in film in neoliberal India have opened up new means of expressing gender identity, particularly for women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, the four papers of this panel are united in how they account for the ways in which the transnational, especially Western, aspects of film production, marketing, and viewership are likewise involved in the musical-filmic struggle against repressive, socially-entrenched traditions and norms. The opening two papers concentrate on the shattering of age-old constraints imposed on women. The first discusses how female percussionists have used documentaries, video recordings, and online media to establish their reputations and pioneer new avenues for women in Indian classical music, while the second paper interrogates the reel and real world viabilities of female agency presented in current Bollywood songs. Similarly focused on contemporary art and popular cinema and their real-life implications, the two latter papers provide nuanced analyses of the multilayered representations, respectively, of female and male same-sex relationships as expressed through the intricacies of song and dance.


Presenter 1
Natalie Sarrazin - nsarrazi@brockport.edu (The College at Brockport)
The Female Voice: Changing Soundtracks and Agency in Contemporary Hindi Film Music

Presenter 2
Victor Vicente - vvicente@cuhk.edu.hk ()
Laughing at the Queer: Humor, Queer Hearing, and the Bollywood Film Song

Presenter 3
Brigette Meskell - bmesk24@gmail.com ()
Escaping the Fire: The Construction of Female Same-Sex Desire and Identity in Hindi Film Song

Presenter 4
Xiao Zhang - jojo_1021998@sina.com ()
Modernizing the Tradition: Indian Female Percussion Musicians in the Media


Recent Analytical Developments in the Archaeology of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Alan Lee - aflee@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Teresa Raczek - traczek@kennesaw.edu (Kennesaw State University)
Co-Chair
Krishnan Krishnan Nampoothiri - krishnan.msu@gmail.com (Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda)

Current archaeological research is providing important new perspectives on the prehistoric and historic cultural developments across South Asia. Innovative new analytical, laboratory, and experimental techniques are being applied to a variety of projects expanding our knowledge of the South Asian archaeological record. This panel focuses on fresh areas of research that are further developing our understanding of South Asian technologies and site chronologies providing valuable lenses into past South Asian societies. Archaeometallurgy, ceramic thin section, faience analysis, and radiocarbon dating are the analytical avenues that will be discussed in this panel. The archaeometallurgy paper, presented by Alan Lee, will address ongoing research that combines microscopic imaging techniques with computer image analysis to reconstruct blacksmithing traditions used in the construction of religious stupa complexes in the first millennium AD. The second paper by K. Krishnan will be presenting an innovative approach to ceramic analysis that combines microstructural texture data with ethnoarchaeological research to develop a new model for the analysis of Indus Civilization ceramics from Gujarat. The third paper, by Sneha Chevali, examines regional variations of faience technology during the Indus valley tradition by combining microscopic imaging and chemical analysis to distinguish regional styles and innovations for this important ornamental technology. The final paper, by Teresa P. Raczek, presents an updated methodology for the evaluation of radiocarbon dates using chronometric hygiene as an indicator. This work critically examines the context of radiocarbon dates across multiple sites in South Asia.


Presenter 1
Alan Lee - aflee@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Advancements in the Experimental Study of Iron Microstructures in Northwestern South Asian Archaeometallurgy.

Presenter 2
Krishnan Krishnan Nampoothiri - krishnan.msu@gmail.com (Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda)
Understanding Ceramic Identities: A Microstructural Approach

Presenter 3
Sneha Chavali - schavali2@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Faience Beads at Harappan and Late Harappan Sites in Gujarat: New Insights on regional bead styles and variations in production

Presenter 4
Teresa Raczek - traczek@kennesaw.edu (Kennesaw State University)
Chronometric Hygiene in South Asian Archaeology


Disruption and Subversion: Negotiating Health Regimes in Colonial and Post-colonial South Asia Across the Twentieth Century
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Gourav Krishna Nandi - gouravkrishna.nandi@yale.edu (Yale University)

Discussant / Chair
Douglas Haynes - douglas.e.haynes@dartmouth.edu (Dartmouth College)

This panel will explore how local and quotidian health practices negotiated with and were discrete from the state and state intervention, during both colonial and post-colonial periods in South Asia. As various imperial interlocutors sought to understand tropical environments, disease and native bodies, colonial medical and public health regimes emerged at intersections of Western and indigenous medical systems, colonial bureaucracy and changing notions of diseases and the body. Moving into the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, urban planning, sanitation and public health interventions became constitutive elements of colonial and then postcolonial governance. Examining health practices and governance as a form of biopower allows us to unpack how a whole host of actors responded to, or sometimes challenged, government policies, and created spaces in which to both have conversations about health and hygiene as well as resist interventions. Crucially, many of these responses were premised upon notional positions on caste, class, and religious borders and boundaries. This panel will also interrogate how these knowledge forms were produced and transmitted to and in familial, organisational and civic routes.


Presenter 1
Sohini Chattopadhyay - c.sohini@columbia.edu ()
Death by Starvation: comparative enumeration of pauper deaths in a colonial economy in nineteenth-century Bombay and twentieth-century Bengal

Presenter 2
Ala Uddin - alactg@gmail.com ()
Man, Medicine and Foods: The Healing Power of Traditional Foods in Indigenous Communities of Southeastern Bangladesh

Presenter 3
Mobeen Hussain - amh215@cam.ac.uk (University of Cambridge)
Subversion and Hybridity as praxis: health and beauty advertising and transmission in colonial India

Presenter 4
Gourav Krishna Nandi - gouravkrishna.nandi@yale.edu (Yale University)
Removing stray cattle and adulterated food: Public health in early postcolonial Calcutta


Panel I: Governing body-minds: Practices of science in colonial and postcolonial South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Koyna Tomar - koynat@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

Discussant / Chair
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan - ks2890@cumc.columbia.edu (Columbia University)

This panel addresses the entangled histories of state, science and governance in colonial and postcolonial South Asia by centering scientific practices of knowing, diagnosing, treating, and classifying body-minds. A rich literature on colonial governmentality has demonstrated how the body became an important site for enacting, extending, and producing state power. However, rendering bodies and minds legible to scientific disciplines and bureaucratic institutions is by no means a straightforward process. Attention to practices of knowing, representing, and altering body-minds reveals tensions and points of disjuncture. It also makes evident the highly political, even if messy, process by which ascriptions of racial, sexual, gender and caste differences proceeds. By bringing together medical technologies, psychological projective tests, and sexological case studies, this panel reimagines the sites, spaces and ‘disciplines’ where knowledge about body-minds is produced. Honing on case-studies from both colonial and post-colonial South Asia, this panel asks: what happens to our understandings of biopolitics and biopower if we attend to the micro-practices of scientific encounters? How do the conceptual, material, and technological tools, that scientific disciplines use to understand body-minds, articulate and enact different political imaginaries of, and beyond, the state? And finally, what is the methodological significance of “theorizing up” from these micro practices?


Presenter 1
Bharat Venkat - bvenkat@g.ucla.edu ()
A History of Thermal Discomfort

Presenter 2
Rovel Sequeira - rovelseq@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
The Case in Point: Science, Genre, and the Archive of Sodomy in Colonial India

Presenter 3
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan - ks2890@cumc.columbia.edu (Columbia University)
After Outbreaks: The Politics of Epidemics, Immunity and Compromised Bodies in India (1930-90s)

Presenter 4
Koyna Tomar - koynat@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Studying the Communal Self: Practices of “Social Tensions” Research in India (1947-1960)


Identity and Nationhood in Pakistani Literature
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Mushtaq Bilal - mushtaq@binghamton.edu (Binghamton Univeristy)

Discussant / Chair
Anjaria Ulka - uanjaria@brandeis.edu

This panel seeks to investigate the relationship between Pakistani literature, nationhood, and identity by bringing together established and emerging scholars working on Pakistani literature. Some of the questions this panel aims to explore include: How is Pakistan as an Islamic nation imagined through literature? What kind of discourse of an “Islamic nationhood” emerges out of Pakistani literature? What role do Pakistani literatures play in crafting or contesting a “national identity?” And how are minorities portrayed in Pakistani literature? Rajender Kaur shows how Kamila Shamsie’s fiction contests the majoritarian logic of Islamic nationalism in Pakistan while Ambreen Hai reads Mohsin Hamid’s and H. M. Naqvi’s fictions as literary responses to 9/11. Muneeza Shamsie explores the “Pakistani” identity in Pakistani anglophone literature and Zain Mian looks at the idea of the "Pakistani writer" in the work of Muhammad Hasan Askari; Mian shows how a particular conception of Pakistaniyat, Islam, and authorship emerge out of Askari’s work. Cara Cilano focuses on the portrayal on the Ahmadis in Pakistani literature and examines how fictional and non-fictional representations of the built environment inform the production and interpretation of what it means to be “Pakistani.” Mushtaq Bilal examines how the Chuhra characters in Hanif’s fiction challenges the construct of “Pak-ness” (purity), which is at the heart of the idea of Pakistan. Nasir Abbas Nayyar explores four distinct traditions of imagining the nation in the twentieth century Urdu poetry of Muhammad Iqbal, Noon Meem Rashid, Meeraji, and Majid Amjad. Sameera Abbas shows how the character of General Zia-ul-Haq in Mohammed Hanif’s novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes could be read as a baroque sovereign.


Presenter 1
Muneeza Shamsie - mshamsie@gmail.com ()
The Pakistani English Novel: Influence, Impact, Identity

Presenter 2
Zain Mian - zainmian@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
No Country for Errant Pens: Hasan Askari, Sāqī, and the National Writer in Early Pakistan

Presenter 3
Ambreen Hai - ahai@smith.edu ()
H. M. Naqvi’s Home Boy as a Response to 9/11 and to Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Presenter 4
Rajender Kaur - kaurr@wpunj.edu ()
Mapping Peshawar in Deep Time: Decentering Islamic Nationalism in Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every Stone


Gender and Religious Studies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Md Mizanur Rahman - Mrahman9@ucsc.edu (University of California at Santa Cruz )

Discussant / Chair
Md Mizanur Rahman - Mrahman9@ucsc.edu (University of California at Santa Cruz )

-


Presenter 1
Md Mizanur Rahman - Mrahman9@ucsc.edu (University of California at Santa Cruz )
The Rise of Veiling in Rural Bangladesh : a Negotiation between Patriarchy and Women Social Mobilization

Presenter 2
Phil Lagace - pll434.usask@gmail.com (Concordia University)
Ardhanārīśvara: Mimesis of a Gynandromorph

Presenter 3
Shahana Munazir - shahana.munazir@gmail.com (UW- Madison)
Back to Home The poetics of ‘Waiting’ in the lives of madrasa educated Muslim women in India

Presenter 4
Rishi Gune - rishigune@gmail.com (UCLA)
Gendering Women’s Proper Conduct in Pakistan: Mujra Dancers, Adab, and Explorative Islam


Unseen Labor: Caring For Households and Reputations in Sri Lankan Families
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Jeanne Marecek - jmarece1@swarthmore.edu (Swarthmore College)

Discussant / Chair
Vidyamali Samarasinghe - svidy@american.edu (American University)

Family roles and the material and affective labor they entail for individual members are often explicit, widely recognized, and easily articulated within a given social group. For Sinhala families in Sri Lanka, they are typically distinguished by gender and generation; they entail obligations for caregiving, household tasks, financial contributions, and schooling. Gender and generation are also axes along which authority and deference are distributed. The explicit hierarchy of family roles, however, conceals the additional unseen labor that family members—particularly those without formal power—often perfom; this labor vital to maintaining the social standing and wellbeing of the family and individual members. This panel offers closely drawn portraits of such unseen labor in a variety of circumstances and settings. Abeyasekera describes how the COVID-19 lockdowns intensified the precarity of working-class women in Colombo, as they struggled to find ways to ensure that their families would survive the plunge into abject poverty. Marecek and Senadheera, studying the aftermath of adolescent girls’ suicide-like acts, uncover the extensive work that mothers undertake to manage their menfolk’s anger and to prevent the reputational harm caused by such acts. Udalagama describes the labor that rural women do to maintain marital and family relations so that the family’s home will be deemed a “good house” by others. Gamburd draws a portrait of elders and family caregivers, showing how elders craft identities for themselves through their negotiations about food and medicine with doctors and family caregivers. These negotiations are laced with the gendered and generational power dynamics that always underlie kin roles, obligations, and options. All four papers show those without overt power in families (e.g., women or frail elders) engaged in labor that is necessary for their own and their family’s reputations and security. Ironically, these efforts succeed best when they remain invisible.


Presenter 1
Asha Abeyasekera - asha.abeyasekera@gmail.com (University of Colombo)
Women’s homemaking: labour, work, and political action as everyday life in urban Sri Lanka

Presenter 2
Jeanne Marecek - jmarece1@swarthmore.edu (Swarthmore College)
Mothers’ Labor in the Aftermath of Daughters’ Suicide-like Acts

Presenter 3
Tharindi Udalagama - tharindi.udalagama@gmail.com (University of Colombo )
Blaming the House: Women’s Efforts in Constructing and Preserving Family Life in a Rural Sinhala Village

Presenter 4
Michele Gamburd - gamburdm@pdx.edu (Portland State University)
Daily Doses: Elder Care, Consumption, and the Crafting of Medical Identities in Sri Lanka

Presenter 5
Bambi Chapin - bchapin@umbc.edu (UMBC)
Discussant


Beyond the Frames of Cultural Nationalism: Revisiting the Centers and Margins of Musical “Classicization” in Twentieth-Century India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu ()

Discussant / Chair
Carol Babiracki - cmbabira@syr.edu (Syracuse University)

This panel revisits debates on the “classicization” of music in twentieth-century India, bringing a range of vernacular materials to bear on the key scholarly issues at stake in these debates. The panel seeks to shift attention away from the institutions and brokers of cultural nationalism that dominate academic writing on the “music revival” to figures, musical genres, and texts that represent the margins of what was to emerge as “classical music.” In such works, we encounter discursive articulations of music’s supposed cosmopolitanism, pluralism, and hybridity, and also histories of genre and technique that are almost completely absent from mainstream public debates on music in this period. Working from the peripheries of Hindustani music in today’s India – small towns, “light” genres, non-famous gharanedar musicians, and lower class/caste milieu – Anna Morcom traces new histories of mobility and change. Using a range of hitherto unexamined print materials in Urdu, Gianni Sievers examines texts whose authors defend the Muslim presence and contribution to Hindustani music, voicing such articulations in response to both Hindu upper-caste nationalist visions and Orientalist perceptions of Indian music. Davesh Soneji presents a comprehensive longue durée survey of Tamil Christian music in raga, arguing that the centuries-old interface between raga music and hymnals represented a very significant sonic presence in early twentieth-century Madras that slipped through the cracks of nationalist-inflected music historiography. Praveen Vijayakumar focuses on two Christian musicologists who presented visions of Tamil musical history that spoke against the grain of emerging upper-caste histories on the one hand, but deployed the language of nationalism and Tamil regionalism on the other. Together, the papers consider fresh perspectives on this key moment in South Asian cultural history, and move us in the direction of a polyphonic understanding of the making of the category of the “modern classical” in music.


Presenter 1
Anna Morcom - afmorcom@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu ()
The Classical as Popular: Mobility and Class in Hindustani Music

Presenter 2
Gianni Sievers - gianni@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Defending Islamicate Culture in Modernity: The “Classicization” of Hindustani Music and the Question of Muslim Pasts in South Asia, 1857-1960

Presenter 3
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu ()
Vernacular Voices: South Indian Raga-Based Music as a Tamil Christian Expressive Form

Presenter 4
Praveen Vijayakumar - vpraveen@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Protestantism, Printed Pedagogies, and the Performing Arts in Early Twentieth-Century Tamil Nadu: The Work of Abraham Pandither and T.C.R. Johannes


Producing Commonplace Sacred Geographies in India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Atreyee Majumder - atreyee.m@gmail.com (O P Jindal Global University)

Discussant / Chair
Kajri Jain - kajri.jain@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)

This panel is an exploration of commonplace, mundane examples of sacred geography in South Asia. Marshalling scholarships in anthropology, art and architecture history, religious studies, this panel asks of ‘sacred geographies’: how is sacrality produced in and through commonplace spaces? Canonically defined, a sacred geography stands in for the interconnectedness of ritual and cosmic significance embedded in a landscape - at a particular site, along particular routes and in particular emergences. It is the manifestation of the sacred that gets institutionalized when we speak of sacred geography. By ‘commonplace’, we mean the spaces that are not marked in the grid of pilgrimages and other marks of established, high religion. We provide accounts of mundane spaces that are enshrined and treated as sacred by surrounding populations, and in one paper, used to propel state ideology. This panel moves away from the received theory of ‘tirtha’ (a threshold-crossing holy journey) in Hindu cosmology. Instead, it concentrates on descriptions of the routine productions of the sacred amidst the mundane. Atreyee Majumder speaks of the everyday production of the sacred geography of Braj in Uttar Pradesh through the infrastructural network of the e-rickshaws – three-wheeled vehicles running on batteries, that promise to move the pilgrim through of the network of temples dedicated to Krishna in the region around Vrindavan, Mathura and neighboring small towns. Bhoomika Joshi speaks of the micro-cartography of shrines and temples along the national highways in Kumaon (Uttarakhand)- reflecting on how a geography of death (by road accidents) can become a geography of pilgrimage. Sarover Zaidi writes about ordinary affect of shrines in Mumbai and the political horizons of minarets. Radhika Govindrajan writes on the ethnonationalist Hindu right (re)producing the mountainous Himalayan region as a sacred, sentient geography. Kajri Jain, a noted scholar of bazaar icons will be our discussant.


Presenter 1
Atreyee Majumder - atreyee.m@gmail.com (O P Jindal Global University)
A Vehicular Map of Sacrality Across the Braj Region

Presenter 2
Bhoomika Joshi - bhookmika.joshi@yale.edu ()
The Sacred Geography of Death Before Its Time in the Kumaon Himalayas

Presenter 3
Radhika Govindrajan - radhikagovindrajan@gmail.com (University of Washington at Seattle)
Sacred geographies for sacred cows: religion, ethics, and nature in India’s Central Himalayas

Presenter 4
Sarover Zaidi - sarover@gmail.com (Max Planck Institute)
The Ordinary Sacred: tracking minarets, courtyards and corners in Bombay


Hidden Meaning: Absence, Obscurity and Invisibility in the Tamil Temple
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Archana Venkatesan - avenkatesan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)

Discussant / Chair
Archana Venkatesan - avenkatesan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)

Since Diana Eck’s influential book Darsan (1981), scholarship in the fields of South Asian religion and art history have expanded our understanding of Hindu practices of visuality. Our panel explores the many ways in which the opposites of visibility and presence—invisibility, illegibility, reflection, and fragmentation—operate as vectors of experience within the Hindu temple. Our four panelists take as their points of departure inscriptions, built form and festival ritual to draw attention to temples as sites of hidden materiality to theorize the visuality of the unseen. Both Padma Kaimal and Leslie Orr grapple with the notion of the inscription as an infallible, always visible record of the past. While Padma Kaimal analyzes inscriptions still embedded in architecture, but whose viewers and purpose are now obscure to us, Leslie Orr examines the problematic production of inscriptions, particularly when they are incomplete, obscured or illegible. Archana Venkatesan draws our attention to the ways in which mirrors mediate visibility and obscurity in temple festivals as a means of ordering the relationship between god and the devotee. Anna Seastrand considers the unseen, richly decorated interiors of the temple gopurams of southern Tamil Nadu, to help us conceive alternative models of vision and visuality when the objects to be perceived are both inaccessible and hidden. Using the temples of Tamil Nadu as case-studies, our panelists foreground absence, erasure, obscurity, and invisibility to reframe our understanding of sight in Tamil temple culture specifically and Hindu religiosity more broadly.


Presenter 1
Padma Kaimal - pkaimal@colgate.edu (Colgate University)
Inscriptions and Invisibility at the Kailasanatha temple in Kanchi Padma Kaimal

Presenter 2
Leslie Orr - orr.leslie@gmail.com (Concordia University)
Text out of Sight: Absences, Interruptions and Obscurity in Tamil Temple Inscriptions

Presenter 3
Archana Venkatesan - avenkatesan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
The God in the Mirror: (In)visibility and Intimacy in Lay Temple Devotion

Presenter 4
Anna Seastrand - anna.seastrand@gmail.com (University of Minnesota)
Seeing in the Dark: On modes of perception in the Tamil temple


Cultures of Protest: The Question of Democracy in South Asia
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Gurbeer Singh - gsang002@ucr.edu ()

Chair
Gurbeer Singh - gsang002@ucr.edu

The last several years have seen a watershed in grassroots social protest movements in South Asia, including remarkable uprisings from Kashmiris, Muslims, Sikhs, and Dalits in India, and Balochis, Sindhis, and Pashtuns in Pakistan. This phenomenon is so apparent that Narendra Modi recently addressed the “Andolan Jeevi,” or one who lives to protest, as a constant variable in the country. In the context of the increasing authoritarianism in Modi’s government, this surge in protests suggests that democracy in South Asia arguably lives most vitally in the people’s continued drive to create alliances across identitarian lines to promote diversity, pluralism, and freedom. To address South Asia’s vibrant protest culture, this roundtable panel will discuss the recent protests--including anti-CAA protests and Shaheen Bagh, the ongoing farmers’ protest, the Kashmiri movement, the Pashteen Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), in the light of democracy and authoritarianism in South Asia. Participants: Hafsa Kanjwal, History, Contributing Kashmiri Narratives, Lafayette College. Farooq Yousaf, Politics, contributions on the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, University of Newcastle Sara Hakeem Grewal, Comparative Literature, contributions on the anti-CAA protests, MacEwan University Harjeet Singh Grewal, Religious Studies, contributions on thr Farmer’s protests, University of Calgary Gurbeer Singh, Religious Studies, Sikh involvements in protests, University of California, Riverside Tejpaul Bainiwal, Religious Studies, Farmer’s protests, University of California, Riverside


Presenter 1
Tejpaul Bainiwal - tbain001@ucr.edu (University of California, Riverside)
Presenter 2
Sara Grewal - grewals42@macewan.ca
Presenter 3
Harjeet Grewal - harjeet.grewal@ucalgary.ca
Presenter 4
Hafsa Kanjwal - kanjwalh@lafayette.edu
Presenter 5
Farooq Yousaf - farukyuaf@gmail.com
Presenter 6
Mohamed Junaid - mohamed.junaid@mcla.edu
Presenter 7
Prabhsharanbir Singh - prabhsharanbir.singh@ubc.ca

Colonial Constitutionalism in South Asia: Beyond Nationalist Paradigms
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Arudra Burra - burra@hss.iitd.ac.in (Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi)

Discussant / Chair
Arudra Burra - burra@hss.iitd.ac.in (Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi)

Discussions of constitutionalism in South Asia often take the relationship between sovereignty and constitutionalism for granted. One way in which post-colonial constitutions are taken to be valuable is in the ways that they signal a departure from the colonial legal order. In some cases, e.g. India, they are taken to inaugurate, and be emblematic of, a new kind of national consciousness unavailable during colonial rule. This panel seeks to complicate the relationship between colonialism and constitutionalism. What changes in our view of contemporary constitutionalism if one takes seriously the claims of colonial legal orders to be *legal*orders? What should we make of traditions of constitutional thought which were outside the margins of the largely nationalist framework within which Indian constitutionalism is usually discussed? These are some of the topics which the papers in this panel address.


Presenter 1
Arudra Burra - burra@hss.iitd.ac.in (Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi)
Constitutionalism before the Constitution: Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, 1946-50

Presenter 2
Arvind Elangovan - arvi29@gmail.com (Wright State University)
Towards Political Histories of the Indian Constitution

Presenter 3
Donal Coffey - coffey@rg.mpg.de (Max Planck Institute for European Legal History)
Parliamentary Supremacy and Unitary Colonial Constitutions

Presenter 4
Tejas Parasher - tp491@cam.ac.uk (University of Cambridge)
“The Characteristic Indian Formations”: B.N. Seal’s 1923 Constitution for Mysore


Women Voters and Politicians in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Aliz Toth - aliztoth@stanford.edu (Stanford University)

Discussant / Chair
Rikhil Bhavnani - bhavnani@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin)

This panel explores how women both as voters and elected representatives are reshaping politics in India and Pakistan. New research has documented women’s increasing participation in politics as voters, party workers, candidates, and political representatives; however, various obstacles continue to block women’s full participation in these spaces. Papers in this panel use a political economy approach to examine the origins of the gender gap in participation and the impact of women representatives in South Asia. First, the paper by Thompson and Rahman investigates the role mobility constraints play in the political participation gender gap in Pakistan. The authors use innovative survey experiments to study this problem and they find that increasing women's mobility can lead to higher participation, knowledge, and efficacy. Second, Jamil’s paper focuses on another obstacle to women’s participation: resources. This paper leverages a large-scale cash transfer program in Pakistan and a cutting-edge research design to study how women’s access to state transfers can increase women’s voter turnout and reduce reliance on traditional intermediaries. Third, Brule and Toth argue that it is women who face discrimination on account of both their gender and ethnicity who are the most likely to transform society. Using data on quotas for women and Scheduled Tribes, the authors find that it is when these two sets of quotas intersect that we find greater social cohesion, increased political participation for women, and lower levels of caste-conflict. Finally, the paper by Kaur et al. further substantiate the importance of female politicians by demonstrating that quotas for women increase women’s participation in civic groups. Together, these papers build new theory and provide rigorous empirical evidence on obstacles to women’s participation and their potential for transforming social relations once elected to office.


Presenter 1
Sarah Thompson - sft1@stanford.edu ()
Roadblocks Remain: Constraints to Women’s Political Participation and Mobility in Pakistan

Presenter 2
Aliz Toth - aliztoth@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Are Quotas In Two Dimensions Better than One? Intersectional Representation & Group Relations in India

Presenter 3
Rehan Jamil - rehan_jamil@brown.edu (Brown University)
Being Seen by the State: Cash Transfers and Women's Political Participation in Pakistan

Presenter 4
Komal Preet Kaur - komal.kaur@colorado.edu (University of Colorado Boulder)
The Localized Effects of Institutional Change: A Quasi-Experiment on Gender Quotas and Civic Engagement in India


Territory, Jurisdiction, and the Significance of Space in the Sovereignty of Nepal: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: PDR
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Amy Johnson - amy.l.johnson@yale.edu (Yale University)

Discussant / Chair
Amy Johnson - amy.l.johnson@yale.edu (Yale University)

For Nepal, a non-colonized nation-state of South Asia, the negotiation of sovereignty has long been an internal struggle. Geopolitics hardened international borders, but the character of the nation-state has been shaped by perennial contests over the nature of authority and autonomy across diverse landscapes of peoples, environments, and political entities within Nepali state space. We observe echoes of past episodes of state-making in the present as Nepal shifts from a largely centralized state to a decentralized federal state; Yet we also acknowledge the impact of extra-territorial networks on the expression of a “New Nepal.” To further interpretation and understanding of South Asian sovereignty, this panel brings historians and anthropologists together to query the spatial dynamics of autonomy and authority expressed in 18th to 21st century Nepal. Papers include discussions of subject populations concepts of justice deliverance and the expansion of state power in early modern eastern Nepal; debates over territorial divisions and images of solid states amongst public intellectuals of the constitutional State Restructuring Committee; the entwined state logics of land valuation and the governance of the family; and the use of digital platforms in the construction of national identity, demonstrated in online debates in Nepal surrounding the 2017 Gorkhaland Movement. Grounded in specific historical moments, the panelists take up the theme of space in physical, representational, and virtual forms, creating connections and contrasts from which to explore the significance of space in the sovereignty of Nepal. Insights from Nepal have the potential to broaden understanding of South Asian and crypto-colonial sovereignty more generally, and this panel contributes to this endeavor.


Presenter 1
Amy Johnson - amy.l.johnson@yale.edu (Yale University)
Setting the State in Stone: Arranging Territory and Consolidating Sovereignty in 21st Century Nepal

Presenter 2
Sanjog Rupakheti - srupakhe@holycross.edu ()
Customary Rights & State Sovereignty in Early Modern Eastern Nepal

Presenter 3
Dannah Dennis - dannahdennis@gmail.com (New York University Shanghai)
Claiming ‘Gorka’: Nationalist Affects on Nepali Facebook

Presenter 4
Andrew Haxby - drew.haxby@gmail.com ()
A Brief History of Valuation in Nepal


New Perspectives in Dalit Studies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Alya Ansari - ansarialya@gmail.com (University of Minnesota)

Discussant / Chair
Alya Ansari - ansarialya@gmail.com (University of Minnesota)

-


Presenter 1
Alya Ansari - ansarialya@gmail.com (University of Minnesota)
Caste and Class in Indian Fiction: Dalit Representation and “Women’s Work” in the Short Stories of Mahashweta

Presenter 2
Anupriya Pandey - apandey8@buffalo.edu (State University of New York at Buffalo)
Reframing Emergent Dalit Resistance: Against the Teleology of Political Success

Presenter 3
Shalmali Umakant Jadhav - shalmali@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
Rethinking the Consumption of Dalit Women’s Autobiographies: Reading Kumud Pawde’s Untranslatable Outbursts

Presenter 4
Suresha K C Suresha - sureshasring@gmail.com ()
Dialogue breaks caste resistance: A Case Study of the Temple Entry of Dalits in Mangalore in the 1980s

Presenter 5
Drishadwati Bargi - bargi003@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
On the rejection of Ram Rajya, the city of destruction and parrhesiastic belonging: Reading Bhanwar Meghwanshi’s autobiography in times of Fascism.


Gender, Visual Culture, and Contemporary South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Barbara Grossman - barbara.grossman-thompson@csulb.edu (California State University, Long Beach)

Discussant / Chair
Barbara Grossman - barbara.grossman-thompson@csulb.edu (California State University, Long Beach)

-


Presenter 1
Barbara Grossman - barbara.grossman-thompson@csulb.edu (California State University, Long Beach)
Adolescent Girls’ Perceptions of Gendered Social Messaging in Public Art in Nepal

Presenter 2
Jessica Gibson - r22jlg@mun.ca (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Queering the Brahmanical Hindu Canon: Chitra Ganesh’s “Eyes of Time” as a Revelation of Hidden and Erased Voices and Bodies in the Hindu Diaspora Narrative

Presenter 3
Haripriya Narasimhan - haripriya@la.iith.ac.in (Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad)
Saloka Sengupta - lap1002@iith.ac.in ()
A difficult bridge to cross for folk art: Nachni nach and Digital Media in West Bengal, India


Environmental Issues Across South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Hanna Werner - hanna.werner@uni-erfurt.de (University of Erfurt)

Discussant / Chair
Hanna Werner - hanna.werner@uni-erfurt.de (University of Erfurt)

-


Presenter 1
Hanna Werner - hanna.werner@uni-erfurt.de (University of Erfurt)
Walking a fine line: The cultural politics of environmentalism in India

Presenter 2
Tapoja Chaudhuri - chaudhut@seattleu.edu (Seattle University )
Development Dreams and Conservation Conundrums: A decade-long glance at a Kerala Tiger Reserve

Presenter 3
Christopher LaMack - lamackcg@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Poor Land, Rich Land, Big Land, in Brief: Exploring South Indian Land Use in the Early Company Raj

Presenter 4
Samuel Frantz - sfrantz@gwu.edu (George Washington University)
Companies as Donors: How the Rise of Corporate Funding Undermines Development Accountability in India


Class, gender, sexuality: Bangladesh through its literary, performative, and visual cultural practices
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Elora Chowdhury - elora.chowdhury@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Chair
Elora Chowdhury - elora.chowdhury@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)

This roundtable brings together literary, performative, and visual cultural threads to animate a conversation around class, gender, sexual norms, violence, and justice in contemporary Bangladesh. Exploring the intersection of feminism, human rights, and memory through cinematic narratives, Elora Chowdhury argues visual practices of recollecting violent histories of war and colonization can generate possibilities for just futures. Questioning the politics of gendered national memory-making in relation to experiences of vulnerability and violence, she asks: What role does women’s cinema play in addressing the memorialization of past violence and in creating visions for healing and justice? Nadine Murshid and Manosh Chowdhury discuss how film songs from the 1970s produce a set of inter-related binaries that are used to depict women, such as vamp vs. housewives, girlfriend material vs. marriage material, bold vs. slut, and sexual vs. naïve. These binary representations set the stage for the formation of a middle-class sensibility as well as normalize forms of sexual violence in the newly independent nation. Another marker of middle-class sensibility, Rabindra Sangeet informed the idea of secular Bengali nationalism as shonar Bangla, gaining popularity as a way to envision Bangladesh’s future. Navine Murshid asks what role Rabindra Sangeet plays in providing cultural capital to the upwardly mobile educated middle class who see cultural engagement, as opposed to capital accumulation, as a symbol of “class.” Turning to dance techniques as a formative mode of class and gender norms, Munjulika Tarah explores associations of morality that are significant aspects of dance pedagogy and performance in Bangladesh. Tarah argues, although dance technique training is primarily thought of as the physical conditioning of the body for a specific dance form, archival material and ethnographic anecdotes from Bangladeshi dance classes reveal that dance techniques are also ways of teaching feminine morality surrounding notions of middle-class respectability.


Presenter 1
Elora Chowdhury - elora.chowdhury@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Presenter 2
Nadine Shaanta Murshid - nadinemurshid1@gmail.com (University at Buffalo)
Presenter 3
Navine Murshid - navinemurshid@gmail.com (Colgate University)
Presenter 4
Munjulika Tarah - mr25@williams.edu
Presenter 5
Manosh Chowdhury - manosh@juniv.edu

Cinema of Fragments/Cohesions: Musical, Comic, Progressive, and Corporate Impulses in Contemporary Indian Cinema
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai - eswaran@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

Discussant / Chair
Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai - eswaran@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

This panel engages with contemporary Indian cinema of the new millennium, particularly the cinema during and after its digital turn from the celluloid, to explore the way its form and content is getting shaped by the availability and affordances of technology, spaces for distribution/exhibition, including the OTT platforms and the social media, enabling the travels of clips and memes as paratexts. This panel also addresses the cinema that aspires to the classical style of theatrical distribution along with the contemporary digital spaces. Towards this end, the papers in this panel point to the fluid and fragmentary nature of contemporary cinema in its reinvention of the traditional comedy and musical sequences/song picturizations and dance choreography. It also argues for the cohesiveness of films as predicated on the needs of the anticipated spectator embedded in the text as it circulates in the middle-class homes of the OTT subscribers. It also explores the traces of the political cinema of the past in the mountainous terrains of the Western Ghats to foreground the counter voices within the all subsuming reaches of digital capitalism. While star texts, and innovative lyrics and hybrid songs, and the relationships predicated on class and caste in their reimaginings continue to drive contemporary Indian cinema, this panel foregrounds the way its melodramatic yearnings for affirming the status quo is undermined by the socio-cultural milieu and the economic conditions of its production/reception.


Presenter 1
Amrutha Kunapulli - kunapull@msu.edu ()
Interludes and Interruptions: The Evolution of the Cine-Music in Contemporary Tamil Cinema

Presenter 2
B. Geetha - b.geetha1411@gmail.com (IIT-Bombay)
“Enna Vechu Comedy Keemedy Panlaye?” : The Cinematic Representation of the Comedian Vadivelu in Tamil Films

Presenter 3
Sushmita Banerji - sushmita.banerji@iiit.ac.in (IIIT Hyderabad)
Riding the white tiger calmly: Netflix in India

Presenter 4
Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai - eswaran@msu.edu (Michigan State University)
Globalization and the Ghats: Displacement of a Community/Culture


Archaeology of South Asia: New Perspectives
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Swathi Gorle - swathigorle@gmail.com (Rutgers University)

Discussant / Chair
Swathi Gorle - swathigorle@gmail.com (Rutgers University)

-


Presenter 1
Sarfaraz Khan - sarfarazkhan@uswat.edu.pk (University of Swat)
Sacrality Continues: The Presence of Pre-Islamic Times’ Traditions in Muslim Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

Presenter 2
Pradeep Sangapala - sangapal@ualberta.ca (University of Alberta)
Terra Incognita to Anuradhapura: The production of a new spatial consciousness of the Holy City in later-19th century British Colonial incorporation of Lanka

Presenter 3
Swathi Gorle - swathigorle@gmail.com (Rutgers University)
Andhra After Amarāvathī: Colonial Influence on Approaches to Cultural Heritage in India

Presenter 4
Mark Hauser - mark-hauser@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Colonial Tranquebar Archaeological Survey

Presenter 5
Arvin Raj Mathur - armathur@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
The Impact of Tempering and Exterior Vessel Appliqués on the Efficiency of Indus Cooking Pots


Weather, Risk and Knowledge Production in Colonial India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Baishakh Chakrabarti - bchak@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

Discussant / Chair
Baishakh Chakrabarti - bchak@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

The cyclones that regularly ravaged the littorals of the Bay of Bengal--sinking ships, damaging crops, devastating villages and livelihoods--became a site for scientific and financial experiments throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Vernacular forms of prognostication, prediction, counting and arbitration in India were repurposed in the pursuit of minimizing weather damage and making agrarian production more efficient. This panel investigates the rearticulation of astrological and other tacit knowledge systems within colonial conditions and institutions. Taking prognostication and hedging as unifying themes, all four papers examine the role of astrological knowledge or Jyotisha in agricultural production and speculation, as well as in the legal and scientific dimensions of nautical travel. Kumar demonstrates how figures like CR Chary produced astronomical data for navigation and revenue surveying at the Madras observatory, using British nautical data to imagine the prospects of a ‘reformed jyotishastra’. Bhattacharya draws attention to another site of colonial modernity: the maritime court. Bhattacharyya explores how the machinations around recruitment to the Bengal Pilot Service and Marine Court trials of pilots through the eighteenth century were early attempts at financial hedging against tidal waves and cyclonic wrecks in the Bay of Bengal. Carson draws on the genre of ‘cyclone poetry’ in Bengal in the mid-nineteenth century. Carson highlights caste and rural/urban fractures to illustrate the layered nature of these texts, and demonstrates how they amalgamated putatively economic ideas of hedging within the cosmopolitical ambit of ‘dharmic risk’. Finally, Chakrabarti looks at the adaptation of astrological models of rural agrarian manuals, like khanarvacan and bhadlivakya, for the purposes of spot betting on commodity prices, in the markets of Bombay and Calcutta. His paper demonstrates how astrological knowledge was repurposed in the twentieth century, in order to naturalize the idea of 'legitimate’ market speculation in India.


Presenter 1
Sarah Carson - sarah.carson@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Meteorological Moralities: Explaining Weather in Panjika Predictions and Cyclone Poetry

Presenter 2
Debjani Bhattacharyya - db893@drexel.edu (Drexel University)
Hedging Risks: Piloting and Wrecks in the Bay of Bengal

Presenter 3
Siva Prashant Kumar - spkumar@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
.“Why should we not have an Observatory of our own?”: the Jyotisa Chintamani and vernacular scientific modernity at Madras Observatory, c.1874

Presenter 4
Baishakh Chakrabarti - bchak@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
From Rain To Grain: Shifting Contents of Prognostication


Panel II: Knowledge in Motion: State, Science and Medicine in and beyond South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Marjan Wardaki - mwardaki@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)

Discussant / Chair
Bharat Venkat - bvenkat@gmail.com (Princeton University)

This panel features empirically and theoretically informed contributions that bring the history of science and medicine in South Asia in conversation with the history of knowledge. In particular, the papers are centered on the different processes in which scientific and medical knowledge, instruments, texts and practitioners from South Asia moved around the globe in the colonial and postcolonial period. By following the multidirectional trajectories of scientists, this panel emphasizes the need to complicate the unitary view of South Asia as an uncontested historical unit of analysis, and considers the experimental and relational process in which practitioners produced and exchanged ideas. A set of questions that this panel seeks to ask includes teasing out the participation of South Asian scientists as intermediaries that connected South Asia institutionally with other parts of the world. In particular, the papers will expose different knowledge modalities (botanical, medical, parapsychological, and technical) to demonstrate the interconnectivity between science, medicine, and other diverse South Asian traditions of knowledge. The paper considers the important role of science beyond its original site, and highlights processes that involved the reciprocal relationship of scientific knowledge on everyday forms of choices and negotiation among itinerants and the institutions they visited. In other words, the panel hopes to show that knowledge was in constant flux and transferable to new social settings.


Presenter 1
Banu Subramaniam - banu@wost.umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
A Universal Botany? Tagore’s Shantiniketan and his Experiments with the Natural

Presenter 2
Projit Bihari Mukharji - mukharji@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Between the Yogi and the Commissar: Parapsychological Exchanges between India and the Soviet Bloc

Presenter 3
Nikhil Menon - menonikhil@gmail.com (Princeton University)
Mastering Calculation: Computers and Science in Postcolonial India

Presenter 4
Marjan Wardaki - mwardaki@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)
Between Berlin and Edinburgh: South Asian Students and the Making of Medical Knowledge, 1898-1952


Late Literary Modernisms: Experiments in Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Preetha Mani - preetha.mani@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University)

Discussant / Chair
Preetha Mani - preetha.mani@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University)

Scholars have characterized a shared historical trajectory for modernism across South Asian literatures that locates its rise in 1930s progressivist discussions about the purpose of literature and its evolution to late modernism in the 1950s and 1960s due to pressures imposed by decolonization. Yet, the influence of postindependence social and political changes—spurred by the atrocities and displacement of Partition; frenzied debates about national language; brutal struggles over land and resources; and intense protest surrounding caste, religious, and regional identities—on aesthetic debates in the subcontinent have not been deeply examined. This panel seeks to explore the relationships between these changes and new forms of modernist experimentation in postindependence Hindi, Urdu, and Bengali literature. In particular, it seeks to offer inroads for understanding how South Asian late modernism unfolded, simultaneously intersecting with and departing from the concerns of the postindependence developmental state in complex—and sometimes contradictory—ways. How did late modernist literary trends reject, reconfigure, or renew earlier progressivist and experimentalist literary positions to address postindepence social and political life? How did they theorize the relationship between politics and literature? Through an exploration of postindependence aesthetic debates about modernity and tradition, Hindi and Urdu poetics, political radicalism, and gendered subjectivity, this panel suggests that the 1950s and 1960s marks a shared moment of highly self-conscious, politically troubled modernist theorizing across South Asian literatures.


Presenter 1
Jennifer Dubrow - jdubrow@uw.edu ()
A Mirror of Life: Redefining Tradition and Experimentalism in the Urdu Progressive Writers’ Movement

Presenter 2
Gregory Goulding - ggouldin@sas.upenn.edu ()
Urdu after Hindi in the work of Shamsher Bahadur Singh

Presenter 3
Preetha Mani - preetha.mani@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University)
Half a Smile: Desire and Writerly Authenticity in Late Hindi Modernism

Presenter 4
Supurna Dasgupta - supurnadg@gmail.com (The University of Chicago)
Flagrant Aesthetics: Bengali radical modernism in the 1960s


Exploring Gender in Colonial South Asia: A Round-Table Discussion on "Women, Islam, and Familial Intimacy in South Asia" (2021) and "Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: the Hijra, c. 1850-1900" (2019)
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Rupali Warke - rwarke@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

Chair
Rupali Warke - rwarke@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

Feminist historiography has enriched the knowledge of gender relations, particularly the patriarchy’s function in formulating social hierarchies. In the colonial context, it has problematized social reformism and colonial ideas of progress and liberation. This panel will discuss two recent prominent works on gender and sexuality which engage with this scholarship with different approaches. Asiya Alam’s "Women, Islam, and Familial Intimacy in South Asia" looks at women’s critique of the Islamic social reforms in the discourse on family and marriage in early twentieth-century Urdu print literature. It conceives family as a site of intellectual contestation of modernity by ashraf women. By refocusing on the everyday experiences of women, this work interrogates the influence of didactic literature in studying gender. Jessica Hinchy’s "Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India" looks at the colonial regulation of sexuality and gender in the context of the transgender Hijra community of the North Western Province in the late nineteenth century. The book explores how colonial surveillance criminalized and marginalized Hijras through state interference in households and social practices. The book employs a creative methodology focusing on the production of the archive to look at the colonial governance of social order. The authors will be joined by leading scholars of gender history. Siobhan Lambert-Hurley will discuss South Asian Islam’s influence on women’s writings and family. Anshu Malhotra will share her perspective on women’s appropriation of literary traditions for transcending social identity. Rochisha Narayan will comment on women’s negotiations with the colonial state to challenges of male authority. After the presentations, we open the floor to the audience for a lively discussion.


Presenter 1
Siobhan Lambert-Hurley - s.t.lambert-hurley@sheffield.ac.uk
Presenter 2
Presenter 3
Rochisha Narayan - rochisha.narayan@ucf.edu (University of Central Florida)
Presenter 4
Asiya Alam - aalam@lsu.edu (Louisiana State University)
Presenter 5
Jessica Hinchy - jhinchy@ntu.edu.sg (Nanyang Technological University)

Bodies in Resistance: The Politics of Vulnerable Women’s Resistance Movements in India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Nidhi Shrivastava - nshrivas@uwo.ca (University of Western Ontario)

Discussant / Chair
Lopamudra Basu - basul@uwstout.edu (University of Wisconsin-Stout)

Although the #metoo movement has recently played a key role in the conviction of Harvey Weinstein this year bringing some semblance of justice to the issue of gender-based violence in North America, the same cannot be said for the women’s resistance movements that have taken place in India. Our panel addresses and questions the complexities and nuances that women’s resistance movements face as they struggle to come to fruition at a time when the culture of fear is reinforced in India creating power structures that silence the victims of gender-based violence in the #metoo era reinforcing the sinister rape culture that exists in the country. Through the examination of the history and conflict in North East India as these states have faced draconian laws that continue to plague the region, the conflicts that are taking place in the Indian film industry, and the #Dalitwomenfight - a media initiative that aims to highlight the caste-based sexual violence, we seek to engage into the difficult and often uncomfortable questions that surround these resistant movements: how does a woman’s body become a site of resistance and power? Is speaking up, as what #metoo movement celebrates, merely a utopian fantasy in India? Can the grassroots movement, with the help of social media and digital storytelling, help these women seek justice for the marginalized and vulnerable Dalit women? We will explore these issues through the examination of testimonials from women from the North East, the analysis of #metoo initiatives in the Indian film industry as well as representation of gender-based violence in short films and popular feature films, and through activist blogs, videos, and social media of Dalit women.


Presenter 1
Nidhi Shrivastava - nshrivas@uwo.ca (University of Western Ontario)
What Has Happened to The #MeToo Movement In India? - Nidhi Shrivastava

Presenter 2
Ruma Sinha - rusinha@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
#Dalitwomenfight and the Resistance Against Caste and Gender-Based Violence - Ruma Sinha

Presenter 3
Sumitra Thoidingjam - thoidingjam@gmail.com ()
Soldiers in Sarong: Resistance, Peace Building and the Mother’s Associations of Northeastern India - Sumitra Thoidingja


Dance, Music, and the Politics of Time and Tradition
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Natalia Hildner - nataliakathak@gmail.com (Roehampton University)

Discussant / Chair
Natalia Hildner - nataliakathak@gmail.com (Roehampton University)

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Presenter 1
Aruna Kharod - akharod@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin)
Instrumental Changes: Policy, materiality, and innovation in contemporary sitar-making traditions

Presenter 2
Mark Whitaker - mark.whitaker@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)
Trance, familiarity, and the consolation of dancing gods in pre-war and post-war Hindu Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.

Presenter 3
Natalia Hildner - nataliakathak@gmail.com (Roehampton University)
“If something is delicious ultimately it will win – maybe not immediately because it will have to fight through cultural walls, but over time deliciousness wins” – (Dave Chan, Ugly Delicious, Netflix)

Presenter 4
Rohini Acharya - acharya.48@osu.edu (The Ohio State University )
Virtual Festivals: Examining Aesthetic and Thematic Changes to Bharata Natyam Practice within US-based Online Platforms

Presenter 5
Mallika Yeleswarapu - myeleswarapu@scu.edu (Santa Clara University)
Dancing Into the Future: Gendered Bodies, Identity Formation, and Coming of Age in Silicon Valley’s Telugu Diaspora


Trajectories and Tensions in South Asian Islamic Modernism
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Maria-Magdalena Pruss - maria-magdalena.pruss@zmo.de (ZMO Berlin)

Discussant / Chair
Maria-Magdalena Pruss - maria-magdalena.pruss@zmo.de (ZMO Berlin)

Debates about Islamic modernism in South Asia often circle back to a handful of select figures, texts, and institutions, such as the college at Aligarh, Syed Ahmad Khan, Syed Ameer Ali, and Muhammad Iqbal. This panel will explore South Asian Islamic modernism beyond those well-trodden paths by looking at less-explored thinkers, institutions, and writings that were part of the modernist enterprise as well in order to shed new light on the work of both famous and lesser-known Muslim intellectuals. What constitutes a modernist ‘theology’? How were modernist ideas taught and disseminated? How did other Muslim scholars and lay thinkers react to these debates? Does the standard categorization of these debates into rival ‘modernist’ and ‘fundamentalist’ camps properly reflect the complexity of the ideas contained therein? Can we nonetheless speak of a modernist “canon”, and if so, how did it emerge and evolve over time? What are the social and political aspects of a modernist Muslim culture? These are some of the questions we ask. The panel explores the wider history of Islamic modernism in South Asia through a number of key figures and themes that have received inadequate attention in the historiography so far. By doing so, it will address debates about religious identity, religious authority, and the social history of reformist movements in both colonial and postcolonial South Asia.



Contested Sovereignties : insurgency and counterinsurgency in India in comparative perspective
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Shubh Mathur - shubhmathur2012@gmail.com (n/a)

Chair
Shubh Mathur - shubhmathur2012@gmail.com (n/a)

For over seven decades, the superimposition of a strong centralized power structure and an extractive economy on a terrain of ethnic and religious difference has produced a recurring pattern of conflict in the Indian borderlands. Beginning with Nagaland, followed by Mizoram, Manipur and other places in the northeast, Punjab, Kashmir and the central Indian Adivasi belt, Indian counterinsurgency operations too have followed a remarkably consistent pattern over the years. The experience of the target populations in the borderlands - which may be defined as physical, cultural and resource frontiers with a minority identity - has many parallels, even though the far-flung regions are widely separated by space, history and culture. The symposium brings together experienced and early career researchers to examine the social experience of life and resistance in the conflict zones. Read as a whole, these conflicts provide a portrait of the relationship between Indian state and society on the the one hand, and the ethnic and religious minorities which inhabit the borderlands, on the other. New research across the regions highlights the political economy of conflict, looking at control over land and natural resources, as wall as the cultural and territorial imperatives of the nation-state opposed to the claims of self-determination and cultural autonomy. Alongside the lived experience of conflict, participants will discuss life beyond politics and the sources of resistance. Insight into the goals of different movements, of which insurgency is one phase, illustrates the cultural bases of resistance and their critique from the margins of the expansionist Indian state and its corporate accompaniments. Movements for memory and justice too have many parallels and common learnings shared across time and space.


Presenter 1
Dibyesh Anand - d.anand@westminster.ac.uk
Presenter 2
Pritam Singh - psingh@brookes.ac.uk
Presenter 3
Amina Mir - amina_mir@outlook.com
Presenter 4
Felix Padel - felishmr@gmail.com
Presenter 5
Shubh Mathur - shubhmathur2012@gmail.com (n/a)
Presenter 6
Rev. Tezenlo Thong - tthong@mtnskyumc.org

Ideals Enacted: Transitions to Socio-Political Modernity in South Asia, c. 1930-1970 C.E.
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Brian Cannon - bcannon@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

Discussant / Chair
John Rogers - rogersjohnd@aol.com (American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies)

The late colonial and early postcolonial period in South Asia necessarily catalyzed the emergence of new areas of socio-political thought. This moment of intellectual vigor, professed nationalism, and marked cultural change characterized the myriad elements defining everyday social life (such as caste and urban planning) as much as overarching systems of political economy (from capitalism to communism). Indeed, the interpretation, innovation, and enactment of ideals discussed across the breadth of society, from vocal public intellectuals, to caste groups staking claims in particular political projects, to architects envisioning novel physical landscapes, signaled a decisive turn in subcontinental history, when conceptions of history and society were re-imagined for the region’s independent nation states. The papers herein chronologically trace this history of transitions to modernity through four cases of socio-political reformation. The first questions the process through which several communities sought to unify and legitimize their “ancient” caste status in the decades immediately preceding independence. The second traces mid-twentieth century shifts in thinking on social structure and evolution that located India’s communist roots in the Vedas. The third highlights the intersection of caste and political economy in postcolonial south India, to examine the processes of social inclusion and exclusion propelled by the nation’s burgeoning capitalist enterprise. The fourth looks to the built environment of later twentieth-century Delhi to illustrate a re-imagining of Indian architecture on Indian terms, that pushed against older European influences. Rather than stand alone, each of these papers seeks to address various perspectives of socio-political transition (micro and macro, cultural and economic) that together bear witness to an important period of change as South Asia re-conceived significant facets of its history. The discussant will place these analyses in broader cultural-historical context by mapping contemporaneous developments in Sri Lanka.


Presenter 1
Michael Dodson - msdodson@indiana.edu (Indiana University)
A New Architecture for a More Modern Delhi

Presenter 2
Juned Shaikh - jmshaikh@ucsc.edu (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Transitions and Primitive Communism: An Indian Story

Presenter 3
Radha Kumar - rkuma100@maxwell.syr.edu ()
Caste, Capitalism, and Democracy in Tamil Nadu

Presenter 4
Brian Cannon - bcannon@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Claiming Caste: Re-defining Lineage in Late Colonial North India


Speculative Futures: Economic Imaginings and the Making of Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Elizabeth Lhost - Elizabeth.Lhost@dartmouth.edu (Dartmouth College)

Discussant / Chair
Douglas Haynes - douglas.e.haynes@dartmouth.edu (Dartmouth College)

Moments of economic crisis are also moments of economic creativity. When war, disease, political upheaval, or social unrest disrupt the regular course of business, they also create space for new visions to emerge--visions that reimagine the balance between profits and losses, that reconsider the ties between risks and losses, and that reformulate the relationship between the haves and have nots. Certainly, social, political, and economic commentary throughout the pandemic, and the policy recommendations and programs that have emerged in recent months, recognize the potential for the novel coronavirus pandemic not only to reveal existing fractures and fissures in economic systems but also to provide an opportunity for societies as a whole to reconsider the net worth of capital accumulation and the problems that arise from ignoring capitalism’s underdogs. Working from the context of late-colonial and early postcolonial South Asia, the papers on this panel draw upon historical examples to explore the possibilities of alternative, unconventional, imaginative, and forgotten approaches to economic activity and life under capitalism. Specifically, they engage with materials found at the intersections of law, economics, social and business history to examine the formation and expression of alternative economic structures and to reconsider experiments with them. Working through a series of case studies--from the court of wards, to time -bargain contracts, to chit funds, to trusteeship--the papers engage with themes of financial expertise and management; responsible risk-taking and public gaming; the prospects of assigning value and speculating on material and immaterial goods; and the politics of public good and philanthropy. Taking the prolonged economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to rethink economic assumptions, the papers on this panel use evidence from the past to evaluate the opportunities and uncertainties that moments of change create for new economic imaginings.



New Forms of Political Engagement and Resistance in 21st Century Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: PDR
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Nida Kirmani - nida.kirmani@lums.edu.pk (Lahore University of Management Sciences)

Discussant / Chair
Nida Kirmani - nida.kirmani@lums.edu.pk (Lahore University of Management Sciences)

This panel explores the nature of political resistance in contemporary Pakistan both at the everyday level and in the form of organized political movements. The political sphere has transformed dramatically over the last few years in particular following both an increasing militarization along with the opening up of new spaces for democratic engagement, particularly via social media. At the national level, the revival of the nationalist insurgency in Balochistan after 2006, the military operations against the Taliban from 2007 onwards in former-FATA and Swat, and the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar paved the way for increasing control by the military which has manifested in the form of increased numbers of enforced disappearances and curbs on the media and freedom of expression in general. The space for formal political organizing has also shrunk at the local level in cities like Karachi, which has witnessed a paramilitary Operation since 2013. While formal political organizing has been deliberately dismantled by the state apparatus, new movements and avenues for individual expression and resistance have emerged in recent years. The papers in this panel explore emergent forms of political resistance in recent years—a period that has been shaped by neoliberalism and new forms of authoritarian control by the state.


Presenter 1
Ayesha Khan - ayesha.ahsan30@gmail.com (University of Sussex)
‘We have to be everywhere’: Women and Protest Politics in Pakistan

Presenter 2
Mariam Durrani - mdurrani@hamilton.edu ()
Navigating Performances of Respectability and Dignity in the Imperial University

Presenter 3
Aslam Kakar - aslam.kakar@rutgers.edu ()
Turkish Kurds and Pakistani Pashtuns: A comparative analysis of social movements in response to state violence

Presenter 4
Nida Kirmani - nida.kirmani@lums.edu.pk (Lahore University of Management Sciences)
Exploring the Possibilities and Limits of Everyday Resistance in Lyari, Karachi


The ‘Indescribable Country’: Historical and Contemporary Narratives of Maithili Identity
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Christopher Diamond - christopher.diamond@anu.edu.au (The Australian National University)

Discussant / Chair
Pranav Prakash - pranav-prakash@uiowa.edu

Conceptually, the region of Mithila (contemporary North Bihar) has occupied both the centres and peripheries of many overlapping and intersecting literary spheres. In its own right, Mithila boasts a centuries-long vernacular tradition that is self-conscious of its place in the literary and linguistic map of North and Eastern India. In the modern era, Maithili authors and literary critics have forged a contemporary tradition that at times looks inward to the ‘desa’ (homeland) and at other times outwards to the ‘rastra’ (nation). This panel considers Maithili identity from a variety of perspectives to reconstruct the ways by which Maithili-speakers and their audiences construct multilayered identities. These identities, which play on both prestige and marginalisation, are essential for a more nuanced understanding of subnational/regional vernacular traditions in South Asia. This panel will include discussions of the self-fashioned notion of ‘Maithili-ness’ in the historical and contemporary periods. Much of the stereotypical discussions on Maithili identity have revolved around elite structures of power and prestige, dominated by a Brahmin-Kayasth hegemony. A few papers in this panel interrogate the historical origin of this caste-oriented narrative of power by considering the historical and contemporary appeal of the Maithili language to project power, sovereignty, and prestige in Bihar and further afield. Other papers in this panel unravel that narrative and explore how other voices also construct ‘Maithili-ness’ through performance and story-telling. The narratives of women and non-Brahmins will be highlighted. This panel is multi-disciplinary and examines these many narrative threads told about ‘Maithili-ness’ through print, poetry, performance, and storytelling.


Presenter 1
Christopher Diamond - christopher.diamond@anu.edu.au (The Australian National University)
The Songs of Our Forefathers: Maithili Literary Cosmopolitanism amongst the Mallas of the Kathmandu Valley

Presenter 2
Ian Woolford - i.woolford@latrobe.edu.au ()
On the Attempts to Recover 'Bidapat Naach': A Maithili Performance Genre

Presenter 3
Coralynn V. Davis - cvdavis@bucknell.edu (Bucknell University)
Power Shifts in the Recontextualization of Maithil Women's Oral Tales

Presenter 4
Mithilesh Kumar Jha - jhamk21@iitg.ac.in ()
Language Politics and the Making of the Maithili Movement


Princely Parables: The Making of Cultural Heritage in Colonial-Era Princely States
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Amanda Lanzillo - lanzillo@princeton.edu (Princeton University)

Discussant / Chair
Ramya Sreenivasan - ramyas@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

In nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Asia, artists, performers, and artisans employed in the subcontinent’s many “princely states”-- quasi-autonomous polities under British colonial oversight-- negotiated shifting state visions of regional heritage and identity. Under the patronage of some rulers, princely states also mounted narratives of resistance to claims of a pan-Indian culture, by stressing their difference from it through art and their specific cultural, linguistic, and religious heritage. Though informed by colonial concepts of “modernity” and “tradition” within the arts and industry, princely state claims on heritage were refracted through localized historical, religious, and political narratives. This panel therefore asks how members of artist and artisan groups, as well as the institutions established to preserve and promote that heritage such as museums and schools of art, adapted their work and technical practices in response to princely articulations of heritage. Studies of princely states have traditionally been dominated by a small number of animating questions, many focused on the political positionality of states within the British imperial system. This panel seeks to move beyond these questions, centering instead the art, institutional histories, as well as the work and lived experiences of the residents of these states. We ask how local forms of cultural authority were experienced and reinterpreted by diverse groups of artists, artisans, and performers. The papers analyze the ways in which artists and artisans engaged with, repurposed, or resisted both princely and imperial claims on their work. While the papers together offer the potential for comparisons across states, they also take seriously state claims to singular and localized heritage and artistic forms.


Presenter 1
Sonali Dhanpal - s.dhanpal2@newcastle.ac.uk ()
Contracting for a New Bangalore.

Presenter 2
Amanda Lanzillo - lanzillo@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
Making Rampuri knives Rampuri: Princely heritage and artisan labor

Presenter 3
Radha Kapuria - radhakapuria@gmail.com ()
Musicians in the Archives: Tracking Resistance and Princely Patronage in colonial Patiala

Presenter 4
Swati Chawla - sc2wt@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology and Sikkim’s Resistance to Merger with India


Commodities & Crises in Agrarian-Urban India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Sai Balakrishnan - sbalakrishnan@berkeley.edu (University of California Berkeley)

Discussant / Chair
Swati Chattopadhyay - swati@arthistory.ucsb.edu
Co-Chair
Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan - k.sivaramakrishnan@yale.edu (Yale University)

At least since the nineteenth century, if not earlier, India’s agricultural “sector” has been both a site of productive plentitude as well as degradation and immiseration. Only recently, the COVID-19 pandemic brought into stark relief the gross unsustainability of how India’s majority population live, stuck precariously between the rural and the urban, between agriculture and industry, and between debt and development. This panel stages a broad, but also focused, set of questions on the recent and historical relationship between “the peasantry,” the state, and colonial-capitalism; and how these are materially situated in a region. The panel points to some peculiarities that characterize the place of agriculture in India. The agrarian is caught in an impossible paradox: The colonial and postcolonial states have successively intervened to make the agrarian yield surpluses for the urban and the industrial. Given that the normative routes by which people transition from the rural to the urban have been routinely stymied, this paradoxical formation of agrarian dependence without a functioning industrial and manufacturing economy has produced a category of the peasant-worker who is forced to be mobile between the village and the city. And it is these populations that were made brutally visible during the migrant crisis of 2020. It is these themes that the individual papers elaborate on. Chhabria and Khorakiwala examine the role of famine and public works in the construction of the peasant worker, a source of constant cheap labor. Sethi’s paper describes the new economy of hybrid cotton cultivation that produced a brief plenitude for dominant caste groups in Maharashtra. Balakrishnan’s paper traces the consequences of these agrarian transformations for the urbanizing Maratha middle-classes. Each of these papers provides a perspective on the farmer’s movement today, since many of these issues come to a historical head at this moment.


Presenter 1
Sai Balakrishnan - sbalakrishnan@berkeley.edu (University of California Berkeley)
Caste and Cooperatives: Property, Populism, and Provincial Capitalism in Western India

Presenter 2
Sheetal Chhabria - schhabri@conncoll.edu (Connecticut College)
From Famine to Hunger: Localizing and Nationalizing the Agrarian Question

Presenter 3
Ateya Khorakiwala - aak2223@columbia.edu (Columbia University)
The Colonial and Postcolonial Landscape of Public Works

Presenter 4
Aarti Sethi - aartisethi@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Caste and Hybrid Cotton in Vidarbha


Post-disaster experiences in Sri Lanka
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Narayani Sritharan - nsritharan@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

Discussant / Chair
Amita Shastri - ashastri@sfsu.edu (San Francisco State University)

This panel explores the post-disaster (tsunami and war) experience in the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. As enough years have passed since the tsunami in late 2004 and the end of the war in mid-2009, scholars are beginning to be able to investigate the long-term consequences of these disasters on minoritized or marginalized groups. This panel contributes to the South Asian post-disaster literature by analyzing the Sri Lankan experiences through vastly different fields, including South Asian studies, economics, sociology, public health, and political science. Sree Padma looks at identity management and negotiation, Ruvani Fonseka looks at intimate partner violence and its health consequences. Elizabeth Bittel looks at the implications of tying tourism development to post-disaster aid, and Narayani Sritharan looks at aid flows and its role on peacebuilding.


Presenter 1
Sree Padma Holt - spadma@bowdoin.edu (University of Chicago)
When Identities are Threatened: Narratives of “Lineage Medical Practitioners” in Sri Lanka

Presenter 2
Dhammika Herath - dhammikk@yahoo.com ()
Family in post-conflict North and East; the role of social work

Presenter 3
Elizabeth Bittel - elizabeth.bittel@cortland.edu ()
Visit Rural Lanka: Re-making “Home” on Shifting Sands

Presenter 4
Narayani Sritharan - nsritharan@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
The Role of Aid on Peace Consolidation in Postwar Sri Lanka


Making and unmaking lives: thresholds and ethical agency in Northeast India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Rishav Kumar Thakur - rishavthakur@gmail.com (Columbia University )

Discussant / Chair
Amit Baishya - arbaishya1@ou.edu (University of Oklahoma)

This panel on Northeast India explores multiple thresholds of social, cultural and political life that articulate ambiguities from sites of actual and lived experience as well as from imagined and fictional worlds. We emphasize the term threshold as it signifies simultaneous insides and outsides. We also highlight how thresholds are in flux and represent objects of action by ethical agents. To this end, narratives of belonging, positionality and violence are also relevant for a borderland region like Northeast India. The four papers negotiate questions of agency and narratives of ethical being and being-together in a postcolonial space. Precarious and grievable lives, whether signified variously as indigenous or immigrant, simultaneously reveal agency. Fiction, poetry and other articulations in language enable claims to territory and identity. All these forms of politics are played out in the battleground that the fraught northeast of India assumes as it accommodates itself within the ‘nation.’


Presenter 1
Dhrijyoti Kalita - dhrijyoti@gmail.com (University of Minnesota)
Eating and Eatability: Guilt and Rotten Onions in Jehirul Hussain’s “Mrigaya”

Presenter 2
SOIBAM HARIPRIYA - priya.soibam@gmail.com (Ghent University)
Living in the life of Language: Fiction and Poetry as Social Document

Presenter 3
Radhika Moral - radhika_moral@brown.edu (Brown University )
Poetic Subjectivities: Movement, Authorship and Erasure

Presenter 4
Rishav Kumar Thakur - rishavthakur@gmail.com (Columbia University )
Ethical boundary work in Bodoland and enlisting others in moral communities, one at a time


New Investigations in Media Studies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Afroz Taj - taj@unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Discussant / Chair
Afroz Taj - taj@unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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Presenter 1
Afroz Taj - taj@unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
‘Beghairat!’: Masculinity and (Dis)Honor in Contemporary Pakistani Teleplays

Presenter 2
Sucheta Kanjilal - skanjilal@ut.edu (University of Tampa)
Manic Pixie Desi Girl: Rebellion, Tradition, and Censorship in Bollywood

Presenter 3
Lia Wolock - wolock@uwm.edu (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Streaming While Brown: The Racialized and Gendered Politics of South Asian American Media Representation

Presenter 4
Hugo Ribadeau Dumas - hugo.ribadeaudumas@gmail.com (EHESS (France))
Strees in the streets. Gendered experiences of the urban space in India as portrayed by Hindi cinema: A quantitative analysis.

Presenter 5
Lauren Ruhnke - tue96437@temple.edu (Temple University)
Creating Virtual Community: Queer Indian Media and Digital Emergences


Institutions and their Records: Tracing Modern Allahabad
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sanjukta Poddar - sanjukta@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Co-Organizer
Alastair McClure - amcclure@hku.hk (University of Hong Kong)

Discussant / Chair
Malavika Kasturi - malavika.kasturi@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)

Within scholarship on colonial South Asia, the previous focus on the operations, institutions, and archives of the colonial state, and in particular its unwieldy institutionalized bureaucracy, has begun to shift. Scholars are increasingly taking into account the activities of indigenous actors, the importance of the concurrent emergence of new forms of institutions developed outside the realm of the state, and uncatalogued government records left outside of national and state record rooms. These stories are comparatively absent from state records and thus, are significant gaps now being addressed. Comparing and contrasting material collected from an assortment of such archives, this panel examines a range of influential institutions central to the development of the prominent North Indian city of Allahabad. Allahabad is a productive site in which to situate this inquiry for two reasons. First, it was perhaps the only city of such stature situated within the landlocked “heartland” and away from the coastal metropolises which witnessed such a wide spectrum of changes during its modern urban formation. Second, the city’s development was framed by both state-led apparatuses (such as the court and the university) alongside independent institutions rooted in civil society activity. Taking this historic city as its point of focus, the four papers thus examine different institutions and their archives, considering the networks they produced, and the individuals and communities that belonged to them. In doing so, we look at the ways in which these various institutions shaped, and in turn were shaped by, the social, political, religious, and economic life of the city. Moving across institutions situated at different places across the state-society divide, the papers examine the unpublished legal records of the Allahabad High Court, the American Presbyterian missionaries records relating to the Allahabad Agricultural Institute, archival material pertaining to the Kayastha Pathshala Trust, and indigenous knowledge production from Hindu pilgrims’ genealogical ledgers.


Presenter 1
Alastair McClure - amcclure@hku.hk (University of Hong Kong)
Going to Court: Unpublished Appeals from the Allahabad High Court

Presenter 2
Prakash Kumar - puk15@psu.edu (Penn State University)
From Peasants to Farmers: Allahabad Institute’s Modernist Maneuver

Presenter 3
Sanjukta Poddar - sanjukta@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Becoming Professional in Allahabad: Institution-building and Educational Strategies of the Hindustani Kayasthas

Presenter 4
Kunal Joshi - kjoshi8@jhu.edu (John Hopkins University)
Memory, Genealogy, and the Custodians of Tradition


Federalist Response to COVID19: a case of Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Younis Muhammad - muhammadyounis@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College ( A Chartered University))

Discussant / Chair
Younis Muhammad - muhammadyounis@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College ( A Chartered University))

Competition and confrontations are intrinsic in democratic systems. Federations are formed to manage all dichotomies and controversies inherent in the heterogeneous societies. Covid19 created several complexities between provincial and central authorities in different federal states regarding the adoption of uniform strategies to cope with this unprecedented pandemic. Though competitive federalism promotes voluntarism, self rule and political efficacy, it also reinforces diversity to accommodate all the segments of the society. But sometimes competition among different levels of government generates resistance which impedes cooperation and reconciliation. In this perspective the federation of Pakistan also faced unintended consequences of various policies initiated under emergency circumstances. The federal government in Pakistan endeavored to follow all the SOPs given by international institutions i.e. WHO in terms of lock-downs, safety measures for general public and health sector and the provision of basic needs to the affected labor class, but some of the provincial governments resisted to implement those measures due to the lack of resources, capacity of the officials, distinct demographic features and trust deficit. This panel tends to analyze the competence of a federal state such as Pakistan to counter emergencies like Covid19 pandemic by specifically focusing on the questions: Does competition among different levels of governments cause political partisanship and uncertainties? Which significant policy areas need mutual consensus for adequate and durable arrangements to tackle the covid19 challenges?


Presenter 1
Younis Muhammad - muhammadyounis@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College ( A Chartered University))
[separate one not provided]

Presenter 2
Mudassar Hussain Shah - shah.mudassar@gmail.com ()
Comparative Provincial Situation Crisis Communication: Analyzing Tweets of Spokesperson handling communication on Covid19 in Pakistan

Presenter 3
Ashar Khokhar - asharkhokhar@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College (A Chartered University))
Moving in harmony or disharmony: Education during Covid-19 in Pakistan

Presenter 4
Aisha Shahzad - aishashahzad@hotmail.com (Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan.)
Lack of coherence in central and provincial public policies to deal with COVID19 in Pakistan


Self: Indian Philosophical Thought for Contemporary Issues
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Loriliai Biernacki - loriliai.biernacki@colorado.edu (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Discussant / Chair
Loriliai Biernacki - loriliai.biernacki@colorado.edu (University of Colorado at Boulder)

These four papers draw on Indian philosophical ideas to think through current issues. Thus, necessarily comparative, the breadth of the papers, including Sāṃkhya, Tantra, Advaita Vedanta and Jainism, offers a compelling case for thinking across Indian traditions, pointing to the relevance of the Indian philosophical tradition for contemporary Western debates. The first paper offers an insightful analysis linking the precisely adumbrated taxonomy of three different layers of self from the 14th century Advaita Vedantin philosopher Vidyāraṇya to current philosophical analyses of subjectivity. Vidyāraṇya points to a phenomenological self, akin to a current phenomenology derived from Husserl, arguing that Vidyāraṇya outlines a yogic meditative practice as a method of de-narrativization of the self. The second paper draws from the 11th century Indian philosopher Abhinavagupta’s formulation of a dual-aspect monism to intervene in a current hotly debated issue: the mind-body problem. Abhinavagupta’s dual-aspect monism offers a much-needed fresh perspective with two key divergences from most contemporary models today addressing this “hard problem” of linking matter to consciousness. These divergencies offer a novel solution to the mind-body problem, along with a different set of problems to address. The third paper traces out a key term within the early philosophical tradition of Sāṃkhya, mahat-buddhi, arguing that the pivotal mahat-buddhi functions as an impersonating agency. Drawing from the Sāṃkhya Kārikā’s theatrical metaphors, this paper suggests that the telos of mahat-buddhi is to imitate a great self who loses itself on a stage of ignorance only to then again remember its innate freedom. The fourth paper draws on Umāsvāti’s Tattvārthasūtra’s division of bound (saṃsārin) and liberated (mukta) souls to point to the ways in which Jaina philosophers addressed the problem of identity and difference within the seemingly undifferentiated group of liberated beings, in the process, distinguishing their metaphysics of liberated selves from the rival philosophical doctrines.


Presenter 1
James Madaio - james.madaio@gmail.com (Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences)
A cartography of the self: yogic inwardness in medieval Advaita Vedānta

Presenter 2
Loriliai Biernacki - loriliai.biernacki@colorado.edu (University of Colorado at Boulder)
The Light -Touch of Consciousness: Abhinavagupta’s 11th Century dual-aspect monism

Presenter 3
Geoff Ashton - gashton@usfca.edu (University of San Francisco)
Sāṃkhya’s Impersonal Actor

Presenter 4
Ana Bajzelj - abajzelj@ucr.edu (University of California, Riverside)
On Identity and Difference: The Nature of Liberated Selves in Jaina Philosophy


Echoing the Philosophical: Poets and Theological Contemplation in Kashmiri Sanskrit Mahākāvya
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sloane Geddes - kathryn.geddes@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Co-Organizer
Chiara Livio - chiara.livio.1991@gmail.com (Sapienza University of Rome)

Discussant / Chair
Luther Obrock - luther.obrock@gmail.com (University of California, Berkeley)

At the beginning of his influential work the Kāvyādarśa, Daṇḍin prescribes the necessary requisites for court epics (mahākāvyas): descriptions of cities, mountains and seasons, in addition to the dispatch of envoys, war, and the victory of the hero, which overtime have become characteristic hallmarks of the mahākāvya genre. While contemporary Sanskrit literary histories tend to underwrite mahākāvyas by labelling them as “ornate” and “artificial”, the works of the poets were lively receptacles for different kinds of individual projects. This is the case of three mahakāvyas from Medieval Kashmir, the Haravijaya, authored by Ratnākara (9th century), the Kapphiṇābhyudaya written by Śivasvāmin (9th century), and the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita of Maṅkha (12th century). In particular, we see these authors engaging in religious and philosophical contemplation, often mirroring the larger social and cultural worlds of their time. In this panel, we explore the various philosophical facets of these works. Peter Pasedach delves into verse ninety in the sixth canto of the Haravijaya and shows how it echoes an 8th century Buddhist text, the Tattvasaṃgraha of Śāntarakṣita. Sloane Geddes investigates Śivasvāmin’s engagement with Buddhist philosophy and theology in the Kapphiṇābhyudaya. Daniele Cuneo explores the work of Avadhūtasiddha's Bhagavadbhaktistotra and suggests a connection between it and the eulogistic doxography contained in the seventeenth canto of the Śrīkaṇṭhacarita. Chiara Livio examines the broader literary context of hymnic influence on mahākāvyas and how poets began to embed philosophical positions into stotric sections of their works. Overall, the regional location and shared Śaiva background of Ratnākara, Śivasvāmin, and Maṅkha establishes a common starting point to begin a productive conversation on the diversity of their individual projects which draw on various Śaiva and Buddhist sources to different extents.


Presenter 1
Peter Pasedach - peter.pasedach@googlemail.com ()
Echoes of Echoes: Ratnākara, Śāntarakṣita and Āstika Philosophies

Presenter 2
Sloane Geddes - kathryn.geddes@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Adapting Avadāna for the Court: Śivasvāmin’s Engagement with Buddhism in the Kapphiṇābhyudaya

Presenter 3
Daniele Cuneo - danielecuneo@hotmail.com (Sorbonne Nouvelle — Paris 3)
Philosophical Praising. Eulogistic Doxography in Avadhūtasiddha's Bhagavadbhaktistotra

Presenter 4
Chiara Livio - chiara.livio.1991@gmail.com (Sapienza University of Rome)
Philosophising the Poetic. Considerations on Vertical Doxographical Hymns in Mahākāvyas.


Author Meets Critics Roundtable on Ather Zia’s Resisting Disappearance: Military Occupation and Women’s Activism
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
SherAli Tareen - sherali.tareen@fandm.edu (Franklin & Marshall College)

Chair
SherAli Tareen - sherali.tareen@fandm.edu (Franklin & Marshall College)

Consistent with this year’s theme of “Resistance,” I propose an Author Meets Critics Roundtable Session for discussion on Ather Zia’a recently published book Resisting Disappearance (University of Washington Press, 2019). Resisting Disappearance is a brilliant, bold, and urgent ethnography centered on Kashmiri women of the APDP (Association of the Parents of the Disappeared Persons). By combining meticulous historical analysis, ethnographic intimacy, and profound attention to the aspirations and tragedies of everyday life, Zia documents the discursive mechanisms and affective registers through which women of the APDP deploy and enact mourning as a politics of resisting the settler colonial regime of India in Indian Occupied Kashmir, especially its ghastly enforced disappearance of over 10,000 Kashmiris. Lyrically written, this book details and navigates the fascinating as well as courageous strategies of resistance mobilized by members of the APDP, while also sketching a vivid and at many times harrowing picture of Indian state brutalities and conditions of colonial rule that Kashmiris, including women of the APDP, must constantly contend and negotiate. Resisting Disappearance moves seamlessly between crafting intimate individual portraits of resistance, and describing the broader terrain of colonial occupation that informs, shapes, and limits the arc and practice of resistance. The key themes engaged in this book include “affective law” and its challenge to modern state sovereignty, gendered choreographies of resistance, military humanitarianism and its insidious operations, archive fever and the politics of mourning, and the interaction of poetry and ethnography. Resisting Disappearance is a theoretically sophisticated and politically powerful book that marks a groundbreaking moment in the anthropological study of Kashmir and South Asia; this gender inclusive and multidisciplinary roundtable panel will discuss and engage its key arguments and interventions with the aim to generating new questions and avenues of future research on the problem of “resistance” in South Asia.


Presenter 1
Ather Zia - ather.zia@uci.edu
Presenter 2
Saiba Varma - saibavarma@gmail.com (Duke University)
Presenter 3
deepti misri - Deepti.Misri@colorado.edu
Presenter 4
Abdul Manan Bhat - bhatab@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Presenter 5
SherAli Tareen - sherali.tareen@fandm.edu (Franklin & Marshall College)

The matter of sex: Materialist analyses of love, sex, care, and labor in India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Shakthi Nataraj - shakthi.nataraj@kcl.ac.uk (King's College London)

Discussant / Chair
Svati Shah - svatipshah@wost.umass.edu (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

The recently tabled Anti-Trafficking Bill, and the Transgender Rights Bill (2019) have provoked renewed debates about how India’s sex worker and LGBTQ rights intersect. Rather than identity-based recognition alone, activists increasingly rally around the material conditions of sexual marginality, such as employment, migration, religious practice, kinship, caste, and trans-medicine. Our papers explore how sexual identity might be productively conceptualized as “labor”. Vijayakumar applies materialist feminist social reproduction theory to analyze the precarious work of mothering in the neoliberal city. Drawing on fieldwork with ciswomen in sex work in Bangalore, she traces how motherly love and sexual labor intersect. Rather than the antithesis of “good motherhood,” sex work underlies its material possibility. Nataraj critiques materialist-feminist models of sexual labor for overwhelmingly presuming cisgender women as the putative subjects, while treating queer sex work as “desire” or “culture”. Based on fieldwork where kothis re-interpreted ciswomen’s stories of “brothel raids” and “marriage”, she shows how the category of woman emerges differently based on gender assigned at birth, caste, and the “honor” attached to different forms of labor. Menon moves beyond nationally staged battles around recognition to examine regimes of labor that structure transgender Malayalis’ survival and legitimacy in a pervasively developmentalist regional context. Sex work remains inarticulable in Kerala’s transgender rights movement, she argues, producing a vexed relationship between regional activism and the global LGBTQ movement. Vasudevan’s paper develops a theory of “ethical relationality” that underlies Angalamman worship amongst thirunangai communities in North Chennai. He examines how the devotional labour Angalamman’s thirunangai devotees enacts ethical commitments that go beyond activist notions of identity, community, and juridicality, centered in local structures of place, class, and caste. Placing anthropological theories of exchange and queer theory in dialogue with materialist feminism, we bring cisfemale sex workers, kothis, thirunangais and transgender Malayalis into a common frame.


Presenter 1
Shilpa Menon - smenon21@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Does Sex Work Matter Anymore? The Inarticulability of Sex Work in Kerala’s Transgender Rights Movement

Presenter 2
Aniruddhan Vasudevan - aniruddhan@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Dr.

Presenter 3
Shakthi Nataraj - shakthi.nataraj@kcl.ac.uk (King's College London)
Dr.

Presenter 4
Gowri Vijayakumar - gowri@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)
Prof.


Song, Sound and the Reproduction of Identity in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Inderjit Kaur - inkaur@umich.edu (Univeristy of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Discussant / Chair
Inderjit Kaur - inkaur@umich.edu (Univeristy of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

-


Presenter 1
Inderjit Kaur - inkaur@umich.edu (Univeristy of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
What the Punjabi Tumbi Sings: Schismatic Soundings, Fragmented Identities

Presenter 2
Tomal Hossain - thossain@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Intimate Collectivity in the Global Circuit of Rohingya Tarana Song

Presenter 3
Sneha Khaund - sk2211@scarletmail.rutgers.edu (Rutgers University)
An Evening in Shillong: Inhabiting the City in Bhupen Hazarika's Shillong Songs

Presenter 4
Ronit Ghosh - ronitghosh@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Sound-Recording in Bengal and the Production of Gendered Space


Global Hinduism Beyond "The Diaspora"
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Tracy PIntchman - tpintch@luc.edu ()

Discussant / Chair
Jennifer B. Saunders - jbsaund1@yahoo.com (Independent Scholar)
Co-Chair
Jennifer B. Saunders - jbsaund1@yahoo.com (Independent Scholar)

Given the rich diversity of phenomena to which the phrase applies, “Diaspora Hinduism” has become, to use the words of Hegel, something akin to “the night in which all cows are black.” The omnipresence of the “diaspora” frame often functions to efface the uniqueness and creativity that mark many Hindu and Hindu-influenced spaces, communities, and practices outside of India. This session aims to interrogate, unsettle, and amend the ubiquitous deployment of the term “diaspora." It aims also to suggest more nuanced, complex, and authentic scholarly frames of analysis for thinking about a broad range of Hindu practices and institutions that exist worldwide. Many non-Indian forms of Hinduism are, to borrow Tulsi Srinivas’s observations regarding Hindu ritual innovation in India, not just iterative, but also creative, engaging in both capture and rupture of tradition as they emerge in fresh contexts. Hence, they exist in dynamic tension with both Indian Hindu traditions and the non-Indian worlds in which they are suspended, calling us to push our understanding of the complexities and diversities of "diaspora" Hinduism beyond the boundaries and limits to which the Western scholarly community has too often corralled it.


Presenter 1
Tracy PIntchman - tpintch@luc.edu ()
New Wine, New Wineskins: The Translocal Templescape of the "Hindu" Goddess in Pontiac, Michigan

Presenter 2
Diana Dimitrova - diana.dimitrova@umontreal.ca ()
Hinduism beyond the diaspora: “multi-hybrid cultural identities” of Radhasoami members in Canada

Presenter 3
Aditya Bhattacharjee - adbhat@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Discovering Divine Diasporas: An Investigation of the Mammoth Ganeśas of Thailand

Presenter 4
Anandi Silva Knuppel - anandi.silva.knuppel@gmail.com (Lawrence University )
Moving Beyond the Single Story of Hindu Diaspora: Approaches to Transnational Lived Religion


Building Power: Political Ambitions and Patronage of Sacred Spaces in Eighteenth-Century South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Dominic Vendell - d.vendell@exeter.ac.uk (University of Exeter)

Discussant / Chair
Madhuri Desai - msd13@psu.edu (The Pennsylvania State University)

Patronage of religious architecture was a widely adopted strategy for the expression of royal and imperial authority in early modern South Asia. Hindu and Muslim rulers alike sought to forge connections in stone between their territorial domains and older sacred landscapes of shrines and temples dedicated to gods and goddesses, gurus, Sufi preceptors, and martyred warrior-saints. While appeals to the miracle-working abilities of sacred figures aimed to perpetuate dynastic lineages, evidence from inscriptions, documents, and narratives shows that shrines produced spaces of contestation and resistance between state-based and individual donors, patrons, and worshippers. The potential for transgressive re-configurations of sacred and secular power was even greater amidst the fragmentation of Mughal sovereignty in the eighteenth century. Focusing on sites across northern, western, and central India, this panel of historians and art historians makes an interdisciplinary case for the salience of the built environment to competing struggles for recognition in a world without a single sovereign authority. Thelen’s paper analyses the implications of Rajput and Maratha patronage of the shrine of Mu’in al-Din Chishti at Ajmer and construction of temples and ghats at Pushkar for both high politics and local communities. Vendell examines how patronage of the dargah of the warrior-saint Shah Abdul Rahman at Achalpur cemented a friendship between the Afghan nawabs of Achalpur and the Maratha rajas of Nagpur in the context of joint revenue collection in Berar. Cummings’ presentation explores the complex provenance and strategic aims of the temple-building programme of the rajas of Nagpur at Ramtek Hill, especially their citation of architectural traditions from outside the Maratha heartlands. Finally, Shin shows how the Banaras rajas’ construction of the Sumeru Devi temple in Ramnagar, and support of the associated Ramlila festival, highlights the importance of local patronage in the re-making of a trans-regional pilgrimage centre.


Presenter 1
Elizabeth Thelen - e.thelen@exeter.ac.uk (University of Exeter)
Gold Coins and Marble Steps: State-building through Religious Patronage in Eighteenth-century Rajasthan

Presenter 2
Dominic Vendell - d.vendell@exeter.ac.uk (University of Exeter)
Making Friends at the Ghazi’s Doorstep: Sub-Imperial Diplomacy and Architectural Patronage in the Eighteenth-Century Deccan

Presenter 3
Cathleen Cummings - cathleen@uab.edu (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
The Remaking of Ramtek Hill under Raghuji I and the Bhonsles of Nagpur

Presenter 4
Heeryoon Shin - heeryoon.shin@vanderbilt.edu (Vanderbilt University)
Rivaling the “City of Shiva”: The Sumeru Devi Temple and the Making of Ramnagar


Political Utopias: Minority Histories, Radical Futures
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Anupama Rao - arao@barnard.edu (Barnard College. Columbia)

Chair
Ania Loomba - loomba@english.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

This panel brings together scholars across a range of disciplines and interests to discuss the past histories of political utopias on the subcontinent, and how they inform current conversations about social justice and equality. These histories reveal the radical imaginations and organizational efforts of marginalized or radical thinkers, activists, and ordinary people. They uncover crucial dialogues across caste, class, gender, sexuality, religious divides and political communities. The round table aims to bring scholars into active discussion and debate, to think about how the histories of radical thought and organizing can help us navigate contemporary political crises and impasses. Participants work on the radical histories of caste, Marxist movements, and feminism, and intersections between them.


Presenter 1
Ali Raza - aliraza@lums.edu.pk
Presenter 2
Rupa Viswanath - rupa.viswanath@gmail.com (University of Göttingen)
Presenter 3
Chinnaiah Jangam - chinnaiah@gmail.com
Presenter 4
Auritro Majumder - amajumder@uh.edu (University of Houston)
Presenter 5
Anupama Rao - arao@barnard.edu (Barnard College. Columbia)
Presenter 6
Suvir Kaul - kaul@english.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

Agencies of Power in Early Modern and Modern Indian States and Societies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Rochisha Narayan - rochisha.narayan@ucf.edu (University of Central Florida)

Discussant / Chair
Juned Shaikh - jmshaikh@ucsc.edu (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Whether it is the patrimonial bureaucratic state of the early modern period or the modern bureaucratic state, studies have emphasized the need to focus on the multi-sited institutions, practices, policies and discourses that continually redefine the state. Rather than treating states as bounded and monolithic entities, they have prioritized different nodes and evolving agencies of power that embed state in society and vice versa. The papers on this panel draw attention to such processes. Jyoti G Balachandran’s paper shows how histories of the formation of multi-generational Sufi networks and community in early modern Gujarat are essential to reconstructing those of the states which fostered them. Flows of capital and patronage intricately wove state and community together. Nicholas Abbott’s paper, too, illuminates such connections between state and community through the practice of zabt (“escheat”). Abbott develops a complex history of zabt in eighteenth-century Awadh, illustrating how it gained urgency under the looming presence of the East India Company. Rochisha Narayan’s paper foregrounds veiling as a political site of discourse, protest and subterfuge through which multi-generational ruling households, and the corporate communities attached to them, attempted to renegotiate shares of capital and relationships of power with the British in nineteenth-century India. Madhavi Murty’s paper emphasizes the continuities between the pre-liberalization state of the 1970s and 80s and the post-liberalization state, she shows how the possessive individual, rather than the collective household or community, came to mediate state and society relations in Modern India. Using a wide range of sources, she reconstructs the dense field through which the possessive individual was produced as the subject of modern capital. Together these papers examine state and society relations as they are produced through the workings of agencies of power that blur the boundaries between them.


Presenter 1
Jyoti G. Balachandran - jzb461@psu.edu (Penn State University)
Revisiting the ‘State’ of Early Modern Gujarat

Presenter 2
Nicholas Abbott - nabbott@odu.edu (Old Dominion University)
A Rule of Property for Late-Mughal North India: Zabt (“escheat”) in Eighteenth-Century Awadh

Presenter 3
Rochisha Narayan - rochisha.narayan@ucf.edu (University of Central Florida)
The Gender and the Politics of ‘Culture’ in 19th-century Colonial India

Presenter 4
Madhavi Murty - mmurty@ucsc.edu (University of California, Santa Cruz)
State, Society, Publicity: Profit-seeking and the Individual in Public Discourse


Immigration and Imagination in the Indian Ocean World
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Bani Gill - bani.gill@compas.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)

Discussant / Chair
-

-


Presenter 1
Bani Gill - bani.gill@compas.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)
African Migrants in India: ‘Illegality’, Racialization and Cultures of Microsurveillance

Presenter 2
Alexandra Sundarsingh - ats9@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
“I have come to complain…”: Indian Indentured Labourers and the Culture of Complaint in Natal, 1885-1916

Presenter 3
yoshina hurgobin - yhurgobi@kennesaw.edu (Kennesaw State University)
“India’s Peaceful Revolution”: Perceptions of India’s Independence in Mauritius, 1947

Presenter 4
Kelvin Ng - k.ng@yale.edu (Yale University)
Currents of Radicalism: Claiming the Tamil Political in a Transoceanic Setting, c. 1920–1940


New Studies in Economy and Society
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: PDR
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Thomas Timberg - thomastimberg@gmail.com (None)

Discussant / Chair
Thomas Timberg - thomastimberg@gmail.com (None)

-


Presenter 1
Shadmaan Ahmed Siddiqui - aryamehr.skywalker@gmail.com (North South University)
Policy Impact on Loan Default of Banking Sector in Bangladesh

Presenter 2
Thomas Timberg - thomastimberg@gmail.com (None)
Development in the Delta: How Bangladesh has led West Bengal on the Road to Growth

Presenter 3
Ipshita Ghosh - ighosh@syr.edu (Syracuse University )
Re-discovering Jugaad amid Venture Capital: The Limits of Resistant Imaginaries in Neoliberal India

Presenter 4
vijayeta singh - singh.vi@husky.neu.edu (Northeastern University )
Politics of Dispossession in States with 'Resource Curse'


Religion, Conversion, and Violence in Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Michael Philipp Brunner - michael.brunner@tufts.edu (Tufts University)

Discussant / Chair
Michael Philipp Brunner - michael.brunner@tufts.edu (Tufts University)

-



Identity and Resistance in South Asia through Oral Histories
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Maria Ritzema - maria.ritzema@gmail.com (College of DuPage)

Discussant / Chair
Daniel Bass - dmb46@cornell.edu (Cornell University)

In social identity theory, the self constructs identity. People know themselves, recognize themselves, present themselves as the result of socialization. Social interaction constructs self, self and society are dialectic. To what degree is there agency in social identity, or is the social construction of self primarily structural? How do people resist the imposition of social identity that clashes with self? This panel seeks to address these questions of identity and resistance using oral histories. Nation-building often involves selecting important cultural or iconic symbols to bind peoples together to create a national identity. How does state-sponsored national identity construction play a role in the construction of individual or group identity? If groups or individuals do not conform to the national identity, how might resistance occur? Adrienne Lee Atterberry looks at ethnic identity of transnational youths who grew up in India and the United States and how learning about Indian ethnicity allowed them to resist and resolve issues placed upon them by American identity concepts. Ruvani Fonseka’s work asks how gender-nonconforming young adults in urban Sri Lanka express their identity when it does not conform to the national identity. Tudor Silva examines how Sinhalese farmers suffering from a new kidney disease use a Sinhalese ethno-nationalist identity to make sense of their new life when farming is no longer a choice for them. Maria Ritzema examines the Sinhalese ethno-nationalist identity and how individuals and ethnic groups resisted its usurpation of a broader Sri Lankan national identity.


Presenter 1
Adrienne Lee Atterberry - aaterbe@syr.edu ()
Border Crossing and Blurred Ethnic Boundaries: Transnational Indian American Youth Redefine Identity

Presenter 2
Ruvani W. Fonseka - rfonseka@post.harvard.edu ()
"You have to do a lot of good deeds in this life, so that you can become a man in your next life: - Gender-nonconformity among youth in urban Sri Lanka

Presenter 3
Kalinga Tudor Silva - kalingatudorsilva@gmail.com ()
Sinhala Nationalist Discourse and the Popular Interpretations of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in an Affected Rural Community in Sri Lanka

Presenter 4
Maria Ritzema - maria.ritzema@gmail.com (College of DuPage)
Resisting Ethno-nationalism: Marginalized Narratives of Tamil, Burgher, and Sinhalese émigrés, 1956-1978


Presence, Prescience, and Re-Presentation in Photographic Afterlives
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Sophia Powers - sophiatheasp@gmail.com (UCLA)

Discussant / Chair
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew - 18percent@uri.edu (University of Rhode Island)

Photography’s indexicality ties it inexorably to the moment the image was captured. But how does the meaning of the work shift as it is re-presented across contexts and continents? Taking up Walter Benjamin’s famous invocation of photographic afterlives, this panel explores shifting conditions of photographic re-presentation within the South Asian (and diasporic) context. Our panelists consider shifting conditions of production, exhibitionary contexts as well as instances of photographic images being “recycled” in the creation of other works. How have photographs been used to frame their context, as opposed to context being used to frame the photograph? How have documentary images been translated into subjective explorations of affect and memory, or alternatively, images created within the fine art tradition been repurposed as documentary evidence? How have photographs been re-animated through conventions of theater and forms of participatory practice? This panel interrogates the stability of artistic authorship and illustrates some of the many ways that artists, curators, and collectors are “opening up” photographic practice in new projects of world-making. These papers trace oscillations between objectivism and subjectivism as photographs move through a range of commercial, familial, ritualistic and museological registers. Through the cross-examination of case studies, this panel excavates new archaeologies of the archive, and reframes the “archival impulse” in South Asian photographic practice across space and time.


Presenter 1
Rahaab Allana - photoreader1@gmail.com ()
Exhibiting the Past: Photography and Cultural Display

Presenter 2
Alka Patel - alka.patel@uci.edu ()
The “Kandahar Album” Then and Now

Presenter 3
Rashmi Viswanathan - rashmiviswan@gmail.com ()
An International Education in Photographs

Presenter 4
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew - 18percent@uri.edu (University of Rhode Island)
The UNREMEMBERED: Indian Soldiers from the Second World War


Afterlives of Technologies of Improvement in Agriculture
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Amrita Kurian - akurian@ucsd.edu (University of California San Diego)

Discussant / Chair
Xan Chacko - xchacko@wellesley.edu

Squeezed between volatile and speculative commodity markets, unpredictable and changing weather conditions, and the receding benefits and mounting costs of Green Revolution technologies, Indian farmers have today taken to the streets in large numbers to protest the passing of agricultural laws which they see as a final, existential threat to their livelihoods. The agrarian crisis facing South Asia brings to the forefront technologies used to improve agriculture, their role in the future of agricultural sustainability, and their limits as agents of structural change. Since the colonial era, South Asia's agricultural sector has been sustained by scientific technology and improvement projects, even as scholars and scientists have questioned the efficiency and politics of implementing these technological and infrastructural investments on the small and medium holdings prevalent in the region. Agricultural technology has shaped farming ecologies and relations in South Asia. It has defined the very nature of the scientific expertise and state authority that develop cultivating and marketing agri-commodities on the ground. This panel is an ethnographic and historical exploration of agricultural technology in South Asia. Agricultural technologies involving seed development, animal husbandry, the standardization of markets, and the implementation of environmental sustainability measures seek to shore up and sequester nature, with an aim to enhancing market profitability. Through ethnographic stories of the implementation and experience of encountering agricultural technologies on the ground, the panel situates and contests agricultural technology's role in harnessing animal and plant ecologies in South Asian agriculture. Confronted with the limits of scientific investments geared towards monoculture, on the one hand, and the necessity for state investments to sustain the agricultural sector on the other, the papers foreground technology's limitations as a replacement for structural reform and environmental sustainability and highlight its centrality to the fortunes of a sector facing mounting distress.


Presenter 1
Xan Chacko - xchacko@wellesley.edu ()
Overtaking (bio)Control: Rice, Pests, and Resistance to the Chemical Lure

Presenter 2
Amrita Kurian - akurian@ucsd.edu (University of California San Diego)
Transparency Via Opacity: The Impact of Digital Technology on State-Regulated Tobacco Auctions in Andhra Pradesh, India

Presenter 3
Münster; Münster Daniel; Ursula - daniel.munster@medisin.uio.no ()
Chemical Afterlives in South India: Making and unmaking small-scale agriculture with pesticides and pharmaceuticals.

Presenter 4
Fizza Batool - fizza.bukhari7@gmail.com ()
Fizza; Julia Batool; Poerting - julia.poerting@uni-bonn.de ()
Farming of/for the Future? Negotiating Seeds, Subsidies and Social Reproduction in Northern Pakistan


Engineering Worlds
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
NAFIS HASAN - nafishasan@ucla.edu (UCLA)

Discussant / Chair
Lawrence Cohen - cohen@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)

Engineering practices were closely tied to the development nation state in Post-Independence India. Most prominently, civil engineers fulfilled a variety of roles in development projects ranging from infrastructure to industrialization. But civil and other types of engineers served other roles inside and outside state agencies apart from those envisioned by state-led modernization. Especially after economic liberalization and the expansion of informatics during the 1980s and 90s, engineers have increasingly operated on everyday transactions as wide ranging as property transactions to the design of houses to the management of cyber security in government offices. Rather than limit an understanding of engineering practice to the solving of objective problems, a characterization found in social science literature, the panel seeks to engage with engineering worlds that are made and remade through a host of everyday practices in specific contexts. The panel includes papers from multiple disciplines that examine different practices of engineering, including how engineers work and how they imagine the social milieu in which they operate. Papers shed light on the constraints and material forms of daily practice, ranging from objects such as paper receipts, building materials, and “soft” objects such as computer files and databases, to problems of scale and verification across different arenas of knowledge production. How, we ask, do everyday engineering practices rework or extend historical notions of the engineer’s role in society?



Crossroads of Peace-building: Kartarpur Corridor and the New Era of Culture and Diplomacy in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
BILAL ASLAM - bilalfsd@gmail.com (University of the Punjab)

Discussant / Chair
Shandana Waheed - shandanawaheed@gmail.com (Stanford University)

The cartographic line drawn by British in 1947 continues to manifest itself in different ways even after more than seventy years of partition. The continuous process of blooded partition that perpetuates the antagonistic sentiments between the two countries calls for constant efforts towards peacebuilding. Peacebuilding, as noted by Johan Galtung, is the process of creating self-supporting structures that “remove causes of wars and offer alternatives to war in situations where wars might occur”. Pakistan’s initiative of promoting religious tourism by opening the Kartarpur corridor is the resilient strategy which is supposed to be acting as a catalyst for the peacebuilding between the two adversaries. This panel analyses the multi-faceted constituents of this project on the regional peace and critically examines the intersectional implications of its intended and unintended consequence. It is an important time in the regional history in which the environment is agonized by the politics of ‘other’ more than ever before and therefore, Kartarpur becomes a critical juncture in this convoluted temporality to be studied with an interdisciplinary approach. This panel analyzes Kartarpur project as a neoliberal site of heritage diplomacy that has become the epicentre of religious tourism in Pakistan and hence drawn significant media attention on both sides of the border playing a significant role in shaping the public sentiment. In addition to that, the cultural legacies of Sikhism have also been revived most important of which is the Sufi poetry of Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar and Baba Guru Nanak that has reiterated the transcendent idea of ‘unity in diversity’. Whether and how these potentialities of Kartatpur corridor has been mobilized and positioned and when effect they are capable of producing, is what this panel aims to explore.


Presenter 1
BILAL ASLAM - bilalfsd@gmail.com (University of the Punjab)
Unity in Diversity: A Metaphysical Principle Reflected in the Punjabi Sufi Poetry of Fariduddin Ganjshakar as Recorded in Guru Garanth Sahib

Presenter 2
Asifa Jahangir - ajcsas2327@gmail.com (University of the Punjab)
Unintended Consequences of Religious Tourism on Cultural Harmony: A Case Study of Kartarpur Corridor and India-Pakistan Relationship

Presenter 3
Khansa Tarar - khansa.tarar@usa.edu.pk (University of South Asia, Lahore )
Media Framing of Opening of Kartarpur Corridor: A Comparative Analysis of Indo-Pak

Presenter 4
Shandana Waheed - shandanawaheed@gmail.com (Stanford University)
Kartarpur Corridor: A Sight of Heritage Diplomacy- Connecting Heritage Initiatives to Politics of Heritage and Regional Politics


New Perspectives in South Asian Film and Theatre
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Rini Tarafder - tarafder@wisc.edu (UW Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Rini Tarafder - tarafder@wisc.edu (UW Madison)

-


Presenter 1
Rini Tarafder - tarafder@wisc.edu (UW Madison)
Cosmopolitan Circuits: The Voyages of the Victoria Theatrical Company

Presenter 2
Anila Gill - anila.gill@nyu.edu (New York University)
Upar di Burbur: Official Discourse and Cinematic Governance in Partitioning South Asia (1941-1948)

Presenter 3
Dina Khdair - dkhdair@mail.depaul.edu (Indiana University-Bloomington)
Marketing the Past? Soft Power and Hard ‘Truths’ in Hindi Cinema’s Historical Gaze

Presenter 4
Pragya Trivedi - pragyat@uci.edu (University of California, Irvine)
Formula Films of the 1970s: Spectatorial Desire, Daydreams and a Nightmares in "Maqaddar Ka Sikander"


Interpreting the margins: Textual Peripheries in Early Modern and Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Akshara Ravishankar - aksharars@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Eduardo Acosta - eacosta@uchicago.edu (The University of Chicago)

The vast textual ecosystems of early modern South Asia were the home of a diverse array of textual practices: different languages, genres, and material practices populated the cultural horizon of South Asia before the onset of colonialism. In the last decades, scholars have given deserved attention to this plurality, complicating the narratives and histories of textual traditions, and looking at the many languages used in different registers of the cultural, literary, religious, and everyday life of pre-colonial South Asia. But even in this outlook dominated by plurality and multilingualism, some textual practices, manifestations and artifacts still remain at the peripheries, pushed to the boundaries of scholarship and interest. By critically considering the peripheral position and marginal character accorded to these texts, the papers of this panel offer a well-deserved and insightful look into these peripheral texts; they question not only the validity of labels like 'marginal' or 'peripheral,' but also the bearing that these terms had in the understanding of well-traversed textual traditions and larger processes of canonization and recognition. The papers in this panel interrogate different ways of being, conceptually and literally, at the margins. Commentaries, translations and glossaries, often labeled as being derivative and uncritically repetitive; texts positioned at the juncture of the premodern/modern divide, said to be anachronistic; forgotten texts that tell a different history for canons and their audiences; texts positioned in regions relegated to the peripheries of histories of South Asian literature; an active engagement with these peripheral texts offer novel ways of thinking about textuality and its history in early modern South Asia, and the opportunity to reassess what it means to be out of place, and out of time.


Presenter 1
Zoë High - zwhigh@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
An Elixir from the Pure Dust of Bijapur: Translation across Media in Zuhūrī’s Prose

Presenter 2
Vipin Krishna - vipin@g.ucla.edu ()
Carceral Lexicography: The Case of Maulana Jaffar Thanessari and Linguistic Ethnography in the Andaman Islands

Presenter 3
Eduardo Acosta - eacosta@uchicago.edu (The University of Chicago)
A hidden textual history? Bengal's many ​ Bidyāsundars

Presenter 4
Akshara Ravishankar - aksharars@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Genre, function and meaning in vernacular Gita traditions


The Clinic and Beyond: New Writing on Survival and Care in India
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Harris Solomon - harris.solomon@duke.edu (Duke University)

Chair
Saiba Varma - s2varma@ucsd.edu (University of California, San Diego)

What sets the boundaries between the clinical and the political domains in India? How are these boundaries shifting over time, and how do they register in everyday life and in words on the page? This roundtable examines these questions in light of three recent monographs — Dwaipayan Banerjee’s *Enduring Cancer*, Saiba Varma’s *The Occupied Clinic*, and Bharat Venkat’s *At the Limits of Cure*. These three ethnographies take up different objects of concern: cancer (Banerjee), psychological distress (Varma), and tuberculosis (Venkat). They reflect on different sites, as well: Delhi, Kashmir, and Madras/Chennai. Yet read together, they raise critical questions about urban poverty, military occupation, and pandemic conditions. So too do they demand a renewed examination of how to account for structures and intimacies of care in India. The roundtable will reflect on the resonances of these books at the nexus of two concerns. First, thinking thematically, participants will comment on how the books surface the social power of clinical worlds in South Asia, the everyday imprints of scientific knowledge in both historical and contemporary India, and the embodied forms of colonialism in clinical domains. Second, thinking through matters of genre, style, and representation, participants will examine the craft of these deeply ethnographic books and how they showcase a new horizon of creative writing in South Asian studies. Inviting audience participation, the roundtable aims to open up a collective discussion about writing hurt and harm alongside endurance and recovery.


Presenter 1
Naisargi Dave - naisargi.dave@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Presenter 2
Aidan Seale-Feldman - asealefe@nd.edu (University of Notre Dame)
Presenter 3
Harris Solomon - harris.solomon@duke.edu (Duke University)
Presenter 4
Sarah Pinto - sarah.pinto@tufts.edu (Tufts University)
Presenter 5
Dwaipayan Banerjee - dwaibanerjee@gmail.com (Dartmouth College)

Reexamining Traditions of Service and Charity in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Ved Patel - ved.patel@emory.edu (Emory University)

Discussant / Chair
Filippo Osella - f.osella@sussex.ac.uk (University of Sussex)

The papers on this panel, rather than assuming that acts of social service and charity are informed solely by internal emotive elements of selflessness, empathy, and compassion, explore intentionality with contextual and temporal specificity to identify processes of ideational and practical accommodation, adaptation, and maturation. Drawing from the burgeoning fields of moral anthropology and faith-based philanthropy, panel contributors focus on various areas of India, including the states of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, and specific diasporic settings, including Antwerp and London, to analyze how service practices popularly known in India as Sevā, Dāna, Chandah, and Zakat among other designations interact with contextual norms of ethicality, societal ideals of civic duty, and institutional doctrines of moral ambition and formation. The first paper focuses on Muslim communities in Lucknow harmonizing Qur’anic injunctions to maintain secrecy and modesty in almsgiving with public gifting practices becoming an ethical identity marker for Muslim communities in north India. The second paper explores how Sikh sevādars in Delhi conceptualize worthiness of recipients of sevā (service) through Sikh ethics. Drawing upon ideas of sangat and kinship, this conceptualization creates a relationship between giver and receiver that differs from mainstream care providers within urban India. The third paper studies how female ājīvan sevaks (lifelong volunteers) within the devotional Hindu movement known as the Swaminarayan Sampraday, interpret and utilize the socio-religious practice of sevā in their everyday lives to achieve theological ideals and establish social and spatial forms of agency. The final paper traces how multiple Jain diasporic communities in Europe and the United States (re)interpret the Jain doctrinal principle of soul interrelationality to become and remain active in local charity work in these transnational locations. A senior scholar, whose work considers philanthropy and development in South Asia, will serve as panel respondent.


Presenter 1
Christopher Taylor - cbtaylor@bu.edu (George Mason University)
Hiding in Plain Sight: Islamic Charity and Ethical Obligations to Secrecy

Presenter 2
Tine Vekemans - tine.vekemans@ugent.be (Ghent University)
Religious Duty or Social Engagement: Discussions on Proactive Ahimsa in the Jain Diaspora

Presenter 3
Lauren Nippoldt - lnippold@ucsd.edu (University of California, San Diego)
Worthy of Care: Sevadars and Recipients of Seva

Presenter 4
Ved Patel - ved.patel@emory.edu (Emory University)
Choosing to Serve: Women Lifelong Volunteers in BAPS


Resistance and Agency in Language and Literature in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Ilma Qureshi - ilmaqureshi7@gmail.com (University of Virginia)

Discussant / Chair
Ilma Qureshi - iq5sb@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)

This panel will explore the theme of resistance and agency through vignettes from South Asian literature and language. Resistance, as a concept, has been historically important in South Asia as it was embedded in the range of nationalistic responses towards colonialism. Our panel brings together research on representations of resistance as a literary trope and as a lived reality in South Asia. Simultaneously, it explores freedom and agency in the works of writers, and poets, together with contemporary expressions of everyday resistance in South Asia. We begin by exploring this theme at the linguistic plane - with a study of thirteenth century Sufi poet Fakhruddin Iraqi’s work by Ilma Qureshi. Qureshi’s research explores the rich Persio-Arabic milieu, how Iraqi’s writings resist the binaries of identity and thought through synthesizing two divergent streams within Islamic thought namely philosophical Sufism and Persian literature. Similarly, Aneeqa Wattoo’s research explores literary and linguistic resistance in Chughtai’s raw, crude and vernacular dialect of Awadhi and Urdu to build her characterisation of socially deviant female characters in her short stories. The research of the other panelists intersects with resistance and violence as a political force. Huda Imtiaz studies Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and contrasts the discourse with the depiction of natural and inevitable violence in the Urdu short stories of Sadat Hasan Manto. This idea of political resistance intersects with articulations of protest in contemporary Kashmir. Onaiza Drabu’s research probes the unique speech register that has developed in the Kashmiri language; it decodes acts of everyday resistance and othering in speech, quotidian acts that Kashmiris engage in to construct the image of India as the oppressor as well as an ethnic other. At the intersection of all four works lie articulations of resistance and agency, across time, geography and socio-political contexts, within broader South Asia.


Presenter 1
Onaiza Drabu - onaizadrabu@gmail.com (NA)
Being Kaeshur: Indigenous Articulations of Identity, Ethnicity and Resistance in Kashmir

Presenter 2
Aneeqa Wattoo - aneeqa_wattoo@hotmail.com (Lahore University of Management Sciences)
‘Mad’ Women in the North Indian Muslim Home: A Study of Social Transgression in Ismat Chughtai’s Longer Fiction

Presenter 3
Huda Imtiaz - hudaimtiaz@gmail.com (Lahore Grammar University, International Degree Programme)
Gandhi and Manto: A Contrasting Articulation of Resistance

Presenter 4
Ilma Qureshi - iq5sb@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
“Subverting Binaries and Stylistic Conventions: A Study of Fakhruddin ‘Irāqī’s Poetry


Pious Creatures: Religiosity and Nonhuman Animals in South Asian Literary Cultures
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sreyashi Ray - rayxx356@umn.edu (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Discussant / Chair
Sreyashi Ray - rayxx356@umn.edu (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

From theriomorphic deities to anthropomorphized talking companions, from divine consorts to creaturely saints, nonhuman animals have populated South Asian religious imaginaries for centuries. Sacred religious texts, epics, folktales, oral narratives, storytelling traditions, and performative genres from across a wide spectrum of religious affiliation and spiritual sensibilities have underscored the dynamic influence of nonhuman animals in shaping human discourses of ethics and morality. Whether it is the right-wing appropriation of the Hindu monkey-god Hanuman’s visual imagery, the communalization of bovine creatures by the proponents of sectarian politics, the material-symbolic instrumentalization of domesticated animal bodies during communal violence, or the institutionalization of ethnocentric masculinities through symbolic appropriation of animal-taming sports, religion-motivated appropriation of nonhuman animals animate contemporary social and political lives in South Asia. South Asian literary narratives are uniquely attentive to the discourses that emerge as a consequence of interspecies encounter through cultural critique, appropriation, invocation, and reinterpretation of animals in religious discourses, alongside focusing on the contextual specificities of multispecies sociality. Narrative genres from a diverse range of religious practices often use the figure of the nonhuman animal to talk about social responsibilities, moral righteousness, and ecological concerns. This panel analyzes the relationship between religiosity and nonhuman animals in narrative genres generating from Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic religious traditions in South Asia. By focusing on how South Asian oral and textual narratives historicize nonhuman animals and represent them as intelligent, sentient, agential beings with metonymic qualities, this panel will analyze the importance and consequences of human-nonhuman interactions and multispecies cohabitation on the dissemination of religious knowledge.


Presenter 1
Kedar Kulkarni - kedar.kulkarni@flame.edu.in ()
In Pursuit of Deer

Presenter 2
Geoff Barstow - barstowg@oregonstate.edu ()
Contextualizing Buddhist Perspectives on Animal (Un)intelligence

Presenter 3
Sreyashi Ray - rayxx356@umn.edu (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Comical tigers and Miraculous Saints: Interspecies Communication in Early Modern Bengal

Presenter 4
Justin Fifield - justin.fifield@trincoll.edu (Trinity College)
Beyond Compassion: The Animality of Spiritual Cultivation in South Asian Buddhist Traditions


Gender and Politics in India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Tanushree Goyal - tanushreegoyal@g.harvard.edu (Harvard)

Discussant / Chair
Tarini Bedi - tbedi@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Women remain under-represented in Indian parliaments and continue to participate less and know less about politics than men. The gender gap in politics has received much attention in recent research on South Asia. The four papers in this panel approach the question of women’s political participation by focusing on four major re-shaping force in Indian politics. Goyal considers how decentralization which has heralded female-led party building has been instrumental in forging the women as an electorate in India. Bhanjdeo, Narain and Sheth open the black box of the Indian state and consider how state-led design of self-help groups interact with local institutional structures in the attempt to form government-mobilized of self-help groups. Kumar considers how the significant force of male-out migration has shaped women’s political behavior. Kaur investigates how gender quotas can be designed to boost multi-dimensional political inclusion.


Presenter 1
Tanushree Goyal - tanushreegoyal@g.harvard.edu (Harvard)
Female-led party-building and the making of the women’s vote in India

Presenter 2
Surili Sheth - surili.sheth@berkeley.edu ()
Seeing Like a State or Seeing the State? Government-mobilized Women’s Self-Help Groups in Madhya Pradesh

Presenter 3
Rithika Kumar - rithikak@sas.upenn.edu ()
Left-Behind or Left-Ahead? Implications of Male Migration on Women's Political Behavior in India

Presenter 4
Komal Preet Kaur - komal.kaur@colorado.edu (University of Colorado Boulder)
Whose upward mobility?: An intersectional analysis of the spillover effects of political quotas


Movements and their still forms: The methodological and epistemological challenges of studying performance.
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Eleonore Rimbault - erimbault@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu

This panel considers the methodological, epistemological and political challenges involved in studying South Asian performance traditions through archives, textual documents, and visual artifacts at large. While para-textual documentary sources, such as scripts, librettos, promotional photographs, online content, and drawings, art works, etc, can be found and be a primary source for researchers, such documents are often marginal to how performance arts are taught, memorized, remembered and performed in South Asia. In the case of arts that are “dying,” or are no longer performed, what does it mean to access a form of performance through an archive, and what are the blind spots of the analysis, reconstitution, and reinvention this can support? To what extent is it possible to understand movement-based practices in the still forms through which we access them? As to contemporary performance arts, what biases and challenges do the formation of their future archive reveal, be they institutional undertakings, the spontaneous accumulation of data online, or the ethnographic records of a researcher? Does this limitation of imagining movement in its preserved forms contribute to the perception of South Asian performance arts as always under threat, as eternally disappearing traditions? In this panel, we invite performance arts scholars to engage with this question through their own research, whether it be tied to already constituted archives or through documents they have been gathering on their own, whether it is focused on past performance traditions, or contemporary ones.


Presenter 1
Pranathi Diwakar - pranathi@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Music for a Crisis: Virtual Technologies, Caste, and the Politics of Place

Presenter 2
Eleonore Rimbault - erimbault@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Self-narration and storytelling among circus professionals: notes on the picture books of Malayali circus artists

Presenter 3
Sharvari Sastry - sharvarisastry@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Saved by Surveillance: Censorship, Archives and the Regulation of Performance

Presenter 4
Susan Seizer - sseizer@indiana.edu (Indiana University)
Notes on a Corpus: body, memory, archive


Memorializing the Prophet and his Shaykhs in South Asian Islam
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Simon Leese - s.leese@uu.nl (Utrecht University)

Discussant / Chair
Simon Leese - s.leese@uu.nl (Utrecht University)

Although devotion to the Prophet Muhammad has been central to cultural and religious life in South Asia for centuries, its rich and varied manifestations are still relatively under-researched. This panel examines the history of devotion to the Prophet in South Asia from the seventeenth century onwards. It takes as its point of departure the premise that devotion to the Prophet Muhammad is a historically contingent process, that is to say, the love Muslims feel for the Prophet is cultivated through practices and poetics that have been shaped by a wide ranging set of concerns that change over time. These include literary conventions, which shape how devotion is expressed; institutions, which structure and situate devotional activities; and material culture, which makes this devotion manifest in a particular space and time. Devotion to the Prophet is entwined with embodied ritual practices, real and imagined spaces of pilgrimage, and the construction of individual and communal memory. Individual papers in this panel focus on a variety of contexts, texts, and actors: the intensification of pilgrimage to the Prophet’s grave from Mughal North India in the seventeenth century; the adoption of the figure of the Prophet to forge a narrative of Islamic community in seventeenth-century Arakanese Chittagong; modes of visualising the Prophet in North Indian devotional poetry from the eighteenth century onwards; and ways in which Prophet’s biography was repackaged for new Urdu reading publics in the nineteenth century. Taken together, these papers demonstrate that devotion to the Prophet was not only mediated through texts and manuscripts but also objects, spaces, authors, and audiences. The panel will attempt to push forward our understanding of Muslim devotional discourses and practices by locating devotion to the Prophet in these distinct contexts and within broader South Asian religious and cultural landscapes.



Stones and Sanctity: Reconfiguring Sacred Spaces in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Aalekhya Malladi - amalla2@emory.edu (Emory University)

Discussant / Chair
Harshita Mruthinti Kamath - harshita.kamath@emory.edu (Emory University)

Sacred spaces are central to the consolidation of religious and political power; they are often cast and recast through narratives, whether etched in stone, sung in song, or otherwise. This panel responds to the conference theme, “resistance,” by considering how sacred spaces and their narratives interact with mainstream religious and political powers – sometimes buttressing and other times challenging them. Our presentations highlight an array of sources germane to the negotiation of place and the sacred, ranging from architectural features such as samādhis and monumental sculpture to textual sources including māhātmyas and kāvya, to the rituals and pilgrimages that structure how people spend time in such places. We will address the ways preexisting conceptions of sacred space succeed and fail to determine built environments, and vice-versa. Aalekhya Malladi’s presentation explores the characterization of sacred space in a pilgrimage site in Tirupati. She extrapolates how the vernacular māhātmya resists and/or reinforces the Sanskrit version, while examining how contemporary rituals reconfigure sacredness in Tirupati. Nick Tackes details the transposition of mainstream Hindu (and other) myths into the art and architecture of the Brahma Kumaris and their headquarters in Mount Abu, Rajasthan. Through a spatial and material analysis of Burhanpur’s urban fabric, Rachel Hirsch analyzes the appropriation of the city’s appeal to Sufi authority as it changed hands from Faruqi to Mughal rule. Aditya Chaturvedi describes how the sacredness of Mithila has been (re)conceptualized through a local Ramayana and the samādhi of a king. Addressing various geographies and religious contexts across South Asia, these presentations highlight how sacred spaces have been reconfigured to meet different religious, political, and social needs over time. The four panelists are graduate students in departments of Religion and Art History. The discussant, Dr. Harshita Mruthinti Kamath, is a professor of Telugu literature and performance at Emory University.


Presenter 1
Aalekhya Malladi - amalla2@emory.edu (Emory University)
Offerings to the Debt-Bound God: (Re)configuring Sacred Space in Tirumala

Presenter 2
Nick Tackes - jtackesiii@gmail.com (Columbia University)
Honey Forest on a Hill: How the Brahma Kumaris Make a Pilgrimage Place

Presenter 3
Rachel Hirsch - rphirsch@mit.edu ()
Blessing Burhanpur: Saintly Appeals and Symbolic Appropriation

Presenter 4
Aditya Chaturvedi - aditya.chaturvedi@emory.edu ()
The King who Became Kāli : Sacredness through Sāyujya in Raj Darbhanga


Global garment workers, entrepreneurship, and neoliberal family dynamics in rural Sri Lanka
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Michele Gamburd - gamburdm@pdx.edu (Portland State University)

Chair
Michele Gamburd - gamburdm@pdx.edu (Portland State University)

Sandya Hewamanne’s new book Restitching Identities in Rural Sri Lanka (2020) explores the ways in which former global factory workers negotiate social and economic lives once back in their villages. Their village entrepreneurial activities initiate negotiations in kinship and domestic arrangements and community relations. This book shines a rare light on the long-term impact that women’s temporary employment in global factories has on individuals, families, and communities, while also presenting a complex picture of the fragmented and uneven manner in which neoliberal ways of thinking and living take root in rural South Asia. The author shows how former FTZ workers manipulate varied forms of capital—social, cultural, and monetary—to initiate gradual changes in rural social hierarchies and gender norms. Panelists on this roundtable explore the book’s many contributions to anthropology and South Asian Studies. They consider the advantages of longitudinal ethnographic research, the long-term social consequences of global capital and neoliberal ideologies, the effect of changing gender relations in manufacturing on family dynamics, the agentive refiguring of stigmatized identities, the bases of power women have in virilocal post-marital residences, and constraints on entrepreneurial endeavors in rural economies. The panelists examine how the book articulates with current debates in economic anthropology, feminist anthropology, performativity, and subaltern empowerment.


Presenter 1
Ann Kingsolver - ann.kingsolver@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)
Presenter 2
Caitrin Lynch - caitrin.lynch@gmail.com (Olin College)
Presenter 3
Dennis McGilvray - dbmcgilvray@gmail.com
Presenter 4
Lamia Karim - lamia@uoregon.edu (University of Oregon)
Presenter 5
Sandya Hewamanne - sandyahd1@yahoo.com (Cornell University)

Policing Thought, Surveilling Bodies: Everyday Operations of State Power in Colonial India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Shaivya Mishra - shaivya.mishra@berkeley.edu (University of California Berkeley)

Discussant / Chair
Michael Silvestri - msilves@clemson.edu (Clemson University)

Recent historical works have examined the nature of the colonial state in India by turning to exceptional displays of state power—from emergency ordinances, repressive legislations, horrors of the colonial prison and detention camps, to the use of torture. But colonial power also invaded ordinary life in South Asia in more insidious ways. “Policing Thought, Surveilling Bodies: Everyday Operations of State Power in Colonial India” considers how there was an expansion in systems of policing and surveillance in the late 19th and 20th centuries as the colonial state intensified its watch over everyday life. Faced with various forms of unrest, including the threat of mass nationalism, peasant agitations and incipient communism, the state now established newer agencies like the Central Investigation Department and the Intelligence Bureau, while also expanding the existing infrastructures of policing and control within the Empire. The nature of the emergent systems is the subject of “Policing beyond Surveillance: Crime and Detection in British India, 1868-1920” and “The Adventures of Detective Luck and Sergeant Chance: The Advent of Political Surveillance in 20th Century India”. “A Tale of Two Sentries: Everyday Incarnations of Police Power in 20th Century Colonial Punjab” and “Policing Thought and Borders in Colonial India” trace how 20th century state practices made and re-made colonized bodies as well as notions of territorialized sovereignty within the Empire. The four papers draw upon a diverse archive—from recently declassified police and intelligence reports, colonial laws and ordinances, newspapers and journals, to detective fiction—in Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi and English. Taken together, the papers reveal the inner workings of an expanding colonial governmentality and offer a better understanding of state practices still endemic to the post-colonial world.


Presenter 1
Uponita Mukherjee - um2135@columbia.edu ()
Policing beyond Surveillance: Crime and Detection in British India, 1868-1920

Presenter 2
Shaivya Mishra - shaivya.mishra@berkeley.edu (University of California Berkeley)
The Adventures of Detective Luck and Sergeant Chance: The Advent of Political Surveillance in 20th Century India

Presenter 3
Neelum Sohail - neelum.sohail@gmail.com (Tufts University)
A Tale of Two Sentries: Everyday Incarnations of Police Power in 20th Century Colonial Punjab

Presenter 4
Zak Leonard - leonardzt@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago )
Policing Thought and Borders in Colonial India


Questioning Integration and "the nation"
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Subhajit Debnath - sdebnath@outlook.in (Samvidhaan Fellow)

Discussant / Chair
Subhajit Debnath - sdebnath@outlook.in (Samvidhaan Fellow)

-


Presenter 1
Akshaya Tankha - akshaya.tankha@yale.edu (Yale University)
The Naga memorial monument and the aesthetics of Indigenous presence in contemporary South Asia

Presenter 2
Shahla Hussain - hussains@stjohns.edu (St. John's University )
Finding a Voice: Kashmiri Resistance, Emotions and Self-Determination

Presenter 3
Zarnain Manzoor - zarnainmanzoor56@gmail.com (National Institute of Advanced Studies)
Negotiating the Minority Identity: The case of Kashmiri Pandits.

Presenter 4
Subhajit Debnath - sdebnath@outlook.in (Samvidhaan Fellow)
Continuity and Change - Reflections on Law, Culture, and Society in Sikkim

Presenter 5
Shruti Mukherjee - shruti.mukherjee@stonybrook.edu (SUNY, Stony Brook)
Love in the Times of AFSPA: Stories of Everyday Lives under Militarization in Manipur, India


Contradictions of Subjectivity in Colonial India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: PDR
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Nilanjana Paul - nilanjana.paul@utrgv.edu (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)

Discussant / Chair
Nilanjana Paul - nilanjana.paul@utrgv.edu (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)

-


Presenter 1
Ujaan Ghosh - ughosh2@wisc.edu (UW Madison)
Ghosts, Roads and Urban Anxieties: Spectrality and The Improvement Trust in Late Colonial Calcutta

Presenter 2
Zoya Sameen - zsameen@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Anti-Discipline and the Archive: Rethinking the Governance of Sexuality in Colonial India

Presenter 3
Nilanjana Paul - nilanjana.paul@utrgv.edu (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
Missionary Education in Nineteenth Century Calcutta: The Clewer Sisters

Presenter 4
SHAREENA JASMIN . P K - shareenajasmin@gmail.com (MES KALLADI COLLEGE MANNARKKAD)
Adaptation and Accommodation : The Emergence of Lunatic Asylums in Colonial Kerala

Presenter 5
Arnav Bhattacharya - arnavbh@sas.upenn.edu (university of pennsylvania)
Categorizing the Kamasutra as the Urtext of Indian Sexology: Understanding Orientalism, Race, and Sexual Science in India .


Recasting Caste: Contemporary Articulations of Group Identities and Practices
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Victoria Gross - torigross@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Victoria Gross - torigross@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

How can we understand caste in the wake of radical social, economic, and cultural changes that have occurred over the course of the past century? Rather than taking caste for granted, this panel interrogates the nature of this vexed and unstable social phenomenon in contemporary spaces that confound and (usually) transcend rural regimes of ritualized and violently enforced economic hierarchy. Panelists will examine the spatial dynamics of caste practices that are inscribed in cities, the effects of new occupations on caste and class mediated gender relations in households, the collective mythico-historical claims that help reformulate past and present positionality, and the lived realities of urban caste concealment. On the one hand, our panel underscores the intractability of caste as a social practice and mode of self identification. Despite dominant discourses of democracy, the decline of ascribed caste occupations, and the rise of new labor, educational, and residential opportunities, caste identities and practices remain robust. On the other hand, we highlight the fluidity of caste practices and identities evidenced by the various status claims, rights assertions, alliances, and forms of recognition produced and achieved by historically oppressed caste groups. The intersections and negotiations between caste-based political movements, social mobility practices, state power, and capital emerge in our exploration of caste as an ever changing but resilient phenomenon that colors everyday life and exceptional moments in contemporary South Asia. Building on Sumit Guha's historically-grounded understanding of caste as an "involuted and complex form of ethnicity," our panel demonstrates the high stakes of caste constructions that are imbricated in party politics, statecraft, and economic initiatives and outcomes in 21st century South Asia.


Presenter 1
Joel Lee - jl20@williams.edu (Williams College)
How To Conceal Your Caste

Presenter 2
Victoria Gross - torigross@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Hail to the Hero: Authority, Identity, and Recognition in Contemporary South India

Presenter 3
AMIT ANSHUMALI - anshumali@uchicago.edu (The University of Chicago)
Class, Caste and Gender: Occupational Diversification in India’s Rural Economy

Presenter 4
Jusmeet Singh Sihra - jusmeet.sihra@outlook.com ()
The Urban Caste Hierarchy: Evidence from Ulajhpur* (Rajasthan)


In Famine and War: ‘Small Voices’ from South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
PRIYANKA BASU - priyankabasu85@gmail.com (The British Library London)

Discussant / Chair
Dr. Yasmin Khan - yasmin.khan@conted.ox.ac.uk

The events of the Second World War have incited numerous scholarly and artistic responses that have largely remained European and US-centric, commemorative, and oblivious to the ‘small voices’ from ex-colonies. The Bengal Famine of 1943, especially, has been usurped by the grand narratives of the Second World War, Partition and Indian Independence, and its long-term repercussions are much less discussed, as recent scholarship has pointed out (Mukherjee, 2015). ‘By predating the genocides and displacements of 1947, the famine in fact set the terms through which the region could enter the “promise” of freedom’ (Sunderason, 2020: 8). As the ‘famine activated multiple and contesting forms of art becoming political’, it equally elicited emotional responses of people directly involved in the war effort as soldiers, women labourers and cultural activists. This panel brings together scholars working on the various aspects of such ‘small voices’ of war and famine histories by looking closely into the South Asian context and exploring emotional responses emerging out of photographs, letters, interviews, literature and performances. Annu Matthew and Diya Gupta navigate photographs and letters related to Indian soldiers during the war to unravel the complex ‘politics of remembrance’, and the disjuncture between colonial authorisations of subjective experiences and textual responses to atrocities. Urvi Khaitan brings to the fore the hidden histories of low-caste and Adivasi women as employed by the Bengal Labour Corps during the famine, the coercive conditions of their work and their emotional responses to it. Priyanka Basu explores literary and artistic responses to show how the cultural labour during the 1940s has been disproportionately mapped in histories. By writing such underappreciated and seemingly peripheral responses back into the historiography of the war and famine, this panel seeks to answer why such a methodology is crucial to the decolonisation of existing archives, arts and sentiments.


Presenter 1
Prof. Annu (University of Rhode Island) Palakunnathu Matthew - annu@annumatthew.com ()
The UNREMEMBERED: The Indian soldiers in the Second World War

Presenter 2
Dr. Diya Gupta - diya.gupta@royalhistsoc.org ()
‘Half meetings’: a comparative study of colonial photographs and Indian letters from the Second World War

Presenter 3
PRIYANKA BASU - priyankabasu85@gmail.com (The British Library London)
‘Lest We Forget’: Bulbul Chowdhury’s Literary and Artistic Responses to War and Famine

Presenter 4
Ms. Urvi Khaitan - urvi.khaitan@history.ox.ac.uk ()
‘My body costs five hundred rupees’: Women in the Labour Corps in Second World War Bengal


Bovine Politics and Agrarian Change: Hindutva, Violence and the Indian Cattle Economy PART I
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Jostein Jakobsen - jostein.jakobsen@sum.uio.no (University of Oslo)

Discussant / Chair
Jens Lerche - jl2@soas.ac.uk

In this panel that is part one of two, we focus on bovine politics in India. Since the coming to power of Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, India has witnessed renewed emphasis on the divisive politics of the cow. The violence and disruptions carried out by Hindutva forces over alleged trespassing of ever-stricter cow protection legislations has attracted international attention. Among its many detrimental consequences, bovine politics in Modi’s India has had an especially hard impact on a key aspect of rural livelihoods: the cattle economy. Indeed, while cattle has historically been crucial in sustaining many rural households, raising, keeping and selling livestock is becoming increasingly precarious and outright dangerous in contemporary India. This has repercussions across agrarian systems of production and reproduction. Beyond the occasional journalistic report that has accompanied the rise in cow vigilantism, however, we still know little about the resulting patterns of agrarian change that are unfolding in rural India. How do smallholder farmers react to the incursions of violent Hindutva politics? How is the cattle economy transforming under the impact of such aggression at different levels of scale? Against this backdrop, this panel seeks an empirically grounded understanding of the evolving relationships between bovine politics and agrarian change in contemporary India. The papers focus on the consequences for one or more “phases” in the process of raising, keeping and selling livestock, and are grounded in in-depth field research.


Presenter 1
Johan Fischer - johanf@ruc.dk ()
Green ideology and meat modernity in India

Presenter 2
James Staples - james.staples@brunel.ac.uk (Brunel University London)
Situating Hindutva: bovine politics and the changing cattle economy in South India

Presenter 3
Richard Axelby - ra39@soas.ac.uk ()
“A community in Chamba”: the politics of cow protection for Muslim buffalo-herders in Himachal Pradesh

Presenter 4
Jostein Jakobsen - jostein.jakobsen@sum.uio.no (University of Oslo)
Ekeing out an existence in the age of cow protection


Life after Impact : The re-making of post-conflict/disaster worlds in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Kazuya Nakamizo - nakamizo@asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp (Kyoto University)

Discussant / Chair
Kazuya Nakamizo - nakamizo@asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp (Kyoto University)

The aim of this panel is to discuss and review the re-making of post conflict/disaster worlds in South Asia. Natural disasters and human induced cataclysms can often bring about profound transformations that cause the dramatic unravelling of previously existing social, economic and political arrangements and provide contexts for subsequent efforts for renewal and the re-making of different worlds. The 2001 Gujarat earthquake in Western India, for example, paved the way for Narendra Modi to become the Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001. The 2002 Gujarat communal carnage also contributed to Modi consolidating his power base and pivoted him to becoming the Prime Minister in 2014. In a similar vein, the 2015 Nepal earthquake proved crucial in getting the country to adopt a new constitution, reworking the notion of national integration and creating a fresh rhetoric around the notion of ‘New’ Nepal. Clearly, post-conflict/disaster events can enable us to analyze South Asian social dynamics and understand how new worlds are created. Drawing upon the insights from post disaster and conflict studies, this panel will debate four specific instances of how natural and human induced ruptures in South Asia have proved to be defining in re-creating new social and political possibilities. Nakamizo will discuss the creation on the ‘new normal’ after the major riots in India. Ito discusses the post-earthquake reconstruction in urban Nepal under the influence of the new local governments that emerged as a result of the enactment of the constitution. Appuhamilage will debate how the cultural, socio-political and psychological implications of death help communities negotiate against the alarming rise of disappearances in post-war Sri Lanka. D’Souza reviews the many policy challenges for urban flood management in South Asia, especially with handling the shocks from the emergence of ‘Anthropocene Rain’.



Sociologies of Global South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Smitha Radhakrishnan - sradhakr@wellesley.edu (Wellesley College)

Discussant / Chair
Smitha Radhakrishnan - sradhakr@wellesley.edu (Wellesley College)

This panel collects four papers from the forthcoming edited volume, Sociologies of South Asia. In the volume, we aim to ask two critical, interrelated questions: first, what might be distinctive about the sociological study of South Asia? And second, how might the sociology of South Asia push a rethinking of global dynamics and transnational theoretical engagements? To address these questions, this volume brings together empirical and theoretical work by scholars working on a range of key topics and locations. The volume showcases work by emerging scholars working on labor, capital, caste, dispossession, gender, embodiment, and the state, across sites in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as in Ethiopia and the US. Four papers in the volume make up this panel, Poulami Roychowdhury’s paper traces the strategies of brokers in the “business” of women’s rights in West Bengal, and pushes a rethinking of Western feminist assumptions about the state. Prashanth Kuganathan’s paper challenges India-centric notions of caste, detailing the restructuring of caste dynamics in Sri Lanka in relation to religious institutions and political formation. Manjusha Nair’s paper considers the dynamics of global “Indian” capital through an ethnographic study of an Indian denim textile factory in Ethiopia. Shruti Devgan’s paper traces the embodiment of Sikh American identity as a process of transnational racial formation. Together, these papers offer theoretical and methodological directions for the sociological study of global South Asia.


Presenter 1
Poulami Roychowdhury - poulami.roychowdhury@mcgill.ca ()
Between Women and the State: Rights Brokers and Capital Accumulation in West Bengal

Presenter 2
Prashanth Kuganathan - pdk2108@columbia.edu (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Of Tigers and Temples: The Jaffna Caste System in Transition During the Sri Lankan Civil War

Presenter 3
Manjusha Nair - mnair4@gmu.edu ()
Global Markets, Afro-Asian Solidarity, and the Developmental Project: Indian Textile Making in Ethiopia

Presenter 4
Shruti Devgan - sdevgan@bowdoin.edu ()
“Give in, cut your hair...or it makes you a very strong person”: Diasporic Sikhs, Transnational Racialization and Embodied Identity


The Cultural Production of Dissent: Imagining Publics in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Swarnim Khare - swarnimk@umich.edu (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Discussant / Chair
Swarnim Khare - swarnimk@umich.edu (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

This panel will consider how cultural productions are fueled by experiences and imaginaries within contexts of state repression, confinement and contested spaces in South Asia. We bring together literary and cinematic articulations of these experiences and imaginaries to critically investigate audiences and publics. We argue that these audiences and publics both constitute and are constituted by these articulations in notional, empirical, and affective terms. Thus, the panel will also consider how the authors of these cultural productions create sites of discursive contestation, which problematize local and scholastic understandings of their relationships with dominant forms of ordering. The panel works with the recognition that these sites are imbricated in power hierarchies which span gender, class, religion and time. Building on the aforementioned concepts, this panel brings together texts and contexts to ask: how do custodians of subjugated forms of knowledge mobilize the popular to develop an architecture of dissent which allows them to be critical of, and sometimes act in collusion with, hegemonic nationalist discourses? Consequently, the cultural productions under consideration inspire challenges to how we read the elision of ‘realism’ and imagine productive pasts in the works of Khadija Mastur and Ismat Chughtai; Hindi, Urdu and English narratives of political prisoners in postcolonial India; digitally mediated practice of poetry recitation in contemporary Kashmir; and the political imagination of the Kashmiri state as manifested in a Bollywood film like Haider and the documentary drama ‘A Valley of Saints’.


Presenter 1
Drew Kerr - ankerr@ucsd.edu (University of California, San Diego)
Reimagining Poetic Gathering “in” Kashmir: Mediated Sociality in Times of Lockdown

Presenter 2
Upasana Dutta - upasana@uchicago.edu (THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO)
Censorious constriction and Artistic Proliferation: Reading Crisis in Kashmir

Presenter 3
Jaideep Pandey - jpandey@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
Alternate landscapes of the literary and the political - Eliding Realism and Producing Imagination in Khadija Mastur and Ismat Chughti

Presenter 4
Swarnim Khare - swarnimk@umich.edu (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
Reading Political Prisoners in India: Revolutionary Subjectivity in Public Spheres


Sanskrit Grammar in Early Modern Contexts
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Patrick Cummins - ptc46@cornell.edu (Cornell University)

Discussant / Chair
Parimal Patil - ppatil@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

Scholarship on Sanskrit Grammar over the past two centuries has studied Sanskrit Grammar as precisely that – grammar – and until recent decades the focus has largely been on early grammatical works (Panini’s Astadhyayi, Katyayana’s Varttika, Patanjali’s Mahabhasya). This panel explores Sanskrit Grammar in domains beyond that of grammar proper, in religious and philosophical contexts, during the period of early modernity (c. 1550-1750 CE). Gary Tubb discusses Bharatamisra’s 16th century philosophical treatise on grammar, the Sphotasiddhi, analyzing its innovations on the role of Vedic texts as proof of Grammarian ontological and metaphysical views. Tubb situates this treatise in relation to other proximite writers in Kerala, suggesting a resurgance of grammatical interest spanning other knowledge systems such as Mimamsa and Vedanta. Patrick Cummins turns to the Benares renaissance of Grammarian Philosophy of Language in Kondabhatta’s Vaiyakaranabhusana (early 1600s CE). Cummins explores Kondabhatta’s new defences of ancient grammarian positions on the syntactico-semantics of the sentence against the great Mimamsaka Kumarilabhatta (c. 660 CE), whose critiques went unanswered for nearly one thousand years. Next, Radha Blinderman looks at the sectarianization of Sanskrit Grammar in the Prabodhaprakasa of Balaramapancanana (17th-18th century CE). Blinderman considers how the sakta tradition of West Bengal deployed strategies such as paronomasia (slesa) to yield output of gods’ names in desired textual materials, drawing comparisons with Jivagosvamin’s Harinamamrtavyakarana. Finally, Jonathan Peterson analyzes the exegetical strategies of the 18th century grammarian Kasinathopadhyaya, who refigures mantras from the Rgveda to establish a Vedic precedent for the worship of Krsna as Vitthala in mantras originally dedicated to Agni. This panel explores how Sanskrit Grammar proliferated in the early modern period, being put to novel use in religious domains and giving new life into millenium-old philosophical conversations.


Presenter 1
Gary Tubb - tubb@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Bharata Misra's Sphotasiddhi and Its Philosophical Contexts

Presenter 2
Patrick Cummins - ptc46@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
The Revival of Grammarian Philosophy of Language: Kondabhatta’ Answer to Kumarila’s Theory of the Sentence

Presenter 3
Radha Blinderman - rblinderman@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University )
Balarāmapancānana’s Prabodhaprakāśa: a Śākta take on Grammar

Presenter 4
Jonathan Peterson - jon.peterson@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Agni on the Banks of the Bhīmā: the Grammar of Devotion in Kāśīnāthopādhyāya’s Vitthalarnmantrasārabhāsya


Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on South Asian Marginalized Communities
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sunny Sinha - sinha.sunny@marywood.edu (Marywood University)

Chair
Sunny Sinha - sinha.sunny@marywood.edu (Marywood University)

The COVID-19 pandemic-induced nationwide lockdown and social distancing measures have added a layer of marginality to communities that were already dealing with issues of stigma, social exclusion, oppression, and inequality in society for their caste, religion, disability, gender identity, and lived experiences of domestic violence/sex work/poverty. This roundtable, comprising scholars who have conducted ethnographic/qualitative research with diverse South Asian marginalized communities, such as, Dalits, indigenous tribes, people with disabilities, and survivors of domestic violence, will shed light on the unique ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic- has affected the health and safety needs of these communities and how despite their plight being visible in mainstream media, they remain invisible within the policies and programs developed by the government.  Prasad, having conducted ethnographic/social mapping research with Dalit women in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, will discuss the unique effects of social distancing measures implemented by the government on the Dalit communities in India.  Sinha, based on her extensive research with sex workers in Kolkata, India, will draw attention to the unique health and safety issues for transgender sex worker communities, and rising internet-based sex work during COVID-19.  Azhar will discuss how the livelihoods and mental health of khwaja sira who are sex workers in Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan have been impacted by the stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Deka draws on her research and practice experience with South Asian survivors of domestic violence in the United States to discuss the barriers/service utilization issues faced by the community during the pandemic. Kindo, who has expertise in the areas of law and critical indigenous studies, will examine the pandemic from the lens of indigeneity and explore its effects on indigenous tribes in India.  Chowdhry, a disability scholar herself, will discuss how the pandemic affected people with disabilities in India using a disability justice perspective. 


Presenter 1
Indulata Prasad - iprasad@asu.edu
Presenter 2
Sameena Azhar - sazhar@fordham.edu
Presenter 3
Ankita Deka - deka@augsburg.edu
Presenter 4
Sandeep Kindo - skindo@jgu.edu.in
Presenter 5
Vandana Chowdhry - vandana.chowdhry@csi.cuny.edu

Aesthetics and Buddhist Philosophy
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Alexander McKinley - alex.mckinley@gmail.com (Colgate University)

Discussant / Chair
Charles Hallisey - challisey@hds.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

How is Buddhist philosophy illuminated through its aesthetic medium of expression? This panel addresses the question with attention to narrative structures and poetic techniques. Aesthetics and philosophy are shown to operate in a mutually constitutive reciprocal relationship. Just as philosophical teachings are enriched and made relatable by literary practices, so also aesthetics is pushed in new directions by the content it conveys. Focusing especially on the arena of Sanskrit literature, as well as its vernacular legacies in Sinhala, this panel takes up several philosophical concepts for discussion, with particular focus on emptiness and interdependence. These are especially evoked through interdependent narratives and characters that cross cosmic worlds as well as the earthly categories of nature. Moreover, stories told in Buddhist epic poetry and Mahayana sūtras are analyzed not only for the content of their verses, but also what lies beyond the text, to examine the work that narrative structures perform on their audiences. With poetry, even the technical kāvya sciences of verse meter and ornamentation are put to specifically Buddhist uses. From the early centuries of the common era to the twentieth century, with topics from the life of the Buddha to the legacies of Kalidasa, this panel pursues a deeper understanding of how aesthetics and philosophy inform one another.


Presenter 1
Roshni Patel - rpatel@colgate.edu ()
Emptiness, Presence, and Absence in the Buddhacarita

Presenter 2
Adam Miller - atmiller@uchicago.edu ()
Sorrow without End: Māra’s Story as Argument in the Precious Banner Sūtra

Presenter 3
Alexander McKinley - alex.mckinley@gmail.com (Colgate University)
Buddhist Naturalism in Sinhala Poetry: The Empty Nature of Svabhāvokti

Presenter 4
Justin Henry - justin.henry@gcsu.edu (Georgia College & State University)
Kalidasa and Modern Sanskrit in Sri Lanka


Resistance in South Asian Literature
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Komal Nazir - knazir@okstate.edu (Oklahoma State University )

Discussant / Chair
Komal Nazir - knazir@okstate.edu (Oklahoma State University )

-


Presenter 1
Komal Nazir - knazir@okstate.edu (Oklahoma State University )
Mundane violence, Affective States and the Question of Resistance in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Presenter 2
Pujarinee Mitra - pujarinee.mitra@gmail.com (University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee)
Women and Anti-fascist Resistance in India: Personal documentation in Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Presenter 3
Ishanthi Dissanayake - idissana@sfu.ca (Simon Fraser University)
Anil’s Ghost and Cracking India: Decolonization via Epistemic Resistance

Presenter 4
Anwesha Maity - maity@wisc.edu (UW Madison)
Science, pseudo-science and imaginary science: Genre transmutations in South Asian popular fiction


Geographies of Affect: The Lessons of Ronit Ricci’s Banishment and Belonging: Exile and Diaspora in Sarandib, Lanka and Ceylon for the Study of Sri Lanka and South Asia
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Charles Hallisey - challisey@hds.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

Chair
Charles Hallisey - challisey@hds.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

Ronit Ricci’s Banishment and Belonging: Exile and Diaspora in Sarandib, Lanka and Ceylon is a study of the histories, traditions and attachments of the group now referred to as the “Sri Lankan Malays.” Their use of the Malay language identifies them as coming from Southeast Asia and their history can be traced to connections between Sri Lanka and Indonesia when both were Dutch colonies. As a group, Sri Lankan Malays number approximately 40,000, make up about 0.20% of the total Sri Lankan population. Their potential to contribute to our understanding of the histories of Sri Lanka, in particular, and South Asia, more generally, belies what such numbers might seem at first to suggest. Ronit Ricci’s book helps to make this apparent. While Ricci’s book focuses on the exile and diaspora of the Malay community in colonial Sri Lanka, its lessons go far beyond that particular subject. It raises questions and suggests new possibilities on how we might think about the presence of communities in South Asia which see themselves as defined by their relations with communities beyond that region; how we might think about the presence of South Asia and South Asians in areas beyond that region; and most generally how we might better think about the relationship between South Asia and its diasporas as well as the value of transnational historical work for our understanding of modern South Asia itself. Drawing out some of these lessons is the purpose of this roundtable discussion. Presenters will focus on the trajectories of different lessons, thematically distinguished, and Ronit Ricci herself will be present to respond. As a roundtable, there will be ample opportunity for the audience to participate in the discussion.


Presenter 1
V.V. Ganeshananthan - vganesha@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
Presenter 2
Charles Hallisey - challisey@hds.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Presenter 3
Deborah Philip - dphilip@gradcenter.cuny.edu (The Graduate Center, City University of New York)
Presenter 4
Kalyani Ramnath - kalyaniramnath@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Presenter 5
John Rogers - rogersjohnd@aol.com (American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies)
Presenter 6
Ronit Ricci - ronit.ricci@anu.edu.au

Between the Marathas and the Mughals: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Kashi Gomez - kashi.gomez@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)

Discussant / Chair
Divya Cherian - dcherian@princeton.edu (Princeton University)

Recent scholarship on early modern South Asia has challenged the notion of “women’s history” in the singular and as a separate sub-discipline (Indrani Chatterjee, Uma Chakravarti, Ruby Lal, Rosalind O’Hanlon, Ramya Sreenivasan). The archival desire to locate, recover, and restore female agency in early modern South Asian archives, however, is still often complicated by the deeply normativizing impulses of the sources and textual traditions considered in this panel. Grappling with this constraint, our panel resists the binary of oppression and resistance as a framework for defining the scope of inquiry into the question of female agency. We turn instead to methodological approaches that attend to shifting lexical categories and other classifications embedded in a wide range of Sanskrit, Persian, Marathi, Urdu, and architectural archives. Through close engagement with juridical, poetic, political, and medical texts, and monumental architecture, we highlight how lexical categories and other classifications were never stable, and how the interactions among women, and of women with men, constantly pushed the boundaries of gendered conventions. Our papers explore categories of kinship and kinlessness through Sanskrit sources from Maratha-ruled Thanjavur, the emergence of social and legal categories for denoting forcible sex in the Maratha empire, anecdotes about madness among women in the Mughal Empire even as new categories of mental illnesses were being diagnosed, and the relationship between gender, strategic acts of construction, and social stratification in the kingdom of Marwar. Women and women’s issues are often buried and concealed beneath a grander narrative of history-making in early modern South Asia. Our panel highlights the significance of being sensitive to the dynamic vocabulary of early modern sources as one entry point for making these histories visible.


Presenter 1
Kashi Gomez - kashi.gomez@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Adopted Heirs: Sanskrit Commentarial Anxieties from Eighteenth-century Thanjavur

Presenter 2
Prashant Prashant - pp402@exeter.ac.uk (University of Exeter)
Legal and Social Categories, Concepts of, and Approaches to Rape in Early Modern Marathi Documents

Presenter 3
Anurag Advani - anurag_advani@berkeley.edu ()
On the Margins of Reason: Women and Madness in Mughal India

Presenter 4
Nandini Thilak - thilak.nandini@gmail.com (Universität Heidelberg)
Gardens in the Bazaar: Gulab Rai’s Architectural Program in Jodhpur


Working with Vulnerable Communities in South Asian Performance Contexts
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Pamela Lothspeich - ploth@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina)

Discussant / Chair
Aparna Dharwadker - adharwadker@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

The presenters have all done sustained ethnographic fieldwork in India or Pakistan, researching and documenting the lives and work of performers from vulnerable communities, many of whom are LGBTQ+ or on the trans-kothi-hijra/kinnar/khwaja sira spectrum. Pamela Lothspeich and Harshita Kamath, discussing female gender performance in Ramlila dance and Kuchipudi dance, respectively, present case studies of performers who dance in female roles and in sartorial guises that audiences read as feminine, showing how audiences respond to them variously based on their perceived gender, sexual orientation, and social status as determined by caste, class and religion. Lothspeich constructs a tentative, gender-sensitive genealogy of Ramlila dance over the past two centuries, while Kamath writes of spaces of alterity within a dance form dominated by brahmin masculinity/patriarchy. Claire Pamment and Jeff Roy explore critical issues related to ethnographic engagements with khwaja sira, trans and hijra communities. Pamment elaborates Pakistani khwaja sira negotiations of izzat (respect) in/across sexuality, religion, gender, kinship and class through performances of badhai. Amidst liberal rights’ translations of izzat into respectability, Pamment considers the ethical, affective and political limits and possibilities of acting on methodologies of izzat in ethnographic research. Roy explores ethnographic filmmaking that documents the lives and work of transgender and hijra performers in Mumbai, prompting us to consider questions of power, representation, and ethics when “outsiders,” especially those from the western academy, are the documenters. All of the presentations on this panel speak to the ways in which intersectionally marginalized performers often face exclusions, discrimination, and structural barriers in their respective performance contexts and wider societies. The presenters will also briefly speak to some of the ethical questions and challenges they navigate in the field, ones not captured by formal IRB protocols and itineraries, as they research and write about performers in conditions of extreme precarity.


Presenter 1
Pamela Lothspeich - ploth@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina)
Gender Performance in Dance, in the Theatre of Ramlila

Presenter 2
Harshita Mruthinti Kamath - harshita.kamath@emory.edu (Emory University)
Impersonation as Resistance in Kuchipudi Dance

Presenter 3
CLAIRE PAMMENT - clpamment@wm.edu (College of William & Mary)
Khwaja Sira Badhai and Methodologies of Izzat

Presenter 4
Jeff Roy - jcroy@cpp.edu (Cal Poly State University)
Queer Performance + Ethnographic Filmmaking in South Asia


Hindu Ritual in the Domestic Sphere
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Michael Fiden - mfiden@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin)

Discussant / Chair
Patrick Olivelle - jpo@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

In the context of both the historical and contemporary study of Hinduism, scholars often focus on various forms of public practice, such as pilgrimages, festivals, śrauta sacrifices, and temple rituals, as representative of the core of the tradition. Yet domestic spaces are often the loci in which religion is performed, contextualized, preserved, and understood by practitioners. This panel underscores how Hinduism is expressed ritually in the domestic space to address two issues: 1) the mutually constitutive relationship between the religious and the domestic within the tradition, and 2) the reciprocal relationship between textual constructions and everyday practice. Religion is necessarily a multivalent area of study, and any attempt to present a coherent picture must not only account for, but also embrace these intersections. While domestic religion has been studied ethnographically, this panel brings ethnography into conversation with textual studies, examining the topic through the concepts of dharma, sādhanā, vrata, reproductive labor, and space. Together, these different methods and analytical lenses show not only the diversity and importance of domestic religious ritual within Hinduism, both in India and in the diaspora, but also how Hindu identity continues to shape, and be shaped by, the interplays of text and practice at home.


Presenter 1
Michael Fiden - mfiden@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin)
The Development of Vratapati

Presenter 2
Jennifer Ortegren - jennortegren@gmail.com (Middlebury College)
Class as Dharma: Purusadharma in the Middle-Class Home

Presenter 3
Aarti Patel - apatel10@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
A Spatial Analysis of Hindu Domestic Religiosity

Presenter 4
Ashlee Andrews - anandrew@uncg.edu (UNCG)
Labor Negotiations at the Home Shrine: Analyzing Bengali American Hindu Women’s Home Shrine Care as Reproductive Labor


Intensification vs. Sweetening? New Patterns in Contemporary Hindu Representation and Practice I
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Amy Allocco - aallocco@elon.edu (Elon University)

Discussant / Chair
Amy Allocco - aallocco@elon.edu (Elon University)

This two-part panel brings together researchers of South Asian religion to present papers on their current work researching evidence for a brand new thesis regarding two major converging and diverging currents which increasingly shape contemporary Hindu practices and beliefs, namely intensification and sweetening. Comprised of scholars at different career stages and in several disciplines, these panels will pay particular attention to the increasingly visible move to insist on the continuing relevance of more rigorous—and frequently marginalized—religious practices and beliefs, in contrast to the long prevailing currents to mellow divine personalities, standardize ritual performances, and mainstream theologies. By analyzing dramatic dialogues with the dead in Tamil invitation ceremonies to call departed relatives back into the world as pūvāṭaikkāri, the first paper argues that the dead’s insistence on tongue-piercings, crematory ash, and alcohol offerings signals a deliberate resistance to broader sweetening trends in contemporary ritual contexts. The second paper brings ontological approaches to its examination of Māriyamman’s transformations and changing moods at a temple in Eastern Sri Lanka, which illustrate a complex interplay between her fiercer and softer characteristics and trajectories of intensification and sweetening. Through a discussion of the rainy season pilgrimage of Himalayan deities to their childhood home at Jhakar Sem, a journey which mirrors those married women make to their natal homes, the third paper demonstrates how male divinities who are otherwise known as formidable figures are experienced as playful, childlike, and feminized. The final paper focuses on the physical confrontation between two Himalayan deities on Makar Saṇkrānti 2020 in order to assess whether this conflict signals the continuing ascendance of Kaṇḍār Devtā over Hari Mahārāj and his evolution from a rural territorial figure among many to an urban, Sanskritized deity, “sweetened” and domesticated for and in an environment of mass tourism and development.


Presenter 1
Amy Allocco - aallocco@elon.edu (Elon University)
When the Dead Will Not Be Denied: Insistence, Persistence, and Resistance in Pūvāṭaikkāri Pūjās

Presenter 2
Eva Ambos - eva.ambos@uni-tuebingen.de ()
Amman’s Changing Face – Agency and Power at a Māriyamman Kovil in Eastern Sri Lanka

Presenter 3
Aftab Jassal - aftabsj@yahoo.com (University of California, San Diego)
Playing in the Rain: Gods, Pilgrims, and Affective Homecoming in Uttarakhand

Presenter 4
Brian Pennington - bpennington4@elon.edu ()
A Divine Dust-up: Diverging Trajectories of Local Gods in Garhwal


Forms of Dissent in Twentieth-Century South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Ayelet Ben-Yishai - abenyishai@univ.haifa.ac.il (University of Haifa)

Discussant / Chair
Ayelet Ben-Yishai - abenyishai@univ.haifa.ac.il (University of Haifa)

This panel offers a look at forms of dissent throughout twentieth-century South Asia, from the colonial partition of Bengal in 1905, through post-Partition Delhi and Indira Gandhi's Emergency, to women travel narratives in the latter quarter of the century. As this list already makes evident, the panel takes a capacious approach to dissent, locating it not only in overt political protest but also in individual, domestic, or private realms. As a panel we find dissent in places both expected (prison memoirs) and unexpected (travel narratives), in historical documents and literary writing. Proceeding chronologically through the twentieth century, the four papers examine the historic and discursive ways in which a distinctly Indian idiom of dissent was developed, augmented, and complicated. What happens, we ask, when anti-colonial forms of dissent are taken up against the post-colonial state? What happens when similar forms or genres of dissent are adopted by ideological foes? Our papers show that articulations of dissent necessarily build on previous moments of protest and traditions of opposition, while simultaneously pulling away from their predecessors to make new distinctions. Creating a constant tension between the iconoclastic and the familiar, dissent creates cleavages in communities, but also serves to forge new ones, or rearrange their structuring principles. Most importantly the four papers show that articulating dissent is a complicated task, often caught up in its own negation – of loyalty, tradition, or authority. In so doing it touches on a wide range of discursive fields: political, gendered, affective, social, artistic, and linguistic, to name but a few.


Presenter 1
Sukanya Banerjee - sbanerjee20@berkeley.edu ()
Of Loyalty and Dissent: Revisiting Swadeshi, circa 1905

Presenter 2
Rotem Geva - rotemgeva@gmail.com (Hebrew University)
In Search of the Right Order: India’s Democracy Confronts its Law-and-Order Legacy in 1950s Delhi

Presenter 3
Ayelet Ben-Yishai - abenyishai@univ.haifa.ac.il (University of Haifa)
"Flying high" with Borrowed Wings: The Prison Memoir as Genre of Dissent

Presenter 4
Sutanuka Ghosh - sutanuka.ghosh@gmail.com (Jadavpur University)
“The sheep jumped over the wall”: traveling beyond boundaries in contemporary travel writing by Bengali women


Politics and Displacement at Empire's End
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Mrittika Shahita - athai110@yahoo.com (University of Dhaka)

Discussant / Chair
Mrittika Shahita - athai110@yahoo.com (University of Dhaka)

-


Presenter 1
Mrittika Shahita - athai110@yahoo.com (University of Dhaka)
Cultural Resistance of East Pakistan and Birth of a Nation

Presenter 2
Ashish Koul - ashish.koul@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
For Muslim unity? Caste in the electoral politics of late colonial Panjab

Presenter 3
Sarath Pillai - sarathpillai@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Princely States and the Origins of All-India Politics

Presenter 4
Md Rahaman - mpr3c@mtmail.mtsu.edu (Middle Tennessee State University)
Jogendra’s properties: Displacement and natural death of hope


Social Movements, Subalternity, and Resistance
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Hashim Ali - hali25@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Hashim Ali - hali25@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)

-


Presenter 1
Hashim Ali - hali25@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Students Strike Back: Youth Life and the Promise of Post-Colonial Pakistan

Presenter 2
Farhana Akther - farhana.akther297@gmail.com (University of Dhaka)
Politicisation of a Movement: Comparative Analysis of Quota Reform Movement in Bangladesh & Anti-CAA Movement in India

Presenter 3
Noaman Ali - noaman.ali@lums.edu.pk (Lahore University of Management Sciences)
Suturing Subalternity: Contingency and Political Struggle in the Formation of Peasant Agency in Northwestern Pakistan, 1968-1978

Presenter 4
Aneri Taskar - aneritaskar@gmail.com (University of Louisville)
Political Humor as Dissent in Contemporary India

Presenter 5
Vidya Venkat - vidya_venkat@soas.ac.uk (SOAS, University of London)
Power, compromise, and the legitimisation of rule: Notes on India’s right to information movement


Negotiating Labor and Land
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: PDR
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Lars Aaberg - lars.olav.aaberg@gmail.com (SOAS University of London )

Discussant / Chair
Lars Aaberg - lars.olav.aaberg@gmail.com (SOAS University of London )

-


Presenter 1
Mahendra Chalise - imchalise@gmail.com (NGO/ freelancer Journalist)
Situation of Quarries Child Labor in Nepal

Presenter 2
CHANDRABOSE AMMASY SUPPIAH - asboseou@yahoo.com (The Open University of Sri Lanka)
Structural Changes in the Plantation Sector: A Study on the Growth of Small Tea Holdings and Its Impact on Tea Plantation Sector in Sri Lanka

Presenter 3
Lars Aaberg - lars.olav.aaberg@gmail.com (SOAS University of London )
Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma - mprasad1@gc.cuny.edu (Graduate center, CUNY)
Materialities of Infrastructure: the transgender workers of Kochi Metro

Presenter 4
Pallavi Raonka - pallavi9@vt.edu (Virginia Tech)
Understanding Adivasi (Indigenous) Political Imaginaries in the Neoliberal State of Jharkhand, India


Caste, Indigeneity, Region, and Settler/Colonialism in Modi’s India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Reema Rajbanshi - reemama@gmail.com (Haverford College)
Co-Organizer
Dheepa Sundaram - dheepa.sundaram@du.edu (University of Denver)

Discussant / Chair
Reema Rajbanshi - reemama@gmail.com (Haverford College)

This panel considers the complex entanglement of caste, indigeneity, region, and settler/colonialisms under Hindutva rule in Modi’s India. That is, pushing upon the the urgent question of how social and political belonging has been radically constricted to equate to Hindu identity, this panel interrogates how caste crucially distinguishes Hindutva rule as an upper-caste project, how prior identity formations in region variably shape the fallout of Hindutva ideology, and how ongoing projects of settler/colonialism and contested claims around indigeneity have been intensified and even co-opted under the banner of Modi’s India. Towards this end, the panel specifically explores the role of media narratives, post-2016 legislation, and the fraught semantics of indigeneity that remain bound to the religious communalism of Partition and regional claims of continued coloniality. Khatija Khader’s paper brings to light the exacerbated plight of the Kashmiri journalist, at once heavily surveilled under settler colonial governance and strategically navigating the same towards accurate reportage, including that of resistance to lockdown. Dheepa Sundaram’s paper considers the co-opting of the language of decolonization for the ethno-nationalist project of the BJP, through multi-media strategies that further marginalize vulnerable communities even as it erases historically key differences. And in looking at a region described via the umbrella term “Northeast,” my paper examines the volatile category and convergence of indigeneity/claims with the Citizenship Amendment Bill and the National Register of Citizens, both of which elicited mass response in Assam. Together, these papers constitute the panel’s objective of offering a multi-perspectival and place-sensitive take on timely and high-stakes questions of caste, indigeneity, and settler/colonialism under the current Indian regime.


Presenter 1
Reema Rajbanshi - reemama@gmail.com (Haverford College)
"Who gets to be a Hindu? The Politics and Precarity of Northeast Identities"

Presenter 2
Khatija Khader - kkhader@gmail.com ()
Narrating Kashmir and Framing Public Discourse: Locating Resistance in the Pen of a Kashmiri Journalist

Presenter 3
Dheepa Sundaram - dheepa.sundaram@du.edu (University of Denver)
Cultural Nationalism and the Making of a Hindu Rashtra: Reinventing of the "Secular" in Modi's India

Presenter 4
Santhosh Chandreshekar - santhosh.chandreshekar@du.edu ()
Respondent


Book Roundtable: Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India’s Long Decolonization (Stanford University Press, 2020) by Sanjukta Sunderason (Leiden University)
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Iftikhar Dadi - mid1@cornell.edu ()

Chair
Iftikhar Dadi - mid1@cornell.edu

This Roundtable will bring together a multi-disciplinary set of scholars working on art, histories, politics across twentieth-century South Asia, to reflect the historiographical questions raised by Sanjukta Sunderason’s monograph, Partisan Aesthetics: Modern Art and India’s Long Decolonization (Stanford University Press, July 2020). The book explores art's entanglements with histories of war, famine, mass politics and displacements that marked late-colonial and postcolonial India. Introducing "partisan aesthetics" as a conceptual grid, it identifies ways in which art became political through interactions with left-wing activism during the 1940s, and the afterlives of such interactions in post-independence India. Analyzing largely unknown and dispersed archives—drawings, diaries, posters, periodicals, and pamphlets, alongside paintings and prints—Sunderason argues that art as archive is foundational to understanding modern art's socialist affiliations during India's long decolonization. Partisan Aesthetics unmoors questions of Indian modernism from its hitherto dominant harnesses to national or global affiliations and biographic modalities of iconic artists; it activates instead, distinctly locational histories that refract transnational currents. By bringing together expanding fields of South Asian art, global modernisms, and Third World cultures, the book has generated a new narrative that combines political history of Indian modernism, social history of postcolonial cultural criticism, and intellectual history of decolonization. The roundtable will be an occasion to intervene on the book’s multi-polar arguments on art, politics, and art/history-writing in twentieth-century India – from the wider field of trans-border South Asian Studies as much as from the Global South at large. Alongside the author and the convenor, three invited specialists from diverse disciplines will speak from their vantage points of postcolonial modernisms, the South Asian Left, Nehruvian modernity, and the its sub-national, vernacular histories.


Presenter 1
Neilesh Bose - nbose@uvic.ca (University of Victoria)
Presenter 2
Kamran Asdar Ali - asdar@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Presenter 3
Sanjukta Sunderason - sanjukta.sunderason@gmail.com (Leiden University)

Bovine Politics and Agrarian Change: Hindutva, Violence and the Indian Cattle Economy PART II
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Jostein Jakobsen - jostein.jakobsen@sum.uio.no (University of Oslo)

Discussant / Chair
Jens Lerche - jl2@soas.ac.uk

In this panel that is part two of two, we focus on bovine politics in India. Since the coming to power of Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, India has witnessed renewed emphasis on the divisive politics of the cow. The violence and disruptions carried out by Hindutva forces over alleged trespassing of ever-stricter cow protection legislations has attracted international attention. Among its many detrimental consequences, bovine politics in Modi’s India has had an especially hard impact on a key aspect of rural livelihoods: the cattle economy. Indeed, while cattle has historically been crucial in sustaining many rural households, raising, keeping and selling livestock is becoming increasingly precarious and outright dangerous in contemporary India. This has repercussions across agrarian systems of production and reproduction. Beyond the occasional journalistic report that has accompanied the rise in cow vigilantism, however, we still know little about the resulting patterns of agrarian change that are unfolding in rural India. How do smallholder farmers react to the incursions of violent Hindutva politics? How is the cattle economy transforming under the impact of such aggression at different levels of scale? Against this backdrop, this panel seeks an empirically grounded understanding of the evolving relationships between bovine politics and agrarian change in contemporary India. The papers focus on the consequences for one or more “phases” in the process of raising, keeping and selling livestock, and are grounded in in-depth field research.


Presenter 1
Atiya Gopinath - atiya11g@gmail.com ()
Lives, Livelihood and Cattle in Contemporary India: A Study of a North Indian District

Presenter 2
Gaurang Sahay - gsahay@tiss.edu ()
Bovine Politics, Rural Violence and Marginal and Small Farmers: A Study of Cattle and Agrarian Economy in India

Presenter 3
Aparna . - aparna@nirmauni.ac.in ()
Small Livestock Producers amidst Indian Bovine Politics

Presenter 4
Jostein Jakobsen - jostein.jakobsen@sum.uio.no (University of Oslo)
Bovine Meat, Authoritarian Populism and State Contradictions in Modi’s India


Landscapes, Waterscapes, and Relationalities in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Neelima Jeychandran - nuj47@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University )

Discussant / Chair
Neelima Jeychandran - nuj47@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University )

South Asian maritime networks facilitated not only the movement of people across the Indian Ocean World, but also played a crucial role in connecting South Asia with the Arab world and the African continent over extended historical periods. An analysis of the literature reveals that the overwhelming discussion on oceanscapes and its cultural geographies have largely been historical in nature and contemporary studies is just limited to discourses on trade (especially water-borne), regional and national security, or transnational mobilities across the Indian Ocean. In particular, anthropological and ethnographic studies of the South Asian littoral spaces, coastal ecologies and hinterlands, and everyday practices of these regions remain underexplored. In the spirit of decentering a sub-continental, coastal, and land-based approach to understanding South Asian spaces and placemaking practices, we propose an oceanic framework for examining various transactions (i.e. material, mnemonic, ecological, and ritualistic) that reimagines relations between coasts, hinterlands, and other physical and speculative geographies. Attempting a narrative maneuver, the panelists treat the space of the ocean as site of profound epistemological inquiry to discuss shifting geographies and borders of lands and seas and to map conceptual and physical spheres of relationalities. This panel cobbles together papers that focuses on the materiality of the Indian Ocean and extractive trade, gardens and port cities as ontologically imbricated landscapes, futures of fragile environments, and African sacredscapes and its oceanic linkages.


Presenter 1
Pedro Machado - pmachado@indiana.edu ()
Objects of dispersal: Marine Products, Materiality and Indian Ocean Mobilities

Presenter 2
Smriti Srinivas - ssrinivas@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Gardens as Archives: Arboricultural Possibilities for South Asia

Presenter 3
Anuj Vaidya - anuva@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Of Floods and Forests: Mumbai, 2042

Presenter 4
Jazmin Graves - jazmgraves@uchicago.edu ()
Devi in Diaspora: Mai Misra in the Sidi (African-Indian) Sufi Tradition of Western India


Land, Law, Language: The Evolving Subjectivities of Bengali Muslims
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Ahona Panda - ahonapanda@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Ahona Panda - ahonapanda@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

2021 marks the fiftieth year of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. The twentieth century witnessed several major political transitions in the history of the eastern part of Bengal, beginning with the first Partition of Bengal by the colonial state in 1905. From East Bengal to East Pakistan and then on to Bangladesh, the social, political and legal identities of this region have been in constant flux. This panel seeks to trace Bengali Muslim subjectivities in East and West Bengal by exploring constitutional, legal and linguistic ruptures and continuities across the colonial and postcolonial states. The panelists will address these questions: First, how were East and West Pakistan united on the question of giving voice and representation to Muslims in South Asia, but divergent on fundamental issues such as state policy and land reform? Second, how did cultural particularities increasingly lead to great differences between East and West Pakistan in terms of configuration of land, language and culture? How did law and policy absorb or exacerbate these divides? The papers also reflect on the curious fact that the Partition of 1947 changed Bengali nationalist political figures into Pakistani parliamentarians. This new political class had allegiances across Hindu and Muslim civil societies in undivided Bengal, and their earlier experiences informed their subjectivity as East Pakistani citizens. How did they negotiate their Bengali and Pakistani identities? Third, who were the drafters of the Constitution of independent Bangladesh and what kind of nationalism did linguistic and economic liberty ultimately give rise to? Finally, what happened to the large number of Bengali Muslims who opted to remain in Bengal, Assam and Tripura after Partition—what political subjectivity can they claim in the Hindu majoritarian Indian polity today?


Presenter 1
Cynthia Farid - farid@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Bangladesh Approaching Fifty: A Reappraisal of Its Founding History

Presenter 2
Adil Hossain - adil.hossain@merton.ox.ac.uk ()
Changing contours of citizenship and the modes of belonging among Bengali Muslims of West Bengal, India

Presenter 3
Manav Kapur - mkapur@princeton.edu ()
The Jomidar in a Peasants Utopia: Land Reforms in East Pakistan

Presenter 4
Ahona Panda - ahonapanda@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Language as a Parliamentary Question in East Pakistan


South Asian Filmscapes: Transregional Encounters
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Esha Niyogi De - de@humnet.ucla.edu (UCLA)

Chair
Esha Niyogi De - de@humnet.ucla.edu (UCLA)

In South Asia massive anti-colonial upheavals in the twentieth century created nations and reset national borders, forming the basis for emerging film cultures. New national cinemas reinforced prevailing hierarchies of identity and belonging following the upheaval of Partition (1947) and the Bangladesh Liberation War (1971). At the same time, industrial and independent cinemas contributed to remarkably porous and hybrid film cultures, reflecting the intertwining of South Asian histories and their reciprocal cultural influences. This cross-fertilization within South Asian cultural production continues today. This Round Table assembles the editors and authors of a new volume that excavates these complex politics and poetics of bordered identity and crossings through selected histories of cinema in South Asia. The scholarly volume--titled South Asian Filmscapes: Transregional Encounters—is edited by Elora Halim Chowdhury and Esha Niyogi De (University of Washington Press, 2020). Several presenters consider ways in which fixed notions of national identity have been destabilized by the cross-border mobility of filmed arts and practitioners (Hariprasad Athanickal, Gwendolyn Kirk, Esha Niyogi De), while others interrogate how filmic politics intersect with discourses of nationalism, sexuality and gender, religion, and language (Kamran Asdar Ali, Fahmidul Haq, Elora Halim Chowdhury). Together, the presentations offer a fluid approach to the multiple histories and encounters that conjure “South Asia” as a geographic and political entity in the region and globally through a cinematic imagination. This Round Table sheds light on archives hitherto unexplored as sources of knowledge about cinema and the South Asian region. Asdar Ali, Niyogi De, and Kirk discuss the ambivalent politics of difference and hybridity in popular Urdu and Punjabi Pakistani cinemas; Haq and Chowdhury studies contestations around nation and gender in Bangladeshi Liberation War films; and Athanickal explores spatial aesthetics in selected South Indian cinematic practices.


Presenter 1
Elora Chowdhury - elora.chowdhury@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Presenter 2
Kamran Asdar Ali - asdar@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Presenter 3
Gwendolyn Kirk - gwendolynkirk@gmail.com (University of Madison-Wisconsin)
Presenter 4
Fahmidul Haq - fahmidul.haq@gmail.com
Presenter 5
Hariprasad Athanickal - hariprasadathanickal@gmail.com

(Post)Pandemic Pedagogy- New Approaches to Teaching Hindi-Urdu and LCTLs
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Rajiv Ranjan - rranjan@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

Discussant / Chair
Rajiv Ranjan - rranjan@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

Ever-evolving language pedagogy and the recent outbreak of COVID-19 have convinced language educators to re-evaluate teaching materials and instructional modes. These developments present new opportunities to pilot innovative teaching materials and methods. This panel consists of four issues related to (post)pandemic pedagogy for Hindi-Urdu and LCTLs. Dr. McCarter discusses the efficacy of one tool that can serve as the substrate of the distance learning experience: Microsoft’s OneNote. He presents core functions of this platform and its integration with university learning management systems. He demonstrates the fitness of this software for online learning and proposes to use the same application for collaboration among language instructors for the continual development of learning materials and resources. Dr. Chaudhry proposes that instructors can promote learners’ intercultural understanding through designing instruction focusing on interactional competence and “making explicit key L2 interactional resources that interactants employ.” The presentation demonstrates how a Hindi instructor a classroom used the conversation analytic framework to teach interactional competence. Sample activities, worksheets and suggestions will be provided for teaching interactional practices. Dr. Knapczyk targets a recent trend in foreign language pedagogy to incorporate lessons on social justice at all levels of proficiency. Social justice topics offer a richer experience than traditional teaching. She presents a few complete reading-based lessons to explore ways of using social justice topics in classes. She demonstrates how such topics provide opportunities to use language in engaging contexts and help students think critically about their communities. Dr. Ranjan discusses the role of textbooks in language teaching and analyzes four Hindi language textbooks through the lens of communicative language teaching. He aims to showcase gaps between modern pedagogical approaches and available teaching materials. He also discusses the future of material development which not only fits well with ever-evolving pedagogy, but also fits with both face-to-face and online instructions.


Presenter 1
Elliott McCarter - e.c.mccarter@vanderbilt.edu ()
Sustainable and Modular Teaching Materials in Hindi-Urdu

Presenter 2
Divya Chaudhry - divya.chaudhry@vanderbilt.edu (Vanderbilt University)
Developing Interactional Competence in L2 Hindi

Presenter 3
Kusum Knapczyk - kususm.knapczyk@duke.edu ()
Teaching South Asian languages through social justice topics

Presenter 4
Rajiv Ranjan - rranjan@msu.edu (Michigan State University)
(Post)pandemic Pedagogy: Re-evaluating Instructional Materials and Modes

Presenter 5
Muhammad Asif - mfasif@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
CREATING INDIVIDUALIZED PROJECTS FOR ADVANCED LEVEL URDU STUDENTS: CHALLENGES AND SUCCESS


Media, Power and the Libidinal Imagination: Interrogating Sexual Imaginaries in India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Anirban Baishya - abaishya@fordham.edu (Fordham University)

Discussant / Chair
Anirban Baishya - abaishya@fordham.edu (Fordham University)

This panel explores media, modernity and sexual cultures in India by locating the intersection between technological interfaces and mediated sexual publics. While media forms facilitate both representational and infrastructural possibilities of inscribing sexual mores and practices, the broader canvas within which sexual imaginaries and technological possibilities have been forged in media platforms demand sustained enquiry. By focusing on the varying dimensions of desire encoded in and through bodies, this panel explores the porosity of old and new media forms, including objects such as print advertisements, digital media, sexual manuals and policy documents. Anannya Bohidar’s paper maps questions of female reproductive health and sexuality in early and mid-20th century Tamil print culture through advertisements of Ayurvedic tonics. In doing so, Bohidar interrogates the mutual enfolding of consumer patterns, material bodies and print-mediated imaginations of sexual health and pleasure. Pallavi Rao’s paper focuses on contemporary Tamil TikTok videos and asks how digital media practices echo normative scripts for entrenched social attitudes towards caste, gender and sexual relations. In examining digital gestures, Rao asks how women performers’ impersonations of filmic articulations on TikTok reconstitute caste and gender as embodied practices. Darshana Mini’s paper looks at discourses around gendered cyberbullying in Kerala. Examining both police-issued safety booklets and government advisories on internet safety, Mini locates such initiatives as a form of digital patriarchy that places the burden of safety on women. Anirban Baishya’s paper studies the relationship between the cellphone and India’s libidinal imaginary. Examining condom advertisements and discourses around cellphone pornography, Baishya interrogates how contemporary attitudes towards “safe-sex,” are being renegotiated around the phenomenon of the digital leak. Through an excavation of such diverse forms and practices, this panel interrogates the specific modalities through which South Asian media encode new sexual mores and gender hierarchies within pre-existing matrices of power and desire.


Presenter 1
Anannya Bohidar - anannyab@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania )
Culturing Bodies: A study of Female Health Tonics in Late Colonial South India

Presenter 2
Pallavi Rao - raop@indiana.edu (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Lip-Syncing Love and Desire: Performance and Performativity of Caste, Gender, and Sexuality on Tamil TikTok

Presenter 3
Darshana Sreedhar Mini - mini@usc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Cyber Violence and Digital Publics in Kerala

Presenter 4
Anirban Baishya - abaishya@fordham.edu (Fordham University)
Leaking Bodies, Leaking Phones: Reconceptualizing “Safe-Sex” in Networked India


New Directions in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Studies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Ishan Chakrabarti - ishan.chakrabarti@gmail.com (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Ravi M. Gupta - ravi.gupta@usu.edu (Utah State University)

Whether from the field of religious studies, South Asian studies, philosophy, or anthropology, works on Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava communities, theologies, and practices typically approach the topic using one lens and focus on any one of these subfields. Scanning the literature across Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava studies, we see works that categorize the contemporary transnational forms as new religious movements standing apart from works that analyze the practices and theologies of these same communities as a part of an unbroken historical lineage. We see works on philosophy, analyzing the textual canon of the tradition separate from works that study the living tradition of these texts. Few works tackle theology and practice, text and tradition, historical and transnational using multiple methodologies and many different kinds of sources To foster new multidisciplinary directions in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava studies, we present a diverse panel that showcases new work that expands beyond text/use, body/space, historical/contemporary periods, traditional/transnational, and theology/practice binaries. While each individual paper retains a narrower framework and dwells on a more limited set of concerns and sources, we bring these papers together to foster the sort of boundary-breaking discussion we seek. Two papers read pre-modern Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava textual sources, but do so quite differently: Aleksandar approaches philosophical texts and questions, while Ishan examines literary sources and aesthetic questions. Together, these two offer a picture of the world of early Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava thought. Two further papers reflect anthropologically on contemporary Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava culture: Anandi questions our understanding of devotional practice, while Claire annotates an historical process of urbanization. Between the two, we gain insights into the contemporary Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava world. Taken as a set, the papers contribute to a discussion of Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism as a whole and question the coherence — or lack thereof — of the concept itself.


Presenter 1
Anandi Silva Knuppel - anandi.silva.knuppel@gmail.com (Lawrence University )
Seeing through Krishna’s Name: Multisensory Darśan in Caitanya Vaishnavism

Presenter 2
Aleksandar Uskokov - aleksandar.uskokov@yale.edu (Yale University)
The “Other” Purāṇa and Gauḍīya Doctrine: Jīva Gosvāmin, the Viṣṇu Purāṇa, and the Ontology of Acintya-bhedābheda

Presenter 3
Claire Robison - crobison@bowdoin.edu (Bowdoin College)
Reproducing the Land of Beautiful Groves: Gauḍīya Landscapes in Maharashtra

Presenter 4
Ishan Chakrabarti - ishan.chakrabarti@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
The Person of Rāmānanda Rāya: Penetrating Insight in Biographical Memory and Literary History


Exploring the Intersection of History and Literature
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Rudrani Gangopadhyay - rudraniganguly@gmail.com (Rutgers University)

Discussant / Chair
Rudrani Gangopadhyay - rudraniganguly@gmail.com (Rutgers University)

-


Presenter 1
J. Vijay Maharaj - jvijaymaharaj@gmail.com (The University of the West Indies)
Gandhian Resistance to Colonial Occupation in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies: The Literary Evidence

Presenter 2
Rudrani Gangopadhyay - rudraniganguly@gmail.com (Rutgers University)
Exploring Post 91 ‘New India’: Images in Uday Prakash’s ‘Paul Gomra and his Bajaj’

Presenter 3
Monika Bhagat-Kennedy - mbk@olemiss.edu (University of Mississippi)
Revisiting India’s Future in the Past: The Tragedy of the ‘Last’ Hindu King in K.K. Sinha’s Sanjogita, or the Princess of Aryavarta

Presenter 4
Radhika Prasad - rprasad4@ucsc.edu (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Empathy in Translation: The Cosmopolitanism of Hindi in Nirmal Verma’s Ve Din

Presenter 5
Abhimanyu Acharya - aachary5@uwo.ca (The University of Western Ontario)
Gandhian Nationalism and the emergence of new aesthetics of Gujarati drama: Chandravadan Mehta's 'Iron-Road'


Violence, Mobility and Belonging in South Asia’s Borderlands
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Malini Sur - m.sur@westernsydney.edu.au (Western Sydney University)

Chair
Sidharthan Maunaguru - sasms@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)

Organized around a new book on borders and mobility this roundtable will discuss race and ethnic boundaries, suspicion and violence in nation-building, the temporality of ‘illegal’ migration and smuggling, and human- animal relationships in South Asia. These themes emerge from Malini Sur’s book Jungle Passports: Fences, Mobility and Citizenship at the Northeast India – Bangladesh border (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021). Since the nineteenth century a succession of states have classified the inhabitants of what are now the borderlands of Northeast India and Bangladesh as Muslim "frontier peasants", "savage mountaineers" and Christian "ethnic minorities" suspecting them to be disloyal subjects, spies, and traitors. Sur follows their struggles to secure shifting land, gain access to rice harvests, and smuggle the cattle and garments upon which their livelihoods depend against a background of violence, scarcity, and India's construction of one of the world's longest and most highly militarized border fences. She shows how the partitioning of sovereignties and distinct regimes of mobility and citizenship push undocumented people to undertake perilous journeys across militarized borders every day. Since borders are sites where established notions of space, politics, and identity have historically been put to test, how may insights from border ethnographies enable us to engage with the present-day crisis of mobility and belonging in South Asia? How do conviviality and kinship encounter the seemingly impersonal worlds of commodity flows and state control? How do ecological and political fluidities realign human-animal relationships? How do competing notions of legality/ illegality remake life? Scholars participating in this roundtable will seek to answer these questions drawing on their fieldwork and the archives, and cutting across contemporary debates in anthropology, history, sociology and the study of race and gender in South Asia.


Presenter 1
Jason Cons - jasoncons@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Presenter 2
Swargajyoti Gohain - swargajyoti@gmail.com (Indian institute of technology Kanpur )
Presenter 3
Sharika Thiranagama - sharikat@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Presenter 4
Radhika Moral - radhika_moral@brown.edu (Brown University )
Presenter 5
Dina Siddiqui - msiddiqi@gmail.com

Regimes of Surveillances and Spaces of Subversions: Locating Intimacies, Pleasures and Solidarities
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Shivani Gupta - shivani90.gupta@gmail.com (National University of Singapore )

Discussant / Chair
Vineeta Sinha - socvs@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)

South Asian Studies has adeptly engaged in issues of gender, spatiality and temporality. A theme that cuts across these issues is that of surveillance. Gender and surveillance are verifiable phenomena that have premised many feminist and gender scholarships. However, in the dominant discourse, what remains understudied, is how forms of life and lived experiences at margins navigate surveillance and seek pleasure, intimacies and solidarities in various sites, even in temporary moments and spaces. The descent of gendered realities into the everyday, where structures of inequalities operate, demonstrates continuous navigation and subversion of surveillance, control and containment. In doing so, people (re)discover sites, events, moments, occasions to find intimacies, pleasure and are able to forge solidarities, even if temporarily. How do we theorize, read and engage with these moments of possibilities, and the creativity that emerges within as they may not last forever or for long? What do such moments of possibilities, blindspots or temporal possibilities of intimacy, pleasures, desires and imaginations under the radar of surveillance tell us about life under such regimes? How do we re-think about news forms of life or solidarity, the imagination of protest and capacities through those momentary intimacies and pleasures from such space and time? Rather than perceiving these temporal moments, spaces as not being part of the everyday or as a transgression, they need to be highlighted as essential entailments in the everyday that allow people to push through forms of surveillance and controls. Gender identities on the margins relentlessly seek and discover sites and spaces to reclaim themselves, time and liberty to make their everyday worlds possible and livable. The panel here will explore such processes of mapping intimacies, pleasure and solidarities through subversion to patriarchal structures, forms of surveillance in the everyday through concepts of gender, sexuality, spatiality and temporality.


Presenter 1
Nayanika Mookherjee - nayanika.mookherjee@durham.ac.uk ()
The Everyday Self of Activists in a Hybrid Bangladesh

Presenter 2
Amrita Ibrahim - ai372@georgetown.edu (Georgetown University)
No Revolutions in the Home: Women, Journalism, and Surveillance in India

Presenter 3
Sidharthan Maunaguru - sasms@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)
Momentary Intimacies and Friendships in the Time of War: Rethinking Political Possibilities

Presenter 4
Shivani Gupta - shivani90.gupta@gmail.com (National University of Singapore )
Blindspots in Banaras: Momentary Pleasures, Desires and Intimacies


Authority and its Contradictions: Expressive Traditions and Contested Futures in Kerala, South India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Helena Reddington - helena.reddington@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)

Discussant / Chair
Keely Sutton - mksutton@bsc.edu

How are memories of the past called upon and ethically reworked as performers, healers, and ritual specialists critique social change and craft new futures? How do their articulations of the past challenge us to rethink the relationship between collective memories and authoritative claims about appropriate future change? This panel explores the interface of expressive practice and modernity in south India. There has been important research on the idealized imagining of the past through expressive arts (Peterson and Soneji eds. 2008). Building on this, the papers in this panel consider how in the process of performers invoking reference to idealized pasts, they articulate and contest future possibilities. Each paper illuminates how skilled practitioners imaginatively revive past memories into the present tense, in order to reshape future authoritative possibilities. In this panel, we use the term ‘authority’ to refer to the ways that performers and practitioners call upon and challenge caste, education, kinship, and genre as they disrupt, revive, or articulate continuities within idealized traditions. By employing the term ‘expressive traditions,’ we bring together performing arts, ritual theatre and therapeutic practices, insofar as they similarly frame the body as a site of ethical articulation, narrative retelling, and religious belonging. At the same time, they invoke ideals of the past in order to articulate and contest future aspirations. This panel more broadly questions static boundaries between performance, ritual, and healing, as they each grapple with the contradictions inherent in discursive claims and their interpersonal enactments.


Presenter 1
Helena Reddington - helena.reddington@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
The Power and Perils of Satire in the Tuḷḷal Genre of Kerala

Presenter 2
Victoria Sheldon - v.sheldon@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Health as Expression: Historicizing the Present through Nature Cure Revivalism in Kerala

Presenter 3
Leah Lowthorp - lowthorp@uoregon.edu (University of Oregon)
Folk-Colonial Critique: Legendary Pasts and the Present in Kutiyattam Sanskrit Theater

Presenter 4
Vincent Brillant-Giroux - vincent.brillant.giroux@utoronto.ca ()
Ritual Changes in Process: Embodying Authority as Possession is Questioned in Ancestor Worship Rituals of Kerala


Religion, Place and Political Practice
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Harini Kumar - harini@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Kalyani Menon - kmenon@depaul.edu (DePaul University)

In the recent past, we have seen protests emerge across India spearheaded by minority communities who explicitly cite religion and place-making as central to forms of political practice. Protestors almost always cite myriad aspects of the past – events, thinkers, practices, experiences – in articulating their demands or dissent in the present moment. In doing so, they consolidate contiguous political narratives of belonging and making-meaning that are oriented towards place. Importantly, their articulations alert us, as scholars, to the longue durée histories that inform the present. These histories of place-making, belonging and practicing religion are often rendered through care – for each other, community, a place, and diverse minority identities, especially by female participants. These enactments of care offer a challenge to dominant and normative understandings of political practice, compelling us to conceive of ‘practice’ as broadly as possible and across multiple registers. The papers in this panel use recent events as a provocation to think about religion, place, and political practice across various spatio-temporal scales to reflect on the following questions: How do religious minorities use political action to re-define the conceptual limits and material boundaries of place? How do different religious narratives, theological perspectives, and moral justifications inform political praxis? Are the purported tensions between religious narratives and constitutional phraseology resolved by such capacious forms of political praxis? What are the kinds of solidarities and affiliations generated through protests, social justice movements, or even prayer?



Intensification vs. Sweetening? New Patterns in Contemporary Hindu Representation and Practice II
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Xenia Zeiler - xenia.zeiler@helsinki.fi (Faculty of Arts)

Discussant / Chair
Xenia Zeiler - xenia.zeiler@helsinki.fi (Faculty of Arts)

This two-part panel brings together researchers of South Asian religion to present papers on their current work researching evidence for a brand new thesis regarding two major converging and diverging currents which increasingly shape contemporary Hindu practices and beliefs, namely intensification and sweetening. Comprised of scholars at different career stages and in several disciplines, these panels will pay particular attention to the increasingly visible move to insist on the continuing relevance of more rigorous—and frequently marginalized—religious practices and beliefs, in contrast to the long prevailing currents to mellow divine personalities, standardize ritual performances, and mainstream theologies. Discussing two exemplary case studies, the century-old Navadurgāyātrā and the newly invented Daśamahāvidyāyātrā in Vārāṇasī, the first paper analyzes how and why contemporary pilgrimages may be powerful tools for mainstreaming deity representations and worship practices, thus facilitating and supporting uniforming processes and currents. The second paper explores the ways in which the website tarapith.com disrupts the online Hindu ritual industry’s “vedicizing” of virtual spaces, by specifically showing how the semiotic mechanics of tarapith.com act as a resistant counterpoint by showcasing Tara as a Tantric goddess who demands a blood sacrifice. The third paper examines if and how the digital platform WhatsApp may be an enabler to mainstream and soften the ritual space of the goddess Bagalāmukhī in Kāmākhyā while shielding the devotees from her fiercer elements, and how the use of WhatsApp alters the devotees’ religious experience. The final paper addresses how recently Jain patronage has transformed Bhairava, who had previously received blood and alcohol offerings, into a Vaishnava-upholding deity of miracles, and argues that this sweetening illustrates the broader phenomenon of the preeminence of Rajasthan-descended Marwari merchants, including Jains, who have effectively underwritten vegetarian miracle-centered worship in an expanding devotional public reaching even beyond Jains.


Presenter 1
Xenia Zeiler - xenia.zeiler@helsinki.fi (Faculty of Arts)
Pilgrimages as Facilitators for Sweetening Currents: Mainstreaming through shared Yātrā Practices

Presenter 2
Dheepa Sundaram - dheepa.sundaram@du.edu (University of Denver)
Tarapith.com and Resisting the “Vedicizing” Enterprise of the Hindu Online Ritual Industry

Presenter 3
Sravana Borkataky-Varma - borkatakyvarmas@uncw.edu (University of North Carolina-Wilmington)
WhatsApp Bagalāmukhī: Religious Spaces and Religious Experiences Reassessed

Presenter 4
Jeremy Saul - rjsaul@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
The Sweetening of Bhairava: From Blood Sacrifice to Jain Miracles


The Design and Impact of the ‘Fourth Branch’ in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Iain Payne - iain.payne@nitifoundation.org (University of Melbourne)

Discussant / Chair
Iain Payne - iain.payne@nitifoundation.org (University of Melbourne)

The last few decades have seen a global proliferation of independent regulatory and oversight (or ‘fourth branch’) institutions, such as electoral commissions, human rights commissions, and anti-corruption watchdogs. This is indeed the case in South Asia, where such bodies have increasingly emerged as important constitutional actors. For example, the Election Commission of India has been described as ‘a vital force in sustaining the credible operation of [the country’s] electoral process’. In both Sri Lanka and Nepal, fourth branch institutions have evolved as part of political settlements and constitutional reforms aimed at resolving the countries’ internal conflicts. Despite tremendous diversity within the region, and while the design of the fourth branch in each of these states has strong domestic flavours, the intra-regional migration of ideas and common constitutional challenges — for which the fourth branch is commonly presented as a remedy — are also noticeable. This Panel explores South Asia’s fourth branch and, in doing so, seeks to contribute to our understanding of the health of constitutional democracies in the region. The Panel provides a theoretical appraisal of these kinds of institutions, outlining a normative theory to justify their point and purpose that focuses on their role as guarantors of specific constitutional norms, and exploring the dispersal of fourth branch authority in systems of multi-level government. Utilising examples from India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, the Panel draws on the Constituent Assembly debates in India to illustrate what is at stake in how federal constitutions allocate authority over electoral governance; it examines how the constitutional ping-pong that has encircled Sri Lanka’s independent commissions has impacted their capacity to execute their guarantor roles; and, finally, the Panel also considers the relationship between Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission and local government institutions to highlight the salience of the fourth branch to sub-national governance.


Presenter 1
Tarunabh Khaitan - tarunabh.khaitan@law.ox.ac.uk ()
The Guarantor Branch

Presenter 2
Michael Pal - michael.pal@uottawa.ca ()
Constitutional Design of Electoral Governance in Federal States

Presenter 3
Dinesha Samararatne - d.samararatne@unimelb.edu.au ()
The 20th Amendment, the Guarantor Branch and Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Ecosystem

Presenter 4
Iain Payne - iain.payne@nitifoundation.org (University of Melbourne)
Linking Local Government and the National Human Rights Commission in Nepal


Citizenship Regimes: Tracking Mobility, Law and Identity in Post-Colonial India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Haimanti Roy - haimanti@hotmail.com (University of Dayton)

Discussant / Chair
Sarah Ansari - s.ansari@rhul.ac.uk

The Citizenship Amendment Act (2019) has, yet again thrown the spotlight on the continuing debates on citizenship and belonging in India. Who belongs and how do they provide evidentiary proof of such belonging? Recent scholarship has clearly outlined Indian citizenship’s territorial conceptions after 1947 and the subsequent changes to the principle of jus sanguinis in recent decades. These frameworks have located citizenship in multiple ways – as a bundle of rights and obligations, as a mechanism of incorporation, as a status claimed and performed, and as political, social and cultural discourse. This panel borrows from this scholarship and charts a different path by shifting the focus to the ways in which mobility and the status of new ‘categorical citizens’ (refugees, evacuees, minorities) became central concerns in the framing of post-colonial citizenship and belonging. Based on original research, the panelists explore the intersections of legislations, state policies, and technologies that emerged to control and situate individuals within and outside India’s territory. The panelists highlight the histories and technologies of citizenship in their focus on mid twentieth century documentary technologies such as passports and visas that tracked mobility, claims of extra-territorial belonging from Indians in Burma, proxy citizenship of Pakistani Hindus, and the distinctions between citizenship and belonging in the context of Indian Muslims. In the process, the panel hopes to discuss and historicize the 2019 CAA.


Presenter 1
Haimanti Roy - hroy01@udayton.edu (University of Dayton)
The Citizenship Question: Mobility and the Nation after 1947

Presenter 2
Natasha Raheja - nraheja@cornell.edu (Cornell University )
Minority Citizenship: Pakistani Hindus and the Indian State

Presenter 3
Antara Datta - antara.datta@rhul.ac.uk ()
Tracing the History of Indian Citizenship: 1971 as a Moment of Rupture

Presenter 4
M. Raisur Rahman - rahmanmr@wfu.edu (Wake Forest University)
From Belonging to Dispossession: Contours of a Shifting Debate on Muslim Citizenship in India


Voting Publics and Political Ideas
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
William Crane - wcrane2@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Discussant / Chair
William Crane - wcrane2@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

-


Presenter 1
Sharath Raja - scraja1@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
Living in a Kautilyan World: Fear in the Arthasastra and Potential Spaces for Dissent

Presenter 2
William Crane - wcrane2@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
A Bourgeois Revolution on the Subcontinent, 1921-1947

Presenter 3
Katherine Young - katherine.young@mcgill.ca (McGill University)
The Politics of Religion in the 2021 Assembly Elections in Tamil Nadu

Presenter 4
Bipin Sebastian - bipinsebastian2024@u.northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Political modernity and the category of the political: Questions that the success of Twenty20 in Kerala raise

Presenter 5
Dipak Kumar Biswas - db0127@mix.wvu.edu ()
Citizens’ Responses to the Celebrity Engagement in Electoral Politics: A Study on Bangladesh and India


Issues in Education Across South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Off-Site
Floor: Off-Site

Organizer
Soumya Mishra - sm3854@tc.columbia.edu (Teachers College, Columbia University)

Discussant / Chair
Soumya Mishra - sm3854@tc.columbia.edu (Teachers College, Columbia University)

-



Centering Caste in the Cast of Academia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Santhosh Chandrashekar - santhosh.chandrashekar@du.edu (University of Denver)

Discussant / Chair
Santhosh Chandrashekar - santhosh.chandrashekar@du.edu (University of Denver)

Caste has belatedly but gradually emerged as a major analytic in conversations pertaining to South Asia both in academic as well as the popular public sphere. Yet, two issues are noticeable. One, in academic circles, these conversations often happen through a purportedly intersectional framework that accounts for caste but only as “one among many” structural axes of differentiation, thereby potentially decentering and watering down the centrality of caste in understanding various forms of violence. Second, most of these conversations are dominated by savarna academics, which not only minimizes Dalit-Bahujan voices but also has the potential to fetishize caste, thereby rendering it more compatible with savarna conceptions. This panel, which is entirely comprised of Dalit-Bahujan scholars, takes up caste-centered analysis as central to the understanding of different iterations of violence unfolding in India. Using constitutional, legislative, educational, cultural, and media/tized sites as their objects of analysis and employing varied methodologies, the presentations will illuminate how caste continues to be central to understanding various configurations of gendered, religious, and other forms of violence that need our urgent attention. The panel seeks to not only center Dalit-Bahujan voices in conversations around caste but also draws from the works of thinkers from these historically marginalized groups in drawing attention to growing inequities.


Presenter 1
Santhosh Chandrashekar - santhosh.chandrashekar@du.edu (University of Denver)
What ‘presstitute’ and ‘baazaru’ tell us about the sexual politics of Hindutva

Presenter 2
Gowthaman Ranganathan - gowthaman@utexas.edu ()
Dear Ekalavya – A Performance Script

Presenter 3
Sanober Umar - s.umar@queensu.ca ()
Caste and Islamophobia in the Age of Secularizing Terrorism

Presenter 4
Trevor J. Raj - emailtrevorjeyaraj@gmail.com ()
The intimacy of Violence and ‘Subjectivity’: Analyzing the Abject in Fandry and Article 15


Beyond the Sanskrit Epics: Reading an Epic Consciousness in the Indian subcontinent
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Ujaan Ghosh - ughosh2@wisc.edu (UW Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Ujaan Ghosh - ughosh2@wisc.edu (UW Madison)

Sanskrit versions of the Indian epics have predominantly enjoyed an esteemed position in scholarship when compared to their regional counterparts. Yet, it is the regional stories that have often been canonized in the Sanskrit epics and, it is the regional versions that have further popularized them. Stories have been reworked, reinvented, and sometimes invented and added anew to form an “epic consciousness” in the Indian subcontinent. This panel is an effort in understanding the workings of the regional canons as well as highlighting regional “epics” beyond the Sanskrit epic tradition. The presentations span across works in Maithili, Bangla, Odia, Tamil and Hindi, and address questions of gender, regional canons, caste and performance. Shruti Amar and Amrita Chowdhury deal with the theme of gender and regional canons. Shruti Amar’s study on the oral song culture in Maithili, throws an important light on the conception and celebration of Sita as the divine feminine (adya shakti) that transcends her role as an obedient wife in “mainstream” Ramayana perceptions. While Amrita Chowdhury situates how medieval Odia and Bangla Mahabharatas used the device of humor to rework the Sanskrit version of the story of Subhadra’s abduction and canonize it into a romantic-comedy, which heavily plays on the persistent Seductress trope. Shreya Sangai and Preethi Ramprasad deal with the themes of caste identity and consciousness. Shreya Sangai’s study focuses on the character of Ekalavya and post-colonial savarna representations of oppressed castes in Hindi visual medium, by interrogating the comic book Amar Chitra Katha, Drona (1974) and Sauptik (2016). While, Preethi Ramprasad focuses on the expression of Dalit identity through the modern Tamil epic Nandanar Charitam and its performance in the film Nandanar (1942).


Presenter 1
Shruti Amar - shruti.amar8@gmail.com (KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India)
Sita as “Folk-Heroine” in Maithili Oral Songs

Presenter 2
Amrita Chowdhury - amritadebburmanroychowdhury@gmail.com ()
From Abduction to Seduction: The evolution of Subhadra’s Harana across the Mahabharatas

Presenter 3
Shreya Sangai - sangai.s@northeastern.edu ()
What is “Eklavya” Doing: Same Colours, Different Stories

Presenter 4
Preethi Ramprasad - prama007@ucr.edu ()
Nandanar: Visibilizing Caste in Bharatanatyam


PART 1 – CLEARANCE RAJ?: LAND, ENVIRONMENT, AND THE POLITICS OF “ASSESSMENTS” IN INDIA
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Kenneth Bo Nielsen - k.b.nielsen@sai.uio.no (University of Oslo)
Co-Organizer
Sattwick Dey Biswas - sattwick@gmail.com (National Law School of India University)

Discussant / Chair
Kanchi Kohli - kanchikohli@gmail.com

In this first part of the panel (of two), we explore the role of “assessments” and “clearances” in processes of land dispossession and environmental destruction in contemporary India. India has an elaborate formal system of impact assessments and clearance mechanisms in place, ostensibly to mediate between the contradictory demands of economic growth, sustainable development, and ecological justice. For example, India’s Environmental Impact Assessment regime entails an in-theory very thorough exercise in estimating the environmental, biological, social and economic impacts of a given project to determine its sustainability – and potentially to stop it from going ahead. Nonetheless, in practice we have seen time and again that the environmental impact assessment regime largely functions as a mechanism that authorizes the transfer of land and environmental resources to the state or private investors, at the expense of local communities. This has, in turn, often led to environmentally destructive dispossession-driven projects in, for example, infrastructure, real estate, industry, mining and solar energy being met with popular protest in many parts of the country. The papers in this panel focus on the politics of assessments and clearances to shed new light on how these are implicated in and authorize processes of land dispossession and environmental destruction. We analyse the formal-legal frameworks that regulate how assessments and clearances are to be carried out, but focus particularly on the politics of assessment and authorizing as it plays out in specific empirical contexts.


Presenter 1
Anwesha Dutta - anwesha.dutta@ugent.be (Gent University)
Mridula Paul - mridula.paul@atree.org ()
Vijay Ramesh - vr2352@columbia.edu ()
Is EIA engineered to fail? A critical exploration of the environmental protection architecture in India

Presenter 2
Mihika Chatterjee - mihika.chatterjee@qeh.ox.ac.uk ()
Assessing the State through its ‘assessment’ of the environment: the politics of ‘assessment’ reports in Maharashtra, India

Presenter 3
Kenneth Bo Nielsen - k.b.nielsen@sai.uio.no (University of Oslo)
Jade Comely - jac@xynteo.com ()
Environmental Impact Assessments, Inditement, and the Authorization of Iron Ore Mining in Goa

Presenter 4
Chiara Arnavas - chiara.arnavas@gmail.com (University of Oslo)
EIA Politics in New Town, Kolkata: Environmental Degradation, Crime and Marginalization of Muslim Communities


Decolonization, class struggle and accumulation in rural Pakistan: Revisiting the agrarian question
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Kasim Tirmizey - kasim.tirmizey@gmail.com (Queen's University)

Discussant / Chair
Jan Breman - j.c.breman@uva.nl

This panel provides new contributions to examining the agrarian question in the historical specificities of the region of Pakistan. The panel addresses two dimensions of the agrarian question, that of the character of the historical-geographical contingencies of capital's penetration in agriculture, and the role of agrarian classes in a social revolution. In the first dimension we highlight the historically contingent ways in which capital penetrated agriculture in (post)colonial Pakistan through property relations mediated by zamindars, khans, jagidars, coparcenary, and imperialism. Second, our panelists demonstrate how the political question about the role of agrarian classes in a socialist revolution is challenged by how class, tribe, nation, religion, gender, and space are interlocking. Our panelists demonstrate through their specific case studies the contingency and antagonisms that are constitutive of the agrarian question in Pakistan. Khan’s paper examines the tensions around property within migrant households in rural Khyber Pakthunkhwa. In examining inter-household conflict, the paper unpacks how the agrarian question of labour is tied to gender and kinship and different spatial ‘sites of the social division of labor’. Ali’s paper examines how peasant subalternity is constituted through agrarian change and political struggles. By looking at how class differentiation ruptures solidarities, we can better understand subalternity as a contingent convergence of divergent interests. Raza’s paper examines the mediating role of theory-making in agrarian change, looking at how landlords in the former “Punjab Frontier” reconceptualized Baloch ethnic identity and re-arranged political-economic relations to achieve hegemony. Tirmizey’s paper looks at sharecropper struggles in Punjab in the early years of Pakistan to look at how they attempted to shape tenancy, land, and the post-colonial nation.


Presenter 1
Kasim Tirmizey - kasim.tirmizey@gmail.com (Queen's University)
Decolonization and the Post-Colonial State: The agrarian question in early Pakistan

Presenter 2
Hadia Akhtar Khan - hadia.akhtarkhan@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Fraternal Strife: Kinship and Property in Migrant Household in rural Khyber Pakthunkhwa

Presenter 3
Shozab Raza - shozab.raza@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Landlord Theory: Estates, Empire and the Reconceptualization of Balochiyat on a Punjabi Frontier

Presenter 4
Noaman Ali - noaman.ali@lums.edu.pk (Lahore University of Management Sciences)
Suturing Subalternity: Contingency and Political Struggle in the Formation of Peasant Agency in Northwestern Pakistan, 1968-1978


South Asia in Flux: Conversations between South Asia Studies and Indian Ocean Studies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Smriti Srinivas - ssrinivas@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)

Discussant / Chair
Smriti Srinivas - ssrinivas@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)

This panel initiates a necessary dialogue between South Asia studies and Indian Ocean studies. Without summarizing its global history here, we can simply say that for South Asia studies in US institutions, humanities/classical languages were supplemented by the social sciences after World War II and then expanded to include new frameworks such as diaspora studies, postcolonial studies or urban studies. Indian Ocean studies’ (re)emergence in the last 15 years has offered approaches for dismantling boundaries between area studies and a way of thinking about the global, pre-colonial/colonial worlds, or transregional movements. Both fields share an inter/multi-disciplinary focus but treatments of spatiality diverge: Simply put, the region, its histories and contemporary realities, offer the centripetal focus for South Asia studies making it, among other things, conceptually land-based and “terrestrial;” the ocean’s geographical limits have provided the analytical contours for Indian Ocean studies resulting in an emphasis on coastal sites, islands or mobilities across the waters. Other area studies have already begun to embrace Indian Ocean studies: this panel is based on the conviction that negotiating the fluxible realms between South Asia and Indian Ocean studies has great epistemic potential--for reimagining history, spatiality, or entanglements; for methods/paradigms that decenter the terrestrial or oceanic; or for affective geographies that offer new forms of relationality. Spanning colonial to contemporary periods, based on historical and ethnographic methods, this panel’s papers focus on Gujarati merchants in Mauritius and India and the significance of “itinerant belonging;” “dry ports” in Delhi that mediate and reassemble relations between the local and the trans-local, sea and land; the contemporary nature of “monsoon temporality and mobility” on India’s west coast that create networked spaces linking dhows, families, festivals, debt together; and the ritual resurgence of “memoryscapes” in today’s Kerala of deceased Africans of forced migrations to South Asia.


Presenter 1
Ketaki Pant - kpant@usc.edu (University of Southern California)
Island Histories, Itinerant Belonging: Gujaratis in Mauritius

Presenter 2
Ishani Saraf - isaraf@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Operationalizing the littoral: The container, the dry port, and the shrine

Presenter 3
Nidhi Mahajan - nmahajan@ucsc.edu (University of California Santa Cruz)
Monsoon Mobilities: Patronage, Kinship, and Labor in the Dhow Trade from Kachchh

Presenter 4
Neelima Jeychandran - nuj47@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University )
Material Histories: African Memoryscapes in Coastal Kerala and Indian Ocean Relationalities


Hindu Nationalism and the Politics of Mediation
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
RAKA SHOME - raka.shome@villanova.edu (Villanova U)

Discussant / Chair
Jyoti Puri - puri@simmons.edu (Simmons University)

This panel explores the role that social and digital media plays in distributing a Hindu “sensible” in India today. The first panelist examines both the historical genealogy of campaigns against alleged “Love Jihad” –the idea that Muslim men seduce Hindu women---and recent online campaigns of “love jihad” to examine the relationship between demography, embodiment, and anti-Muslim racism in “Digital India. The second panelist examines how secular figures such as the image of Tamil poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar are being saffronized by the BJP. By analyzing print and television news coverage of the controversy surrounding the BJP’s saffronization of Thurivalluvar, this paper charts the networked media logics that undergird Hindutva groups’ contested efforts to transfigure secular figures to caste Hindu saint like figures. The third panelist examines the social media landscape of the Clean India movement to demonstrate how notions of cleaning the national body are predominantly articulated through the logic of cleaning ‘Bharat Mata’ who has historically been embodied in Hindu goddesses and idealized Hindu female forms. Through an analysis of social media campaigns promoting Clean India, this paper addresses how, in the mediated employment of Bharat Mata to articulate cleanliness, the nation becomes situated in messianic time . And cleanliness remains linked to Hindu notions of divine purity. The final panelist explores key developments around Internet governance in India, to inquire into emerging restrictive patterns of Hindu nationalist controls over online communication. Tracing signature episodes such as Hindu nationalist ‘volunteers’ staging a protest against Twitter in 2019,, this paper suggest that platform governance provides an important supplement to extant explanations for contemporary mediated Hindu nationalism.


Presenter 1
Purnima Mankekar - mankekar@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)
The Dangerous Erotics of the (Missing) Foreskin: Love Jihad and Anti-Muslim Racism in Digital India

Presenter 2
Sriram Mohan - sriramm@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
Whose Kural Is It Anyway? Language, Identity and The Networked Media Logics of Hindutva Appropriation

Presenter 3
RAKA SHOME - raka.shome@villanova.edu (Villanova U)
Cleaning ‘Bharat Mata’: The Clean India (Swacch Bharat Abhiyan) movement, Gender, and Hindu nationalism

Presenter 4
Sahana Udupa - sahana.udupa@lmu.de (LMU Munich)
Policy policing: Internet platform governance and Hindu nationalism


Vernacular Intellectuals and Genres in Early Modern India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Tyler Williams - twwilliams@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Tyler Williams - twwilliams@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Scholars, saints, and literati thinking and composing in vernacular languages in second-millennium South Asia confronted a daunting but stimulating challenge: how was one to 'do' scholarship in a language that did not yet possess a corpus of scholarly works or even a technical language for intellectual discourse? At the center of this problem was a question of genre: what scholastic genres were already available in the so-called 'cosmopolitan' languages of Sanskrit, Apabhramsha, Persian, and Arabic, and how could their discursive conventions, analytical strategies, and technical lexicons be put into the service of new intellectual, scholastic, and political programs? This panel reconsiders the meaning of the term 'vernacular' in the context of 'vernacular intellectuals,' exploring not only its linguistic dimension but also its connection to localized, quotidian, sometimes elite and sometimes subaltern processes of making and sharing knowledge. The papers in this panel collectively address the following questions across several regions and centuries: How do scholastic genres in the vernacular both draw and diverge from models in Sanskrit, Apabhramsha, and other ‘cosmopolitan’ languages? What kind of intellectual cultures and scholastic practices do these genres reflect? How might the close examination of individual works, scholars' personal canons, and the circulation of works shed light on the interface between these fledgling communities of vernacular intellectuals and established canons of scholarship? The past decade has seen a productive discussion among scholars about the dynamics and social locations of vernacularization in precolonial India; however, this discussion has largely remained focused on literary production (i.e. poetry and poetic theory) at powerful regional and imperial courts. This panel will shift the focus to more neglected but nevertheless important genres of scholarship and to less elite centers of intellectual activity such as monasteries, the ‘courts’ of local lords, and even the homes of powerful merchants.


Presenter 1
Michael Allen - msa2b@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
The Reluctant Translator: Keśavdās and the Ambivalent Adaptation of a Sanskrit Classic

Presenter 2
Steven Vose - svose@fiu.edu (Florida International University)
The Virtuous Vernacular: Mediating Jain Women’s Soteriology through Caste Prestige in an Old Gujarati Didactic Story Collection

Presenter 3
Dalpat Rajpurohit - drajpurohit@austin.utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin )
Teaching, not Preaching: Banaras-Educated sants in Seventeenth-Century Rajasthan

Presenter 4
Tyler Williams - twwilliams@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Pandits for the People: Multilingual Monks and Everyday Scholarship in the Seventeenth Century


Linguistic Ecologies of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Jessica Chandras - jessu1006@gwu.edu (The George Washington University)

Discussant / Chair
Jessica Chandras - jessu1006@gwu.edu (The George Washington University)

-


Presenter 1
Jessica Chandras - jessu1006@gwu.edu (The George Washington University)
Teaching through Humor: Mother Tongue Reported Speech in English Medium Classrooms

Presenter 2
Garrett Field - fieldg@ohio.edu (Ohio University)
Poetry for Linguistic Description: The Maldives Inside and Outside the Arabic Cosmopolis in 1890

Presenter 3
Tej Bhatia - tkbhatia@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Security Issues and Regional-Language Media


Reframing Narratives of Bhakti in South Asia and the Diaspora
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sohini Pillai - sohini.pillai@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)

Discussant / Chair
Archana Venkatesan - avenkatesan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)

Every South Asian religious culture has produced its own unique corpus of devotional narratives. In order to rethink the categories of bhakti (devotion) and narrative, this panel brings together four scholars of religion who draw upon diverse sets of languages, geographic regions, and methodologies. While Sophia Nasti and Sohini Pillai examine premodern poems and ask how narrative functions in a bhakti context and how bhakti functions in a narrative context, Priya Kothari and Aarti Patel focus on two living Vaishnava communities and ask how narratives of bhakti are transformed in performative and diasporic contexts. Nasti analyzes how Manikkavacakar creates new possibilities for the expression of Saiva bhakti in his ninth-century Tirukkovaiyar, one of the earliest extant examples of a genre of Tamil narrative poems known as the kovai. Through a close comparison of two Mahabharata retellings in Tamil and Hindi that both claim to be the carita (deeds) of Krishna, Pillai explores what exactly makes a lengthy narrative poem a work of bhakti. Based on literary and ethnographic research in Western India and the USA, Kothari investigates the tension between katha (storytelling) and seva (service) that emerges when the Bhagavata Purana is transmitted and embodied by gurus in the Vallabha Sampradaya today. Finally, Patel unpacks a global narrative of bhakti among modern BAPS Swaminarayan Hindus in both India and North America to reveal connections and erasures across the diaspora to the homeland. Archana Venkatesan, whose own work focuses on the intersection of text and performance in South India, will serve as the respondent for the panel.


Presenter 1
Sophia Nasti - nasti@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard)
The Nature of the Garland: Narrative Quality and Function in Manikkavacakar’s Tirukkovaiyar

Presenter 2
Sohini Pillai - sohini.pillai@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
The Pandavas as Bhaktas: Two Devotional Mahabharata Retellings

Presenter 3
Priya Kothari - pkothari@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
From Katha to Seva: The Politics of Storytelling in the Vallabha Devotional Community

Presenter 4
Anna Lee White - annalee.white@mail.mcgill.ca ()
Representations of Women in Ramanandi Hagiographies


Exploring Form in South Asian Literature
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Labanya Unni - lunni@gradcenter.cuny.edu ()

Discussant / Chair
Labanya Unni - lunni@gradcenter.cuny.edu

-


Presenter 1
Shankar Nair - san2k@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Moral Knowing through Aesthetic Knowing: Ethics, Landscape, and Aesthetics in Three Versions of the Ramayana

Presenter 2
Roberto Morales-Harley - roberto.moralesharley@gmail.com (University of Málaga, Spain)
Kāla-viphalāni astrāṇi te santu: Story-time in Karṇa’s defeat as depicted in the Mahābhārata and in Bhāsa’s Karṇabhāram

Presenter 3
Labanya Unni - lunni@gradcenter.cuny.edu ()
History as Reparative Reconstruction: Raja Rao’s Kanthapura and Mulk Raj Anand’s Coolie

Presenter 4
Suhaan Mehta - smehta2@uccs.edu (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)
Settling Scores: A Comparative Analysis of Jamil Ahmad and Daniyal Mueenuddin’s short fiction


Textual Territorialities
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Rahul Parson - rahul.parson@colorado.edu (UC Boulder)

Discussant / Chair
Rahul Parson - rahul.parson@colorado.edu (UC Boulder)

This panel explores how South Asian texts have engaged with modes of territorialization, inscriptions of belonging, and the spatiality of language ideology. We look at the other side of Deleuze’s concept of deterritorialization (Capitalism and Schizophrenia), namely how (re)territorialization manifests across several traditions and how these writings culturally and intellectually restructure space. The idea of territory, whether physical or cultural, functions as the reference point that anchors identity in moments of epochal flux or world historical upheaval. And yet, the attempts to ground the subject often come up short or in excess, as Michel de Certeau has written, “Writing is born from and deals with the acknowledged doubt of an explicit division, in sum, the impossibility of one’s own place. A subject is never authorized by a place … forever deprived of an ontological ground … the disappearance of a genealogical and territorial ‘substance’….” Following cues given by these insights about writing and de/re-territorialization, we discuss how space and belonging in texts reveal the experiential horizons of subjects in moments of cultural transition. Rahul Parson reads the deep temporality of space in the contemporary Hindi and Urdu literature of Kolkata as a narratological motif that inscribes the belonging of an outsider community into the literary imaginary of a Bengali city. Nora Melnikova pursues Nirmal Verma (1927-2005), on his journey from a deterritorialized self, stranded in an "other" space (Prague) to his resettlement in a territory perceived as "own". Peter Valdina traces how a nineteenth-century pamphlet by the Bengali paṇḍit Śaśadhar Tarkacūḍāmaṇi repudiates the work of European translators of the Vedas even as it draws on a distinctively heteroglossic Calcutta lexicon. Luther Obrock looks to the Jaina vijñaptipattrikas to investigate the layering of geographies of piety and trade in fifteenth century Sindh.


Presenter 1
Rahul Parson - rahul.parson@colorado.edu (UC Boulder)
Cartographies of Belonging in Kolkata's Hindi Novels

Presenter 2
Peter Valdina - pvaldina@albion.edu (Albion College)
Elements of the Past's Return: Establishing the Place of Translation

Presenter 3
Nora Melnikova - noram@berkeley.edu (UC Berkeley)
Prague se Prayag: Nirmal Verma and Hindi out of Station

Presenter 4
Luther Obrock - luther.obrock@utoronto.ca ()
Layered Geographies of Piety and Trade: The Jain Vijñaptiveṇī in Medieval Sindh


New Investigations in Gender and Sexuality Studies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
MADHURIMA GUHA - mguha@asu.edu (ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY )

Discussant / Chair
MADHURIMA GUHA - mguha@asu.edu (ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY )

-


Presenter 1
Sidra Kamran - kamrs623@newschool.edu (The New School)
Gender, Class, and Territorial Stigma in a Women-Only Marketplace in Karachi, Pakistan

Presenter 2
Themal Ellawala - tellaw2@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
The erotics of violence: Imagining the utopic and intimate possibilities of queerphobia

Presenter 3
MADHURIMA GUHA - mguha@asu.edu (ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY )
MASCULINITIES AND THEIR RESISTANCES: THE UNTOLD STORY OF INDIAN PARTITION (working)

Presenter 4
Andrea Gutierrez - andreagutierrez@utexas.edu (Univ. of Texas at Austin)
Recipes for Resistance: Culinary Anti-Colonialists in Tamil-Land


Caste and the Performing Arts of South Asia
Round Table

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu ()

Chair
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu

The performing arts of South Asia are realms in which caste-based identity, roles, and oppression are embodied, codified, negotiated, and resisted, often by hereditary performers distinguished by their caste duties. Dalit and caste-privileged cultural movements also use artists, instruments, and genres to a range of political ends. On the one hand, such movements can reify and fix caste-based stewardship of the arts by caste elites, but they can also produce radical, liberating anti-caste expressions. While these associations have long existed in modern South Asia, and some important critical scholarship on caste has been produced on specific regional performance practices, there is a critical need for an interdisciplinary conversation within South Asian Studies to grapple with the question of caste and the performing arts, theoretically and analytically. This roundtable articulates our common issues: subaltern performance strategies and histories, aesthetics as embodied resistance, and questions around the performative and discursive representation of caste-based identities. We include scholars from the fields of ethnomusicology, dance, performance studies, theater/drama, music theory, and religion. The contents of the presentations range from discussions of caste and class among Sri Lankan drummer-dancers, to Dalit bagpipers of Uttarakhand, to upper-caste representations of Dalits in contemporary Bharatanatyam dance, to public declaration or obfuscation of Dalit identities among Nirgun singers in Malwa, to the emancipatory uses of paraiyattam dance and drumming among Dalits in Tamil Nadu. In all our presentations, we explore how issues of caste permeate the deep structures of history, aesthetics, and politics in modern South Asia, and how these continue to shape artistic discourse and practice across the region. Presentations will be framed by introductory remarks on the history of scholarly engagement with caste and the arts in modern South Asia, and a response by historian Dilip Menon.


Presenter 1
Zoe Sherinian - zsherinian@ou.edu (University Of Oklahoma)
Presenter 2
Vivek Virani - Vivek.Virani@unt.edu (University of North Texas)
Presenter 3
Eshantha Peiris - eshantha.j.peiris@gmail.com (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)
Presenter 4
Ameera Nimjee - ameeran@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Presenter 5
Sukanya Chakrabarti - sukanyac@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Presenter 6
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu

Sacred Spaces, Holy Tongues: South Indian Temple Legends Revisited
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Jonas Buchholz - jonas.buchholz@sai.uni-heidelberg.de (Heidelberg University)

Discussant / Chair

Among the many forms of Indian religious literature, the class of texts called “temple legends” (also known as māhātmya or sthalapurāṇa), which deal with the localized rites and legends of holy places, stand out as one of the most prolific genres. A particularly large number of these texts was composed in the Tamil-speaking region of South India, where they inform local ritual practices and shape notions of sacred space till the present day. Moreover, in the Tamil region, temple legends were composed not only in Sanskrit but also in the local language. While the Sanskrit and Tamil texts are closely intertwined, they also represent two distinct literary genres with different peculiarities and priorities. Thus, “temple legends” make a significant scholarly source that can shed light on the relationship between textual precept and lived religious practices in South India, as well as on the interaction of different literary cultures. This panel examines the temple legends of Tamil Nadu across the linguistic divide between Sanskrit and Tamil and against the background of their social and ritual context. Two of the papers center upon Sanskrit texts: Ute Hüsken talks about the performative ritualistic expression of Varadarāja Perumāḷ temple’s māhātmya; Malini Ambach explores the relation between the Kāmākṣīvilāsa, a māhātmya dedicated to the the city of Kanchipuram, and the sacred space of this city. The other two papers address the relation between Sanskrit and Tamil works of this genre: Ofer Peres studies the Tamil temple legends of the prominent Śaiva scholar Maṟaiñāṉa-campantar, focusing on this author’s references to his own process of composition; lastly, Jonas Buchholz compares the Tamil Kāñcippurāṇam with its Sanskrit source text, the Kañcimāhātmya, thus exposing the Tamil author’s theological and poetical agenda. Taken together, the papers presented in this panel demonstrate the potential of a multi-perspective approach towards temple legends.


Presenter 1
Ute Huesken - huesken@uni-heidelberg.de (South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University)
The ritual role of a māhātmya text in Kanchipuram

Presenter 2
Malini Ambach - malini.ambach@sai.uni-heidelberg.de (Heidelberg University, South Asia Institute)
Dividing a city: Spatial concepts of Kanchipuram in the place’s Sanskrit māhātmya Kāmākṣīvilāsa

Presenter 3
Ofer Peres - ofer.peres@mail.huji.ac.il (University of Naples "L'Orientale")
Unfaithful adaptations: On the making of early modern Tamil talapurāṇams

Presenter 4
Jonas Buchholz - jonas.buchholz@sai.uni-heidelberg.de (Heidelberg University)
A Tamil text and its Sanskrit source: Reading the māhātmyas and talapurāṇams in conjunction


Islam, Space, Place
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Dolly Daftary - dolly.daftary@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Discussant / Chair
Dolly Daftary - dolly.daftary@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)

-


Presenter 1
Dolly Daftary - dolly.daftary@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Recovering Resistance to Hindutva: Religion, Caste, and Relatedness in Rural India

Presenter 2
Maria Amir - mariaami@buffalo.edu (University at Buffalo, SUNY)
Saeen Marx Qalandar – Mapping left politics in Pakistani Sufism

Presenter 3
Zahra Shah - zahra.shah@gcu.edu.pk (Government College University, Lahore)
Rulers, Ulama and the Wazir Khan Mosque: A Comparison of Genres and Narratives

Presenter 4
Syeda Beena Butool - sbb13h@my.fsu.edu (Florida State University)
A Muslim Historian on the Collapse of the Byzantine Empire: Historicizing the Past or the Future?

Presenter 5
Sheba Tejani - s.tejani@bham.ac.uk ()
Saffron Geographies of Exclusion: The Disturbed Areas Act of Gujarat


Contested Citizenship: Politics, Identity, and Expression in the 2019-20 Anti-CAA Protests
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Jaclyn Michael - jaclyn-michael@utc.edu (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)

Discussant / Chair
Richard Bownas - richard.bownas@unco.edu (University of Northern Colorado)

Passed by both houses of the Indian parliament in December 2019, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) provides a path to quick citizenship to a list of religious minorities that does not include Muslims. Rejecting the premises of the Act and demanding that it be repealed, numerous public protests erupted across India from late 2019 to March 2020. This panel examines expression, leadership, and representation in the anti-CAA protests from the diverse methodologies of religious studies, political science, and literary studies. The presentations provide perspectives on the demonstrations that emphasize Muslim embodiment and performance, the political dynamics of protest leadership and the response of state actors, and the protesters use of Urdu poetry as a political act that creates secular space. The panel’s interdisciplinary analysis of social protest shows how the dynamics of Muslim participation, public space, politics, and literary expression contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the historic public response to the CAA.


Presenter 1
Jaclyn Michael - jaclyn-michael@utc.edu (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)
Performance, Embodiment, and Testimonies to Muslim Citizenship in the Anti-CAA Protests

Presenter 2
Rumela Sen - sen.rumela@gmail.com (Columbia University)
The Legacy of Shaheen Bagh: Protest Dynamics and State Response in Nonviolent Campaigns in India

Presenter 3
Sadaf Jaffer - sadaf.jaffer@gmail.com (Princeton University)
Hum Kaghaz Nahin Dikhayenge: The anti-CAA movement, Urdu poetry, and Secularism

Presenter 4
Richard Bownas - richard.bownas@unco.edu (University of Northern Colorado)
Discussant


Rethinking Political Culture and Political Economy in Eighteenth-Century South Asia
Round Table

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Tiraana Bains - tiraana.bains@yale.edu (Yale University)

Chair
Tiraana Bains - tiraana.bains@yale.edu (Yale University)

The eighteenth century has long been recognized as a pivotal period of transition that transformed not only the subcontinent but the world. Yet for all the acknowledgments of its historical significance, the study of South Asia’s eighteenth century remains fragmented. Given the eighteenth century’s location amidst the overlapping histories of the Mughal and British empires, scholarship on the eighteenth century continues to be divided by boundaries of discipline, method, region, language and archives. In recent years, new scholarship and works-in-progress have developed innovative approaches to the seemingly familiar territory of the eighteenth century, from environmental histories to thick descriptions of South Asian political thought and statecraft. This round table, therefore, brings together scholars who study distinct spaces and draw upon vastly different primary materials, to discuss new approaches to the making, unmaking and remaking of multiple states, regional economies, labor regimes as well as ecologies throughout South Asia and the Indian Ocean world. Each of the participants will address how their work responds to old and new scholarship alike on questions of political culture and political economy. Abhishek Kaicker will reflect on politics from below in the Mughal Empire. Debjani Bhattacharyya will discuss the entangled histories of environment and law. Naveena Naqvi will explore emergent forms of statecraft in new political centers. Vidhya Raveendranathan will highlight the everyday worlds of labor and caste. Christina Welsch will consider the transformation of both indigenous and British military cultures in the subcontinent. Finally, Tiraana Bains will delineate intersections in British and South Asian debates over state-making. By thinking connectively and comparatively about new directions in the study of eighteenth-century South Asia, we hope to exchange insights about the future of the field as well as revisit classic historiographical and pedagogical narratives of state formation, space making and popular political participation.


Presenter 1
Abhishek Kaicker - kaicker@berkeley.edu
Presenter 2
Debjani Bhattacharyya - db893@drexel.edu (Drexel University)
Presenter 3
Christina Welsch - cwelsch@wooster.edu (College of Wooster)
Presenter 4
Naveena Naqvi - naveena.naqvi@ubc.ca
Presenter 5
Vidhya Raveendranathan - vr1081@nyu.edu

Political Ideologies and Legacies of Dissent
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Anushay Malik - anushaym@sfu.ca (Simon Fraser University)

Discussant / Chair
Anushay Malik - anushaym@sfu.ca (Simon Fraser University)

-


Presenter 1
Crystal Baines - cbaines@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
In Search of a Nation’s Middle Path: Martin Wickramasinghe’s Vision for a Socialist Buddhist Nation

Presenter 2
Jeffrey Key - jkey@sbc.edu (Sweet Briar College)
Reinterpreting the Maoist Rebellion: Nepal's Contested Public Memory

Presenter 3
Anubha Anushree - anubha1@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
The Moral Dissent: Jayaprakash Narayan’s Anticorruption Campaign

Presenter 4
Anushay Malik - anushaym@sfu.ca (Simon Fraser University)
How the war of 1965 blunted radical politics in Lahore


Law and the Reproduction of Religion in India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session Special: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: PDR
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Kirsten Sellars - kirsten.sellars@anu.edu.au (Australian National University )

Discussant / Chair
Kirsten Sellars - kirsten.sellars@anu.edu.au (Australian National University )

-



Contestations of Pakistani national identity: Are we moving toward a less religious more inclusive identity?
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Raja M. Ali Saleem - alisaleem@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College)

Discussant / Chair
Raja M. Ali Saleem - alisaleem@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College)

The first paper explores the dynamics of the acceptance of uncritical patriotism and national identity in both Christian and Muslim students in Lahore. The paper finds that Christian students are likely to exhibit high levels of both uncritical patriotism and adherence to national identity. More surprisingly, the surveys show ethnic cleavages were more salient than religious ones as ethnic minority students profess considerably less attachment to uncritical patriotism as compared to their Punjabi compatriots. The second paper explores the increasing contestations of national memory because of globalization. It questions the singularity of the state-held political imagination. The author argues that the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor shows that the diasporic influences, tied with local voices, have created the potential for a non-antagonistic reimagination. Framing the study within the politics of memory literature, this study unpacks the multiple threads of remembering the nationalistic heritage of contemporary Pakistan. The third paper studies the contestation of national identity by focusing on the Pakistan Army Museum Lahore. Army museums can provide useful insights to understand how the Pakistani military wants to construct or shape the identity of the country it controls. Many authors have argued that the military continues to show a strong proclivity for Islamism. The research, however, demonstrates that the narratives weaved in the museum using exhibits, galleries, and selection of heroes are largely devoid of Islamic content. The last paper unpacks the ideological underpinnings of the movement away from Islamism. The author explores the concept of post-Islamism and expounds on how the religious thought of Ahmad Ghamidi, an Islamic scholar, can serve as both a harbinger and a catalyst for a new national narrative. The author also contrasts and rejects Islamism as an accurate descriptor of the aims of the traditional Hanafi schools of thought prevalent in South Asia


Presenter 1
Ryan Brashar - ryanbrasher@fccollege.edu.pk ()
Religion, Religiosity, and Ethnicity, and its impact on National Attachment and Political Attitudes among University students in Pakistan

Presenter 2
Umber bin Ibad - umberibad@fccollege.edu.pk ()
Redefining Nationalistic Heritage: Religion, Diaspora and the Politics of Memory in Pakistan

Presenter 3
Raja M. Ali Saleem - alisaleem@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College)
Pakistan Army Museum: Site of identity contestation

Presenter 4
Charles Ramsey - charlesramsey3@gmail.com ()
Imagining a Post-Islamist future: Javed Ahmad Ghamidi's Reformist Remix


PART 2 – CLEARANCE RAJ?: LAND, ENVIRONMENT, AND THE POLITICS OF “ASSESSMENTS” IN INDIA
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Kenneth Bo Nielsen - k.b.nielsen@sai.uio.no (University of Oslo)
Co-Organizer
Sattwick Dey Biswas - sattwick@gmail.com (National Law School of India University)

Discussant / Chair
Sattwick Dey Biswas - sattwick@gmail.com (National Law School of India University)

In this second part of the panel (of two), we explore the role of “assessments” and “clearances” in processes of land dispossession and environmental destruction in contemporary India. India has an elaborate formal system of impact assessments and clearance mechanisms in place, ostensibly to mediate between the contradictory demands of economic growth, sustainable development, and ecological justice. For example, India’s Environmental Impact Assessment regime entails an in-theory very thorough exercise in estimating the environmental, biological, social and economic impacts of a given project to determine its sustainability – and potentially to stop it from going ahead. Nonetheless, in practice we have seen time and again that the environmental impact assessment regime largely functions as a mechanism that authorizes the transfer of land and environmental resources to the state or private investors, at the expense of local communities. This has, in turn, often led to environmentally destructive dispossession-driven projects in, for example, infrastructure, real estate, industry, mining and solar energy being met with popular protest in many parts of the country. The papers in this panel focus on the politics of assessments and clearances to shed new light on how these are implicated in and authorize processes of land dispossession and environmental destruction. We analyse the formal-legal frameworks that regulate how assessments and clearances are to be carried out, but focus particularly on the politics of assessment and authorizing as it plays out in specific empirical contexts.


Presenter 1
Manju Menon - manjumenon@cprindia.org ()
Kanchi Kohli - kanchikohli@gmail.com ()
The politics of accommodating environmental violators

Presenter 2
Shruti Dhaundiyal - sd646@cam.ac.uk ()
Shailaja Fennell - ss141@cam.ac.uk (University of Cambridge )
The Indian State and the Politics of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): From the Art of the Possible to recognising Participation as a Demand for Democratisation

Presenter 3
Sony Pellissery - sony.pellissery@gmail.com ()
Neel D'Souza - neeldsouza@nls.ac.in ()
What do judicial interventions do to environment assessment?

Presenter 4
David Singh - david.singh@uea.ac.uk ()
‘This is all waste’: Emptying, clearing and cleaning land for renewable energy dispossession in borderland Kutch


Environmental Studies: Investigating Policy's Impact
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Iris Yellum - iyellum@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

Discussant / Chair
Iris Yellum - iyellum@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

-


Presenter 1
Laurel Panser - laurel.panser@riverland.edu (Riverland Community College)
Covid-19 in India as of April 4, 2021: Crude mortality and vaccination rates

Presenter 2
Iris Yellum - iyellum@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
The Unpredictable Pulse of Improvement: Legume Research in India

Presenter 3
Amrita Vijay Jain - avjain@uci.edu (University of California, Irvine)
Fluid Legality: Land titling in the resettled city

Presenter 4
Vaishali Kushwaha - kushwaha.v@northeastern.edu (Northeastern University)
Institutional (Dis)Arrangements and Urban Water Governance in India: Case Study of Ahmedabad using Social Network Analysis

Presenter 5
Aliz Toth - aliztoth@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Why Do Infrastructure Projects Stall? Theory and Evidence on Eminent Domain Conflict from India


South Asian Visions of Afghanistan
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Mejgan Massoumi - mejgan@stanford.edu (Stanford University)

Discussant / Chair
Marjan Wardaki - mwardaki@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)

From three British colonial wars to the devastating upheavals of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Afghanistan appears in modern history as a geopolitical hotspot that has generated discourses of state failure, which have led to the construal of Afghanistan as a zone of exception and of permanent crisis. Yet for centuries, the lands that would become Afghanistan have been linked to wider regional, trans-regional and global developments. In the case of South Asia, Afghanistan has held a variety of meanings: the first Mughal emperor, Bābur, spent much of his life there before establishing his empire in the North Indian plains in 1526; Kabul and the northeastern portion of present-day Afghanistan would remain under Mughal rule until 1739; Afghans have settled throughout much of the Indian Subcontinent, while people from various Indian linguistic and religious communities traveled, traded, and resided in Afghan cities. The Afghan lands were thus part of a greater South Asian geography yet also set apart, a border region that was at once familiar and exotic. Taking this longue dureé view, this panel offers alternative configurations of the past in an effort to realign our political memory in new, illuminating histories of collaboration and cross-border networks.  The papers presented here cover a range of different subjects including the experience of a Bengali in Kabul during Afghanistan’s new-found independence from the British in the 1920s, a history of Afghan migration made possible through networks of kingship throughout India, how Mughal accounts of Kabul shaped North Indian perceptions of the city, and finally, how radio in the 20th century forged collaborations and cultural connections between Afghans and diverse peoples throughout the subcontinent. Addressing questions of connectivity and knowledge exchange, each paper highlights the ways in which Afghanistan has been embedded into ideas, discourses, and imaginations of South Asia.


Presenter 1
Mou Banerjee - mbanerjee4@wisc.edu (UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON)
A Bengali in Afghanistan: Syed Mujtaba Ali and Writing the Self at the Limits of History, 1920-1930

Presenter 2
Nicole Ferreira - n.ferreira@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Before Him, No Afghan Was of the Throne: Memory, Territory, and Mobility in Visions of Afghan Kingship, 1572-1667

Presenter 3
Nicolas Roth - njroth@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
King of the Cities of the Seven Climes: Kabul in the Mughal Imagination, 1500-1800

Presenter 4
Mejgan Massoumi - mejgan@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
The Radio in Afghanistan: Connecting History, Song, and Sound in and Beyond South Asia, 1960-79


Digital Tools, Citizenship, and Resistance
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sanchita Dasgupta - sanchitad@brandeis.edu (Brandies University)

Discussant / Chair
Sanchita Dasgupta - sanchitad@brandeis.edu (Brandies University)

-


Presenter 1
Sanchita Dasgupta - sanchitad@brandeis.edu (Brandies University)
Turning Anger into Art: A Digital Trail of Resistance

Presenter 2
Ahmed Afzal - a_afzal222@hotmail.com (California State University, Fullerton)
Beyond "Hooking Up": Grindr and reconfigurations of sexuality among men who have sex with men in urban Pakistan

Presenter 3
Vipulya Chari - vipulya.chari@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison )
The Rhetoric of Netizenship: Narendra Modi and the Vision of a “Digital India”

Presenter 4
Mashal Saif - mashalsaif@gmail.com (Clemson University)
Tradition and Technology: Islamic Legal Pronouncements in the Computer Age


Himalaya as a Contact Zone
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Tatsuro Fujikura - fujikura@asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp (Kyoto University)

Discussant / Chair
Tatsuro Fujikura - fujikura@asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp (Kyoto University)

This panel is an attempt to probe the current state of affairs of Himalayan anthropology, by bringing together both critical inquiries into the disciplinary practices as well as latest ethnographic attempts to capture contemporary socio-cultural dynamics in the Himalayan area through the examination of medical practices. Himalayan Anthropology, published in 1978 as a volume in the series World Anthropology, representing the state of the art then, was subtitled Indo-Tibetan Interface. Although “Indo-Tibetan” interface may no longer serve as the master trope, we think that the situation that the term “interface” evokes, in which two or more systems or subjects meet and interact, is still a useful place to start. We substitute the term with “contact zone” to foreground the fact that these encounters take place often “in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power” (Pratt 1991). This panel engages with the colonial character of the world system today in global hierarchies of knowledge and power focusing on research and practice in the Himalayan contact zone. Highlighting the manner in which the Pratt’s contact perspective emphasizes how subjects are constituted in and by their relations to each other in interlocking understandings and practices, often within radically asymmetrical relations of power, these papers bring to the fore issues of symbolic violence, exploitation, pressures to assimilate and different publics of legitimacy and accountability. The first paper critically engages with a Japanese tradition of geo-ecological approach to Himalayan area studies, while the second interrogates public interventions by non-Nepali anthropologists in the immediate aftermath of the 2015 earthquake. The third and fourth papers ethnographically explore contemporary medical practices as scenes from contact zone.


Presenter 1
Tatsuro Fujikura - fujikura@asafas.kyoto-u.ac.jp (Kyoto University)
Cartographies of Himalaya in a Japanese tradition of ecological anthropology

Presenter 2
Chihiro Nakayashiki - chihiro-nakayashiki@hiroshima-u.ac.jp (Hiroshima University)
Transformation of Ethnicities in the Contact Zone: The Cases of the Tibetan Societies of Northern India

Presenter 3
Kei Nagaoka - keinagaoka@gmail.com (Kansai university)
The Dilemmas of Professionalizing Tibetan Medicine

Presenter 4
Yuka Nakamura - yukanakamura1225@gmail.com (National Museum of Ethnology)
Subjectivity and the Sociality: A study of medical encounters in endocrinological clinics in Nepal


Identity, Culture, and Nation in Literature
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Muhammad Farooq - mfarooq2@kent.edu (Kent State University )

Discussant / Chair
Muhammad Farooq - mfarooq2@kent.edu (Kent State University )

-


Presenter 1
Muhammad Farooq - mfarooq2@kent.edu (Kent State University )
The Tropes of Tour and Terror: The Question of Pashtun Identity in Pakistani Fiction

Presenter 2
Sreemoyee Dasgupta - srd51@pitt.edu ()
Bengali Children’s Periodicals: Genre and Nationhood in Colonial India

Presenter 3
Fizza Joffrey - fizzajoffrey@gmail.com (University of Toronto)
The Art of Marsiyā Recitation: Adab (Etiquette), Tahzīb (Culture), and Urdu prowess in the marsiyā genre

Presenter 4
Saumya Lal - slal@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Empathy in flux: Encountering the unforeseeable in Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West

Presenter 5
Medha Bhattacharyya - mbhattacharyya2018@gmail.com (Bengal Institute of Technology)
Food, Rituals and Garb ̶ A Quest for Desiness in Shani Mootoo’s Fiction


Gender and Resistance
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
John Caldwell - asiaweb@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Discussant / Chair
John Caldwell - asiaweb@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

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Presenter 1
leena taneja - leena.taneja@zu.ac.ae (Zayed University)
Gendered Asceticism: New Forms of Feminine Bhakti in Chaitanya Vaishnavism

Presenter 2
John Caldwell - asiaweb@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
“And We Shall See”: The Gendered Life of a Protest Song in Modern India and Pakistan

Presenter 3
Aditi Malik - amalik@holycross.edu (College of the Holy Cross)
Mobilizing Public Protests against Sexual Violence in India

Presenter 4
Sophie Mae Berman - sberman1@skidmore.edu (Skidmore College)
Gender, Violence, and Nonviolence in Kashmir


Religious Practices and Identities Across Boundaries
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Nathan McGovern - nmcgover@fandm.edu (UW Whitewater)

Discussant / Chair
Nathan McGovern - nmcgover@fandm.edu (UW Whitewater)

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Presenter 1
Nathan McGovern - nmcgover@fandm.edu (UW Whitewater)
The Vānaprastha as Representing a Conservative Mainstream in Ancient Indian Religion

Presenter 2
Sujata Chaudhary - sujata.chaudhary@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Variations of Judicialization of Religion in India – A Case of Animal Sacrifice in Himachal Pradesh

Presenter 3
Shweta Krishnan - shwetakrishnan@gwu.edu (George Washington University)
Pigs for the Ancestors

Presenter 4
Krishna Narayanamurti - naray1@usc.edu (University of Southern California)
Amma’s Earth: The (Non)Dualist Philosophy and Ecological Practices of India’s “Hugging Saint”

Presenter 5
benu verma - benu.verma@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Technology)
Seva and Sanskar: Everyday Religious Ethics and Political Behaviour Among the Devotees of Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi Devi)


The Politics of Domination and Resistance in Nepal
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Mahendra Lawoti - mlawoti@gmail.com (Western Michigan University)

Discussant / Chair
Mahendra Lawoti - mlawoti@gmail.com (Western Michigan University)

The new Constitution, 2015 institutionalized some progressive reforms (end of monarchy etc.) introduced after the Second People’s Movement, 2006 but regressed on caste, gender and ethnic issues compared to the Interim Constitution, 2007. It qualified the secularity of the state, reduced the scope of proportional representative electoral method, denied federal autonomy to indigenous groups, among others. The fundamental nature of the polity and representation of hill and Tarai indigenous groups, Madhesis, Dalits remain the same as a result of dominant group’s language as national language, mono-ethnic institutions, social caste configurations and beliefs and the 250 years of internalization of mono-ethnic state ideologies among the members of the ruling ethnicity. Our panelists analyze the strategies used by the dominant group to maintain and reproduce their power and privileges and chart both the direct and indirect ways of resisting the mono-ethnic Nepali state and their strengths and limitations. Lawoti analyzes how the control of the state, major political parties, civil society and media enabled the dominant group to conspire against and manipulate the popularly elected Constituent Assemblies to craft dominant group favoring institutions. Damai examines the cultures of rape and gender violence among the subalterns, a distinct group than the “elite” women, and the (im)possibility of justice for them in the contemporary socio-political environment. Kantha investigates the problems and strengths of the ways in which Madhesis have come to resist the dominant ideology and structure of the Nepali state after the formation of their provincial state. Mishra, relying upon his study visit through the Tarai-Madhes, analyses the appearance vs. reality in the Tarai indigenous groups’ efforts to tell the stories of their communities in songs, verses, narratives and comic performances and their strengths and limitations, including the cultural turn in the open era.


Presenter 1
Pramod Kantha - pramod.kantha@wright.edu ()
Nepal’s Madhesi Movement and the Nepali “nation-state”, a reappraisal

Presenter 2
Pramod Mishra - mishrapr@lewisu.edu (Lewis University)
Culture as Resistance

Presenter 3
Pupsa Damai - damai@marshall.edu ()
Subalterns, Rape Culture and Justice

Presenter 4
Mahendra Lawoti - mlawoti@gmail.com (Western Michigan University)
Manipulating Participatory Processes, Maintaining Ethnic Domination: Regressive Constitution-Crafting in Nepal


State-building: Politics, People, Institutions
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 3:45 pm - 5:30 pm
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Rohail Salman - rohailsalman@gwu.edu (The George Washington University)

Discussant / Chair
Rohail Salman - rohailsalman@gwu.edu (The George Washington University)

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Presenter 1
Erum Haider - eah111@georgetown.edu (Georgetown University)
Privatization and Patronage: the new politics of doing business in a developing megacity

Presenter 2
Nandini Deo - ndd208@lehigh.edu (Lehigh University)
Religion and Civil Society Organizations in Development

Presenter 3
Yasser Kureshi - yasserkk@brandeis.edu (University of Oxford )
Zoha Waseem - zoha.waseem@gmail.com ()
Policemen as Political Entrepreneurs: Institutional interface, bureaucratic resistance and police autonomy in Pakistan

Presenter 4
Rohail Salman - rohailsalman@gwu.edu (The George Washington University)
“Pakistan Must Know Its People and Their Strength”: State Practices and Problems in Conducting the Population Census of 1951