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
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  (Results found : 129)

Innovative Approaches to Traditional Archaeology in South Asia: Indus to Early Historic Periods
Symposium

Location

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

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

The development of archaeology as an academic discipline during the 18-1900s was closely linked to explorations and documentation of the monuments, epigraphy and ancient sites of ancient South Asia. Many distinctive methodologies were developed in South Asia for surveying and excavating sites, for analysis of the artifacts, and for conservation of remains that were located in diverse environments. Today, archaeologists in South Asia continue to use some of these time-tested approaches but have also developed innovative new approaches to studying the past and how it relates to the present. This symposium will bring together 19 junior and senior scholars, women and men, from large universities and smaller colleges, as well as state museums and archaeology departments. Six papers focus on methodological issues used by different multinational teams related to surveys or excavation projects in Pakistan and India. One of the papers also focuses on developing new approaches in Pakistan to facilitate religious tourism associated with ancient Buddhist sites in Gandhara. Six papers will present new methods of artifact documentation and analysis, with special focus on seals, shell objects and pottery. Three papers present new approaches to the study of botanical and faunal remains to understand how cities were provisioned and how food commodities were traded overland as well as by sea. Two paper focus on innovative approaches to museums in order to connect with less served communities. One paper will present new approaches to understanding trade carried out by the Indus communities and adjacent regions, suggesting the presence of early “global” models of economic exchange. Another paper will present new approaches to the study of human interactions as revealed through genetic patterns of teeth. These multifaceted and complementary approaches provide new insights into the diverse and complex history of ancient and contemporary South Asia.


Rethinking Mantra Studies
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Gudrun Buhnemann - gbuhnema@wisc.edu (The University of Wisconsin-Madison)

This full-day symposium will bring together a diverse group of scholars of South Asian religions and cultures to present new research and engage in focused discussion about the historical development and enduring significance of mantras (sacred syllables or utterances used in ritual and meditation) in South Asian traditions. Comprised of scholars at different career stages, with an array of disciplinary approaches and methodological backgrounds that complement each other, the symposium is intended to generate new insights in the religious and social significance of mantras in various regions and time periods. We will consider mantra systems from several leading religions of South Asia, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Islam. Particular attention will be paid to the multiformity of mantras, which manifest not only in the sound of chanting and the silence of meditation, but also in writing, music, religious art, and other media.


Age of Vedanta
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Ajay Rao - ajay.rao@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)

Vedanta, a knowledge system of hermeneutic theology, is often characterized in both popular imagination and in scholarship as the central unifying philosophy of Hinduism. Yet textual and documentary evidence demonstrates that Vedanta only rose to significance as a major interlocutor for rival knowledge systems and as an established set of social institutions from the beginning of the second millennium and especially during the thirteenth through seventeenth centuries. Our collaborative research project seeks to chart the rise of Vedanta: the intellectual, social, and political causes for its historical emergence as well as its rapid growth during the early modern period. What explains the rise of Vedanta as a historical phenomenon? Vedanta in all its forms was more closely linked to broad-based popular religious movements and religious institutions, more deeply implicated in the formation of social identity, and often more closely (or at least more documentably) tied to the patronage of specific political formations than the disciplines that had earlier dominated philosophical discourse. It appears clear that the social and institutional underpinnings of this vast intellectual movement are bound up closely with the transregional spread of the late-medieval Vijayanagara Empire and, without being noticeably diminished, were certainly reshaped in important ways by its collapse. One of our preliminary hypotheses is that particular conditions for Sanskrit knowledge production at Vijayanagara impacted the subsequent history of Vedanta, including, for example, extensive patronage of religious institutions of knowledge; expansive, state-sponsored projects of textual commentary from the empire's inception to its collapse, etc. Our researchers explore this question through careful reading of thousands of pages of Sanskrit sources combined with the study of epigraphy, material culture, and other documentary evidence.


Hindu Economicus
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Cassie Adcock - cadcock@wustl.edu (Washington University in St. Louis)

The ascendance of Hindu nationalist politics in India on a platform of “development nationalism” -- with continuing appeals to “India shining” and a “more prosperous Kashmir” -- illustrates how deeply linked conceptions of “culture” and “economics” have become in India, with each term signifying the other. If the ideal Indian citizen is upper-caste Hindu, the ideal Hindu is also a disciplined economic subject, who feeds rather than impedes national development and prosperity. Such notions have wide reach beyond the politics of Hindutva: from schools of management to urban planning, from animal husbandry to population control. This symposium will explore the diverse figurations of “economics” and “culture” in Hindu politics. Drawing on Ritu Birla’s work, we point in particular to the ways a colonial legal regime of “market governance” helped to produce the appearance of an enduring distinction between economy and culture that mirrored and reinforced a posited distinction between public and private. Yet bodily concerns about pure subjects were tied to consuming or avoiding particular market products, and re/producing particular kinds of bodies. We are interested in how culture has been constructed not only in “spiritual,” but also in biopolitical terms. We aim to facilitate a conversation on these issues with scholars from disciplinary perspectives whose work touches on the economic histories of Hindu politics in diverse settings from IITs and cow protection to sannyasi celebrity and birth control. This symposium offers deep historical insight into contemporary Hindu nationalist developmentalism, tracing its late nineteenth century, early-, mid- and late- twentieth century genealogies, and its sectarian, gendered, and caste dimensions. A full-day symposium format will facilitate sustained discussion among this international group of scholars, as the first step toward publication of an edited volume. We will accommodate some international participants through zoom.


Critical Contours of Maithili Studies
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Pranav Prakash - pranav.prakash@chch.ox.ac.uk (Christ Church, University of Oxford)

This symposium aims to generate interdisciplinary conversations about the importance of contemporary scholarly study of Maithil society, culture and language. How has the study of Maithili-speaking peoples shaped humanistic inquiries and intellectual discourses locally and globally? From Alphabetum Brammhanicum (1771) to George Abraham Grierson (1851–1941) to Radhakrishna Choudhary (1921–1985), how has the study of Maithili cultures been framed by localized discourses about the region, its language(s) and people(s)? In turn, how has the academic study of Mithila outside of the region received, interpreted and framed these narratives? In light of its disciplinary past, can we envision new research agenda and methods for challenging hegemonies within the academy and in the wider society? Although colonial-era missionaries and Orientalists took a keen interest in Maithili language, art and culture, the study of Maithili has not maintained the same academic focus in modern universities. Nevertheless, a variety of scholars from a range of disciplines have engaged in the study of Maithili and Mithila into the present. The field as it exists today is dominated by upper-caste, male scholars and littérateurs, who have privileged certain forms of historical knowledge production. Their engagement with Hindu philosophies and what they construed as “high-culture” has—in effect—marginalized contributions by Maithil women, lower-caste communities and religious minorities. Against this backdrop, our symposium brings together an eclectic group of scholars, who reflect critically on the history, politics and future of Maithili Studies. This symposium is—to the best of our knowledge—the first ever attempt in the history of modern universities to evaluate the status, significance and prospects of Maithili Studies. We anticipate the publication of symposium papers as a peer-reviewed volume. Our symposium—both in framing its research agenda and in selecting its participants—remains steadfastly committed to the ethics of diversity, equity and inclusion.


New Directions in the Vernacular Millennium: Meter, Prose, and Aesthetics
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Harshita Mruthinti Kamath - harshita.kamath@emory.edu (Emory 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 with a focus on how vernacular literatures draw on Sanskrit tradition and innovate new poetic frameworks. In particular, the papers in this symposium focus on themes of meter, prose, and/or aesthetics in literature produced in the vernacular millennium. Our symposium participants include junior scholars whose work focuses on literature in Manipravalam, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada, and vernacular Sanskrit in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Our participants are affiliated with a range of institutions in India, Israel, Germany, and the United States. Our participants integrate the all-conference theme of tradition and innovation in their papers, focusing on how vernacular literatures are sites for expanding tradition and expressing innovation. 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 participate in a concluding roundtable. We organized an exploratory version of this symposium at the 2021 Annual Conference on South Asia, and through this avenue, we hope to build a network of junior scholars working in the field of vernacular literatures, with the ultimate goal of a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.


On Representing Crisis in South Asian Visual Culture: Intermedial Histories, Strategies, and Methodologies
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Anuja Jain - ajain01@wesleyan.edu (Wesleyan University)

Over the past decade South Asia has been hurtling from crisis to crisis. Changing geopolitics of the region; the autocratic revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution in Kashmir; the 2020-2021 farmers’ protest; and the recent nationwide NRC-CAA protests in India, are a few examples. The global COVID 19 pandemic has further aggravated human and policy crisis in South Asia. As fundamental to these moments of conflict has been the question of belonging and citizenship as has been their mediation - censored and uncensored, formal and informal - through new and old sites and networks, shaping a whole range of experiences and forming new cultures of visuality. There has been a rapid proliferation of images through mass media such as television and cinema; ephemeral, techno fragments of YouTube, Facebook and low-cost technologies of mechanical and digital reproduction; hybrid, vernacular idioms of calendar art and graphic novels; and the material infrastructures of gigantic iconic statues and dams. Such new visual morphologies, materialities and narratives of conflict and responses demand an urgent attention. Bringing together an international group of scholars from fields of Art History, Film and Media Studies, Literature, Performance studies, Women and Gender studies, Anthropology and Visual Studies, this full day symposium seeks to explore the iterations in South Asian visual culture, historically and theoretically, to various conflicts and crisis. Ranging from symbolism and sounds of CAA-NRC protests to cinematic and ecological cartographies of caste violence and “outbreak narratives” in contemporary India, the papers collectively tease out historically situated, intermedial modalities of representation, resistance and intervention that have emerged in response to the shifting imaginaries, nature and politics of the postcolonial Indian nation state.


Studying Stotras across Traditions: A Symposium
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Hamsa Stainton - hamsa.stainton@mcgill.ca (McGill University)

Sanskrit hymns of praise (stotras, stutis, stavas) have been popular and influential within many religious traditions for thousands of years. They remain significant for countless Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains today, and new stotras continue to be composed and recited around the world. The academic study of these hymns has made notable progress in recent decades as scholars have paid increasing attention to these compositions, which were often marginalized or ignored in earlier scholarship. This symposium on “studying stotras across traditions” brings together a range of scholars for perhaps the first such academic event in North America focused on the diversity of the stotra genre. It includes senior and established scholars with major publications on stotras as well as emerging scholars in the field. Participants focus on stotras within Jain, Buddhist, and Hindu traditions, including Śākta, Śaiva, and Vaiṣṇava contexts. The symposium’s twelve presentations focus on new research that reflects on theoretical, methodological, and comparative issues. Shared research topics include the pedagogical nature of stotra literature and recitation, their liturgical performances, their poetic and theological experimentations, and their role in polemics and politics. Overall, the symposium brings together scholars working on diverse materials for a sustained investigation into the current state and future directions of stotra studies.


Decentering India from South Asian Studies
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Hafsa Kanjwal - kanjwalh@lafayette.edu

What would South Asian Studies look like if India were not the master signifier or presumptive center? What does it mean, for example, for India to exist without explanation? And, importantly, what if we forgot India, and learned to pay attention to sovereignty movements that help us understand the limitations of South Asian Studies as it is currently constituted? Here, we understand India not simply as the nation-state, but an unmarked universal that mediates any discussion about South Asia. Even in critiques of Hindutva, “secular liberal” interventions continue to presuppose Indian territorial and Indic civilizational discourses as given. Therefore, we have to couple denaturalizing India with a critique of the secular liberal impulses and tendencies that frame South Asian Studies. Robust analyses of the Indian frame and the secular have emerged within Sikh Studies, Critical Kashmir Studies, and the Study of Islam in South Asia. These fields force us to contend with an essential question: Why does the encounter with South Asian Studies reproduce epistemological dissonance when one is a subject of the Indian empire rather than its putative citizen? This symposium is premised on a fundamental gambit: South Asian Studies, once divested of India, may finally offer a vantage unto ‘difference’ so valorized by the field. Sikh and Kashmiri/Muslim sovereignty struggles are two of the most robust and most misunderstood movements, and we bring them into focus by thinking thorough temporality and territoriality, critiques of secular epistemelogical frameworks, and cross-movement connection together. Therefore, we bring together scholars from these fields in order to interrogate the naturalization of India, and rethink South Asian Studies by asking India for an explanation and, in its failure, forgetting India.


Provincializing Brahmins: New Directions in the Study of Caste in Premodern South Asia
Symposium

Location

Session: Symposium - Full Day
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Eric Gurevitch - ericmgurevitch@gmail.com (University of Chicago)

The study of caste in the premodern period has historically proceeded from the perspective of Sanskrit legal digests (dharmaśāstra) composed by Hindu Brahmins. But Brahmins never had a monopoly on defining caste. And Brahminical articulations of caste often proved difficult to put into practice. Philosophers contested the ontology of social classes, religious reformers challenged the boundaries of caste, and even Hindu Brahmins themselves came to question the practicality of strict social and religious boundaries. This symposium aims to “provincialize Brahmins” by exploring premodern constructions of caste from the perspective of texts, languages, and religions that have been neglected by the study of Hindu Sanskrit dharmaśāstra. This symposium brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars whose research establishes a new program in the study of premodern caste. Each of our panelists examines how either an individual caste or the caste system as a whole was constructed, contested, or represented outside of Sanskrit, Brahmanical religions, and legal texts. In displacing the perspective of Hindu Brahmins, this panel explores new perspectives on the understanding of personhood, agency, and subjectivity in premodern South Asia.


Urdu Poetic Keywords: The Urdu Symposium 2022
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Sean Pue - pue@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

Urdu has developed a rich and evolving terminology in parallel with its long tradition of literary criticism which is constantly reworked in digital spaces, popular culture, and subcultures. The 2022 Urdu Symposium seeks to continue and expand upon the 2018 Urdu Symposium and 2017 Preconference, “Urdu Keywords,” by expanding on a set of poetic key terms central to literary production and critical reception. Recent scholarly efforts have drawn upon Williams’ original method of preparing a “record of an inquiry into a vocabulary” to not just update his original project but also apply it to further debates within different disciplinary practices (Williams 1976). It is with a timely emphasis on accessing “ideas through words” instead of the other way round that we call for a scholarly reflection on a set of vocabulary that is crucial for understanding Urdu literary practices in the digital age (Cuddy-Keane et al. 2014). Our interest also lies in exploring whether digital literary cultures pose a shift in the usage of certain words that have a longstanding tradition of rigorous scholarly reflection in poetic and formal structures across Indian languages. Contributors will be invited to give brief (approximately 5-minute) presentations followed by more substantial discussions of methods and sources, at the upcoming 2022 Urdu Symposium. Presenters will precirculate their entries to enable discussion and review. Full-length contributions will be anthologized as an open-access intermedial digital critical guide to Urdu poetics. The symposium roundtable discussions will also engage with how to channel the affordances of digital technologies to engage a generation of poetry readers and performers within academia and beyond.


AIIS Dissertation to Book Workshop
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Sarah Lamb - lamb@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)

The American Institute of Indian Studies holds an annual dissertation-to-book workshop at the Madison South Asia Conference, co-sponsored by the American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and the American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies. The workshop aims to help a select number of recent PhDs re-vision their doctoral dissertations as books. Author participants are selected through an application process, and all admitted authors will submit a sample chapter and draft book proposal in advance, to be read by each member of their working group. The interdisciplinary workshop will begin at 7 pm the evening before our scheduled day-long symposium for a “Secrets of Publishing” Q&A session. During the day-long Wednesday symposium sessions, we will divide into three groups of approximately eight authors and two to three mentors each, to work intensively together discussing each project. We conclude the workshop with an all-group dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant. Faculty from a range of disciplines and areas of expertise will serve as mentors. Each faculty mentor has published at least one book and specializes in a range of South Asian regions (including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) and come from various disciplinary backgrounds, including anthropology, history, literature, media studies, gender studies, and religious studies. For the Wednesday full-day symposium workshops, we will need three separate rooms, OR two separate rooms including one large room separated into two by a divider. We will follow the full-day conference symposium schedule, including the scheduled breaks.


Global Imaginations, Local Texts: South Asia and the World
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Supurna Dasgupta - supurnadg@gmail.com (The University of Chicago)

This symposium aims to bring together the many worlds embedded in South Asian histories, texts, and traditions. At this day-long session, we want to open up new ways of studying South Asia, and through our scholarship gesture towards what South Asian texts can teach us about the world and vice versa, as opposed to simply confining our objects of analysis to local contexts. How do texts rooted in their local contexts in South Asia reveal global, trans-local and alternative modes of self-identification? How do various indices- books, legal documents, genres, visual media, authors, translators, performers, aesthetic theories- respond to and negotiate with these shifting geographies of self and collective identifications? Can such alternate self-historicization complicate the disciplinary logic of Area Studies? We hope that conversations around global textual crosscurrents will lead into fruitful discussions on how South Asia is produced as a disciplinary object of study, and will provide important nuance to our understanding of its academic and socio-political construction as a cohesive “area”. Such an approach at the intersection of the global and local can introduce important debates within our understanding of historical currents, geographical contiguities, and generic resonances when it comes to scholarship about South Asia. We offer a vast array of presentation topics in this symposium. Our confirmed participants will speak on a variety of themes which use the rubric of vaster migrancy and local situatedness in their analysis of South Asia. These include circulation of magazines, world poetry, cinema and the modern world, the travelling histories of music, partition narratives from across the world, the evolving vocabularies of the Global South, and the time-travelling echoes of religious imaginaries. We expect that together they will provide an enriching conversation about the diverse ways in which South Asia and the world are embedded in one another.


Sensing Bhakti - Regional Bhakti Scholars Network Symposium
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Bhakti Mamtora - bmamtora@wooster.edu (College of Wooster)

The 8th annual Regional Bhakti Scholars Network symposium, titled “Sensing Bhakti,'' focuses on the aspired, actualized, and theorized sensations resulting from intentional uses of senses. The symposium will investigate the connections among sensory interactions, the sacred and material worlds, and resultant sensations – whether involuntarily felt or intentionally fostered. How and why are such connections created, reinforced, recreated, or dissolved? Examining the role of sensory impairment and sensory imagination within devotional contexts, the symposium discusses the creative functions of sensations in building desired devotional relations. Past RBSN symposia have discussed various methodologies to study bhakti as a lived phenomenon, including disciplinary modes of assessing bhakti, technologies of publishing bhakti, and “visuality” as a lens to examine new forms and new social contexts of bhakti. Through this year's symposium, we expand on these productive conversations to attend to the making of realities, affective and conceptual, through sensory engagements. We highlight regional and sectarian articulations of a bhakti sensorium; we discuss archives of exemplary and desired sensations; and we analyze tools of sensing. “Sensing,” broadly construed, involves literary depictions and practices of engaging and knowing through the senses, including the mind. We situate senses at intersections–of materiality and cognition, gender and emotion, caste and belonging, synesthetic connections and desired devotional relations–to attend to the lived realities of devotion. By bringing in scholars who cover diverse regions, languages, and tradition, we foster cross-regional and inter-linguistic conversations on sensing, sensations, and related cognitive dimensions of bhakti.


Science, Technology, Medicine Symposium: Decolonizing STM
Symposium

Location

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

Organizer
Shireen Hamza - shireenhamza@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

What does it mean to decolonize science, technology, and medicine in South Asia? Our half-day STM symposium will gather an interdisciplinary group of scholars from North America, the subcontinent, and beyond for two discussions on this topic. These discussions will address the intensifying appropriation of a “decolonizing science” discourse by right-wing nationalists, especially but not exclusively in India, as well as the role of caste and caste-based hierarchies in science. We will also proceed with our discussions while mindful of our presence as uninvited guests in a North American settler colonial context. This symposium will enable a small, diverse group of scholars to build community and discuss key issues in the social study of science across STS, history of science, medical anthropology, etc. Fields like STS and the history of science remain Eurocentric. We hope to further our understanding of the specificities of studying science in South Asia while grounding our discussions in the political implications of our work. Participants will read and discuss pre-selected scholarship on two topics: Science, Religion, Nation and the Geographies and Chronologies of Science. This selection of topics draws on many conversations hosted by the virtual working group Science Across Regions in Asia (SARA), at the Consortium for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. While those discussions ranged across South Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East, our symposium gives us a chance to focus on the former. An important part of decolonization is recognizing what land we are on and acknowledging its history by responding to local ethical considerations. However, we as organizers also acknowledge the advantages of being located in well-resourced institutions and would like to support connections between science studies scholars across regions. We hope this symposium may play a small role in supporting critical studies of science in South Asia.


New Approaches to the Study of South Asian Textile History
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Aditi Khare - akhare1@ualberta.ca (University of Alberta)

Chair
Deepthi Murali - dmurali2@gmu.edu

South Asian textiles have been some of the most visible “Indian” exports to the world since centuries. As clothing, these fabrics have deep ties to communities - their use integrally tied to identity, ritual, and everyday lived experience inside and outside the Indian subcontinent. As trade objects, they have long defined global exchange networks, thereby constructing our understanding of the modern world. They are a prominent part of museum collections and their history of use – especially “Chintz” textiles in the global West - is comparatively well-studied. Yet, the complexity of South Asian textiles, their material legacies, and their prevalence in Africa, Asia, and the Americas remain to be analysed. More crucially, colonial and indentured labor histories tied to South Asian textiles remain largely unexplored. This roundtable examines new approaches in the study of South Asian textile history while simultaneously assessing the current state of the field. Bringing together art historians, material culture historians, and museum professionals, it seeks to highlight non-eurocentric perspectives on the subject. In doing so, this roundtable tackles questions on race and colonialism, indentured labour, subaltern consumer culture, and South Asian presence in global socio-economic networks. Speakers 1 and 2 speak to the labour histories and raw materials responsible for South Asian trade textiles, while Speaker 3 discusses the design legacies of Indian actants across eighteenth century colonial spheres. Further bridging the gap between material sources and decolonial narratives, Speakers 4 and 5 use innovative museum analyses to highlight the complex dynamics of African and American consumption of these fabrics. Cohesively compiling these significant approaches, Speaker 6 elaborates the role of digital humanities as a path to wider public understanding of these critical histories. This roundtable therefore encourages innovative and essential work in the South Asian historical paradigm, drawing attention to enduring legacies of the region and its diaspora.


Presenter 1
Aditi Khare - akhare1@ualberta.ca (University of Alberta)
Presenter 2
Sylvia Houghteling - sylvia.houghteling@gmail.com
Presenter 3
Sarah Fee - sarahf@rom.on.ca
Presenter 4
Mark E. Balmforth - m.balmforth@utoronto.ca
Presenter 5
Avalon Fotheringham - avalon.fotheringham@gmail.com

Green politics in Pakistan: A Nation Security Policy Shift to address non-traditional security threats and to build ecological peace
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Dr. Asifa Jahangir - ajndu2327@gmail.com (Self-employed and I as a regular faculty member am not a part of any institution right now. I taught as a visiting faculty as a part-time job in different institutions but now have stopped teaching due to my book write-up. )

Discussant / Chair
Dr. Asifa Jahangir - ajndu2327@gmail.com (Self-employed and I as a regular faculty member am not a part of any institution right now. I taught as a visiting faculty as a part-time job in different institutions but now have stopped teaching due to my book write-up. )

Green politics is making inroads into Pakistani politics, owing to the country's vulnerability to a variety of climate-related calamities. According to the German watchdog's Global Climate Risk Index 2021, Pakistan has seen 173 climate-related catastrophes over the last two decades, placing the nation among the top ten countries most susceptible to climate change. Recognizing this dilemma, Pakistan's major parties have steadily elevated the battle against climate change to the top of their political agendas. Beginning with the Green Growth Agenda (GGA), which was launched in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in 2014, the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf government expanded its green initiatives after assuming power in 2018, including launching the historic 'Billion Tree Tsunami' programme and reviving water and forest policies to protect the country's draining water resources, which could potentially offset the newfound challenges posed by climate change. Politically, the leadership is more sympathetic to the concepts of green politics and peacebuilding. While the political leadership began shifting away from a traditional definition of security in 2014 with the launch of a consensus-based National Action Plan (NAP), the recent launch of Pakistan's first ever National Security Policy (NSP-2022) demonstrates its unique focus on the entire society for the first time by incorporating green policy as one of the central security parameters of national security policy, alongside ecological peace-building, which is relevant to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Experts and the government are also focusing more on protecting natural resources such as forests, natural habitats, and scarce water resources, as well as encouraging plantations. This is because climate-related disasters are becoming more common. There has been a lot more emphasis on green policies in the manifestos of almost every political party in Pakistan. This means that green policies could be a big issue when the country votes in the next election.


Presenter 1
Zafar Iqabl Yousafzai - iqbalyousafzai786@gmail.com ()
Green politics in Pakistan: The case of Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) government’s Billion Tree Tsunami in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Presenter 2
Dr. Muhammad Akram Zaheer - akramzaheer86@yahoo.com ()
Billion Trees Tsunami: Peace-building and Prevention from the non-traditional Security Threat of Climate Change and Water Crisis in Pakistan

Presenter 3
Furqan Khan - furqankhans66@gmail.com (National Defence University, Pakistan)
A Shift in Pakistan’s National Security Policy: From tradition security to non-tradition security of Green Politics and Ecological Peace-building


Evolving History, Evolving Functions: The Madrasah in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Zahra Sabri - zahrasabri@gmail.com (IBA, Karachi)

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

As an institution that travelled to South Asia from western Islamic lands, the madrasah has undoubtedly played an important role in Muslim education over several centuries. Paradoxically though, in the South Asian context, madrasahs or Islamic seminaries where traditionalist Muslim scholars (the ‘ulama) are educated, assumed the normative status of bastions of ‘traditional Islam’ concurrent with and in imitation of the establishment of ‘modern’ colonial institutions of learning in the region. In the contemporary context, with the perceived alarm over political Islam and Muslim ‘militancy’, especially in the context of the rise and more recent reincarnation of the Taliban, madrasahs have come into particularly sharp focus in journalistic discourse and policy circles. But these dominant popular discourses on madrasahs, that often seep into scholarship as well, perhaps obfuscate and render further arcane, instead of clarifying and adding substantive analytical density to, our understanding of the precise educational functions and socio-political significance of madrasahs today and in history, within South Asia and in South Asian diasporic communities around the world. This panel addresses some of these lacunae from multiple disciplinary perspectives by considering the rich and complex heritage, as well as the contemporary salience, of madrasah traditions of knowledge in South Asia, among South Asian diasporic communities, and on virtual spaces. This is a gender inclusive panel that includes scholars based in South Asia and the US at different career stages.


Presenter 1
Zahra Sabri - zahrasabri@gmail.com (IBA, Karachi)
How Important were Madāris Really in Producing the Best ‘Ulama? A view from studies of South Asia, c. 1100-1800 AD.

Presenter 2
Fakhar Bilal - fakhar.qau@gmail.com (Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Building Islam: A Micro-history of Islamic Education and its Economic Base in Multan

Presenter 3
Mohammad Waqas Sajjad - msajjad@ses.gtu.edu (University of Management and Technology)
Regulating Madrasahs in Pakistan: Finally and Forevermore?

Presenter 4
Usha Sanyal - ushasanyal3@gmail.com (Wingate University)
Navigating Tradition and Modernity in Muslim Girls’ Religious Education: A Tale of Two Institutions in India and Canada


Lively Waters in South Asia: Agency, Ethics, and Politics
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Calynn Dowler - calynn.dowler@gmail.com (Boston University)

Chair
Tulasi Srinivas - tulasi_srinivas@emerson.edu (Emerson College)

Recent scholarship in the history and anthropology of South Asia has emphasized the unruly and agentic qualities of the region’s rivers, monsoon rains, subterranean aquifers, and urban water supplies (Amrith 2018, Anand 2017, Bhattacharyya 2018, Cederlöf 2013, Lahiri-Dutt and Samanta 2013, Saikia 2019). This work has underscored the complexities of knowing and managing water(s), as well as the lasting social and environmental effects of colonial and postcolonial attempts to control water and its flows. Extending these conversations, the presenters in this Round Table will consider how people have encountered, understood and engaged with lively waters across time and space in South Asia. The Round Table takes an expansive view on the lively qualities of water, incorporating materiality as well as the immaterial and spiritual qualities of water as envisioned in many South Asian cosmologies and religious traditions. In this way, the presenters will consider the vitality and animacy of water as reflected in regional epistemologies and ontologies, as well as situated ethical and political relations with water that have emerged and transformed over time. Beyond this, presenters will bring scholarship on water into regional perspective in two main ways. First, the presenters’ will consider how South Asian categories of personhood, caste, and gender can prompt new theory-making on water. Second, presenters will reflect on how a focus on water and its lively agencies can help scholars rethink South Asia as a region in flux. Specifically, presentations will focus on: environment, health, and labor in Madras; the making of modern cities and fluid spaces in South Asia; the immaterial, divine, and spiritual agencies of water in the Sundarbans delta; shifting materiality, environment, and work on the Tamil Coromandel coast; and erosion, sedimentation, affective ecologies, and multispecies ethnography in Upper Assam/Arunachal Pradesh.


Presenter 1
Ayushi Chauhan - ayushi@bu.edu
Presenter 2
Calynn Dowler - calynn.dowler@gmail.com (Boston University)
Presenter 3
Oviya Govindan - ogovinda@uci.edu (UC Irvine)
Presenter 4
Shweta Krishnan - shwetakrishnan@gwu.edu (George Washington University)
Presenter 5
Anusha Sundar - as6151@columbia.edu

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

Location

Session: Session 1: Thursday, 8:30 am - 10:15 am
Room: Conference Room 3
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, sexual norms, gender violence, and justice in contemporary Bangladesh. Exploring the intersection of feminism, human rights, and memory through cinematic narratives, Speaker 1 investigates the aesthetics and politics of women’s cinema, and how they address the memorialization of past violence and offer visions for healing and justice. Speakers 2 and 3 discuss how film songs from the 1970s produce and reproduce sexual social norms suggesting that women can get what they want if they ask for it, reminiscent of lean-in feminism; women’s pleasure is a function of men’s sexual pleasure; they forward what is termed “rape culture;” as they interrogate the tension between sexual consent and sexual violence. Speaker 4 discusses the writings of Akhtaruzzaman Elias, particularly Khwabnama, that portrays class dynamics and performance in Bengal/Bangladesh and how reading Elias has come to signal a certain kind of intellectual sophistication and belonging among the middle class in contemporary Bangladesh. Speaker 5 analyzes another marker of middle-class sensibility–Rabindra Sangeet practice. From a subversive role that Rabindra Sangeet played during Bangladesh’s War of Independence, Rabindra Sangeet in the contemporary period not only has state support but is part of the hegemonic mainstream, symbolizing Bangladeshi secularism. Speaker 6 analyzes the gaaner class phenomena to explore what role engagements with Rabindra Sangeet play 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.” Overall, the roundtable proposes to explore how cultural productions such as cinema, music, and literature are also ways of transmitting morality and gendered norms surrounding notions of middle-class identity and respectability.


Presenter 1
Nadine Murshid - nadinemu@buffalo.edu (University at Buffalo)
Presenter 2
Manosh Chowdhury - manosh@juniv.edu
Presenter 3
Navine Murshid - nmurshid@colgate.edu (Colgate University)
Presenter 4
humayun kabir - hkabir78@gmail.com
Presenter 5
Elora Chowdhury - elora.chowdhury@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Trauma as a Site of Return in Transnational Sri Lankan Literature and Visual Culture
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Dinidu Karunanayake - dkarunanayake@elon.edu (Elon University )

Discussant / Chair
Dinidu Karunanayake - dkarunanayake@elon.edu (Elon University )

Sri Lanka’s civil war (1983-2009) gave rise to a new wave of literary and visual economy that positions the country as fragmented at home yet connected transnationally. Writers, filmmakers, and visual artists decenter the heteronormativity of postcolonial nationalism by imaginatively rebuilding decimated Tamil cultural landscapes and question neoliberal underpinnings of the war. Central to such work is what R. Radhakrishnan calls a “double duty” with “accountability both here and there.” Set against this backdrop, this panel brings together four papers that investigate the contours of trauma foundational to transnational Sri Lankan aesthetic efforts that reimagine “deviant” bodies and testimonies. The panel opens with “‘Make the body no one”: V. V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage and its Queer Medical Case History of the Betrayals of War and Love.” Speaker 1 posits that Ganeshananthan’s novel queers the complicity of essentialist and exclusionary narratives of love and war. Paper 2, “Cinematic Language and the Violence of Silence in the Films of Pradeepan Raveendran,” charts how Shadows of Silence and Soundless Dance highlight the exiled subject’s lack of voice and agency. Continuing on this thread, Paper 3, “Cumulative Trauma, Memory, and Displacement in Sharon Bala’s The Boat People and Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North,” examines the intersections of ethnicity, class, violence, and postwar survival through a comparative study of the two novels. Finally, Paper 4, “M.I.A.’s Empires of Trauma: Promise and Limits of Postmemory in Transnational Sri Lankan Pop Music,” investigates postmemorial implications of the Sri Lankan British rapper’s music and the limitations of such trauma-animated aesthetics. The panel concludes with the deliberations by the discussant/organizer. By highlighting how transnational Sri Lankan writers and artists innovate new spaces of belonging and becoming exterior to heteropatriarchal narratives of postcolonial/postwar Sri Lanka, this panel contributes to the 2022 conference theme.


Presenter 1
Shermal Wijewardene - swijewardene@gmail.com ()
“Make the body no one”: V. V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage and its Queer Medical Case History of the Betrayals of War and Love

Presenter 2
Nalin Jayasena - jayasen@miamioh.edu (Miami University)
Cinematic Language and the Violence of Silence in the Films of Pradeepan Raveendran

Presenter 3
Maryse Jayasuriya - mjayasuriya@utep.edu ()
“Cumulative Trauma, Memory, and Displacement in Sharon Bala’s The Boat People and Anuk Arudpragasam’s A Passage North”

Presenter 4
Dinidu Karunanayake - dkarunanayake@elon.edu (Elon University )
M.I.A.’s Empires of Trauma: Promise and Limits of Postmemory in Transnational Sri Lankan Pop Music


Small-Town Musicking: Genre Intersections, Livelihoods, and Changing Center-Peripheries in India and Pakistan
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Pei-ling Huang - huangpeiling.x@gmail.com (Academia Sinica)

Chair
Pei-ling Huang - huangpeiling.x@gmail.com (Academia Sinica)

While critical histories of South Asian music have shed light on how classicization and canonization over the twentieth century created or hardened boundaries between classical, semiclassical, and devotional music, research on these musical practices still tends to fall within the same bounded categories. This round table focuses on exploring these musical worlds in terms of intersections and porous boundaries. We do this by following the musicking of practitioners as they move in and through small towns, with a focus on their livelihood strategies, and by examining how these spaces are imbricated in changing political economic centers and peripheries. We highlight the productive potential of attending to smaller towns or peripheral cities as dynamic sites of generic interconnection to move beyond the established binary focus on urban metropoles and rural hinterlands. The panelists, scholars at various career stages with research experience in a range of performing traditions, will first present short research papers on: the participation of Dalit musicians in the migration and repurposing of raga-based tunes within Islamic and Christian Tamil communities in southern Tamil Nadu; the transition of kirtan musicians in Bengal from regional to larger orbits of devotional performance in north India; perceptions on the relationship between ‘classical’ music and a Sindhi devotional repertoire among faqir singers and regional literati; career trajectories of sarangi players from Uttar Pradesh in relation to economics, politics, gender, and mobility; and the layered peripheralization of Hindustani music practice in north Indian small towns over the twentieth century. Combining these insights, panelists will move toward discussing broader questions of how practitioners and structures of power constitute or transgress generic boundaries, and how our economic-geographical approach can help decenter focus on the classical-folk or classical-semiclassical genre hierarchies and bring marginalized groups in intersections of caste, class, gender, and religion to the fore.


Presenter 1
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu
Presenter 2
Eben Graves - eben.graves@yale.edu (Yale University)
Presenter 3
Pei-ling Huang - huangpeiling.x@gmail.com (Academia Sinica)
Presenter 4
Suhail Yusuf - syusuf@wesleyan.edu (Wesleyan University )
Presenter 5

‘Khabar Lahariya’ or ‘Writing with Fire’: Whose Story it Really Is?
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Anjali Yadav - ayadav06@uw.edu (University of Washington, Seattle)

Chair
Shailaja Paik - shailaja.paik@uc.edu (University of Cincinnati)

Directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, the documentary, ‘Writing with Fire’ is about a rural newspaper ‘Khabar Lahariya’ (KL), run by women belonging to the marginal caste groups of India. It was nominated for the Academy Award and Oscar in the category of best documentary film. But recently, KL issued a public statement accusing the documentary of selectively representing their journalism. The roundtable will engage in debates around the gaze, hero-building, and misrepresentation of social actors in the documentary. We will ponder on questions like how much agency a filmmaker can exercise on the representation of their subjects in the name of creative liberty. It’s equally important to raise concerns about the responsibility of ethical representation that privileged filmmakers owe to their marginal subjects. Additionally, the agency of how subjects want themselves to be represented is central to the act of documentary making or not. How the heroic nature of the documentary doesn't always translate into the work that these women journalists do on ground. Lastly, the power to represent lies in whose hands. In this roundtable, Speaker 1 will open the discussion by situating ‘Khabar Lahariya’ in the documentary and their misrepresentation. Speaker 2 will unpack the historical location of women and journalism in Dalit identity politics. Speaker 3 will focus on the complex role of education in Dalit’s caste-based discrimination and how the documentary has dealt with this complexity. Speaker 4 will talk about how the documentary succeeded in critiquing the Hindu hyper nationalist politics in Uttar Pradesh. But how this bold take by the filmmakers will in reality put the KL team at extreme risk. Speaker 5 will talk about the unrealistic hero-building of the actors in the documentary. Finally, Speaker 6 will ponder on the politics of gaze and power imbalance in the documentary.


Presenter 1
Ramnarayan Rawat - rawat@udel.edu
Presenter 2
Amaal Akhtar - amlakh@uw.edu
Presenter 3
Anup Hiwrale - anuph@uw.edu (University of Washington)
Presenter 4
Anjali Yadav - ayadav06@uw.edu (University of Washington, Seattle)
Presenter 5

Poetics and Identity in Persianate South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Ayelet Kotler - ayeletkotler@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Prashant Keshavmurthy - prashant.keshavmurthy@mcgill.ca (McGill University)

A plethora of recent scholarship has discussed the history of Persian as a language of politics and culture in South Asia, used in bureaucratic, religious, and literary contexts by Muslims and others throughout the last millennium. Persianate Hindustan is thus understood to be a discrete and enduring cultural sphere located within and alongside broader religious, political, and linguistic geographic imaginaries. Focusing on the literary dimensions of this formation, our panel asks what it meant to be an “Indo-Persian” poet, and how poets proficient in numerous languages understood and articulated their own position in Hindustan within the Persianate world. Accordingly, the papers constituting this panel explore the relationship between poetics and identity in Persianate South Asia from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Organized chronologically, the first paper investigates the active linking of literary style to regional identity in the prose works of two poet-secretaries, Amīr Khusraw (d.1325), and his early-modern admirer, Munīr Lāhorī (d.1644). The second paper considers the ways in which two Mughal-era poets, Fayḍī (d.1595) and Masīḥ (d. after 1617), adapted Sanskrit stories into Persian narrative poetry, fashioning a distinctive Indo-Persian identity in the process. The third paper explores the status and function of Arabic within the “Persianate” through the writings of Ghulām ʿAlī “Āzād” Bilgrāmī (d. 1786) and other 18th-century Arabophone poets. The final paper asks how the Persian poetry of Muḥammad Iqbāl (d.1938), one of South Asia’s last major Persian poets, can be understood from within the Indo-Persian tradition, rather than from the political and religious perspectives through which it is usually interpreted. The range of these papers and the resonances between the poets and their work will contextualize contingent and enduring projects of Indo-Persian identity formation.


Presenter 1
Shaahin Pishbin - spishbin@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
On rhetoric and regionalism: the semiotics of literary style in Persianate Hindustan

Presenter 2
Ayelet Kotler - ayeletkotler@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
‘A Beautiful Garden of Meanings’: Hindustan and the Poetic Language of Indo-Persian Poets

Presenter 3
Simon Leese - simonleese@outlook.com ()
Terrains of ʿArab, ʿAjam, and Hind: Āzād Bilgrāmī and multilingual belonging in eighteenth-century South Asia

Presenter 4
Francesca Chubb-Confer - fchubbconfer@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Indo-Persian Identity Politics: Iqbal and the Persian lyric tradition


Caste, Aesthetics, and Performance in Modern India
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Sharvari Sastry - sharvari.sastry@gmail.com (Yale University)

Discussant / Chair
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu

This panel considers the relationship between caste and performance in India, from a range of historical, sociopolitical, and disciplinary perspectives. In India, performance has historically been caste-based practice – many “folk” forms have largely been performed and sustained by Dalit-Bahujan-Adivasi artists, while “classical” traditions have been the purview of upper-caste performers and patrons. The ways in which diverse performance forms are categorized, regulated and practiced in India today reflect, and reinforce, long histories of caste-based structural inequality. Yet, the question of caste – and the attendant forces of oppression and resistance – remain relatively underrepresented in existing scholarly accounts of theatre, music, and dance in the region. The papers in this panel illustrate how caste operates as an essential conceptual category, ordering various kinds of cultural discourses: such as the telling and retelling of epics, the forms and genres of political protest, reading cultures and the paradigms of dramatic adaptation, state censorship, surveillance, and social reform. Together, they illuminate how processes of appropriation and subversion are enacted, and how cultural hegemony is entrenched and destabilized. By invoking performance as both an object and method of analysis, this panel seeks to generate new understandings of the articulations of caste, and its intersections with region, class, gender, and sexuality in modern South Asia.


Presenter 1
Divya Chandramouli - dchandramouli@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Fictions of Sense: Caste and Intelligence through Menaka’s Incarnations

Presenter 2
Kaustubh Naik - naikk@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Writing Regional Theatre Histories in India

Presenter 3
Brahma Prakash - bprakash@jnu.ac.in ()
The “Social” Born in Imagination: Just Imagination in the Epic of Dina-Bhadri of the Musahar communities in Bihar

Presenter 4
Sharvari Sastry - sharvari.sastry@gmail.com (Yale University)
Jokes Apart: Improv, parody and the reform of tamasha


Identity, Citizenship and Shifting Spaces of Belonging in Mumbai, Dhaka and Karachi
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Anushay Malik - anushaym@sfu.ca (Simon Fraser University)

Discussant / Chair
Kamran Asdar Ali - asdar@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

War, forced displacement and religious persecution can produce refugees and increase the numbers of the urban poor, but that does not tell us whether those within these precarious positions are prevented from becoming part of the communities they have chosen to call home. Or put another way, to what extent are marginalized communities in South Asia able to decide who they are and where they belong? All four papers in this panel examine a different group that has a transnational presence across South Asia and uses empirically grounded work rooted in fieldwork and archival research conducted within very specific local spaces. The panel brings together historians, a sociologist and a social psychologist who explore the Dawoodi Bohra community in Mumbai, Bihari refugees in Dhaka and those who identify as Bengali in Karachi. Each of the papers in this panel argues that collective memory influences the way these groups are perceived and how they position themselves to claim “authentic” belonging in the spaces they occupy. The extent to which they can make this claim, “pass” as belonging to another community or position themselves as an “exceptional/model minority” depends on the micro level sites in which this negotiation takes place. A refugee camp, an identity card office these are the spaces in which the state takes form for these marginalized, sometimes stateless communities who have to shift the narrative of where they belong, where they are from in order to lay claim to livable futures.


Presenter 1
Humera Iqbal - h.iqbal1@ucl.ac.uk (University College London )
Inside the citizenship office: Exploring contemporary citizenship challenges faced by Pakistani Bengalis in Karachi

Presenter 2
Anushay Malik - anushaym@sfu.ca (Simon Fraser University)
Claim Making, Citizenship and Statelessness: the historical representation of Bengalis in West Pakistan

Presenter 3
Victoria Redclift - v.redclift@ucl.ac.uk (University College London)
Re-building and re-bordering: ‘Race’, space and citizenship in Dhaka

Presenter 4
Isha Dubey - isdu@cas.au.dk (Aarhus University)
‘Constructing’ Bohra-ness: Urban redevelopment and articulations of belonging and community among the Dawoodi Bohras of Bhendi Bazaar


Religion and Left Politics in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Anand Venkatkrishnan - anandv8@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Charu Gupta - charugup7@gmail.com

The decades from 1917-1947 marked the rise of leftist politics across South Asia and in its diaspora. Whether officially linked to the Soviet Comintern or in broad support of revolutionary anti-imperialism, leftist ideas, organizations, and agitations flourished in the subcontinent, and continue to inform the politics of several states in the region. This panel explores how thinkers, writers, activists, and everyday people in South Asia have understood the power of religion to engender, justify, interpret, challenge, and reimagine these political movements. Apart from work on the emergence of socialist thought among North Indian Muslims, and the role of Buddhism in Dalit political resistance, there is limited scholarly engagement with the history of religion in leftist politics in South Asia. Decades of right-wing mobilization have also associated religion invariably with reactionary politics. This panel, by contrast, provides multiple imaginings of religion and politics in modern South Asia, including Hindu communism, Buddhist socialism, and mystical Marxism. Each paper also contributes to the study of vernacular politics, both in the sense of regional language and in the sense of the quotidian or the everyday. Panelists work with a diversity of methodologies, from intellectual history to anthropological fieldwork, as well as in several regions of South Asia, from South Punjab to Sarnath.


Presenter 1
Douglas Ober - douglas.ober@ubc.ca (University of British Columbia)
Lineages of the Left: South Asian Buddhism in a Global Asian World

Presenter 2
Shozab Raza - shozab.raza@mail.utoronto.ca (Yale University)
Conjugating Universalisms: Mystical Marxism in Rural Pakistan

Presenter 3
Sarah Taylor - sptaylor@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Above and Below: Marxism in the Life and Work of D.D. Kosambi

Presenter 4
Anand Venkatkrishnan - anandv8@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Anti-Bourgeois Hinduism: Sahajanand Saraswati’s Gita Hriday


Governmental Systems of India: New Critiques and Perspectives
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Emmerich Davies - emmerich_davies_escobar@gse.harvard.edu (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Discussant / Chair
Emmerich Davies - emmerich_davies_escobar@gse.harvard.edu (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

.


Presenter 1
Anushka . - anushka18@iimcal.ac.in (Indian Institute of Managment Calcutta)
Binaries of Formal and Informal: A Case of Everyday Practices of Lower Judiciary in Bihar

Presenter 2
Anushka . - anushka18@iimcal.ac.in (Indian Institute of Managment Calcutta)
Binaries of Formal and Informal: A Case of Everyday Practices of Lower Judiciary in Bihar

Presenter 3
Emmerich Davies - emmerich_davies_escobar@gse.harvard.edu (Harvard Graduate School of Education)
From States to Markets: The Politics of Service Expansion in India

Presenter 4
Rahul Hemrajani - rahulh@email.sc.edu (University of South Carolina, Columbia)
Discretion and Bias in Auxiliary Decision-Making at the Supreme Court of India

Presenter 5
Tapaswinee Mitra - mtapaswinee@gmail.com (University of Maryland-College Park)
Rebuilding Lakshadweep: Hindutva Masculinity, Colonialism and Threat to Indigenous Traditions


Astrology and the Anthropocene
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Sarah Carson - sarah.carson@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)

Chair
Pratik Chakrabarti - pchakra7@central.uh.edu (University of Houston)

Did the modern era mark a meaningful rupture in scientific beliefs about humans’ role as a force of nature? Recent archaeological scholarship has pushed back on the historical novelty of the human species acting as a biological and geological force, even if it acknowledges the scalar change of human impact in the fossil fuel era. This panel questions the modern “watershed” framework of the anthropocene from an equally crucial angle: the history of knowledge. It brings together scholars exploring how the human-cosmos scale relation was theorized across heterogeneous scientific fields in nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Asia. Our special–but not exclusive–focus on the astral sciences aims to historicize and defamiliarize modern ways of viewing human influence on natural processes. We challenge the assumption that scientific modernization marked a clean break within philosophical debates or empirical studies about “the human,” causality, and deep time. We further contend that systematic researches in astrology, antiquity, and mythology were neither merely reactionary developments to so-called colonial knowledge, nor vestigial survivals from the past; instead, they were braided intellectual formations that addressed social and scientific problems of their moment. If one major insight of the anthropocene is that human activities–in aggregate–impact natural phenomena, astrology has sometimes restricted human agency by calculating the influences of cosmological forces upon earthly events. Still, both astrological and anthropocene cosmologies rely on structurally similar ways of relating the self to the world on extra-human scales; equally, both challenge foundational humanistic assumptions about the modern individual. Together, we will debate the ways in which accounts of European industrialization as a watershed in the history of knowledge have obscured crucial continuities and diversities in the ways scientists have represented, studied, and interacted with “the human” in relation to nature and the cosmos.


Presenter 1
Sarah Carson - sarah.carson@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Presenter 2
Siva Prashant Kumar - prashant.kumar@hu-berlin.de (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Presenter 3
Baishakh Chakrabarti - bchak@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Presenter 4
Eric Gurevitch - ericmgurevitch@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
Presenter 5
Aviroop Sengupta - aviroop.sengupta@columbia.edu

Restorative Urbanity: Motions of Bodily Repair in Indian Cities
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Sneha Annavarapu - snehanna@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)

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

This panel explores the motions of bodily repair in Indian cities. We base this panel on the premise that the everyday struggles, livelihoods, and injuries of city-dwellers generate new understandings of familiar cities. In doing so, we seek to advance knowledge on South Asian urbanity through close ethnographic attention to bodies, breakdowns, injuries and disabilities. We offer ‘restorative urbanity’ as a productive entry point to examine and theorize how city dwellers repair and mend their bodies. We suggest that acts of bodily restoration bear upon the study of urban transformations and mobilities. We ask: how may ordinary people’s anticipation and experience of injuries and disabilities enable scholars to re-think the urban form - roads, mobility, traffic, hospitals, clinics and localities – beyond the established canons of urban theory? In seeking to answer this question we gather insights from ethnographic fieldwork in the cities of Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Delhi. This panel explores the possibilities of thinking about ‘restorative urbanity’ as a concept and a framework across the disciplines of urban anthropology, sociology, science and technology studies and medical anthropology.


Presenter 1
Sneha Annavarapu - snehanna@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)
Fixing roads, fixing unruliness: geographies of blame in Hyderabad, India

Presenter 2
Malini Sur - m.sur@westernsydney.edu.au (Western Sydney University)
Mending Bones: Dissonant Mobility and Cycle-Workers in Kolkata

Presenter 3
Harris Solomon - harris.solomon@duke.edu (Duke University)
Stable Condition: Coma, Brain Injury, and the Traffic of Trauma

Presenter 4
Michele Friedner - michelefriedner@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Fixing Sensory Infrastructures: Habilitating Deafness in Indian Cities


Revisiting the Legacy of Aijaz Ahmad (1941-2022)
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Nandini Chandra - nc8@hawaii.edu (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Chair
Viren Murthy - vmurthy2@wisc.edu (UW-Madison)

This round table revisits the legacy of the recently deceased Marxist literary critic Aijaz Ahmad (1941-2022) with the aim of demonstrating his relevance to contemporary social and political theory. Ahmad’s work touches on a wide variety of topics, including Urdu literature, postcolonial theory and American imperialism. This round table, however, focuses on a specific aspect of Ahmad’s work, namely his nuanced vision of imperialism and anti-imperialist struggles. Contemporary academia has been caught between the antinomy of a vehement, but often unreflective anti-imperialism and an equally simplistic modernization theory. Contemporary leftist discourse has often embraced one of these two poles, but neither is capable of making sense of our present moment. Postcolonial theory affirms some version of the anti-imperialist, decolonial position, while certain strands of Marxism affirm a version of modernization theory. Ahmad’s often overlooked contribution is to create a path that avoids these two extremes and outlines a political project that both affirms the importance of anti-imperialist movements, while realizing to use Moishe Postone’s words, that “anti-imperialism is not a politics.” Each of the speakers in this round table engages with Ahmad’s work to interrogate his conception of anti-imperialism and its potential relationship to various political projects.


Presenter 1
Ashwin Bajaj - bajaja1@uci.edu
Presenter 2
Gayatri Mehra - gmehra@uci.edu (University of California Irvine)
Presenter 3
Viren Murthy - vmurthy2@wisc.edu (UW-Madison)
Presenter 4
Nandini Chandra - nc8@hawaii.edu (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Presenter 5

Regional Studies of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Akshaya Tankha - akshaya.tankha@yale.edu (Yale University)

Discussant / Chair
Akshaya Tankha - akshaya.tankha@yale.edu (Yale University)

.


Presenter 1
Namrata Kanchan - namrata.kanchan@utexas.edu (University of Texas, Austin)
‘Calligraphy is the tongue of the hand and translator of the abode of eternity’: Role of Calligraphy in the establishment of early modern Dakani literature

Presenter 2
Namrata Kanchan - namrata.kanchan@utexas.edu (University of Texas, Austin)
‘Calligraphy is the tongue of the hand and translator of the abode of eternity’: Role of Calligraphy in the establishment of early modern Dakani literature

Presenter 3
Akshaya Tankha - akshaya.tankha@yale.edu (Yale University)
“A museum to the Naga nation”: towards a narrative of the postcolonial house museum in South Asia”

Presenter 4
Heena Heena - v1hheena@ed.ac.uk (University of Edinburgh)
Mobility and Servitude: Domestic Servants during the Nawab-ruled Awadh (1720s-1850s)

Presenter 5
Zahra Shah - z.shah@lse.ac.uk (London School of Economics and Political Science)
The Muhandis in Mughal India (1600-1800)

Presenter 6
NGAWANG TSERING - ngatseg@gmail.com (National Institute of Sowa Rigpa)
Traditions and Culture of Ladakh: Challenges for Rebuilding and Preservation in India


From Ankahi to Sinf-e-Aahan: theorizing Pakistani TV dramas
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Elliot Montpellier - emontp@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

Discussant / Chair
Iftikhar Dadi - mid1@cornell.edu

What happens when we take Pakistani dramas seriously? What does a typology of Pakistani TV serials look like? This panel makes the argument that the TV serial is the dominant mode of fictional storytelling in Pakistan, and our papers attend to different examples of thematic and formal experimentation within the genre of the “drama serial.” The panel engages dramas from both the state-sponsored Pakistan Television (PTV) and post-liberalisation eras to theorise questions of gender, sexuality, religion, national identities, domesticities, and consumption in the context of institutional, political, economic, and textual trajectories of Pakistani dramas. We bring anthropological, narratological, historical and critical visual perspectives to bear on dramas ranging from Ankahi (1982) to Sinf-e-Aahan (2022). The panel is closely attentive to televisuality, emphasizing visual and affective aspects of dramas and audience viewing practices across the papers. We are invested in reframing common assumptions about how the shift in the television industry has become gendered, how the shift from public and private channels has been the primary mode of periodising industry changes, how “tradition and modernity” are deployed in hackneyed fashion within and around dramas, how Islam isn’t or is relevant to the genre, and how new platforms complicate sender-receiver models of audiences. Our focus is on close readings, on media technologies as both “digital” and “domestic”, and on how military patronage furthers and complicates existing notions about the industry. From Sacred Games (2018) to Squid Game (2021), Asian television has been booming in the post-network era (Kumar 2021); our panel places Pakistani dramas as part of this boom, situating traditional and contemporary contours of a dominant culture industry in South Asia and beyond.


Presenter 1
Elliot Montpellier - emontp@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
"Feedback Time": small(er) screens and recursive religiosity in Pakistani dramas

Presenter 2
Mehak Khan - mehak@berkeley.edu (UC Berkeley)
Reframing the Pakistani Woman

Presenter 3
Syed Eisar Haider - shaider1@nd.edu (University of Notre Dame )
“My Army Family”: Civil-Military Representation in Military Sponsored Television Content

Presenter 4
Aaisha Salman - aaishasalmanq@gmail.com (University of Toronto)
A History for the Home Machine: Charting the Domesticities of Pakistan’s TV Drama Serials


Familiar, yet Unfamiliar: Lesser-known Forms of Divinities in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Gudrun Buhnemann - gbuhnema@wisc.edu (The University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Gudrun Buhnemann - gbuhnema@wisc.edu (The University of Wisconsin-Madison)

The papers in this panel present new research on lesser-known forms of otherwise familiar South Asian deities from an interdisciplinary perspective. They shed new light on these manifestations using textual, art historical, anthropological and religious studies approaches. The first paper examines aspects of Bhairava as a living deity, focusing on his role as a benevolent protector and regent of the sacred city of Varanasi. As the panelist shows, this form of the deity is still connected to the widely-known transgressive form of Bhairava. The presentation is based on the interpretation of ethnographic and material evidence. The second panelist focuses on lesser-known forms of Hanuman that also function as protectors. The paper discusses representations of the divinity in Newar Buddhist monasteries (vihara) in the Kathmandu Valley. Of special interest are the aniconic representations, which include triangular openings on the façades of viharas, explained as passages through which Hanuman travels. The paper will also address Hanuman’s role in Newar Buddhism and legends narrating the divinity’s conversion to Buddhism. The third paper studies a lesser-known form of the goddess Tara in Indian Buddhism who functions as an embodied mantra. The panelist traces the development of the goddess on the basis of a passage from the Manjusriyamulakalpa, an early tantric Buddhist ritual manual, which she brings into conversation with representations of the goddess at Kanheri caves 67 and 90. The paper challenges prior identifications of Tara’s earliest visual manifestations as a “consort” of Avalokitesvara which are often found in scholarly literature. The discussant is a senior professor of Religious Studies who has published extensively on goddess worship in South Asia.


Presenter 1
seth ligo - sethligo@gmail.com (Duke University)
Your Friendly Neighborhood Bhairava: How Beneficence Enhances the Efficacy of a Supremely Transgressive Deity

Presenter 2
Gudrun Buhnemann - gbuhnema@wisc.edu (The University of Wisconsin-Madison)
The “Buddhist” Hanuman

Presenter 3
Hillary Langberg - hillarylangberg@gmail.com (National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian)
Bodhisattva Emanation and Mantra Deity: Lesser-Known Conceptions of the Goddess Tara in Indian Buddhism


A Mundane Cosmopolitics for a South Asian Anthropocene
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Adeem Suhail - asuhail@fandm.edu (Franklin and Marshall College)

Discussant / Chair
Anand Taneja - anand.v.taneja@vanderbilt.edu (Vanderbilt University)

South Asia faces the anthropocene with intensity. This is an era of unprecedented human-induced ecological degradation—via the strengthening of majoritarian political and cultural projects. Such majoritarianism often coheres as a disavowal of multiple realities that foreground the continued exploitation of shared life worlds—the existential realities of caste and patriarchal violence, agricultural crisis, pandemics, climate displacement, and destructions of sacred sites, ancestral groves, and places of worship. Simultaneously, everyday survival for minoritized South Asians entails navigating the gaps and brokenness of late industrial and postcolonial realities, where the politics of sustaining lifeworlds increasingly becomes entangled with cosmological speculation, whether it means charting the afterlives of industrial disaster; archiving historic anti-caste visions and inheritances; decolonizing adivasi temporalities; popular assembles imagined through an Islamic eco-poetics. Distinct from majoritarian visions, such popular projects are both distinctly South Asian and possess a worldly appeal. To quote Dalit artist Thenmozhi Soundararajan, they are acts of “dream[ing] at the end of the world” that entail “socially engaged speculative making”. This panel charts the mundane cosmopolitics minoritized communities forge as they encounter the ecological ends of majoritarian politics in South Asia. Focusing on the toxic uncertainties of waste work in Brahmanical Bengaluru, the aftermath of a flood in militarized Pakistan, a dam project that highlights the “underdevelopment” of eastern India, the symbolic practices that illuminate riverine ecologies in Bangladesh, and the intimate worlds women fashion as they care for and care in Himalayan ecologies, our ethnographies highlight a distinctly South Asian reckoning with the more-than-human and all-too-human. How do interlocutors and ethnographers contend with irreducible ontic differences produced by caste, religious, national, and gendered apartheids? How can experimentations with cosmopolitical realities rework epistemic and ethical limits towards mutuality? How can ethnographies juxtapose broken realities to repair South Asian futures?


Presenter 1
Adeem Suhail - asuhail@fandm.edu (Franklin and Marshall College)
Faith, Flood, and Pestilence in Inner-City Karachi

Presenter 2
Shreyas Sreenath - ssreenat@bowdoin.edu ()
On Bangalore’s Black Spots: The Speculations Strewn Garbage Make Possible

Presenter 3
Deepti Chatti - dc317@humboldt.edu ()
Braided Pollution: Smoke, Cookstoves, and Climate Change

Presenter 4
Tanmoy Sharma - tanmoy.sharma@yale.edu (Yale University)
Oil, Money and the Cosmopolitical at the Margins of Modern India

Presenter 5
Anabelle Suitor - anabelle_suitor@brown.edu (Brown University)
Imagining the Divine, The Demonic: Desire and the Feminine in Chittagong’s Fisheries


Crafting Home: A Feminist Gaze on Identity and Belonging in the Bengali Diaspora
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Chaitali Sen - sen.chaiti@gmail.com (Sarabande Books, Europa Editions)

Discussant / Chair
Mehnaaz Momen - mehnaaz@yahoo.com

In the different genres of the novel, short story, and memoir, four Bengali women writers explore the subject of the modern Bengali identity and analyze the notion of home and belonging in their work. Presenter 1's short story collection A New Race of Men from Heaven follows characters who struggle to live in the world on their own terms. Their quest to find a home mirrors the unrest of the world they inhabit but cannot call their own. Presenter 2’s short story collection Two Women explores the experience of the Bangladeshi diaspora, describing the collision of people with war, immigration, and poverty, often centering the effects of these disparate forces on women’s lives. Presenter 3’s memoir of a girl growing up in Bangladesh in the 1970s recreates her home city of Dhaka as a space of secularism and tolerance. Presenter 4’s novel, Everything Here Belongs to You, is about the coming of age of two young girls in Kolkata, raised together, one in privilege and the other in repression, caught in the web of traditions and love triangles. These four women writers write out of an unresolved tension of what it means to be Bengali. Their collective work explores the quest for identity and belonging in Bengali literature in English, examining the construction of home and the imaginary space of the Bengali diaspora.


Presenter 1
Chaitali Sen - sen.chaiti@gmail.com (Sarabande Books, Europa Editions)
Identity and Belonging in the Diaspora Through the Lens of the Short Story

Presenter 2
gemini wahhaj - gemini.wahhaj@gmail.com (Lone Star College)
Wars, Borders, and Class and the Bangladeshi Diaspora

Presenter 3
Mehnaaz Momen - mehnaaz@yahoo.com ()
Identity and Belonging: Recreating Dhaka

Presenter 4
Saborna Roychowdhury - sabornaroy@gmail.com ()
Identity and Belonging: Two Realities of Kolkata


We Remember the Footprints of violence: “Writing” Kashmir and Sri Lanka.
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Asiya Zahoor - az277@gmail.com (Cornell )

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

Writings from places saturated with violence offers an intriguing portrayal of the intersections of memory, trauma, and testimony. These themes, which have always been entangled with the experiences of writers and scholars from marginalized political spaces are given a complex quality by writers who creates a web through their poetics to link memory, forgetting, trauma and various forms of testimonies in a range of contexts .Under the shadow of the state censorship where mere witnessing of an event becomes an act of resistance, the panel investigates the challenges of narrating a traumatic event in poetry or in any testimony. Chrean Rudhramoorthy in his paper he explores the dilemmas of writing mass atrocities and genocide. Anushiya Ramaswamy in her paper reads of Cheran’ s poetry as a counter discourse to the official versions of violent events that transpired in Sri Lanka in the wake of state repression of Tamils and Muslims. Asiya Zahoor in her paper comments on the various literary poetic forms used by Kashmiri writers to deal with trauma and to bear witness of the events as they unfold before them. Geethika’s paper relies on textual and discursive analysis from the testimonies provided by the Muslim victims of violence, village donor and business organizations, leaders, and monks. The larger question that guides her work concerns the relationship of “Buddhists” to “violence.” It examines the conditions of possibilities for the emergence of Buddhist violence located outside of state control yet indebted to post-colonial avowedly secular electoral procedures, claiming premodern precedent for activities supported by a neo-liberal economic order.


Presenter 1
Asiya Zahoor - az277@gmail.com (Cornell )
Trauma and Testimony: Study of Recent Kashmiri Writings

Presenter 2
Geethika Dharmasinghe - gdi4@cornell.edu (Cornell University )
: “New Economics”: Sinhala Buddhist Brotherhood and Violence against Muslims

Presenter 3
Anushiya Ramaswamy - anushiya.ramaswamy@gmail.com (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)
When Sorrow Refuses to Melt: The “Post-Disaster” Poems of Cheran

Presenter 4
Cheran Rudhramoorthy - cr592@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Writing the Unwritable


Between “Elite” and “Vernacular”: Understanding Hindu Communities as Sites of Cultural Production through Sound, Performance, Text
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Dheepa Sundaram - dheepa.sundaram@du.edu (University of Denver)

Discussant / Chair
Dheepa Sundaram - dheepa.sundaram@du.edu (University of Denver)

This panel explores the negotiations between so-called “elite” and “vernacular” registers of performance traditions, texts, and sounds. By exploring the semiotics of prayer books, pop music, dance, and temple acoustics, these papers show how such media and spaces become sites of cultural production. The first paper considers how the acoustics of Hoysala-era temples in Karnataka facilitate devotees’ auditory experience during the performance of large-scale pūjās, arguing that auditory aspects of ritual performance are central to the logic of these temples’ design. The second analyzes the sound valencies Laxmi Dubey, a prominent Hindu nationalist pop artist, uses to construct and reinforce a militaristic meaning of the ḍhol-tasha. The third paper explores how Krishna’s prominence in post-independence Kathak dance troupes indexes the modern Sanskritization of Indian arts, consciously connecting vernacular bhakti performance traditions with Sanskrit aesthetics. The final paper focuses on representations of the goddess in Assamese prayer books, arguing that they represent a non-canonical feminist vernacular Hinduism that directly contends with Sanskritic goddess narratives. Taken together each of these papers spotlights cultural production through community-building mechanisms. Broadly, these essays speak to how the popular sacred in India remains culturally dynamic, intertwined with elite traditions while seeking to redefine itself in the face of a modernity shaped by global social, economic, political, and cultural forces.


Presenter 1
Vani Vignesh - vvign007@fiu.edu (FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY)
Amplifying Hindu Devotion Through the Sounds of Hoysala Architecture

Presenter 2
Tyler Thom - tylerthom123@gmail.com (University of Denver)
Hindutva Pop: Laxmi Dubey’s Militarization of the Ḍhol-tasha

Presenter 3
Hannah Stoltenberg - hstolty94@gmail.com ()
Krishna in Kathak: The God of Devotion, Play, and Cultural Reclamation

Presenter 4
Deeptangshu Das - deeptangshu.das@du.edu (University of Denver and ILIFF School of Theology )
Domesticating Goddesses through Prayer Booklets: The Poetics of Assamese Vernacular Hinduism


Creator Cultures: Life, Labor and Leisure in Digital India
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Anirban Baishya - abaishya@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Anirban Baishya - abaishya@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Ours is the age of platform capitalism, where the individual person gains value as a consumer and a “user.” It is not without reason that “You” was named the person of the year by Time magazine in 2006—the (you)ser after all, is everything. Simultaneously, the individual also becomes the locus of material and immaterial forms of labor, well encapsulated in the term “creator culture.” As Craig and Cunningham (2021) state, creator culture engenders the convergence of traditional media industries with digital and social networking platforms. This panel engages with the emerging terrain of creator culture in India, where digital access has created new opportunities for self-making and work. In her paper on Malegaon’s informal film production cultures, Speaker 1 explores how cine-workers slide between multiple industries and locations, including YouTube, where comedy videos propel some of them into “micro-celebrity” status. Speaker 2 paper examines forms of digital labor around cine-meme culture in Tamil Nadu. Focusing on the intersections between cinema, politics, and memes, Speaker 2 explores how the seemingly leisurely act of meme-making is itself a form of affective political labor. Speaker 3 paper explores the possibilities of queer self-making through selfie practices on platforms such as Instagram. Examining the work of queer artists and performers, his paper interrogates the selfie as a form of queer collectivity sustained by affective labor. Sticking with the theme of selfies, Speaker 4 paper explores how selfies and user-generated content inaugurate new possibilities of entrepreneurship. Focusing on two microcelebrity figures, his paper also explores the role of aspiration, class, and taste in the digital creator economy. Collectively, the papers in this panel ask, if we are in the age of what is being called “Digital India,” what exactly are the parameters of life, work, and leisure in this emerging terrain?


Presenter 1
Ramna Walia - ramna.walia@gmail.com (UPES)
From the shadows to the spotlight: Micro-celebrity culture and inter-regional cine-mobilities of Malegaon productions

Presenter 2
Amrutha Kunapulli - kunapull@msu.edu ()
Meme Mokkai: Towards an Ontology of Tamil Memes

Presenter 3
Spandan Bhattacharya - spandan@hyderabad.bits-pilani.ac.in (BITS-Pilani)
Queering the Selfie: Mapping the Journey of Digital Selfhood in India on Social Networking Site

Presenter 4
Anirban Baishya - abaishya@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Theaters of the Self(ie): Social Media Platforms and Selfie Entrepreneurship in India


Urdu-Persianate Literary Worlds
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Poorna Swami - poorna.s@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin )

Discussant / Chair
Poorna Swami - poorna.s@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin )

.


Presenter 1
Aziz Mahdi - azizmahdi@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Advance Studies- Shimla)
Civilizational Epics: A Comparative Study of Mahābhārata and Shāhnāmeh

Presenter 2
Aziz Mahdi - azizmahdi@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Advance Studies- Shimla)
Civilizational Epics: A Comparative Study of Mahābhārata and Shāhnāmeh

Presenter 3
Poorna Swami - poorna.s@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin )
Letters of Love and Labor: Translating Safiya Akhtar’s Zer-e-Lab

Presenter 4
Ilma Qureshi - iq5sb@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
The way lyric moves and morphs: Exploring 'Iraqi's poetics


Languages of Caste in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Niharika Yadav - niharika@princeton.edu (Princeton University)

Discussant / Chair
Shailaja Paik - paiksa@ucmail.uc.edu (University of Cincinnati)

Our panel explores the ‘social function’ of language as a key axis for the production of caste identities and practices in South Asia (Kaviraj, 2010). The vital scholarship of literary historians has shown how changes in linguistic pedagogies, patronage networks, and print cultures throughout the 19th century turned language into one of the main sites for fashioning new political and social practices in South Asia. Recent scholarship on caste expands on these insights. On the one hand, scholars have examined the role of English as a juridical apparatus, cultural discourse, and political idiom for signifying modernity in South Asia (Pandian 2007; Dhareshwar 1993; Chandra 2012; Deshpande 2013). On the other hand, scholars studying the making of elite authority in vernacular languages have brought forth similar operations that worked to entrench (sanskritic) Brahmanical authority in new South Asian vernaculars (Naregal 2001; Orsini 2002; Maitreya 2022). Thus, language is a key medium through which interlinked processes of secularization and modernization have refashioned caste hierarchies. Against this backdrop, our panel asks: what are the possibilities and limits of projects seeking to challenge existing caste hierarchies by remaking linguistic hierarchies? Spanning historical, regional and linguistic contexts, individual papers examine attempts to inaugurate new modes of speaking, writing, and being against existing caste practices. Drawing on ethnographic, archival and literary methodologies, our panel examines caste as practice (Jaaware 2018), tracing the ways in which it is reproduced through specific operations of language in literature, epistemology, political protest, and everyday sociality. By tracing the imbrications of caste and language across contexts of politics, education, and literary practice, individual papers in this panel offer ways to answer Dhareshwar’s provocation: how do we elaborate an anti-caste politics orientated towards ‘new ways of being, of being together….how do we name this theory?’


Presenter 1
Niharika Yadav - niharika@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
The People vs English: Angrezi Hatāo and the ‘Spiritual Demand’ for Socialism

Presenter 2
Ketaki Jaywant - jaywa001@umn.edu (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Varna in two senses: Caste, knowledge, and the Shudra Question in nineteenth-century Western India

Presenter 3
Sanjukta Poddar - sanjukta@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
The Language of Caste Publics in North India: The Relationship of Kalwars with Hindi and the Arya Samaj

Presenter 4
Kriti Budhiraja - budhi006@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
“Language divide” and “groupism” at Delhi University


Sexual Ethics and Gendered Aesthetics in Islamicate South Asia, c. 15th to 21st cty.
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Anuj Kaushal - anujkaushal@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

Discussant / Chair
Asiya Alam - aalam@lsu.edu (Louisiana State University)

This panel investigates the diverse processes of constructing sexuality and genders in Islamicate South Asia. The panel consists of four presenters; each analyzes the intercultural cross-pollination of ideas around sexuality. The panelists deploy a collaborative longue durée perspective from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century as its speakers study diverse themes of Indo-Islamicate medicine, literature, religion, and metaphysics. The imbrication of gender and sexuality across these themes enables the panelists to highlight alternate modalities of perceiving a body and assembling its habitus. The first paper highlights a fifteenth-century negotiation of epistemic boundaries, reflected by appropriations and omissions in translating medical texts on reproductive health from Ayurveda into Tibb. The second paper analyzes an eighteenth-century cross-pollination of sexual profiles in "eroto-medical" texts to delineate feminine sexual behaviors. The third paper presents a nineteenth-century alternative paradigm of conceptualizing a vernacular science of sex rooted in Greco-Islamicate metaphysics and medicine through an analysis of respectable yet passionate intimacy. Finally, the fourth paper presents a modern perspective of individualism and the formation of sexuality as its identity using alternative modalities of desire and intimacy in traditionalist Islam. Through this process, the panel aims to open up conversations about intertextuality, biopolitics, and plurality in South Asian Islamicate societies, especially on topics of sexual ethics and gendered esthetics.


Presenter 1
Shireen Hamza - shireenhamza@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Translating Gender and Medicine in Medieval Gujarat

Presenter 2
Sonia Wigh - sw634@exeter.ac.uk ()
“If your bībī is from Hindūstān”: Geography as a Marker of Sexual Behaviour in Early Modern Persianate Texts

Presenter 3
Anuj Kaushal - anujkaushal@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Fann-e Mubāsharat : Science of Sex and Respectability in 19th-century Shahjahanabad

Presenter 4
Ali Mian - alimian@ufl.edu ()
Technologies of Belonging: The Affective Foundations of Community and Sect in Modern South Asian Islam


Development and Governance in India: Exploring Multiple Pathways and Crosscurrents
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 2: Thursday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Himanshu Jha - jha@uni-heidelberg.de (Heidelberg University)

Chair
Himanshu Jha - jha@uni-heidelberg.de (Heidelberg University)

This roundtable proposes to bring together authors of six recent books on contemporary social and political challenges in India. Following six books tackle these important issues from various vantage points such as- governance, welfare, state-society relations, women’s rights, institutions, and institutional change. "Capable women, Incapable States" (Oxford University Press 2020) shows how India’s criminal justice system governs violence against women and how women navigate the system. "Farewell to Arms" (Oxford University Press 2021) examines how rebels become stakeholders in the very political system which they sought to challenge. "Patching development" (Oxford University Press 2021) critically reflects on innovative ways of governance through which public policies can work for its intended beneficiaries. "Women, Power, and Property" (Cambridge University Press 2020) examines an important question of women quotas and whether they have been able to disrupt the embedded social and political hierarchies. "Indian Sexual Politics and the Global AIDS Crisis" (Stanford University Press 2021) explores the emerging politics of citizenship at a unique intersection between crisis and citizenship ,where, a window of opportunity opened for marginalized communities of sex workers and LGBTIQ to renegotiate citizenship and demand rights from the state. Finally, "Capturing Institutional Change" (Oxford University Press 2020) explains how institutions change in a politically complex and large democracies like India through the lens of explaining the evolution of Right to Information Act 2005.The objective of this roundtable is to have authors critically engage with each other’s scholarship to discuss the learnings; core arguments; identify continuities and departures; and also reflect on future research directions and methodologies.


Presenter 1
Poulami Roychowdhury - poulami.roychowdhury@mcgill.ca
Presenter 2
Rumela Sen - rs3820@columbia.edu
Presenter 3
Rajesh Veeraraghavan - rajesh.veera@georgetown.edu (Georgetown University)
Presenter 4
Gowri Vijayakumar - gowri@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)
Presenter 5
RACHEL BRULE - rebrule@bu.edu (Boston University)

Everyday Islamic Law and the Making of Modern South Asia
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Nicholas Abbott - nabbott@odu.edu (Old Dominion University)

Chair
Mitra Sharafi - mitra.sharafi@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

How did Muslim legal professionals—qazis (judges, magistrates) and muftis (juris-consultants)—respond to the advent of British colonial rule in South Asia and the formation of an Anglo-Indian legal regime? And how did their adaptations and accommodations reshape the legal lives of ordinary South Asian Muslims up to the present? These are the questions that animate Elizabeth Lhost’s forthcoming monograph, Everyday Islamic Law and the Making of Modern South Asia (UNC Press, 2022). Utilizing a novel and expansive archive of overlooked sources in Persian, Urdu, and English, Lhost brings together a sweeping array of case studies from across British India and the wider Indian Ocean world to chart how qazis and mutfis redefined their offices and responsibilities in reaction to colonial state formation—and, in so doing, reconfigured the legal paths and possibilities that defined the lived experience of Islamic law for Muslims in colonial and post-colonial South Asia. Moving beyond paradigms of “jural colonization” and “revival and reform,” Lhost’s work raises profound questions about how ordinary Muslims experienced the momentous religious and legal changes of the colonial era, and about the multiple meanings of secularism and legal pluralism in contemporary South Asia. Reflecting the book’s far-reaching scope, this roundtable discussion brings together an interdisciplinary group of historians, anthropologists, and religious studies scholars specializing in colonial and post-colonial South Asian history, law, and Islam to respond to Lhost’s work. Chairing the panel, Speaker 1 (Law) specializes in the legal history and culture of modern South Asia. Speaker 2 (History) examines state formation and legal institution building in early colonial Bengal. Speakers 3 and 4 (Religious Studies) explore the interplay between Muslim scholars, religious polemics, and democratic politics in modern South Asia. Speaker 5 (Anthropology) writes on secularism and Islamic legal practice in contemporary India.


Presenter 1
Robert Travers - trt5@cornell.edu
Presenter 2
SherAli Tareen - sherali.tareen@fandm.edu (Franklin & Marshall College)
Presenter 3
Mashal Saif - mashalsaif@gmail.com (Clemson)
Presenter 4
Katherine Lemons - katherine.lemons@mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Presenter 5
Elizabeth Lhost - Elizabeth.Lhost@dartmouth.edu (Dartmouth College)

EUGENIC IRONIES
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Harleen Singh - harleen@brandeis.edu (Brandeis university )

Discussant / Chair
Harleen Singh - harleen@brandeis.edu (Brandeis university )

This panel focuses on the varied histories and continued legacies and manifestations of eugenics in India. Topics to be discussed include those colonial eugenic projects, eugenics as a site of contestation between colonialism and nationalism, pro-natalist projects pre-independence, birth control movements in India and their connections to international movements for birth control, the links between eugenics and population control policies, the rhetoric of overpopulation in India and globally, eugenics during the Emergency, and other topics. The panel will also consider contemporary resonances and expressions of eugenics, and will take up matters such as new reproductive technologies, transnational surrogacy, the links between eugenics and Hindu nationalism, eugenics and the climate crisis, the eugenic rhetoric within the current Covid-19 crisis, and other topics.


Presenter 1
Asha Nadkarni - nadkarni@english.umass.edu (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Eugenic Ironies

Presenter 2
Jyoti Puri - jyoti.puri@simmons.edu ()
Bodies and Burning Ghats in US-American Travelogues

Presenter 3
Banu Subramaniam - banu@wost.umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Epistemic Flexibility: Eugenics by Other Names

Presenter 4
Harleen Singh - harleen@brandeis.edu (Brandeis university )
“Love Jihad”: Purity, Eugenics, and the Nation


Producing Modern Publics: Whose Job Is It Anyway?
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Rich Thornton - thisisrichthornton@gmail.com (University of Sussex)

Discussant / Chair
Rich Thornton - thisisrichthornton@gmail.com (University of Sussex)

The promise of anti-colonial modernity in the mid-twentieth century was one that privileged the role of centralized intervention. Once the reins of power were seized, it was posited, planning could be mobilized to produce a nation of “modern” subjects. Within this discourse, certain sites were seen as privileged engines of producing this new public. On the one hand, cities – understood then as dense concentrations of industrial activity – were believed to contain the potential to subvert traditional caste and religious antagonisms. On the other, schools – and more broadly, modern, desegregated education – took on the valence of a panacea to produce an enlightened subject. After decades of political fragmentation, social and political movements, and the emergence of various nested, segmented and overlapping notions of identity – the question of who or what constitutes the “public” is perhaps more vexed than ever. Does a “modern” Indian exist, and if not, whose job is it to produce this subject? This panel explores these questions of political subjectification – thinking through how they manifest themselves in the present and what implications they hold for the future. How does city planning come to serve dominant caste-groups, rather than aid the creation of post-caste publics? How does a reconceptualization of the nation-state as a verb help us explore the political subjectivities of Kashmiris living in Delhi? How are education NGOs centring on self-reflection caught in the illogic of developing a political self through spiritual means? And how is caste as an axis of inequality eclipsed by ‘gender’ during the ‘diversity and inclusion’ workshops of a women-focused tech industry? By examining these disparate yet interconnected strands of inquiry, the panel hopes to shed light on the tensions of creating modern publics.


Presenter 1
Rich Thornton - thisisrichthornton@gmail.com (University of Sussex)
Teaching the self-as-locus-of-social-change in the Indian Education Reform Movement

Presenter 2
dyuti a - da363@sussex.ac.iuk (University of Sussex )
CHECKPOINTS: EXPLORING POLITICAL SUBJECTIVITIES

Presenter 3
Pranav Kuttaiah - kuttaiah@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Towards a Just City: Planning for Post-Caste Publics

Presenter 4
Palashi Vaghela - pmv49@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Women? In? Technology?: Politics of Merit, Modernity And Identity in the Computing Industry of India


New Trends in South Asian Archaeological Research
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Sneha Chavali - schavali2@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Monica L. Smith - smith@anthro.ucla.edu (University of California Los Angeles)

Recent studies on archaeological materials from the Indus Civilization have introduced new frameworks providing deeper insights into the technologies and their complex production trajectories. These frameworks were achieved by incorporating refined approaches and techniques like ceramic petrography, imagery analysis using art history methodologies, experimental analysis, point-counting technique elliptical fourier function analysis, LA-ICP-MS, and others. The papers presented in this panel focus on how new approaches and comparative analyses of Indus material records can help establish a framework for interpreting Indus Traditions. The panel has presenters from the United States, Pakistan, and India. Three of the panelists will present in person and the fourth panelist will be giving a virtual presentation. The first paper in the panel focuses on the use of new comparative techniques to obtain typologies and record production processes of Harappan pottery from the Ravi and Kot Diji phases. In the second paper, Indus seal production technology is studied through the lens of methodologies adopted from art history, hence adding a new set of tools to interpret the functionality of seals. The third paper presents recent developments in the study of Indus faience technology production, by comparing methodologies used in Indus and other contemporaneous civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. The last paper presents the results of different scientific methods used to analyze the provenience of Indus-style carnelian beads found in Bet Dagan, Israel.


Presenter 1
Nafees Ahmad - nafeesarchaeologist80@gmail.com (Quaid e Azam University Islamabad)
New Approaches to the study of Early Harappan Pottery: The Ravi and Kot Diji Pottery from Harappa (3700-2600 BCE)

Presenter 2
Marta Ameri - marta.ameri@colby.edu (Colby College)
Mobilizing Art Historical Methodologies for the Study of Harappan Artifacts

Presenter 3
Sneha Chavali - schavali2@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Recent developments in the study of Harappan faience technologies: A comparison of approaches to examine ancient faience production.

Presenter 4
Geoffrey E. Ludvik - ludvik@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Tracing Indus-style Beads in the Levant: New Evidence from Comparative and Contextual Analyses


Lineages of the feminist, anti-feminist and accidentally feminist in India
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Srila Roy - srila.roy@wits.ac.za (University of Witwatersrand)

Chair
Srimati Basu - srimati.basu@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)

This roundtable will bring together scholars on gender and sexuality working on contemporary India to explore the social and political lineages that inform organizing and outcomes, in the name of women’s rights, sexual rights and men’s rights. It will offer new ways to consider how the politics of gender and sexuality might both disrupt and stabilize our claims to social change. The conversation will take, as its starting point, the forthcoming book, Changing the Subject (2022), which maps a rapidly transforming terrain of feminist and queer politics in neoliberal India. The book shows how activist and NGO mobilizations in the name of women’s and queer rights have a range of outcomes. The roundtable will probe several provocations of this book, in placing it in conversation with related research (including two new books, At Risk and Accidental Feminism). This includes how transnational funding, HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 provide an opening for the unexpected politicization of “at risk” groups, like sex workers and LGBT populations, and even for contesting and reimagining the established legacies of Indian feminism. The discussion will also engage sites that are less amenable to feminism or are explicitly anti-feminist, such as gender fair elite organizations and a growing Indian men’s rights movement. Panellists include: Speaker 1, a socio-legal scholar at the University of California, Irvine, will draw on her book, Accidental Feminism. Speaker 2, professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Kentucky, will speak on the men’s movement in India. Speaker 3, a doctoral candidate at York University, will address queer feminisms in India. Speaker 4, associate professor of sociology at Wits University, South Africa, will speak to her book, Changing the Subject. Speaker 5, assistant professor of sociology at Brandies will draw on her book on HIV/AIDS, At Risk.


Presenter 1
Swethaa Ballakrishnen - sballakrishnen@law.uci.edu (University of California Irvine)
Presenter 2
Srimati Basu - srimati.basu@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)
Presenter 3
Shraddha Chatterjee - schatte9@yorku.ca (York University)
Presenter 4
Srila Roy - srila.roy@wits.ac.za (University of Witwatersrand)
Presenter 5
Gowri Vijayakumar - gowri@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)

Rebuilding South Indian Śaivism
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Eric Steinschneider - esteinschneider@ithaca.edu (Ithaca College)

Discussant / Chair
Eric Steinschneider - esteinschneider@ithaca.edu (Ithaca College)

In the aftermath of what Alexis Sanderson has termed “The Śaiva Age,” communities across southern India creatively reimagined religious traditions centered on the worship of the deity Śiva in ways that decisively shaped contemporary expressions of regional culture. Despite recent advances in scholarship, many questions remain about the precise processes of change and continuity that contributed to these transformations. This panel explores the reconstitution of South Indian Śaivism between the thirteenth and nineteenth centuries within several distinct social, institutional, and theological contexts. Drawing on a rich array of Kannada-, Sanskrit-, and Tamil-language sources, as well as visual and material evidence, the panel examines key textual practices and political strategies through which Śaiva identities came to be (re)defined. Speaker 1 discusses the bounds of human personhood and its relation to material objects in the early (13–14th) centuries of the Vīraśaiva tradition in the Andhra region through the case of the prānalinga or “life-breath linga.” Speaker 2 considers the constitution of early Tamil Advaita Vedānta by focusing on the rationale behind a 15th century translation of the Īśvara Gītā and how this translation contributes to shaping a terminology for Advaita Vedānta in Tamil. Speaker 3 interrogates two cases of rebellion by communities of Viraśaiva-Lingāyatas against the Mysore court in the late seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries to understand how the identities of minority religious traditions were subject to interpretation and manipulation by political powers who decide their insider or outsider status. Speaker 4 analyzes an early modern Tamil-language polemic against meat consumption, arguing that the current tendency to equate Tamil Śaivism with vegetarianism is historically related to the emergence of new notions of “self” and “other” in this period and a corresponding need to rethink the contour and configuration of community boundaries


Presenter 1
Elaine Fisher - emf@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Religion and Materiality in Early Vīraśaivism

Presenter 2
Srilata Raman - s.raman@utoronto.ca (University Of Toronto)
Creating a Vocabulary for Tamil Advaita Vedānta – Tattuvarāyar (15th century) and the Īśvara Gīta

Presenter 3
Caleb Simmons - calebsimmons@arizona.edu ()
Boundaries of Religion and Lingāyatism in the Early Modern and Colonial Royal Courts of Mysore

Presenter 4
Eric Steinschneider - esteinschneider@ithaca.edu (Ithaca College)
Meat Is Murder: Dietary Polemics in Early Modern South India


Disaster Management in South Asia; Combining the Traditional Approach with Emerging Technology Trends
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Bilal Aslam - bilalfsd@gmail.com (University of the Punjab, Lahore)

Discussant / Chair
Bilal Aslam - bilalfsd@gmail.com (University of the Punjab, Lahore)

Events such as floods, droughts, cyclones, earthquakes and landslides occur regularly in South Asian Region and they are a matter of great concern, especially given their impact on lives and livelihoods. While they may not all be completely preventable, there is scope to put certain mechanisms in place in order to create a robust disaster management system, which can help reduce risk and loss of life to a large extent. These mechanisms need to be adapted to various situations that arise during disaster relief. There is a dire need to fill the gap in the establishment and implementation of a sound disaster risk management system to complement the resilience capabilities of the effected communities of the South Asia. The group evaluates the disaster risk reduction (DRR) mechanism and strategy by the South Asian States and underscores that emerging situation necessitates close coordination and cooperation and can leverage the SAARC Comprehensive Framework on Disaster Management to influence the disaster risk management (DRM) in a meaningful way. The group also highlights the role of emerging technology trends on the disaster management in South Asia by analyzing the emerging technologies (ETs) impact on improving performance in disaster management (DM) processes. Lastly, the group explores the impact of social media on disaster management cycle in South Asia by highlighting the use of social media functions in providing better communication approach during disaster management cycle in South Asia. The group maintains that the Technology has the potential to transform disaster management, especially if one can successfully integrate emerging technologies (ETs) with existing infrastructure.


Presenter 1
Bilal Aslam - bilalfsd@gmail.com (University of the Punjab, Lahore)
Evaluation of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Mechanism in South Asia

Presenter 2
Ameena Tanvir - ameenatanvir555@gmail.com (Government College University, Lahore)
An Exploratory Study on SAARC Comprehensive Framework on Disaster Management

Presenter 3
Ahmad Mukhtar - ahmedklair74@gmail.com (GIFT University, Gujranwala)
The Role of Emerging Technology Trends on the Disaster Management in South Asia

Presenter 4
Aleena Khan - iamaleenakhan@gmail.com (Information Technology University, Lahore)
The Impact of Social Media on Disaster Management Cycle in South Asia


New Political Examinations of Bangladesh
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Salwa Hoque - sth322@nyu.edu (New York University)

Discussant / Chair
Salwa Hoque - sth322@nyu.edu (New York University)

.


Presenter 1
Syed Akhtar Mahmood - smahmood1956a@gmail.com (Retired World Bank staff)
Policy, Markets and Entrepreneurship: Synergies explaining Bangladesh's remarkable economic transformation

Presenter 2
Syed Akhtar Mahmood - smahmood1956a@gmail.com (Retired World Bank staff)
Policy, Markets and Entrepreneurship: Synergies explaining Bangladesh's remarkable economic transformation

Presenter 3
Zunaid Almamun - zunaidalmamun@wayne.edu (Wayne State University)
Politics in Bangladesh under A Hybrid Regime

Presenter 4
Salwa Hoque - sth322@nyu.edu (New York University)
Rethinking the Design and Use of Legal Research Software Through Perspectives From Bangladeshi Non-State Legal System (Shalish)

Presenter 5
Khan Murshid - kasmurshid@gmail.com (Shabab Murshid Development Foundation)
The Bangladesh Story: Revisiting the Odds


Religious innovation and ethical action in contemporary Sri Lanka: reconfiguring the good life.
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Mark Whitaker - mark.whitaker@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)

Discussant / Chair
Mark Whitaker - mark.whitaker@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)

What is the relationship between religious innovation, ethical action, and imagining a “good life” in Sri Lanka? There, various forms of religiosity -- Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian, as well as a variety of New Religious Movements – all support orthodox accounts of what a good life should be. But the practical path to achieving any particular telos, whether imagined as dhamma, dharma, grace, or submission, has always run through the rough landscape of Lankas complex history. Contemporary Sri Lanka’s ethnically plural and multi-religious landscape is, and has long been, the scene of considerable religious innovation. That is, historically, religious innovation has long been a way of adjusting local action and agency to comprehend outside challenges. This panel argues that religious innovations which include not just changes in the structure and activities of religious institutions (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim) but also alternations in ritual practices that reach deep into the daily lives and intimate relations of homes, communities, and individuals, have also altered how people go about making ethical judgements; and do so partly by reconfiguring (in small or large ways, epistemologically and ontologically) what constitutes a good life.


Presenter 1
Mark Whitaker - mark.whitaker@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)
Religious innovation and ethical action in contemporary Sri Lanka: reconfiguring the good life.

Presenter 2
Sasikumar Balasundaram - sbalasundaram@wm.edu ()
Nelum Batto Me(me) Ratta: A cyber anthropological analysis of the ethnoreligious lotus Republic of Sri Lanka.

Presenter 3
Pathmaensan Sanmugeswaran - spath@ou.ac.ik ()
Religious and ritual innovations in the Hindu-Saiva Pantheon of Jaffna Peninsula, Sri Lanka

Presenter 4
Jude Lucksiri Fernando - jfernando@clarku.edu (Clark University)
Liberating Religion from Racism and Neoliberalism


Critical Histories of Indian Classical Dance: Gender, Race and Religion
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Sitara Thobani - thobanis@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

Discussant / Chair
Sitara Thobani - thobanis@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

Bringing together papers that each conduct critical histories of different forms of Indian classical dance from within their respective traditions, this panel explores how studies of Indian classical dance engage with and contribute to some of the most pressing critical theoretical traditions of our time, including critical race studies, feminist and queer studies, and studies of class, caste and religion. Analyzing the political, philosophical and cultural implications of the designation ‘classical’ that has served to demarcate the performance traditions that came to be categorized under the banner of ‘Indian classical dance’ in the postcolonial context, panelists pay particular attention to the intersecting formations of gender, race and religion that inform and are shaped by these performance traditions. Moreover, by drawing on a range of methodological approaches in their studies and centering critical histories of Indian classical dance, the papers presented shed light on the different and multiple forms of knowledge that are made possible when focus is given to the dancing body. Drawing on a range of historical material as well as embodied experiences that span multiple geographic and cultural locations, the papers draw further attention to the global dimensions of the history that has produced Indian classical dance, an amalgamation of dance styles that is too often used to construct ideas of a coherent and stable Indian national identity.


Presenter 1
Anurima Banerji - anurima@arts.ucla.edu ()
The Impossibility of Indian Classical Dance

Presenter 2
Rumya Putcha - rsputcha@uga.edu ()
The Modern Courtesan

Presenter 3
Kaustavi Sarkar - ksarkar@uncc.edu ()
Philosophy of the Dancing Body

Presenter 4
Sitara Thobani - thobanis@msu.edu (Michigan State University)
Re-Presenting the Indian Dancer: Gender, Sexuality and the New Orientalism


New Feminist Media(tions): Caste Endogamy, Ageism, Viral Videos, and Cultural Production
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Nidhi Shrivastava - shrivastavan@sacredheart.edu (Sacred Heart University )

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

In the edited volume, Media as Politics in South Asia (2017), Sahana Udupa argues that recent incidents of viral videos of violence against Muslim bodies in Myanmar that are circulated on social media outlets such as Whatsapp have been factors leading to riots. She notes, “...internet media and mobile messaging have begun to intersect with religious politics to create a climate of intrigue, excitement, and fear” (Udupa 191; emphasis added). Given the recent controversies surrounding the circulation of controversial videos in South Asia, including the lynching of rapists, the violence against Muslims, and the Covid-19 pandemic, our panel problematizes how the “new” media has refashioned cultural productions from the region, its representations and circulation/dissemination within the sub-continent, but also in the diaspora. Our panel deploys a postcolonial feminist theoretical framework to interrogate the impact of new technology in the understanding of modernity in South Asia through papers on inter-caste marriages, ageism in Bollywood, viral videos, and transformative performances.


Presenter 1
Nidhi Shrivastava - shrivastavan@sacredheart.edu (Sacred Heart University )
Recasting Yesteryear Bollywood’s Female Stars: Politics of Gender, Celebrity Ageism, and Stardom

Presenter 2
Billie Thoidingjam Guarino - thoidingjam@gmail.com ()
Militarized Modernity: The Dialectics of Transformative Performances in Manipur

Presenter 3
SOIBAM HARIPRIYA - priya.soibam@gmail.com ( University of Texas at Austin)
Viral Chathalluro? — Should I Make You Go Viral?

Presenter 4
Ruma Sinha - rumas1@gmail.com (Syracuse University)
Indian Matchmaking, Modernity, and Global Caste Conventions in Urban Marriages


Book Roundtable: The Idea of Indian Literature: Gender, Genre, and Comparative Method (Northwestern University Press, August 2022) by Preetha Mani
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Jennifer Dubrow - jdubrow@uw.edu (University of Washington)

Chair
Jennifer Dubrow - jdubrow@uw.edu (University of Washington)

This roundtable will discuss the recently published The Idea of Indian Literature: Gender, Genre, and Comparative Method, with focus on modernism, gender, and the comparative study of multilingual South Asia. Indian literature is not a corpus of texts or literary concepts from India, argues The Idea of Indian Literature, but a provocation that seeks to resolve the relationship between language and literature, written in as well as against English. Examining canonical Hindi and Tamil short stories from the crucial decades surrounding decolonization, the book contends that Indian literature must be understood as indeterminate, propositional, and reflective of changing dynamics between local, regional, national, and global readerships. The speakers will discuss the book’s contributions to the study of modern Indian literatures, with response from the author. Speaker 1, with expertise in gender, nation, sexuality, and literary modernisms in India, has written extensively on key issues for this roundtable, including translation and literary modernism. Speaker 2, with expertise in South Asian literature and film, progressive writing, realism, and the novel genre in India, has worked on questions of language and comparatism central to this discussion. Speaker 3, with expertise in modern and contemporary Hindi literature, especially Dalit and popular literatures, has examined related questions of gender, genre, feminism, and translation. Speaker 4, with expertise in print culture and the history of the book in South Asia, and Hindi and Urdu modernisms, is working on related questions of genre and form in her current project. Speaker 5, with expertise in planetary Anglophone literature, world literature in English and translation, colonialism and postcolonialism, has produced field-defining on which The Idea of Indian Literature builds. Speaker 6 is the author of the work, with expertise in modern Hindi and Tamil literatures, realisms and modernisms, South Asian feminisms, and postcolonial studies.


Presenter 1
Geeta Patel - patel.weston@gmail.com
Presenter 2
Ulka Anjaria - uanjaria@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)
Presenter 3
Laura Brueck - laura.brueck@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Presenter 4
Vinay Dharwadker - vdharwadker@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Presenter 5
Preetha Mani - preetha.mani@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University)

Caste in the US: Voices from the Frontlines (WISAJ roundtable)
Round Table

Location

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

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

Chair
Trisha Chanda - tchanda@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin Madison)

Caste is a system which discriminates against people based on their birth. Caste-based discrimination and exploitation is prevalent within the South Asian diaspora, including in the US. A recent report found that one in three lower caste or “Dalit” students in the US report being discriminated against on the basis of their caste during their education and two out of three Dalits report being treated unfairly at their workplace. There is no federal law in the US to protect against caste-based discrimination. This has led to various anti-caste groups to organize to demand anti-caste policies and legislative protections at the state and local levels. US universities, where there are over 200,000 students from South Asia, are emerging as a key site for the formal recognition of caste-based discrimination in a global context. At UW-Madison, WISAJ, a group of students, staff, and faculty is working to highlight social justice issues pertaining to South Asia, including furthering the movement against caste apartheid in academic spaces. In March 2022, we organized a well-recieved virtual panel discussion entitled Caste in the US: Voices from the Frontlines, in collaboration with the School of Human Ecology Anti-racist Action Group, featuring Thenmozhi Soundararajan and Raj Sampath. We want to propose a roundtable on the topic of caste discrimination in the US. In this discussion, we will hear from activists working on the ground to mobilize and effect change in university policy, including from successful campaigns at other US universities. The speakers will share their strategies for engaging with the academic community and administration on issues of caste discrimination, and reflect on the future of global anti-caste organizing in and beyond the academy.


Presenter 1
Anjali Arondekar - aarondek@ucsc.edu (UCSC)
Presenter 2
Sonja Thomas - smthomas@colby.edu (Colby College)
Presenter 3
Pallavi Rao - tac6xr@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Presenter 4
Chinnaiah Jangam - chinnaiah.jangam@carleton.ca (Carleton University)
Presenter 5
DARSHANA MINI - dmini@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Presenter 6
Ankita Nikalje - anikalje@purdue.edu

The O-bhodromohila in Calcutta: Gendered mobility, labor and caste in the colonial city
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Mou Banerjee - mbanerjee4@wisc.edu (UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON)

Discussant / Chair

This panel builds on the work done by feminist historians of gender, caste and labor in de-centering histories of Bengali women in the 19th-early 20th centuries. The papers in this panel depart from the preoccupation with narratives of dominant-caste Hindu women and metaphors of ‘cages’ and ‘shackles’ to speak of constraints on women’s mobility. Heroic narratives of emancipation focused on ‘firsts’ do not account for the life and work of women outside the ambit of the dominant caste antahpurs and bhadrata (respectability). The three papers in the panel thus focus on the mobile worlds of women in diverse professions -- spies, informers, hawkers, performers -- and their negotiation with urban spaces. The scholarship around women’s labour, gendered representation of caste and allegations of sexual deviance in late colonial India have been variously explored by Samita Sen (1999), Tanika Sarkar (2001), Charu Gupta (2012; 2016) and Durba Mitra (2020), among others. The three papers in this panel underscore these issues through the overarching themes of ‘mobility’ and ‘waywardness’ that had gendered and caste-based sanctions for women. In doing so, the papers in this panel speak to each other in addressing through print history how mobile women’s worlds are scantily mapped and of the silence of the archives regarding marginalized women. Through the uses of what Saidiya Hartman has called ‘critical fabulation,’ the papers in this panel re-imagine the shared socio-cultural worlds of these mobile women that help us to understand the milieu beyond oft-written historical and literary tropes, and highlight the profound tensions, both class and caste-based, when professional mobile women enter into and traverse those spaces in the colonial city which had been seen as the exclusive purview of men. The panel, therefore, interrogates the nature of self-fashioning and creative/social labor that emerges through narratives of these mobile women.


Presenter 1
Mou Banerjee - mbanerjee4@wisc.edu (UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON)
Criminals, spies, domestic workers and street vendors: Hidden cartographs of female mobility and the question of caste in colonial Calcutta

Presenter 2
Swati Moitra - sm@swatimoitra.net ()
The Flower Girl Who Sold Books: A Female Book Vendor in Colonial Calcutta and Her World

Presenter 3
PRIYANKA BASU - priyankabasu85@gmail.com (King's College London)
Performing Women, Mobility and Deviant Sexuality: The Autobiography as Documenting the Self in Colonial Calcutta


The Aesthetic Archive and the Left: Theorising Aesthetic Form and Political Struggle in South Asia
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Lotte Hoek - lotte.hoek@ed.ac.uk (University of Edinburgh)

Chair
Nusrat Chowdhury - nchowdhury@amherst.edu (Amherst College)

What if we read contemporary political transition and cultures of resistance across South Asia as shaped by longue durée aesthetic forms of political affiliation? While the memes and melodramas of the resurgent right in South Asia have received significant attention, ‘forms of the left’ and their enduring political and theoretical resonances are less familiar. Can 20th-century histories of left-wing aesthetic forms from the subcontinent become archives for contemporary political work – for activists, artists, academics? What forms and agency do such left-wing aesthetic archives take? And what methods are appropriate to their study? Exploring these questions allows us to conceptualise the left’s aesthetic forms as political formations, scattered across marginal 20th-century sites and actors and feeding into contemporary forums as diverse as social media platforms and art biennales. Coinciding with the publication of Forms of the Left in Postcolonial South Asia (Bloomsbury, 2022), this roundtable invites discussion about histories and futures of the South Asian left as an aesthetic formation capable of orienting, galvanising, and enticing new political practices. The roundtable brings together scholars working across South Asia within various disciplines to intervene in conceptualising left-wing aesthetic forms as archives for contemporary political, historiographical and theoretical work. We will address popular forms in neorealist cinema in 1950s South Asia (Speaker 1/Art History); Leftist engagements with art and culture in postcolonial Sri Lanka (Speaker 2/Literature); socialist cultural praxis in the cine-ecology of 1940s Bombay (Speaker 3/Film Studies); left-wing aesthetics as part of subaltern joy and the prefigurative politics of Islamic socialism (Speaker 4/History); solidarities between South Asian/diasporic and analogous marginal voices from elsewhere (Speaker 5/History); transnational aesthetic potentialities of decolonial socialisms (Speaker 6/Art History); and the caste and spatial networks of rural libraries and the making of “progressive selves” in Kerala (Speaker 7/Anthropology).


Presenter 1
Iftikhar Dadi - mid1@cornell.edu
Presenter 2
Sharika Thiranagama - sharikat@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Presenter 3
Layli Uddin - l.uddin@qmul.ac.uk
Presenter 4
Debashree Mukherjee - m.debashree@gmail.com (Columbia University)
Presenter 5
Maia Ramnath - mramnath23@gmail.com
Presenter 6
Harshana Rambukwella - h.rambukwella@gmail.com
Presenter 7
Sanjukta Sunderason - sanjukta.sunderason@gmail.com (Leiden University)

Innovative World-Making
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Anuja Madan - amadan@ksu.edu (Kansas State University)

Discussant / Chair
Anuja Madan - amadan@ksu.edu (Kansas State University)

.


Presenter 1
Bruno Shirley - bms297@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Mapping Buddhist Sovereignties: the inscriptional landscapes of Poḷonnaruva

Presenter 2
Bruno Shirley - bms297@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Mapping Buddhist Sovereignties: the inscriptional landscapes of Poḷonnaruva

Presenter 3
Anuja Madan - amadan@ksu.edu (Kansas State University)
Muscular Hindu Nationalism and Vedic Modernity in Comic Book Retellings of the Ramayan

Presenter 4
Kartik Maini - kartikmaini@uchicago.edu (The University of Chicago)
On Learning to Love the Other: Swami Sahajanand Saraswati and the Occluded Lives of Ascetic World-making

Presenter 5
Anindita Ghosh - aghosh39@uic.edu (University of illinois at Chicago)
The princely states of the Indian sub-continent through Historiography and Literature


Islam, Science, Empire: Muslim scientific debates in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

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

Discussant / Chair
Megan Robb - robbme@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

This panel analyzes institutions and geographies of Muslim scientific knowledge production and debate in the context and wake of British colonial authority in South Asia. It considers the degree to which geographies of Muslim scientific knowledge were necessarily responsive to imperial structures and borders. At the same time, the papers demonstrate that Muslim debates about science, technology, and medicine reached beyond imperial and European claims on the scientific. We center stories of translation and mobility that reveal how Muslims created new scientific publics and debates that exceeded the boundaries placed on knowledge production by the colonial regime and its post-colonial successors. The panel builds on Dhruv Raina and S. Irfan Habib’s argument that Indian engagement with science “subvert[ed], contaminate[d] and reorganize[d] the ideology of science as introduced by Europe.” What role, it asks, did Islam and Muslims play in these varied projects of subversion, contamination, and reorganization? Equally, how did South Asian Muslim define their own “ideologies of science,” and how did they imagine Muslim publics for these scientific ideologies and projects in the context of colonial South Asia? In answering these questions, each paper attends to social relations and intra-religious debates that shaped contested understandings of science and technology. Speaker 1 paper studies manuals translated by Sayyid Ahmad Khan, arguing that he can be labeled as a popularizer of science in his historical setting. Speaker 2 analyzes elite Indian Muslim assertions of technological pasts for Muslim artisans. Speaker 3 examines the diasporic community of interwar Germany, where Indo-Afghan scientists gathered to develop post-colonial institutions in South Asia. Speaker 4 addresses the role of medicine and small-scale technologies in the compilation of exemplary letters of trade for Urdu-medium education in early Pakistan. Together, the four papers suggest new directions in the study of science, religion, and empire.


Presenter 1
Marjan Wardaki - marjan.wardaki@yale.edu ()
Bombay in Berlin: Typewriters and India’s oldest pharmaceutical company

Presenter 2
Andrew Amstutz - amamstutz@ualr.edu (University of Arkansas, Little Rock)
Making a ‘Book of Trade’: Medicine & Small Technologies in Urdu Letters

Presenter 3
Amanda Lanzillo - lanzillo@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
“Mechanics and Muslims”: Shibli Nomani and artisan labor

Presenter 4
Sarah Qidwai - sarahaqidwai@gmail.com (University of Regensburg)
Sayyid and Scientism


State-Making Infrastructures in India, Past and Present
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Ritika Kaushik - ritika.kaushik0404@gmail.com (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Ritika Kaushik - ritika.kaushik0404@gmail.com (University of Chicago)

.


Presenter 1
Prateek Paul - pp2763@columbia.edu (Columbia University)
(Re)Public in Crisis: The Ruptured Commons During the Second Wave of COVID-19 in India

Presenter 2
Pariroo Rattan - pariroorattan@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Digitizing Difference: Urban Migrants and the politics of techno-welfare in India

Presenter 3
Ritika Kaushik - ritika.kaushik0404@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
Ineffective Infrastructures and Non-Captive Audiences: The Travails of Field Publicity in India during the 1960s and 1970s

Presenter 4
Kim Fernandes - fernk@upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Infrastructuring Exclusion: Disability, Certification and Citizenship in Urban India


Materiality in Medieval and Early Modern South Asian Visual Culture
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Ariana Pemberton - arianapemberton@berkeley.edu (UC Berkeley )

Discussant / Chair
Jinah Kim - prajna03@gmail.com (Harvard University)

When Stella Kramrisch wrote of “the dynamic urge of stone” in reference to Indian sculpture, it became abundantly clear to art historians that materials in South Asian visual culture mattered. While scholarship has accorded much needed attention to the fruitful relationships born out of cultural, linguistic, religious, socio-political, and visual exchanges that emerged from South Asia’s encounter with Persianate and Indian Ocean world aesthetics in the medieval and early modern periods (ca. 700–1700), questions of materiality open up research on the circulation of art to a broader nexus of methodological approaches with interdisciplinary implications. The papers in this panel reflect on the thematic pillars of “tradition” and “innovation” by foregrounding the prominence of material in the medieval and early modern periods. Inquiries on materiality are indisputably fundamental to art and architecture in any period. However, resonances of tradition and innovation are particularly discernible in the medieval and early modern periods, when the citation of regional aesthetics from the ancient period, on the one hand, and the antecedental globality of modernity, on the other hand, were equally prevalent. Broadly, this panel considers the ways in which the physical substance of a work of art contributes to its efficacy or otherwise functions to ground it within these overlapping temporal and geographic domains. The intermediacy of South Asia as the geographic junction of Persianate and Indian Ocean worlds during the medieval and early modern periods, we suggest, may be most readily intelligible through analyses of visual culture that underscores the function of material, including but not limited to its physical, metaphysical, social, cultural, religious, economic, alchemical, talismanic, and medicinal properties.


Presenter 1
Ariana Pemberton - arianapemberton@berkeley.edu (UC Berkeley )
Articulating Habshi Kingship through Architectural Patronage in Sultanate Bengal

Presenter 2
Alexandra Ciolac - magnetic_movements@berkeley.edu (U.C. Berkeley)
Paper and Stone, Manuscript and Temple: The Bhaktāmara Āgama Mandir at Sanganer

Presenter 3
Sonali Dhingra - sonali.dhingra@gmail.com (Harvard University)
The Gandhakuṭī Buddha: Artisanal Intelligence and Monumental Figural Sculpture at Ratnagiri, Odisha (ca. the eighth century)


Political and Legal Issues in Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Feisal Khan - khan@hws.edu (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

Discussant / Chair
Feisal Khan - khan@hws.edu (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)

.


Presenter 1
Md Mizanur Rahman - Mrahman9@ucsc.edu (University of California at Santa Cruz )
Islamic State in the Making: Bengali Muslims’ Imagination of Pakistan as an Islamic State

Presenter 2
Md Mizanur Rahman - Mrahman9@ucsc.edu (University of California at Santa Cruz )
Islamic State in the Making: Bengali Muslims’ Imagination of Pakistan as an Islamic State

Presenter 3
Hajira Ali - hajrawisal03@gmail.com (National University of Modern Languages (NUML-Islamabad) )
Determinants of Low Women’s Political Participation and Leadership Roles in Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Presenter 4
Feisal Khan - khan@hws.edu (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
Reassessing Pakistani Islamic Finance’s New Participatory Products: The Wine’s the Same but Don’t Worry, Our Bottle is Fully Shariah-Compliant!

Presenter 5
Younus Muhammad - m.younus@iiu.edu.pk (International Islamic University, Islamabad)
Aziz ur Rehman - aziz.rehman@qau.edu.pk ()
Rebuilding Nation Through Single National Curriculum: Pakistan’s Struggle between Tradition and Innovation

Presenter 6
Muhammad Bilal Shakir - bilal.shakir@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
The Streets and the Ballot Box: Explaining Divergent Islamist Mobilization in Pakistan


Author Meets Critics: Debating Vinayak Chaturvedi’s Hindutva and Violence: V.D. Savarkar and the Politics of History
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Sanjay Ruparelia - ruparelia@ryerson.ca (Ryerson University)

Chair
Sanjay Ruparelia - ruparelia@ryerson.ca (Ryerson University)

This interdisciplinary roundtable will critically assess Vinayak Chaturvedi’s Hindutva and Violence: V.D. Savarkar and the Politics of History (SUNY Press, 2022). The book examines the political thought of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883–1966), the most controversial Indian political thinker of the twentieth century and a key architect of Hindutva and Hindu nationalism. Examining Savarkar’s central claim that “Hindutva is not a word but a history,” Chaturvedi argues that, for Savarkar, the purpose of this history was to approximate Hindutva by recovering the thoughts and actions of key historical actors who participated in warfare against invaders and imperialists of India, thus creating the Hindu nation through violence and permanent war. His political writings ranged widely, from studies of antiquity to contemporary social theory and world history, from analyses of Nazism, Zionism, and Communism to philosophical writings on ontology and epistemology. And his intellectual vision provided the vital counterpoint to Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar, and Jinnah and other key actors in the anticolonial movement on the subcontinent. Hindtuva and Violence illuminates the philosophical underpinnings of Hindu nationalism, crucial to understanding its trajectory from independence in 1947 to its resonance in the present. The proposed roundtable brings together scholars with expertise in multiple fields to assess Savarkar’s understanding of colonialism, religion and the politics of violence; how these relate to the ideas of Gandhi, Ambedkar and other interlocutors/contemporaries; and broader methodological questions of comparative political theory and intellectual history. Each speaker will provide critiques of the book on a number of topics: Speaker 1 on the histories of sexuality and political histories of terror; Speaker 2 on caste, “untouchability,” and the intellectual history of Ambedkar; Speaker 3 on the political thought of Gandhi and Ambedkar; and Speaker 4 on histories of the Partition, communalism and religion. Speaker 5 will formally respond to the critiques in his presentation.


Presenter 1
Vinayak Chaturvedi - vinayak@uci.edu (UC Irvine)
Presenter 2
Anupama Rao - arao@barnard.edu (Barnard College. Columbia)
Presenter 3
Durba Ghosh - dg256@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Presenter 4
Neeti Nair - nn2v@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Presenter 5
Aishwary Kumar - aishwarykumar@gmail.com

COVID and Its Impact on India
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Nithya Joseph - nithya.joseph@ifpindia.org (Princeton University/Institut Français Pondichéry)

Discussant / Chair
Nithya Joseph - nithya.joseph@ifpindia.org (Princeton University/Institut Français Pondichéry)

.


Presenter 1
Jay Sharma - jasharma@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Between hopelessness and aspirations: Covid-19 and narratives of migrant laborers from Nakahasa, Jharkhand

Presenter 2
Jay Sharma - jasharma@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Between hopelessness and aspirations: Covid-19 and narratives of migrant laborers from Nakahasa, Jharkhand

Presenter 3
Sreenidhi Krishnan - sreenidhi.krishnan@wsu.edu (Washington State University)
Co-Producing the Real: Hindi Soap Opera Production in Post-Pandemic Mumbai

Presenter 4
Nithya Joseph - nithya.joseph@ifpindia.org (Princeton University/Institut Français Pondichéry)
Paying heed to the past and planning for the future: Gold ornaments and household finance in India through the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond

Presenter 5
Nirupama Jayaraman - njayar5@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Remembering how to commute: Of embodied memories and skills of transit


Theologies of Power in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Adam Newman - anewman4@illinois.edu (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Discussant / Chair
Adam Newman - anewman4@illinois.edu (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

.


Presenter 1
Justin Smolin - jnsmolin@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
Krishna in Persian: The Translation of Religious Difference in Early Modern South Asia

Presenter 2
Justin Smolin - jnsmolin@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
Krishna in Persian: The Translation of Religious Difference in Early Modern South Asia

Presenter 3
Guy St Amant - gs2837@columbia.edu (Columbia University)
Orality and Writing in the Emergence of the Mahāyāna: What Can We Know?

Presenter 4
Adam Newman - anewman4@illinois.edu (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
The Rise of Goddess Warriors: The Hindu Feminine Divine in Rajasthan from the Seventh Through the Fifteenth Century

Presenter 5
Ishaan Sharma - ishaan.sharma@berkeley.edu (UC Berkeley)
When Gods Play Messenger: Reexamining Krishna's Theophany at the Kuru Court


Environment and Politics in Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Geoff Ashton - gashton@usfca.edu (University of San Francisco)

Discussant / Chair
Geoff Ashton - gashton@usfca.edu (University of San Francisco)

.


Presenter 1
Courtney Averkamp - caa8em@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
"Dying for a Dying River: Religion, Politics, and the Environmental Activism of Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand"

Presenter 2
Courtney Averkamp - caa8em@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
"Dying for a Dying River: Religion, Politics, and the Environmental Activism of Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand"

Presenter 3
Nabaparna Ghosh - nabaparna@gmail.com (Babson College)
Colonial river making in Sunderban's tidal estuaries

Presenter 4
Sahithya Venkatesan - sahithya.venkat@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University)
Imagining Alternative Climactic Futures: Dalit Place-making and Resistance in Vulnerable Landscapes

Presenter 5
Geoff Ashton - gashton@usfca.edu (University of San Francisco)
Nature Loves to Hide and Seek: A Sāṃkhya Reply to Western Philosophies of Nature


The Sounds of Music, The Sounds of War: Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the 20th Century
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Susan Rajendran - gowri.rajendran@gmail.com (York University)

Discussant / Chair
Susan Rajendran - gowri.rajendran@gmail.com (York University)

.


Presenter 1
Chulani Kodikara - chulanik@gmail.com (International Centre for Ethnic Studies)
Defending Heroic Soldiers and Performing Sovereignty at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Presenter 2
Chulani Kodikara - chulanik@gmail.com (International Centre for Ethnic Studies)
Defending Heroic Soldiers and Performing Sovereignty at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Presenter 3
Susan Rajendran - gowri.rajendran@gmail.com (York University)
How “Saving” Buddhism in Sri-Lanka Became a Nationalist Project

Presenter 4
Archit Guha - archit.guha@duke.edu ()
The Concert for Bangladesh: Capitalizing on Global Friendship in a Time of National Disaster

Presenter 5
Sidharthan Maunaguru - sasms@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)
Waiting, Uncertainty and Rebuilding: Sri Lankan Tamil Migrants and Post-War


Roundtable: On V. V. Ganeshananthan’s Brotherless Night: justice, war and fiction in Sri Lanka
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Sharika Thiranagama - sharikat@stanford.edu (Stanford University)

Chair
Sharika Thiranagama - sharikat@stanford.edu (Stanford University)

Set during the early years of Sri Lanka’s thirty-year civil war, and based on sixteen years of research, V.V. Ganeshananthan’s Brotherless Night explores the blurred lines between formal participation in conflict and civilian life. Brotherless Night will be published in 2023 by Random House. Brotherless Night follows Sashi, a sixteen-year-old who dreams of becoming a doctor in her hometown of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. As civil war subsumes her home, her dream takes a different path. Sashi begins working as a medic at a field hospital for militant Tamil Tigers, who are fighting for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. But after the Tigers murder her teacher, and the arrival of Indian peacekeepers brings further atrocities, she turns to one of her professors, a feminist and dissident who invites her to join in a dangerous, secret project of documenting human rights violations as a mode of civil resistance to war. The story captures furious mothers marching to demand news of their disappeared sons; a young student attending the hunger strike of an equally young militant; and a feminist reading group that tries to side with community and justice over any single political belief. The author of Brotherless Night will do a short reading, and then be present to respond to four scholars who will discuss Brotherless Night and explore the relationship between kinship and political struggles for justice in Sri Lanka. Considering the current economic and political crisis in Sri Lanka, and in the aftermath of a future built by deep and enduring violence, especially against minorities, how does one write fiction grounded in an imperative to witness? Should fiction have an ethical imperative and to whom?


Presenter 1
Mythri Jegathesan - mjegathesan@scu.edu (Santa Clara University)
Presenter 2
V.V. Ganeshananthan - vganesha@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
Presenter 3
Vivian Choi - vivianychoi@gmail.com (St. Olaf College)
Presenter 4
Sharika Thiranagama - sharikat@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Presenter 5
Maryse Jayasuriya - mjayasuriya@utep.edu

Reception of Performance and the Performance of Reception
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Namrata Kanchan - namrata.kanchan@utexas.edu (University of Texas, Austin)

Discussant / Chair
Namrata Kanchan - namrata.kanchan@utexas.edu (University of Texas, Austin)

The focus of our panel is on the roles performance and performativity play in the constitution of subjective and social realities. These realities include gender, sexuality, nation, and community. It seeks to showcase performance or cultural enactments in relation to the subjectivity of the audience/viewer/reader, the receiver’s own acts of the euphoric, somatic, or traumatic during or post-performance, and the effects of such acts upon the original performance or society at large. The aim of this panel is to elucidate the under-represented field of performance—hitherto dominated by Euro-American discourse—and its function as a tool and object of analysis in South Asia. For this purpose, the panel approaches the term performance through an interdisciplinary lens and explores performance through a social, epistemological, material, and political prism. Our panel includes presentations from a range of disciplinary positions—ethnomusicology, literature, social history, and art history—and spans temporally from the early modern to the modern period. The four scholars showcase performances across paper-based, analog, and digital media alongside physical recitations and dance dramas. Collectively, these papers address not only the main theme but elucidate other under-explored subjects within the field of South Asia. Ultimately, this constellation of presentations aims to present fresh ways of interpreting performance and reception within a South Asian context.


Presenter 1
Ronit Ghosh - ronitghosh@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Setting Sound Standards: Radical Musicking and the Tradition of the IPTA

Presenter 2
Hamza Iqbal - hmi4@utexas.edu ()
Dād-o-Tehsīn kā Shor: Jaun Elia and the Modern Urdu Poetic Performance

Presenter 3
Namrata Kanchan - namrata.kanchan@utexas.edu (University of Texas, Austin)
The Woman behind the Veil of Paint: Gender and Performance in an early modern Deccan Masnavī

Presenter 4
Manasvin Rajagopalan - mrajagopalan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
The Fortuneteller as Pilgrim: Performing Space, and Producing Place in the Tamil kuṟavañci


OTT and the Changing Mediascape in South Asian Digital Cinema and Television
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
DARSHANA MINI - dmini@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Discussant / Chair
Usha Iyer - ushaiyer@stanford.edu (Stanford University)

This panel explores the recent trends and infrastructural developments in South Asian digital film and television by locating the growth and expansion of OTT platforms in India. Since the entry of Netflix in India in 2016, the OTT mediascape in India has expanded with more than 40 platforms and caters to a subscriber base of 70-80 billion users. The mix of indigenous and international platforms attempting to make inroads into India’s heterogeneous, and linguistically diverse subscriber-base, has given rise to a renewed interest in media content acquisition and distribution. This panel takes the pandemic as a crucial moment to identify specific media forms that were commissioned by selected OTT platforms and the varied modalities used to market and publicize these content. Paper 1 locates the changed infrastructural needs that Indian OTT witnessed with the outset of the pandemic and how it has shaped the range of media produced under the broader rubric of “pandemic entertainment.” Continuing the emphasis on distribution and reception, Paper 2 follows the exhibition of Warner Bros.’ Tom & Jerry: The Movie (2021), which premiered during the pandemic. Paper 3 addresses how the actor Vijay Sethupati configures a new star persona by strategically negotiating between theatrical releases and their virtual extensions through his four consecutive releases on OTT during the pandemic. Paper 4 uses Jai Bhim (2021) to interrogate the role of OTT platforms in enabling a space for social justice through films that render visible hitherto erased people/communities on the fringes. The panel thus attempts to address the changing and often nebulous parameters within which OTT platforms try to expand their content-libraries and subscriber base. Attending to pandemic-era content generation and reception becomes one way of capturing shifts in corporate strategies, aesthetic improvisations, and geopolitical decisions that have marked global releases in specific territories.


Presenter 1
DARSHANA MINI - dmini@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Pandemic Media and the Entertainment Sector in India

Presenter 2
B. Geetha - b.geetha@iitb.ac.in (Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Mumbai)
The Poetics of Temporality and Shock Effect: A Study of Vijay Sethupathi in Tamil Cinema

Presenter 3
samhita sunya - ss7dn@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Cat-and-Mouse: Finding Tom & Jerry at a Desi Wedding

Presenter 4
Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai - eswaran@msu.edu (Michigan State University)
Tamil Cinema and OTT: Jai Bhim and Social Justice


Self and the Other in Bengali Poetry
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Rini Bhattacharya Mehta - rbhttchr@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

Discussant / Chair
Rini Bhattacharya Mehta - rbhttchr@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)

How does subjectivity evolve in a poetic tradition? Does the poet’s ‘I’ shift its locus as the world around the poet changes? How do we read the footprints of history, conflict, and identity in poetry? To address such queries, our panel brings together an exploration of Bengali poetic diction across time, focusing on the narratorial self’s engagement with the world. Four presenters will use discrete literary critical methods in their analysis of pre-modern and modern Bengali poetry. Despite the distinct periodization that Bengali literary historiography has maintained, there is enough continuity in the Bengali tradition of poetry-writing to read through time, tracing influences and invocations of literary pasts in each period and milieu. Four discrete sets of poetry will be scrutinized in their contexts in search of marks that the poet’s self-designation or alienation left on the work of art. One set of poetry—the Mangalkavya—will allow us to explore the function of self-sacrifice as a reflection in medieval Bengali religious life. Another set, Rabindranath Tagore’s songs, will be read with an eye on how the nineteenth-century colonial-modern synthesis allowed for the transcendental beloved other to be diffused enough to afford secular translation and near-universal transmission. A different lens would be required for a Bengali woman poet, who had to consciously recast the Tagorean colonial-modern aesthetic to transmit the woman’s own voice, thus engendering a poetic persona at odds with its male counterpart. Finally, a reading of post-Partition poems from India and Bangladesh will be used to guide a discussion on the poetic self’s recuperation with devastating loss.


Presenter 1
Rebecca Manring - rmanring@indiana.edu (Indiana University)
Self and the Other in the Worship of Dharma

Presenter 2
Rini Bhattacharya Mehta - rbhttchr@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)
Song, Self, and the Other: Tagore’s World of Wonder and Discontent

Presenter 3
Debali Mookerjea-Leonard - mookerdx@jmu.edu (James Madison University )
Writing like a Woman: Poetry, Domesticity and the Feminine Self

Presenter 4
RAGINI CHAKRABORTY - raginic2@illinois.edu (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaugn)
“Separated by kaanta-taar (barbed wire)”: Poetry, Self, and a Divided Homeland

Presenter 5
Rachel Fell McDermott - rmcdermo@barnard.edu (Barnard College)
Discussant


Caste, class, and the social life of South Asian aesthetics
Panel Group

Location

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

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

Discussant / Chair
Eleonore Rimbault - erimbault@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

This panel foregrounds the existence, distinction, and competition of aesthetic practices in South Asia from the vantage point of caste and class. It investigates in tandem the weight of caste and class in giving rise to aesthetics that are recognizable, socially meaningful, and compelling to individuals, as also the importance of aesthetic practices in manifesting, animating, or asserting caste/class identity and difference. One of our aims is to encourage an understanding of aesthetics which is not limited to cultural objects and experiences of cultural engagement already framed as artistic in South Asia (for instance, ‘classical’ performance forms, visual works of art exhibited in museums). We seek to ‘vulgarize’ the use of this term to extend attention and insight to experiences and objects of broad-based, everyday circulation and consumption. Simultaneously, this panel deploys caste and class as a significant form of differentiation with an intention to move past generalized references to these categories, and especially to the overly capacious concept of the 'middle class,' which includes, in the South Asian context, dramatically different aspirations and prospects. This panel’s larger goal is to clarify and better understand how socio-economic difference and stratification give rise, in conjunction with other factors situating individuals in society (such as gender, age, nationality, etc.), to social worlds with distinctive aesthetic practices, orientations, and aspirations. To what kinds of aesthetic practices and what kinds of (in)commensurable aesthetic fields does the co-existence of groups with unequal economic, cultural, and political capital give rise to? And how are these inequities effectively actualized, amplified, or challenged through the creation of discrete aesthetic worlds?


Presenter 1
Radhika Moral - radhika_moral@brown.edu (Brown University )
Silk, Weaving, and Politics of Belonging in Northeast India

Presenter 2
Nisarg P. - nvpatel@usc.edu (University of Southern California)
Hello, Hello, Ji: Networks of Sociality and Commodity in Post-Colonial India

Presenter 3
Eleonore Rimbault - erimbault@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
This was in Rangoon… or maybe Singapore: travels and their socio-aesthetic significance among itinerant circus professionals

Presenter 4
Shubham Shivang - shubhams@uchicago.edu ()
‘Bhojpuri cinema is like pornography’: Disavowal and distinction in Bhojpuri worlds


Language of the Gods in the World of Men
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Sarah Taylor - sptaylor@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Andrew Ollett - ollett@uchicago.edu

The fact that Sanskrit literature is almost entirely written by and for men — more so, perhaps, than any other major literature — has been felt by scholarly and non-scholarly readers alike to be obvious and, for that very reason, often goes unremarked and unanalyzed. Sanskrit literature was largely untouched by the “gender turn” in scholarship that began several decades ago. The papers in this two-part panel will belatedly take up this problematic by asking some of the following questions. How are authors, characters and readers gendered in Sanskrit literature, and what interpretive consequences does this have? How does male authorship shape and pattern the representation of women in Sanskrit texts? How are they voiced and imagined? How are women narratologically troped? How do these tropes pattern male/female relationships? How are ideals of masculinity articulated in and alongside ideals of femininity? To answer these questions we look at a wide range of Sanskrit texts, from the hyper-canonical (Kālidāsa) to the definitely minor (Rāmacandra), to take up the challenge — posed by scholars including Karla Mallette (2018) and Anjali Arondekar (2018) — to develop a reading practice for Sanskrit that is sensitive to its highly ideological gender dynamics. These papers will show that gender in Sanskrit literature is not just an artifact of the society in which it was produced, but a systematic way of structuring literary forms and meanings


Presenter 1
Daud Ali - daudali@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Codes of Aristocratic Masculinity in Early Medieval India

Presenter 2
Talia Ariav - taliaa@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Ideally Flawed in the First Person: Models of Masculinity in the Bhāṇa

Presenter 3
Sloane Geddes - kathryn.geddes@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Complicating Gender: Love, Longing, and Commentary in Sanskrit Poetry

Presenter 4
Sarah Taylor - sptaylor@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
The [Mis]Recognition of the Wife in Sanskrit Drama


The Political Economy of Modi’s India: Accumulation, Form of State, Hegemony (Part 1)
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Alf Gunvald Nilsen - alf.nilsen@up.ac.za (University of Pretoria)

Discussant / Chair
Kenneth Bo Nielsen - k.b.nielsen@sai.uio.no (University of Oslo)

Please note: This is the first part of a proposed two-part panel. The ascension of Narendra Modi and the BJP to national power in 2014 and the further consolidation of BJP rule in the 2019 election are widely acknowledged as signaling the onset of a new political era in India. Above all, this era is defined by the sheer dominance of the ruling party - a dominance unparalleled in electoral politics since the heyday of Congress hegemony - and its consequent ability to transform state, society, and economy in substantial ways. This panel aims to probe more deeply into the political economy of this new era, by offering critical conceptual responses to the following questions: • How are accumulation strategies and state-capital relations configured under the Modi regime? Has India witnessed the onset of a new phase of neoliberalization in India since 2014? If so, what are its most significant aspects and dynamics? • How do we understand the changing character of the Indian state? In particular, what - if any - is the relationship between autocratization, the cultural politics of Hindu nationalism, and neoliberal policy regimes under Modi? • How does the Modi regime sustain its hegemony, especially among its plebeian voters, despite its persistently poor ability to deliver on its promises of development and prosperity for all? Specifically, through what modalities does the BJP government seek to reconcile the imperatives of accumulation and legitimation in a deeply unequal society?


Presenter 1
Samantha Agarwal - sr.agarw@gmail.com ()
Rising Support for Hindu Nationalism in Kerala’s Dalit Population: A Theory of Bivalent Hegemony

Presenter 2
Smriti Upadhyay - smriti.upadhyay@aucegypt.edu ()
Tensions under the surface: Class contradictions and Hindu nationalist power in Gujarat, India

Presenter 3
Alf Gunvald Nilsen - alf.nilsen@up.ac.za (University of Pretoria)
Indian Caesarism? Deciphering the Politics of Accumulation and Legitimation Under Modi

Presenter 4
Sanjay Ruparelia - ruparelia@ryerson.ca (Ryerson University)
Beneficiaries without rights: the reconfiguration of India’s social welfare regime


Constitutional Discussions in Pakistan and India
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Rohit De - rohit.de@yale.edu (Yale University)

Discussant / Chair
Rohit De - rohit.de@yale.edu (Yale University)

.


Presenter 1
Yaqoob Khan Bangash - yaqoob.bangash@gmail.com (Harvard University)
Between Civilian and Military Coups: The Life of Pakistan's Constitution(s)

Presenter 2
Yaqoob Khan Bangash - yaqoob.bangash@gmail.com (Harvard University)
Between Civilian and Military Coups: The Life of Pakistan's Constitution(s)

Presenter 3
Nandini Ramachandran - chaosbogey@gmail.com (CUNY Graduate Center )
Dalit Dkhar: Recognition and Belonging in a Shillong Shnong

Presenter 4
Rohit De - rohit.de@yale.edu (Yale University)
Ornit Shani - shanio@research.haifa.ac.il (University of Haifa)
From Founding to Assembling: Towards a New History of India’s Constitution Making

Presenter 5
Benita Menezes - anthrobeno@gmail.com (Johns Hopkins University)
Of executive orders, writ petitions, and judicial precedent: (Un)Making the promise of India’s new land acquisition law.


Fractured Resistances in India’s Northeastern Borderlands
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Billie Thoidingjam Guarino - thoidingjam@gmail.com ()

Discussant / Chair
Billie Thoidingjam Guarino - thoidingjam@gmail.com

How can we envision forms of ‘resistance’ in politically fractured borderlands like Northeast India? The panel proposes to rethink the ‘Northeast' as a category within South Asian studies and the Global North by reframing the catalog of resistance in the region. We draw attention to typologies of resistance often excluded in existing discourses and readings of the region. Resistance in this “frontier,” as is often perceived, is variously theorized and hypothesized in the subsuming tone of armed rebellion, ethnic political movements, and contestations. In so doing, the Northeast is gauged as a singular, if not homogeneous space of political struggle and insurgency. This panel renders an assemblage of resistances, which was once illegible and preempted in the macro-political framework and linear imaginations of historical progress in the region. Rooted in the quotidian resistance of various communities in the region, the papers in this panel bring together four different studies from the vantage of gender, bioculturalism, health and medicine, and psycho-social practices. Through these papers, the panel offers innovative insights on the intertwined materialities and immaterialities, the cultural logics, and the politics of larger historical processes in a neoliberal order. Specifically, the panel forefronts and engages forms of resistances at the backdrop of fraught relationships transformed and asserted through various epistemic shifts, historiography, and counter-cultural involvements.


Presenter 1
Maisnam Arnapal - maisamarnapal@ucsb.edu ()
Transgender Politics in Northeast India: At the Intersection of Indigeneity and Nation

Presenter 2
Roderick Wijunamai - rw523@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Rekindling Old Ties: Niocultural Resistance Through Memorialization

Presenter 3
Ngamlienlal Kipgen - nkipgen@sas.upenn.edu ()
Entangled Spaces of Care: Role of the Indian Nation in the Production of Competing Medical Expertise in a Growing Medical Marketplace

Presenter 4
Jerry Lucius Pyrtuh - jerry_pyrtuh@student.uml.edu ()
Beyond the Clinic: Practices of Psychosocial Care in the Margins of Northeastern India


The platform economy and its contradictions in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Janaki Srinivasan - janaki.srinivasan@iiitb.ac.in (IIIT Bangalore)

Discussant / Chair
Balaji Parthasarathy - pbalaji@iiitb.ac.in

The past decade in South Asia has witnessed rapid growth in the scale and scope of digital platforms mediating between service providers of various types and customers– they have spread across the region, and in various domains such as e-commerce, hospitality and ride-hailing. Critical to the growth of the platform economy on one hand has been the falling costs of technologies (platforms and broadband mobile connectivity), availability of venture capital, limited employment opportunities and a murky legal environment about employment status. These conditions have allowed platforms to create a business model where an estimated 5 million last-mile delivery workers in India, for instance, are euphemistically termed “entrepreneurs” and denied various employment benefits ranging from minimum wage to social security. The platforms justify the model by arguing that they have created an efficient marketplace which generates jobs in a country where jobs are scarce. They also warn against any regulation that might kill a nascent industry. Others argue that the platform economy is the step in the right direction towards formalising work status. This panel will critique such arguments, contrasting them with the conditions of platform workers on the ground in India and Bangladesh. The papers in the panel will draw on desk research and on interviews conducted with platform workers in India in 2020 and 2021 by the Fairwork India team and in Bangladesh in 2021 by the Fairwork Bangladesh team. The papers will examine different aspects of the conditions of platform workers in these geographies, including what makes them distinctive, the ambiguous legal status of their work relationship, their encounters with varied intermediaries in the course of their work, and nascent efforts at collective action.


Presenter 1
Murali Shanmugavelan - murali@isocial.com.bd ()
Distinctiveness of Platform economies in non-western societies: Bangladesh case study

Presenter 2
Amruta Mahuli - amruta.mahuli@iiitb.ac.in ()
Platform work as disguised employment

Presenter 3
Janaki Srinivasan - janaki.srinivasan@iiitb.ac.in (IIIT Bangalore)
“No one knows Kannada there”: The mediated nature of “direct” platform services

Presenter 4
Mounika Neerukonda - mounikaneerukonda096@gmail.com (Fairwork Project)
Voices of Dissent: A typology of collective action undertaken by platform workers in India


History, Data, Class, and Sex: 19th Century South Asia and Beyond
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Aisha Valiulla - aishavaliulla2022@u.northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)

Discussant / Chair
Aisha Valiulla - aishavaliulla2022@u.northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)

.


Presenter 1
Suraj Lakshminarasimhan - skl22@uakron.edu (University of Akron)
“An Abundance of Simple Books Teaching the Lesson of Integration”: The Builders of Modern India and History Writing as National Identity Construction in Post-Independence India

Presenter 2
Suraj Lakshminarasimhan - skl22@uakron.edu (University of Akron)
“An Abundance of Simple Books Teaching the Lesson of Integration”: The Builders of Modern India and History Writing as National Identity Construction in Post-Independence India

Presenter 3
Niyati Shenoy - ns3208@columbia.edu (Columbia University )
A Predator's Tracks: Sexual Violence, Public Safety, and the Railways Workforce in Late Colonial India

Presenter 4
Manaswini Sen - manaswinisen1994@gmail.com (University of Hyderabad)
A Remolded Vanguard? (Re) inventing Humanitarianism Within the Discourse of Class Struggle: Mapping the Changing Trajectory of Trade Union Leadership in Late Colonial Bengal

Presenter 5
Aisha Valiulla - aishavaliulla2022@u.northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Sailors, Scholars, and Wonders: Mobility, Commercial Perspectives, and Historiography in the Indian Ocean World

Presenter 6
Sananda Sahoo - ssahoo3@uwo.ca (The University of Western Ontario)
Vanishing points in anthropometric datasets in colonial India


New Analytical Methods in South Asian Archaeological Research
Panel Group

Location

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

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

Discussant / Chair
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer - jkenoyer@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Every year, new analytical advancements are made that impact the archaeological discipline. These advancements may come in a variety of ways, from morphological analysis, machine learning, GIS, dating techniques and beyond. The papers presented in this panel will focus on how new techniques are enabling us to have deeper insights into the material record of South Asia. These material insights into socio-political phenomenon such as power, trade, and tradition that in turn provide deeper understanding of the larger cultural and archaeological setting of South Asia. This panel will bring together four scholars from the United States, China, and India. Three of the panelists will present in person and the fourth will be a virtual presentation. The first paper of the panel will demonstrate how machine learning can reinforce typologies of a wide range of metal artifacts that give insight into the habitation practices of Buddhist monks in Gandhara during the Early Historic Period. The second presents a methodology that links elemental composition to larger systems of value for Indus Copper-Bronzes. The third paper presents the results of stone bead analysis and LA-ICP-MS analysis on carnelian beads from Tibet and Nepal that can now be sourced to Yunnan, China during the Historic period. The final paper will show how CAT scans are being used to non-destructively study crucibles that were used in the production of the famous wootz crucible steel during the Historic period. The papers bring together traditional approaches to the study of the past, with innovative techniques that help to refine our understanding of ancient and historical South Asia and its global interactions.


Presenter 1
Alan Lee - aflee@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Iron Artifact Typologies from Bhamala and Badalpur Stupa Complexes (300 BCE – 500 CE): Combining Traditional Approaches with Computational Analysis

Presenter 2
Brett Hoffman - hoffmanbc@uwosh.edu (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Fox Cities Campus)
Linking Variability in Indus Copper Alloy Usage to Concepts of Value

Presenter 3
Longhao Tang - ltang74@wisc.edu ()
Pema Raka Carnelian Bead Production and Trade Between Yunnan and Tibet: New perspectives on links between East and South Asia

Presenter 4
Sharada Srinivasan - sharadasrini@nias.res.in ()
Wootz/Crucible steel production: Insights from analytical investigations on refractory crucible fabrics


Af-Pak and Kashmir in Words, Weapons, and Movements
Panel Group

Location

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

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 (In)Visibility of Necropolitical Violence and (Un)Grievability of Pashtun Bodies in Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every stone and Jamila Ahmad’s The Wandering Falcon

Presenter 2
Muhammad Farooq - mfarooq2@kent.edu (Kent State University )
The (In)Visibility of Necropolitical Violence and (Un)Grievability of Pashtun Bodies in Kamila Shamsie’s A God in Every stone and Jamila Ahmad’s The Wandering Falcon

Presenter 3
Arif Nairang - naira001@umn.edu (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Landscape-Archive: Seeing and making Sense of Militarization in Play

Presenter 4
Husnul Amin - husnul.amin@iiu.edu.pk (International Islamic University Islamabad)
From Quiet to Loud Encroachment: Pashtun Youth in the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM)


Mother Tongue, Nationalism, and Identity in Colonial and Postcolonial South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

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

Discussant / Chair
Chaise LaDousa - cladousa@hamilton.edu (Hamilton College)

The concept of “mother tongue” gained importance in South Asia in the mid nineteenth century and has been central to language and education policy, scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, and lay conceptions of language. However, people’s experiences with language are highly nuanced and mediated by context. This panel draws on historical and ethnographic research to explore the multifaceted ways mother tongue has been conceptualized in South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and India. We examine how debates about mother tongue were involved in language policy debates in the colonial and postcolonial period. We also examine how various understandings of it—as a language of a mother, a language of identity (related to region, ethnicity, religion, or caste), and a language of communicative competency—emerge in relation to particular historical moments and in relation to particular practices, such as oratorical performances and interviews, where students reflect on its relevance to their sociolinguistic practices and experiences with language. This panel contributes to literature in Asian studies by examining what is significant about the way mother tongue has taken hold in the nations of South Asia, as well as how it mediates language policy, nationalist and counter-nationalist movements, and people’s positionings of themselves in relation to others.


Presenter 1
Christina Davis - c-davis@wiu.edu (Western Illinois University)
Performing Mother Tongue: From Stage to Interview

Presenter 2
Sohini Majumdar - smajum5@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Reimagining Mother-Tongue: Community, Nation, and Identity during Language Controversy in East Bengal, 1947-1956

Presenter 3
Maria Ritzema - maria.ritzema@gmail.com (College of DuPage)
The Place of Mother Tongue(s): Legislative Debates on the National Language(s) of Sri Lanka, 1946-1956

Presenter 4
Kathryn C. Hardy - khardy@sas.upenn.edu (Washington University in St. Louis)
Speaking Entirely without Effort: Mother Tongue and Language Purity in Bhojpuri Language Politics


Pandemic Histories and Andolan Imaginaries
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Anjali Arondekar - aarondek@ucsc.edu (UCSC)

Chair
Indrani Chatterjee - ichatterjee@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

The pandemic mandates new histories of South Asia. Even as racial capitalism and the attendant erosion of social provision escalates global ecological catastrophe, the meteoric rise of religious nationalisms as explicit statecraft re/makes a brave new world. If the current pandemic summons histories of contagion, threat and devaluation, such histories, we argue, are always already sutured to the very idea of South Asia. While the focus of the global pandemic continues to be on the outbreak’s original epicenters, it is the people in the South Asia, we are told, who will suffer even more, more loss, more decimation, of life and livelihood. It is this inevitable invocation of contemporary South Asia, as a perilous, contaminating geography of vulnerability, precarity, suffering, poverty that fuels our meditations here. This roundtable refuses such a continued insistence on South Asia as either a place of historical failure, or the place where theory is implemented. We proffer an alternative conceptual nexus here, that of pandemic histories and “andolan/protest” imaginaries to theorize modes of historiographical thinking that defy narratives of death and detritus. If anything, the containment of the pandemic, in the very geographies of so-called death, has provided more fodder for such ruminations. Histories of South Asia are always pandemic histories, histories of widespread foreign occupation, threatened constantly by inequality and landscapes of loss and dispossession. While such historical orientations have continued to define South Asia, we are keen to animate these habits of reading anew. How can pandemic stories be a place of gathering feminist hope, instead of dispersal and attenuation? We focus on lived modes of life and survival within Dalit, migrant, Muslim and queer collectivities,, not as dire responses to a pandemic, but more as historiographical forms that migrate, contaminate and infuse life precisely at the moment of extinction.


Presenter 1
Anjali Arondekar - aarondek@ucsc.edu (UCSC)
Presenter 2
Elora Shehabuddin - eshehabuddin@gmail.com (University of California, Berkeley)
Presenter 3
Suraj Yengde - surajyengde@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard)
Presenter 4
Nidhi Mahajan - nmahajan@ucsc.edu (University of California Santa Cruz)

Reconstructing and Re-Making Gender and Tradition
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Anusha Kedhar - anushakedhar@gmail.com (UC Riverside)

Discussant / Chair
Anusha Kedhar - anushakedhar@gmail.com (UC Riverside)

.


Presenter 1
Anusha Kedhar - anushakedhar@gmail.com (UC Riverside)
“Now is the right time. Come, come!” Unpacking Gender, Caste, and Humor in Bharatanatyam Performances of Eroticism

Presenter 2
Anusha Kedhar - anushakedhar@gmail.com (UC Riverside)
“Now is the right time. Come, come!” Unpacking Gender, Caste, and Humor in Bharatanatyam Performances of Eroticism

Presenter 3
Thalia Gigerenzer - thaliag@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
“Scene Change”: Stepping Out with Muslim Women in Delhi

Presenter 4
Michael Fiden - mfiden@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin)
Āpastamba and the Religious Roles of Women

Presenter 5
Pujarinee Mitra - pujarinee.mitra@gmail.com (Texas A&M University)
The Ugly Feelings in Women’s Labour: Questioning Tradition Through Spatial Affects in The Great Indian Kitchen


Histories of Displacement in Bangladesh
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Rubayat Jesmin - rjesmin1@binghamton.edu (SUNY-Binghamton)

Discussant / Chair
Rubayat Jesmin - rjesmin1@binghamton.edu (SUNY-Binghamton)

.


Presenter 1
Rubayat Jesmin - rjesmin1@binghamton.edu (SUNY-Binghamton)
Female Refugees’ Economic Empowerment and the 'Real' Factors That Matter

Presenter 2
Rubayat Jesmin - rjesmin1@binghamton.edu (SUNY-Binghamton)
Female Refugees’ Economic Empowerment and the 'Real' Factors That Matter

Presenter 3
Md. Shahriar Islam - mislam20@binghamton.edu (Binghamton University)
Postmemory of the Genocide and its Influence on Social Trust: Case of Bangladesh

Presenter 4
Mushahid Hussain - mh2395@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Refugees, Minorities, and Communists – Politics, Publics, and the Time of Nationalism in East Bengal, 1947-54


Sound, Music, Performance
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 5
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)

.


Presenter 1
Siddharth Arora - siddharth.arora@okstate.edu (Oklahoma State University)
Breathing the Revolution: Affective Citizenship in Oral Performances of Anti-CAA Protest Poetry

Presenter 2
Siddharth Arora - siddharth.arora@okstate.edu (Oklahoma State University)
Breathing the Revolution: Affective Citizenship in Oral Performances of Anti-CAA Protest Poetry

Presenter 3
Ayesha Sheth - ayeshas@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
“Familiar Rāgas for Unfamiliar Audiences : The Development and Diffusion of Musical Knowledge in North India, c. 1428-1605”.

Presenter 4
Sukanya Chakrabarti - sukanyac@alumni.stanford.edu (San Francisco State University)
In-Between Borderlines: Exploring spaces of ‘revolutionary love’ within the Baul-Fakir world in Bangladesh

Presenter 5
John Caldwell - asiaweb@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Queering the Mise: space, orientation, and motion in Bollywood buddy songs

Presenter 6
Vedanth Govi - vedsg02@yorku.ca (York University)
The Haunting of Lip-Syncing for Your Life: Global Space-Time and the Spectre of Lata Mangeshkar


Digital Media: New Practices, New Theories
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Mallika Leuzinger - mallikaleuzinger@gmail.com (German Historical Institute London)

Discussant / Chair
Mallika Leuzinger - mallikaleuzinger@gmail.com (German Historical Institute London)

.


Presenter 1
Mallika Leuzinger - mallikaleuzinger@gmail.com (German Historical Institute London)
Archival Imaginaries and the Politics of History in South Asia

Presenter 2
Mallika Leuzinger - mallikaleuzinger@gmail.com (German Historical Institute London)
Archival Imaginaries and the Politics of History in South Asia

Presenter 3
Naqibun Nabi - nnabi2021@fau.edu (Florida Atlantic University)
Exploring Bangladeshi “Crime thriller” Web series on OTT Platforms: Representation of Dystopian society and Stereotyped gender roles.

Presenter 4
Lakshita Malik - lmalik3@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago )
FILTERING THE “REAL”: NEGOTIATING THE OBSCURED SELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Presenter 5
Vipulya Chari - vipulya.chari@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison )
Two Indias to New India: Rhetoric of Development in State Advertising of Digital India

Presenter 6
Srikanth Nayaka - kanth.sri168@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati )
YouTube and the Rise of Streaming Culture in Small Town India: Aspiration, Articulation, and Attention


Exploring Urdu-Persianate Poetics
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Thomas Parsa - parsat@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Thomas Parsa - parsat@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

.


Presenter 1
Sabeena Shaikh - sabeena.shaikh22@gmail.com (McGill University)
Ghazals and Gals: Courtesans writing Urdu poetry in 19th c. Deccan

Presenter 2
Sabeena Shaikh - sabeena.shaikh22@gmail.com (McGill University)
Ghazals and Gals: Courtesans writing Urdu poetry in 19th c. Deccan

Presenter 3
Thomas Parsa - parsat@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Munīr Lāhorī and tāza-gū’ī: the Critique of an Iran-centric Persianate Literary World

Presenter 4
Mustafa Menai - mmenai@sas.upenn.edu ()
Urdu Poetry and the Desire for Reform: A Reevaluation


Language of the Gods in the World of Men
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sarah Taylor - sptaylor@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Sarah Taylor - sptaylor@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

The fact that Sanskrit literature is almost entirely written by and for men — more so, perhaps, than any other major literature — has been felt by scholarly and non-scholarly readers alike to be obvious and, for that very reason, often goes unremarked and unanalyzed. Sanskrit literature was largely untouched by the “gender turn” in scholarship that began several decades ago. The papers in this two-part panel will belatedly take up this problematic by asking some of the following questions. How are authors, characters and readers gendered in Sanskrit literature, and what interpretive consequences does this have? How does male authorship shape and pattern the representation of women in Sanskrit texts? How are they voiced and imagined? How are women narratologically troped? How do these tropes pattern male/female relationships? How are ideals of masculinity articulated in and alongside ideals of femininity? To answer these questions we look at a wide range of Sanskrit texts, from the hyper-canonical (Kālidāsa) to the definitely minor (Rāmacandra), to take up the challenge — posed by scholars including Karla Mallette (2018) and Anjali Arondekar (2018) — to develop a reading practice for Sanskrit that is sensitive to its highly ideological gender dynamics. These papers will show that gender in Sanskrit literature is not just an artifact of the society in which it was produced, but a systematic way of structuring literary forms and meanings.


Presenter 1
Andrew Ollett - ollett@uchicago.edu ()
Indumatī’s Silence

Presenter 2
Bihani Sarkar - bihani.sarkar@wolfson.ox.ac.uk ()
Counter Metaphors of Doing and Desiring Women in classical Sanskrit poetry

Presenter 3
Aleksandra Restifo - sasharestifo@gmail.com ()
Sacrifice and Violence: Representations of Motherhood in Sanskrit Drama

Presenter 4
Kashi Gomez - kashi.gomez@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Regional Other, National Mother: Gendering Cosmopolitan Identities in Premodern Sanskrit


The Political Economy of Modi’s India: Accumulation, Form of State, Hegemony (Part 2)
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Friday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Alf Gunvald Nilsen - alf.nilsen@up.ac.za (University of Pretoria)

Discussant / Chair
Alf Gunvald Nilsen - alf.nilsen@up.ac.za (University of Pretoria)

The ascension of Narendra Modi and the BJP to national power in 2014 and the further consolidation of BJP rule in the 2019 election are widely acknowledged as signaling the onset of a new political era in India. Above all, this era is defined by the sheer dominance of the ruling party - a dominance unparalleled in electoral politics since the heyday of Congress hegemony - and its consequent ability to transform state, society, and economy in substantial ways. This panel aims to probe more deeply into the political economy of this new era, by offering critical conceptual responses to the following questions: • How are accumulation strategies and state-capital relations configured under the Modi regime? Has India witnessed the onset of a new phase of neoliberalization in India since 2014? If so, what are its most significant aspects and dynamics? • How do we understand the changing character of the Indian state? In particular, what - if any - is the relationship between autocratization, the cultural politics of Hindu nationalism, and neoliberal policy regimes under Modi? • How does the Modi regime sustain its hegemony, especially among its plebeian voters, despite its persistently poor ability to deliver on its promises of development and prosperity for all? Specifically, through what modalities does the BJP government seek to reconcile the imperatives of accumulation and legitimation in a deeply unequal society?


Presenter 1
Kanta Murali - kanta.murali@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
The Political Economy of Voter Support for the BJP

Presenter 2
Aseema Sinha - aseema.sinha@cmc.edu (Claremont McKenna College)
India’s Governance and Policy Patterns Under Modi

Presenter 3
Kenneth Bo Nielsen - k.b.nielsen@sai.uio.no (University of Oslo)
Hindutva, Bovine Politics, and the Meat Industry: Sectoral Restructuring and Forms of Accumulation in Modi’s India

Presenter 4
Elizabeth Chatterjee - chatterjee@uchicago.edu ()
Modinomics: Slouching Towards a New State Capitalism


The Twilight of the Subcontinental Imagination
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Anustup Basu - basu1@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Discussant / Chair
Aamir Mufti - mufti@humnet.ucla.edu

The current age is witnessing the passing of generations with palpable or immediately inherited memories of a wider cultural cosmology of pre-Partition South Asia. That is, not just in terms of personal experience, but also in relation to passed down cultural and existential patterns of life, languages and dialects, culinary and sartorial matters, faiths, and ancestral rituals. Extended mental and imaginative geographies beyond the modern geopolitical borders, the profound sense of homelessness and exile, and the refusal to accept a collective Gemütlichkeit dictated by monolingual nationalisms that we see in the fiction of Manto, Pritam, Chugtai, or Rokeya; in the cinema of Ritwik Ghatak; or in the poetry of Faiz or Tagore stand the danger of being eclipsed. Similarly, other ecumenes not bound by the geo-bodies of the nation-state – cultures in Northeast India with ties to Burma, Tibet, Thailand, and Bangladesh – are also imperiled. This is partly due to certain inevitable features of the modernization process within the auspices of the nation state: great displacement of populations, progressive urbanization, industrialization of culture, or loss of community and kinship ties. The wider subcontinental imagination has also been arrested, curtailed, and fixated to jealous national destinying processes by the axiomatic institutions devoted to disciplinary pedagogy, memory and historical consciousness, censorship, standardizations of languages and cultures, and militarism. The long history of cross border or internecine communal and caste conflicts in South Asia have hardened identities, separated greater cultural and linguistic maps into rival geographies, and have introduced new imperatives of absolute belonging, purity, and virtue. The papers in this panel seek to critically explore imperiled subcontinental and cosmopolitan imaginations to understand what exactly is at stake when fierce imperatives of citizenship and peopleness tend to consign all powers of thinking and imagination to the nation-state.


Presenter 1
Anustup Basu - basu1@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Spatial Imaginations, Minorities, and the Question of the South Asian Secular

Presenter 2
Ahona Panda - ahonapanda88@gmail.com ()
Nation versus Nation-State: Popular Sovereignty and the Bengali Language Movement in East Pakistan

Presenter 3
Rochona Majumdar - r-majumdar@uchicago.edu ()
Between region and planet: Ghatak's imagination of belonging

Presenter 4
Amit Baishya - arbaishya1@ou.edu (University of Oklahoma)
Looking East: Burma in the Assamese Literary Imagination


Making South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Jane Lynch - jane.lynch@yale.edu (Yale University)

Discussant / Chair
Mythri Jegathesan - mjegathesan@scu.edu (Santa Clara University)

This panel explores the politics and practices of manufacture, broadly defined, as they are negotiated and configured through social technologies, networks, and institutional configurations. Our papers both engage with and move beyond a framework of labor and commodity production. While offering insights into the manufacture of material goods—ranging from textiles to buildings—and their associated forms of labor, we also use the analytic of “making” to examine a broader set of practices centered on the making of kinship, urban aesthetics, capitalism, and the bureaucratic state. In so doing, these papers underscore the interconnected relations between the social reproduction of nation, industry, and state as well as kinship, gender, and other forms of sociality. In each of these papers, attention to materiality, institutional contexts, and dynamics of power are key to understanding the creative work that goes into both the making of and making in South Asia.


Presenter 1
Namita Dharia - namita.dharia@gmail.com (Rhode Island School of Design)
Creative Destruction in Indian Real Estate and Construction

Presenter 2
Zehra Hashmi - zehashmi@gmail.com ()
Manufacturing Individuals in Postcolonial Pakistan

Presenter 3
Jane Lynch - jane.lynch@yale.edu (Yale University)
Producing and Reproducing Family through Business

Presenter 4
Andrea Wright - agwright@wm.edu (College of William and Mary)
Making Entrepreneurial Labor


Love in the South Asian city
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Anubhav Pradhan - anubhav.pro18@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Technology Bhilai)

Discussant / Chair
Nooreen Fatima - nooreen.fatima@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University Newark)

The ubiquity of love needs no comment, but its underlying and attendant shenanigans provide a vital entry point towards grounded understandings of the personal as political. In South Asian cities, love is as liberating as it is dangerous: it is deeply rooted in our shared cultural consciousness, revels in the transformative anonymity which urban life facilitates, and is closely tied to the aspirational imagery in whose shadow many of us refashion our identities. Yet, it is just as prone to be policed and curtailed in pursuit of cultural and communal purity and if often a risky site of ideological clash and machination. Centring love in all its myriad manifestations as its thematic pivot, this panel proposes to assess the space and place of love in South Asian cities from multiple disciplinary vantages. How do rurban masculinities find aspirational outlets in Chandigarh, transforming the predetermined grid of Corbusian modernity into an emblem of glocalised Punjabi romance? Is the gendering of friendships and intimacies in Delhi dependent upon the ebb and flow of bodies, minds, and ideas through its circuitous networks of transit and accidental interaction? Does nostalgia anchor friendships for women in Allahabad, where access to the city is often mediated around familial strictures on mobility and companionship? How have the burgeoning millennials of Raipur claimed hitherto sterile public spaces, such as airport greens and expressways, to articulate a newfound agency and freedom to love? With these distinct case studies, the panel will deliberate upon the metamorphoses in self and society being effected by love in contemporary South Asian cities. Correlating the textual with the cartographic, the anecdotal with the spatial, and the architectural with the affective, it will put a motley of methods on the table to lay a richly intersectional framework for understanding love in our cities.


Presenter 1
Ishita Sareen - sareenishita@gmail.com (Doctoral Candidate, Department of English & Cultural Studies, Panjab University)
Round About the Geri Route: From Toxic Romancing to Azaadi and Beyond in Chandigarh

Presenter 2
Meenakshi Nair - meenakshinai@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
On friendships and loves: Mobility, Space, and Agency in Delhi

Presenter 3
Nooreen Fatima - nooreen.fatima@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University Newark)
Seeing the City with Love and Friendship: Women, Agency and Embodied Memory in Allahabad

Presenter 4
Anubhav Pradhan - anubhav.pro18@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Technology Bhilai)
Towards a spatiality of love: Field notes from Raipur


Archaeology of South Asia - Recent Studies
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Steven Ammerman - stevammer@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)

Discussant / Chair
Steven Ammerman - stevammer@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)

.


Presenter 1
Baisakhi Sengupta - baisak91@g.ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)
Journeying to Eternity: “Ghora-Galis” and Place-making in the Indian Himalayas

Presenter 2
Baisakhi Sengupta - baisak91@g.ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)
Journeying to Eternity: “Ghora-Galis” and Place-making in the Indian Himalayas

Presenter 3
Arslan Butt - m.arslanbutt@yahoo.com (Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations, Quaid-i-Azam University)
Musa Khel & the Indus Tradition of the Northern Punjab

Presenter 4
Steven Ammerman - stevammer@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)
Reading the zooarchaeological record: Using the Jatakas to contextualize the archaeology of animal remains

Presenter 5
Moupi Mukhopadhyay - moupi206@g.ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angles)
Ioanna Kakoulli - kakoulli@ucla.edu ()
Understanding Pigment Composition in Kerala Temple Murals using non-invasive Imaging Techniques


Notions of Equality: Gender, Politics, and Society in India and Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
M. Raisur Rahman - rahmanmr@wfu.edu (Wake Forest University)

Discussant / Chair
M. Raisur Rahman - rahmanmr@wfu.edu (Wake Forest University)

This panel examines the formulations and limitations of accomplishing equality and social justice in Muslim South Asia. The modern democratic state presupposes norms of equality in the sense that its citizens are equal in political rights and duties, economic opportunities, and social treatments regardless of wealth, resources, status, and other dimensions of their condition. From Western enlightenment to Islamic tenets, the promise of equality has drawn upon multiple sources. In Muslim societies, particular Quranic verses are repeatedly referenced in support of the strong theological bases for equality. This panel takes up a multipronged approach to understand the theory and practice of equality across India and Pakistan. Afsar Mohammad looks into a Muslim writer and activist’s search for “the new woman” in the post-1940s Hyderabad by projecting women’s agency as a site for attaining gender equality, progressivism, and social justice. By looking into Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s 1947 speech promising equality to all religions, the adoption of Musāwat-i-Muḥammadī by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and the three constitutions of Pakistan, Mujeeb Ahmad unpacks the understandings, interpretations and violations of the different notions of equality in the state and society of Pakistan. By engaging with the lived experiences of the Dalit Christians of Pakistan through the lens of Orlando Patterson’s notion of “social death,” Yasmin Saikia asks some poignant questions about the respect and dignity for the Dalit Christians in contemporary Pakistan while invoking the country’s foundational ideas and historical contexts. Raisur Rahman explores how the English education in colonial India allowed for the flattening of the curve that the ashraf dominated, but it came with its own limits as the vast majority of the Indian Muslims failed to avail of educational, social, and economic opportunities. The panel represents diverse countries, time periods, academic ranks, and genders.


Presenter 1
Afsar Mohammad - afsartelugu@gmail.com (University of Pennsylvania)
The Making of “Nayee Aurat”: Jeelani Bano’s Search for Gender Equality

Presenter 2
Mujeeb Ahmad - mujeeb.ahmad@iiu.edu.pk (International Islamic University)
Notions of Equality, Musāwat-i-Muḥammadī: Theory and Practice in Pakistan

Presenter 3
Yasmin Saikia - yasmin.saikia@asu.edu (Arizona State University)
Being Christian and Unequal in Pakistan

Presenter 4
M. Raisur Rahman - rahmanmr@wfu.edu (Wake Forest University)
Ashraf, the Middle Class, and the Lingering Inequality among the Muslims of Colonial India


Hindutva as Spectacular Majoritarianism: Constituent and critic
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Drishadwati Bargi - bargi003@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)

Discussant / Chair
Shalmali Umakant Jadhav - shalmali@umich.edu (University of Michigan)

Indian media theorist Anustup Basu (2021) describes contemporary Hindutva as an “informational Hindutva” that relies less on established forms such as newspapers, universities, temples or shakhas, and is instead a mediatized phenomenon offering an ethereal and spectacular public Hinduness, transcending its factions and contradictions and as “filled with the babel of languages” (Basu 158). Modi’s Hindutva establishes new synergies between Hindu identity and neoliberalism in an affective realm of desires and fears. However, the viral spectacle of his image-building politics contrasts with the reticence and secrecy of a silent leader in times of crisis where loudly clamoring followers and grassroot propaganda fill the space of political speech. The result is a hollowing out of the language of institutions, specialists, and civil society, as well as of historical consciousness and any semblance of social justice (Basu 164). Taking this description as a provocation, this panel approaches Hindutva as a “spectacular majoritarianism” by examining the constituents and form its critique can takes. The four papers explore this in the following ways: 1) explores the articulations of digital media constituents of Hindutva – podcasts – as a form of distributed spectacle where Hindu supremacy is normalized by mocking caricatured “Others,” 2) examines constituents of the right-wing website OpIndia and their counter-fact checking efforts to create dubious knowledge systems by contesting the truth claims of mainstream news and fact checkers. 3) theorizes Hindutva as “spectacular majoritarianism” by juxtaposing Guy Debord’s work on the “spectacle” with Ambedkarite critique of majoritarianism as reflected in Dalit student activist Rohith Vemula’s Facebook life-writing. 4) argues that counter-majoritarian truth telling cannot merely be reduced to revealing lies. It requires both withdrawal to think, and the ability to see democracy’s limits and its possibilities of providing an alternative space through outsider solidarity.


Presenter 1
Pallavi Rao - tac6xr@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Listening to the Brahmin Man: Podcasting and the Distributed Spectacle of Hindu Majoritarianism in Digital Media Soundscapes

Presenter 2
Prashanth Bhat - nrbhatprashanth@gmail.com ()
Contesting Truth Claims: Indian Right-Wing Media’s Appropriation of Fact-Checking Mechanism

Presenter 3
Drishadwati Bargi - bargi003@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
Hindutva as Spectacular Majoritarianism: Ambedkar, the Situationist critique of representative democracy and the problem of citizen’s passivity

Presenter 4
Manohar Kumar - manohar.kumar@iiitd.ac.in (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Delhi)
The Politics of Counter-Majoritarian Truth-telling


Re-Reading South Asian Medical Histories
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Patricia Barton - p.barton@strath.ac.uk (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)

Discussant / Chair
Patricia Barton - p.barton@strath.ac.uk (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)

.


Presenter 1
Patricia Barton - p.barton@strath.ac.uk (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)
Innovative Knowledge in Traditional Settings: The Bengal Chemical Examiners’ Laboratory and the Medico-Legal Understanding of Cocaine, 1880s to 1920s

Presenter 2
Patricia Barton - p.barton@strath.ac.uk (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow)
Innovative Knowledge in Traditional Settings: The Bengal Chemical Examiners’ Laboratory and the Medico-Legal Understanding of Cocaine, 1880s to 1920s

Presenter 3
yoshina hurgobin - yhurgobi@kennesaw.edu (Kennesaw State University)
Immigrants, Emigrants, and Epidemics in Bombay, 1837 to 1901

Presenter 4
Debayudh Chatterjee - dc22@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
'To Drink or Not to Drink': Inebriation, Literature and Caste Politics in India


Translation and Canonicity
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Heleen De Jonckheere - heleen.dejonckheere@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)

Discussant / Chair
Srilata Raman - s.raman@utoronto.ca (University Of Toronto)

The canonicity of the textual communities of South-Asian religious traditions is constructed not only through original works or through commentaries but also through translation between languages as well as between scriptural traditions. Translations and adaptations work on source texts by means of interpretation and evaluation, and therefore have the power to establish or destabilize the status of a text or group of texts. At the same time, this evaluative connection of translations with earlier texts impacts the translation or adaptation's own status, establishing it in the lineage of or in opposition to previous works and textual traditions. Claims to canonicity are often made by new texts which are considered to be translations of older, divine revelation. Alternatively, the readership and influence of certain texts is broadened through acts of translation at specific historical moments, leading to a reordering of what is, or what is considered, canonical. Drawing from a range of textual traditions and genres, the papers in this panel interrogate these complex relationships between texts, translation, and canonicity. Two papers ask how historical instances of translation impacted the idea or construction of a unified Hindu corpus, through both opposition and reordering, respectively. The final two papers examine the role of vernacular translation practices in the reconceptualization of genres and the canonization of traditions and methods of reading.


Presenter 1
Heleen De Jonckheere - heleen.dejonckheere@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Jain Purāṇas versus laukika Purāṇas: The role of translation in creating a countercanon.

Presenter 2
Michael Allen - msa2b@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Śāstra, Canon, and the Construction of Hinduism: Niścaldās’s Hindi Translation of Madhusūdana’s Prasthāna-bheda

Presenter 3
Akshara Ravishankar - aksharars@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Translating Commentary: The Bhagavad Gītā in the Paramānanda Prabodha

Presenter 4
Aditya Chaturvedi - aditya.chaturvedi@emory.edu (Emory University)
From the Body of Kṛṣṇa to the Body of the Ācāryas: Translating Somatic Hermeneutics of the Puṣṭimārga from Sanskrit to Brajbhasha


New Interpretations of South Asia Literature, Part 1 of 2
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Shumona Dasgupta - sdasgupt@umw.edu (Associate Professor of English, University of Mary Washington)

Discussant / Chair
Shumona Dasgupta - sdasgupt@umw.edu (Associate Professor of English, University of Mary Washington)

.


Presenter 1
Shumona Dasgupta - sdasgupt@umw.edu (Associate Professor of English, University of Mary Washington)
“Affective Cartographies/A Sea of Stories: Diasporic Oceanic Memory in Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies”

Presenter 2
Shumona Dasgupta - sdasgupt@umw.edu (Associate Professor of English, University of Mary Washington)
“Affective Cartographies/A Sea of Stories: Diasporic Oceanic Memory in Amitav Ghosh’s Sea of Poppies”

Presenter 3
Sushmita Sircar - ssircar@gettysburg.edu (Gettysburg College)
Reading Internationalisms in Uday Prakash’s The Girl with the Golden Parasol and Shumona Sinha’s Le Testament Russe

Presenter 4
Bennett Comerford - bec500@mail.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Religion, Language Choice and Colonial Resistance in the Dramas of Madhusudan Datta

Presenter 5
Soumya Shailendra - soumyashailendra2027@u.northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
The Language of Friendship: Language Ideologies and National Reconstruction in Rahi Masoom Raza's Topi Shukla (1969)


New Readings of South Asian Displacement and Migration Narratives
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Suchitra Samanta - ssamanta@vt.edu (Virginia Tech)

Discussant / Chair
Suchitra Samanta - ssamanta@vt.edu (Virginia Tech)

.


Presenter 1
Suchitra Samanta - ssamanta@vt.edu (Virginia Tech)
"Family as Resource:" Educational Opportunity and Resilience for Bhutanese-Nepali Refugee Students in the U.S.

Presenter 2
Suchitra Samanta - ssamanta@vt.edu (Virginia Tech)
"Family as Resource:" Educational Opportunity and Resilience for Bhutanese-Nepali Refugee Students in the U.S.

Presenter 3
Tannishtha Bhattacharjee - tannishtha@ucsb.edu (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Affective Architecture of a New Nation: Petitions, Promises and Processes of Rehabilitation in post-Partition Shillong

Presenter 4
Wajiha Mehdi - wajihafatimamehdi@gmail.com (University of British Columbia)
Muslim women and Geographies of citizenship in India

Presenter 5
Nilotpal Kumar - knilotpal980@gmail.com (Azim Premji University)
Ritanjan Das - ritanjan.das@port.ac.uk (University of Portsmouth)
Natives and Migrants: The Politics of Place and Identity in Urban North India

Presenter 6
Rina Agarwala - agarwala@jhu.edu (Johns Hopkins University)
The Migration-Development Regime: How Class Has Shaped Indian Emigration since the 1800s


Recuperating Voices, Images and Words: British India and WWI
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Kamran Asdar Ali - asdar@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

Discussant / Chair
Kamran Asdar Ali - asdar@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

Our proposal engages with a relatively hidden chapter of South Asian history, British India’s participation during World War 1. The papers build on the partially forgotten history of more than a million Indian soldiers who served in World War 1 (and of those 70,000 soldiers who died). In the past two decades works on the Indian presence in WWI by David Omissi (1999), Shrabani Basu (2015), Santanu Das (2011), Geogre Morton-Jack (2018) and Long and Talbot (2018), amongst others, have enhanced our historical and cultural understanding of the period. Our proposed panel builds on this literature, but also follows a methodology and aesthetics that resembles that of an archaeologist who reconstructs forgotten voices as if assembling a pot from shards and pieces found in a dig. Reflecting a century later, the papers will trace lost voices, images and words related to British India’s involvement in WWI. While one of the papers shares the voices of Indian soldiers in German WWI POW camps another juxtaposes this with a detailed description of the emotional realities of “enemy aliens” who resided in India and were prisoners in internment camps during the same period. A third paper offers a different history of emotions by showing how Indian soldiers were denied treatment for psychological traumas due the colonial classificatory practices of deeming Indian soldiers, especially from the so-called “martial races” less likely to experience traumatic neurosis or schizophrenia compared to their European counterparts. Finally, a paper will present a history of the War through the picture postcard, a visual repository that provides unique cultural insights. Our panel is an interdisciplinary effort that responds to the history of imperial non-remembrance and explores the question of memory and recuperation through a series of interventions.


Presenter 1
Sarah Ansari - s.ansari@rhul.ac.uk ()
Internees and POWs in First World War India

Presenter 2
Sanaullah Khan - skhan103@jhu.edu ()
Medicine & the Critique of War: Military Psychiatry, Social Classification and the “Malingering” Indian Soldier during WWI

Presenter 3
Omar Khan - harappa@gmail.com ()
Wafer-thin History: India and World War I Through Postcards

Presenter 4
Kamran Asdar Ali - asdar@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Creating History from Fragments: Voices of Ordinary Folks


Visual and Sonic Performances of Identity in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 8: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 5
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)
Rehearsing Chandala: Embodying Intercaste Love in Janani’s Juliet

Presenter 2
Rini Tarafder - tarafder@wisc.edu (UW Madison)
Rehearsing Chandala: Embodying Intercaste Love in Janani’s Juliet

Presenter 3
Alisha Elizabeth Cherian - alishaec@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
"Without them, you are nothing": Sociality and Friendship in Singapore's Thaipusam

Presenter 4
Zehra Husain - zhusain@gradcenter.cuny.edu (CUNY Graduate Center)
From Compton to Lyari: The Cosmopolitanism of Rap Music in a Pakistani Port Town

Presenter 5
Twisha Singh - twisha.singh@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
From Performance to Prison: Re-defining Performative Radicalism within Socio-Political Theatre in London and Calcutta, 1870-1950.


Gendering Nations (And Their Discontents)
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 8: Saturday, 8:30 am - 10:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
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)

.


Presenter 1
Rashini Daluwatte - rashini.daluwatte@wsu.edu (Washington State University, Pullman Campus)
Dismantling the conceptualization of the heteronormative Sri Lankan capitalist nation-state in Giraya by Punyakante Wijenaike

Presenter 2
Rashini Daluwatte - rashini.daluwatte@wsu.edu (Washington State University, Pullman Campus)
Dismantling the conceptualization of the heteronormative Sri Lankan capitalist nation-state in Giraya by Punyakante Wijenaike

Presenter 3
Afroz Taj - taj@unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Negotiating Modernity in Women’s Urdu Pulp Fiction in India and Pakistan

Presenter 4
Sindhu Rajasekaran - sindhu.rajasekaran@gmail.com (University of Strathclyde)
Queer Storytelling as Decolonial Practice

Presenter 5
Silvia Genovese - s.genovese@sms.ed.ac.uk (University of Edinburgh )
The Politics of Circulation: Kashmiri Women Photographers and Digital Media

Presenter 6
Rudrani Gangopadhyay - rudraniganguly@gmail.com (Rutgers University)
Voices of resistance: 
Exploring Feminist Futurities in Indian Graphic Narratives


Poetic Examinations
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Emily West - ebwest@stkate.edu (St. Catherine University)

Discussant / Chair
Emily West - ebwest@stkate.edu (St. Catherine University)

.


Presenter 1
Emily West - ebwest@stkate.edu (St. Catherine University)
Indo-European Roots of the Tripuravadha

Presenter 2
Emily West - ebwest@stkate.edu (St. Catherine University)
Indo-European Roots of the Tripuravadha

Presenter 3
Saraswati Nandini Majumdar - snandinim@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
“Tying Knots in Air”: South Asian Anglophone Poetry as Improvisational

Presenter 4
Ayesha Latif - ayesharamzan83@gmail.com (University of the Punjab, Lahore/ Comsats University, Islamabad)
Study of the Punjabi genre of the Kafi as a dynamic vernacular poetic form

Presenter 5
Justin Henry - justin.henry@gcsu.edu (Georgia College & State University)
The “Rāvaṇa Kathāva” and the Sinhala Ramayana Tradition


Caste, Race, and Solidarities
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Rebekah McCallum - rxm5884@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University)

Discussant / Chair
Rebekah McCallum - rxm5884@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University)

.


Presenter 1
RAJORSHI DAS - rajorshi-das@uiowa.edu (University of Iowa)
Casteism and Feminism: Interrogating Transnational Feminist Theory

Presenter 2
RAJORSHI DAS - rajorshi-das@uiowa.edu (University of Iowa)
Casteism and Feminism: Interrogating Transnational Feminist Theory

Presenter 3
Rebekah McCallum - rxm5884@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University)
Cross-cultural Activism in the Post-WWI period: New Challenges to British rule in India

Presenter 4
Gaurika Mehta - gm2680@columbia.edu (Columbia University)
Making the Indo-Caribbean ‘Madrasi’ Minority: Geography, Language, Religion, and the Transcontinental Persistence of Caste

Presenter 5
Vatsal Naresh - vatsal.naresh@yale.edu (Yale University)
Problems of others' making: B. R. Ambedkar's Theory of Majoritarian Domination

Presenter 6
Uday Jain - uday.jain91@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
W. E. B. Bois and B. R. Ambedkar in the 1950s: Comparing Visions of Global and Social Peace


Gender, Embodiment, and Work in South Asia’s New Service Economy
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Sidra Kamran - sidrakn@newschool.edu (The New School)
Co-Organizer
Asiya Islam - a.islam@leeds.ac.uk ()

Discussant / Chair
Gabriel Dattatreyan - g.dattatreyan@gold.ac.uk

This panel will explore how gender and class relations are asserted and emerge through embodiment in the spaces of South Asia’s new service economy. The global scholarship on ‘emotional labor’ and ‘body work’ is largely focused on understanding paid work in services through the frame of ‘feminisation of labor’. In this panel, we offer to expand the remit of this scholarship by (a) conceptualizing work in an expansive way to include the unpaid work of cultivating certain practices of embodiment, and (b) focusing on gendered and classed embodiment by attending to emergent masculinities and femininities in relation to paid and unpaid work. The panelists will reflect on the cultivation and expression of gendered embodiment in contemporary spaces of service consumption and production such as malls, cafes, call centers, co-working offices, and privatized railway services. The presentations will engage with the following inquiries - How do practices of embodiment in emerging services index gender and class identities? In what ways may practices of embodiment challenge or reconfigure gender and class relations? What do practices of embodiment enable and disable for those compelled to take them up to ‘belong’ in such spaces?


Presenter 1
Shannon Phillip - sp2008@cam.ac.uk ()
Corporate Masculinities in a ‘New’ India: Ethnographic Insights on Middle-Class Gendered Relationships in Co-Working Office Spaces

Presenter 2
Sidra Kamran - sidrakn@newschool.edu (The New School)
Competing Femininities: Distinct Forms of Embodiment in a Department Store in Karachi, Pakistan

Presenter 3
Veena Mani - veenamani@stellamariscollege.edu.in ()
Whistles in the Station: Making of Railway Sports Subjects in India

Presenter 4
Asiya Islam - a.islam@leeds.ac.uk ()
Plastic Bodies: Women workers and emerging body rules in service work in urban India


The People of India: New Indian Politics in the 21st Century
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Nayanika Mathur - nayanika.mathur@area.ox.ac.uk (Oxford University)

Chair
Nayanika Mathur - nayanika.mathur@area.ox.ac.uk (Oxford University)

This roundtable centres ‘the people’ in its exploration of New Indian Politics. It picks up the well-worn phrase - the people of India - in order to probe two related questions. In the first, how do we understand the political landscape of contemporary India? And, secondly, what are the politics of knowledge production around New India and how may we be able to intervene in this always-animated space by offering out an alternative conceptualisation? Working through both the concept of ‘the people’ as well as by discussing very specific types of people/s, this roundtable aims to build up a conversation on multidisciplinary interventions on the question of how we are to build a critical analytical repertoire that is able to contend with the fractitious politics of the present. Speaker 1 will be speaking on the figure of the ‘bhakt’ who has emerged prominently in New India. Speaker 2 will be discussing the concept of ‘the people’ by building on his argument on the Indian constitution as “a people’s constitution.” Speaker 3 will be speaking on B R Ambedkar and the manner in which he has been appropriated and ignored in New Indian politics. Speaker 4 will be speaking on the figure of the kisan who has come centrestage due to the farmers protests, but will locate them within a longer agrarian history Speaker 5 will discuss the personified figure of Sarkar or the state, and how New India is slowly but surely changing the nature of governmental power. Speaker 6 will focus on the politics of AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) and how they are changing what “the people” consider good governance Speaker 7 will be discussing the figure of the peasant and how they figure in political and left imaginations of New India.


Presenter 1
Ravinder Kaur - rkaur@hum.ku.dk (University of Copenhagen)
Presenter 2
Aradhana Sharma - asharma@wesleyan.edu (Wesleyan University)
Presenter 3
Rohit De - rohit.de@yale.edu (Yale University)
Presenter 4
Navyug Gill - gilln2@wpunj.edu (William Paterson University)
Presenter 5
Suraj M Yengde - k_vinaya16@yahoo.com (Harvard University)

Teaching South Asian Languages: A Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Round Table

Location

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

Organizer
Zara Chowdhary - zchowdhary@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Chair
Zara Chowdhary - zchowdhary@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Language being human-constructed code essentially, has performed many unintended, or perhaps precisely intended functions in South Asia. Slurs and cusswords are weapons of oppression, abstractions are micro-aggressions, (mis)gendering too! How in these politically charged and socially aggravated times, can language classrooms become spaces to build meaning and conversation and actively push back against the weaponizing of language? The speakers include at least two language educators in Hindi and Urdu, a theater director and playwright who produces social justice focused work in Telugu, English and Kannada, and a translator who runs a popular social media handle highlighting SA poetry and literature. The speakers look at the parameters through which one chooses texts, navigating the politics of linguistic identity especially at the undergraduate level, and engagement with our less-commonly taught languages in the age of social media. How do we empower students to feel included in language learning and sharing their stories when South Asian languages are often scattered with landmines of othering? These panelists paint a vision board for how a South Asian language classroom in the 21st century can become a safe, free, and truly inclusive space.


Presenter 1
Zara Chowdhary - zchowdhary@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Presenter 2
Pasha Khan - pasha.m.khan@mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Presenter 3
Sri Vamsi Matta - srivamsimatta@gmail.com
Presenter 4
Onaiza Drabu - onaizadrabu@gmail.com (NA)

THE CAREERS OF THINGS: INFRASTRUCTURAL RECURSIONS AND REINVENTIONS IN SOUTH ASIA
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Sahana Ghosh - sahanagee@gmail.com (National University of Singapore)

Discussant / Chair
Rachel Sturman - rsturman@bowdoin.edu (Bowdoin College)

This panel explores the multiple lives of infrastructure: the unexpected, untold, and rogue journeys of infrastructural objects, technologies, instruments, and sites. Infrastructure studies has opened up “the politics and poetics of infrastructures” in their first incarnations—what they were built for—and at the end of their lives—as the ruins of technical and cultural engineering as well as questions of access. Building on this scholarship, this panel explores the material, social, political-economic, and discursive transformations that reconstitute infrastructures over time, thereby illuminating the latencies and excesses within infrastructures that allow for their multiple lives. What stories are told – or spin out of control – about these transformations are as important as the materiality and political economy of the transformations themselves. The four papers explore the heterogenous entanglements that are produced and relied upon as political actors, environmental conditions, and creative use transform the meaning, technical capacity, and aesthetic force of infrastructural sites and entities across historically and geographically varied contexts in South Asia. These are the careers of infrastructures, or biographies beyond, beneath, and across the surface of things that move us past the oft-commented on dialectics of bounded visibility and invisibility towards the distribution of effects that are social, sensory, political, and perceptible. Varied in scale, from the devices of global financialization and subcultural production to the sites of national development and security, careering infrastructures is the method and object of this panel.


Presenter 1
Kartik Nair - kartiknair@gmail.com (Temple University)
The Specter of the Sawmill

Presenter 2
Sahana Ghosh - sahanagee@gmail.com (National University of Singapore)
The Last Station/The First Barrack

Presenter 3
Meghna Chaudhuri - chaudhum@bc.edu (Boston College )
Infrastructural Embodiments: Labor to Steel

Presenter 4
Nusrat Chowdhury - nchowdhury@amherst.edu (Amherst College)
An Infrastructure of Rumor


Rebuilding Economies: Tradition and Innovation in South Asia’s Market Society
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Indivar Jonnalagadda - indivarj@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

Discussant / Chair
Navjit Kaur - nkaur@princeton.edu (Princeton )

As a medium defined by the circulation of value, markets constantly invent and transform the definition of tradition. Sometimes hinging close to the enduring idea of authenticity, wherein markets mobilize fixed definitions of tradition , while at other times markets are pushed to redesign, innovate, and “invent traditions” to bolster various value projects. Between these two tendencies, how do we understand the relation between markets and traditions? This panel draws attention to the genres of tradition and innovation that circulate in South Asia’s market society, genres through which projects of “rebuilding economies” are often heralded whether in the context of agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, or finance. Markets are a crucial site to explore the distinctions between contexts where tradition is often (mis)read as informality while on other occasions tradition itself structures the customs of modernity codified as laws and rules. The market as a site, thus, draws attention to the specific laboring bodies that perform this work of rebuilding and innovating, as invention becomes a norm in neoliberal times. We ask, what tools, objects, commodities, people are written off, excluded, laid to rest when traditions become burdensome and the calculus of capital obliterates markets? Yet the market is also a platform where economic projects are contested and reconfigured, sometimes out of political resistance, but often through the hustle and desire to survive and be relevant. In this light, what shape does rebuilding take in a market through the emergent process of circulation? Crucial to that, what forms of investment as manifest in infrastructures, start ups, and capital, are mobilized to consolidate platforms and make circulation feasible? If tradition hinges on a definition to be circulated, identified with a particular community, then markets are also landscapes where discourses, commodities, peoples, are mobilized to make feasible an enduring tie located in tradition.


Presenter 1
Samprati Pani - samprati.pani@gmail.com (Max Weber Institute, New Delhi )
Doing Bazaar: Practices, improvisations and negotiations of periodic markets in Delhi

Presenter 2
Indivar Jonnalagadda - indivarj@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
No Entry: Rethinking Customary Law through Real Estate Markets in Hyderabad Slums

Presenter 3
Nishpriha Thakur - nishprihathakur@gmail.com (king's College London )
Not in the Pill, Nor in the Place, but in the Dossier: Quality of Indian Drugs in African Markets

Presenter 4
Navjit Kaur - nkaur@princeton.edu (Princeton )
Between Auzaar and Dast: The vanishing biography of the Karigar


Gendered Readings of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Organizer
Varnica Arora - varora@gradcenter.cuny.edu (CUNY The Graduate Center)

Discussant / Chair
Varnica Arora - varora@gradcenter.cuny.edu (CUNY The Graduate Center)

.


Presenter 1
Hashim Ali - hali25@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Gendering the 1960s: the Evocative Lives of Pakistani Female Students

Presenter 2
Hashim Ali - hali25@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Gendering the 1960s: the Evocative Lives of Pakistani Female Students

Presenter 3
Varnica Arora - varora@gradcenter.cuny.edu (CUNY The Graduate Center)
Anuja Jaiman - anuja.jaiman@gmail.com ()
I remain under the sneaky watch of my own coffin*: A critical discourse analysis of media representations of young girls’ suicides in India

Presenter 4
sameera abbas - abbas_sameera@yahoo.com (University at Buffalo)
Labor and the Picture of a Perfect Woman in Ashraf Thanwi’s "Bahishti Zewar"

Presenter 5
Samira Musleh - musle004@umn.edu (University of Minnesota - Twin Cities)
Measuring Labor, Pricing Love: Marital Economy in Contemporary Muslim South Asia

Presenter 6
Shivani Gupta - shivani90.gupta@gmail.com (National University of Singapore )
Urban Aspirations: Women Re/desiring Banaras


Rethinking Colonial Archive
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Nilanjana Paul - nilanjana.paul@utrgv.edu (UTRGV)

Discussant / Chair
Nilanjana Paul - nilanjana.paul@utrgv.edu (UTRGV)

Many scholars have argued that earliest colonial rulers kept detail records as a matter of life and death. While some were preserved, some were burned down. Evidence of imperial violence was destroyed as is clear from the works of Ian Cobain. The arc of problematizing the archive is long. Historians like Antoinette Burton has argued that British Library’s India Office was not just a repository of colonial records but whispering galleries of land mines and crime scenes. Nicholas Dirks argued that colonial archive symbolizes everything wrong with state archives, the imbalances, their silences intertwined with their claims of objectivity. On archival practices, Mary Douglas reminds us of “social order operating on individual minds.” In recent years, Dan Hicks and Claire Wintle have articulated the need and methodology for decolonizing museums and archives. A “sustained unlearning” as Priyamvada Gopal puts it is important. Priya Satia has placed responsibility on historians for perpetuating many myths in history. The central aim of this panel is to rethink how the archive can help the discipline of history and take it forward. This panel will explore a variety of perspectives related to knowledge production within the British Indian Empire, which will demonstrate how the British controlled the land, the aspirational outlook, limitations and also their moment of decolonization. Speaker 1 looks at provincial aspirations that are contained in archival records, but are seldom discussed because the ideal is often far removed from reality. Speaker 2 looks at archive as an ideascape for decolonization. She engages with Michel-Ralph Trouillot, Todd Shepard and Laura Ann Stoler, thinking about a methodology that incorporates both reading along and against the grain. Speaker 3 offers ways to rethink limitations in missionaries’ accounts. And Speaker 4 looks at ecological knowledge formation as an overlooked aspect of colonial knowledge formation.


Presenter 1
Hayden Bellenoit - bellenoi@usna.edu (US Naval Academy)
‘Scribes and the Indian agrarian economy in the formation of the colonial archive’

Presenter 2
Nilanjana Paul - nilanjana.paul@utrgv.edu (UTRGV)
Anandibai Joshi, Gurubai Karmakar, and Clara Swain: Education, empire, and women’s rights in Colonial India

Presenter 3
Aryendra Chakravartty - chakravaa@sfasu.edu (Stephen F. Austin State University)
Provincial Institutions and the Indian Imagination: Patna in the early 20th Century

Presenter 4
Dharitri Bhattacharjee - bhattad@wwu.edu (western washington university )
On reading the historical grain in The Center of Oriental Culture archive, 1942-1947


The Babri Masjid and Hindu Nationalism: A Thirty-Year Retrospective
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Christine Marrewa-Karwoski - cmarrewa@gmail.com (Columbia University)

Chair
Christine Marrewa-Karwoski - cmarrewa@gmail.com (Columbia University)

On December 6, 1992, a mob of Hindu militants stormed Ayodhya to destroy a sixteenth-century mosque, the Babri Masjid. 2022 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the successful attempt to raze this early modern mosque. In the thirty years since the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Hindu nationalism has grown significantly both in India and in the diaspora. This roundtable reflects on the pivotal historical moments surrounding the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the increasing embrace of Hindu nationalism by different Indian publics. The participants of this roundtable each discuss various aspects surrounding the destruction of the Babri Masjid and its aftermath. Speaker 1 reprises and reflects on the early aftermath of the mosque’s destruction in both Ayodhya and New York. Speaker 2 will focus on the role that the leaders of the Gorakhpur temple complex played in the years leading up to the destruction of the Babri Masjid and how these yogis have employed ideas of monastic power to gain support for Hindu nationalism. Speaker 3 examines the disparate treatment of Hindu and Muslim communities in the 2019 Supreme Court verdict concerning the land on which the former mosque was built. Speaker 4 argues that the 2019 verdict became possible through the production of a mediatized, transnational, Hindu belief community that takes shape through a virtual/digital network of likes, shares, and hashtags. Speaker 5 discusses the ways that transnational Jains engage with the BJP by ignoring its genocidal aspects and relying on their caste and class privileges to shield themselves from its ineluctable aspects. Speaker 6 will discuss her field research in Lucknow and share how two generations of Muslims make sense of the demolition.


Presenter 1
John Stratton Hawley - js3@columbia.edu
Presenter 2
Audrey Truschke - audrey.truschke@gmail.com (Rutgers University-Newark)
Presenter 3
Dheepa Sundaram - dheepa.sundaram@du.edu (University of Denver)
Presenter 4
Steven Vose - stevenvose@gmail.com
Presenter 5
Zehra Mehdi - zm2261@columbia.edu (Columbia University )

Intersections of Gender, Family, and Medicine
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

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)

.


Presenter 1
Dana McLachlin - danamclachlin@gmail.com (Duke University)
Investing in the Nation: Human Capital in Bangladesh

Presenter 2
Dana McLachlin - danamclachlin@gmail.com (Duke University)
Investing in the Nation: Human Capital in Bangladesh

Presenter 3
Amna Qayyum - amna.qayyum@yale.edu (Yale University)
IUDs, Vasectomies, and the Biopolitics of Modernization in Pakistan, 1965-71

Presenter 4
Ayelet Ben-Yishai - abenyishai@univ.haifa.ac.il (University of Haifa)
The 1975 Emergency and the Rhetoric of the Family

Presenter 5
Nikita Arora - nikita.arora@hertford.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)
The Curious Case of Patnibrata Men: Masculinity in Punjabi Medical Literature, c. 1925 – 1939


Innovation and Translation Within and Beyond the Islamicate
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Daniel Morgan - dmorgan2@scu.edu (Santa Clara University)

Discussant / Chair
Daniel Morgan - dmorgan2@scu.edu (Santa Clara University)

.


Presenter 1
Adil Mawani - adil.mawani@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
How do you Write an Urdu Biography of Muhammad for Women’s Spaces (the Zenānah)?

Presenter 2
Adil Mawani - adil.mawani@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
How do you Write an Urdu Biography of Muhammad for Women’s Spaces (the Zenānah)?

Presenter 3
Sumbul Farah - sumbulfarah@gmail.com (Jamia Millia Islamia)
Innovation is (not) a bad word

Presenter 4
Shahid Khan - sm7khan@gmail.com (Georgetown University)
Islamicizing a Hindu Prayer: Three Urdu Translations of the Gayatri Mantra

Presenter 5
Daniel Morgan - dmorgan2@scu.edu (Santa Clara University)
Repopulating Mughal Delhi: The Trials and Tribulations of Nur Allah Budhnawi


New Interpretations of South Asian Literature, Part 2 of 2
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Mashrur Shahid Hossain - mashrursh@yahoo.co.uk (Purdue University Northwest)

Discussant / Chair
Mashrur Shahid Hossain - mashrursh@yahoo.co.uk (Purdue University Northwest)

.


Presenter 1
Radhika Prasad - rprasad4@ucsc.edu (University of California, Santa Cruz)
The Female Body and the Politicization of the Literary: Examining Krishna Sobti’s Female Protagonists

Presenter 2
Radhika Prasad - rprasad4@ucsc.edu (University of California, Santa Cruz)
The Female Body and the Politicization of the Literary: Examining Krishna Sobti’s Female Protagonists

Presenter 3
Medha Bhattacharyya - mbhattacharyya2018@gmail.com (Bridgewater State University)
Pedagogic Approach to Rabindranath Tagore’s Śāntiniketan Essays in the US Classroom

Presenter 4
Mashrur Shahid Hossain - mashrursh@yahoo.co.uk (Purdue University Northwest)
Both Being and Becoming: Towards Bangladeshi Comparative Literature


Health, Culture, and Governance in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Faizaan Qayyum - faizaanq@gmail.com (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

Discussant / Chair
Faizaan Qayyum - faizaanq@gmail.com (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

.


Presenter 1
Faizaan Qayyum - faizaanq@gmail.com (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
“Across that road but we can’t go”: How Ethnicization and Origin Stories shape healthcare decisions among displaced Afghans in Quetta, Pakistan

Presenter 2
Faizaan Qayyum - faizaanq@gmail.com (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
“Across that road but we can’t go”: How Ethnicization and Origin Stories shape healthcare decisions among displaced Afghans in Quetta, Pakistan

Presenter 3
Md Abdur Rahman - rahmanm2021@fau.edu (Florida Atlantic University)
Cultural Etiology of Illness: A Study of a Bangladesh Village

Presenter 4
Priyanshu Gupta - priyanshu.gupta@iiml.ac.in (Indian Institute of Management Lucknow)
Rajesh Bhattacharya - rb@iimcal.ac.in ()
Pandemic & India’s policy response to sustainable resource governance: Examining State agency in an anticommons


Killing the Oriental Despot
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Padma Kaimal - pkaimal@colgate.edu (Colgate University)

Discussant / Chair
Daud Ali - daudali@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)

Orientalism’s construct of the other’s ruler as wicked, depraved, bent on power for all the wrong reasons, continues to beset the popular imagination and some scholarly ones too in the 21st century, in both the “East” and the “West”. The construct persists despite compelling scholarship that imagines ancient Indic leadership in other terms. Daud Ali’s insights into praśasti, for example, propose a compelling picture of the pre-colonial South Asian ruler who embodies responsibility to others, tasked with perpetuating the salvific, protective work the deities performed in mythic times. Dipti Khera draws an image of royal pleasure, joy, and delight. This session is an opportunity to further dissolve the twisted projection of the Oriental Despot. Evidence from all disciplines – verbal, visual, material, embodied, ritual – can locate strategies for taking these understandings of ancient leadership beyond the academy and into wider discourses.


Presenter 1
Cynthia Talbot - ctalbot@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Heroic Overlord as Fount of Fame: Remembering Prithviraj Chauhan in the Vernacular

Presenter 2
Mary Beth Heston - hestonm@cofc.edu (College of Charleston)
“Puppets of the Raj”

Presenter 3
Richard Davis - rdavis@bard.edu (Bard College)
The education of princes and kings

Presenter 4
Padma Kaimal - pkaimal@colgate.edu (Colgate University)
Speaking in the voices of sons and wives


Thinking with the Lyric: Genre Theory and South Asian Literary Study
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Shiv Subramaniam - sks2184@columbia.edu (Columbia University)

Discussant / Chair
Shiv Subramaniam - sks2184@columbia.edu (Columbia University)

Our panel focuses on the vast body of short, non-narrative poetry from South Asia we wish to gather under the concept of “lyric.” The lyric archive includes some of the most influential and thought-provoking cultural products of South Asia, from love poetry and devotional prayer to royal panegyrics and protests against religious orthodoxy. However, lyrics resist the current critical methods of South Asian literary study, which are largely suited to the analysis of narratives. Reading lyrics from different periods and traditions—classical, medieval, and modern, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu—the papers in our section aim to develop a critical vocabulary adequate to South Asian lyrics, as well as display the insights made possible by a comparative study of the lyric in South Asia. We believe that South Asian genres such as the Tamil tanippāṭal, Urdu ghazal, and Sanskrit muktaka can be usefully theorized together without sacrificing traditional specificity. In organizing this panel around the concept of the lyric, then, our goal is neither to force-fit a universal concept onto some new particulars, nor to reduce all South Asian lyrics to a single model. We propose the lyric as an open-ended conceptual framework that will allow scholars of South Asian literature to make new and useful connections across periods and genres—the kind of concept Jonathan Culler has in mind when he asserts that “a broadly historical and…transnational conception of lyric enhances critical understanding.”


Presenter 1
Shiv Subramaniam - sks2184@columbia.edu (Columbia University)
'Seeing the Past Before One’s Eyes’: Lyric Temporality in the Sanskrit Tradition

Presenter 2
Kristina Rogahn - k.rogahn@mail.utoronto.edu ()
On This and That Occasion: Lyric Reading and the Tamil taṉippāṭal

Presenter 3
Francesca Chubb-Confer - f.chubbconfer@gmail.com ()
Remnants of Eternal Possibility: Iqbal, Modernity, and the Ghazal as Lyric Method

Presenter 4
Meghan Hartman - hartman.meghan@gmail.com (University of Virginia)
‘Combusting Mental Horizons’: Mīrājī’s Vision of Lyric Poetry


The Movement for Caste Equity in the United States: Historical, Sociological, and Legal Perspectives on Struggles Against Caste Oppression
Round Table

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Purvi Mehta - pmehta@coloradocollege.edu (Colorado College)

Chair
Purvi Mehta - pmehta@coloradocollege.edu (Colorado College)

As B.R. Ambedkar predicted, caste has accompanied South Asian migrants all over the world. In the United States, caste discrimination among South Asian Americans has gained significantly more public visibility over the last six years. This roundtable of scholars and activists with expertise in areas including constitutional law, civil rights law, critical caste studies, and trauma studies will focus on the movement for caste equity in employment, housing, and higher education in the United States. Speakers will survey forms of caste harassment and discrimination and offer historical and sociological perspectives on caste in the South Asian diaspora, the rise of organized anti-caste activism in the U.S., and the grassroots movement to include “caste” as a protected category in institutional nondiscrimination policies. Legal experts will discuss recent litigation, including the cases against Cisco Systems and the BAPS Temple, and analyze the status of “caste” under federal anti-discrimination laws. Drawing on their research and experience, roundtable participants will engage the following questions: How have activists made caste discrimination legible to the larger American public and American legal system? What are the legal arguments for the prohibition of caste discrimination as a violation of federal anti-discrimination laws? How have activists connected the struggle against caste to other social justice movements in the United States?


Presenter 1
Kevin Brown - brownkd@indiana.edu
Presenter 2
Guha Krishnamurthi - guha.krishnamurthi@ou.edu
Presenter 3
Presenter 4
Gaurav Pathania - gaurav.pathania@emu.edu (Eastern Mennonite University)
Presenter 5
Thenmozhi Soundararajan - thenmozhi@equalitylabs.org
Presenter 6
Sonja Thomas - smthomas@colby.edu (Colby College)

South Asian Queer Culture
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz - jvanbirk@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University)

Discussant / Chair
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz - jvanbirk@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University)

.


Presenter 1
Liz Mount - emount@flagler.edu (Flagler College)
Hijra Families Today: Social Change and “Choice” for “New” Women

Presenter 2
Liz Mount - emount@flagler.edu (Flagler College)
Hijra Families Today: Social Change and “Choice” for “New” Women

Presenter 3
Jessica Vantine Birkenholtz - jvanbirk@psu.edu (Pennsylvania State University)
Cows to Queers: Understanding Local Queer Discourses and Activism through Nepal’s Two Pride Parades

Presenter 4
Ahon Gooptu - agooptu@fsu.edu (Florida State University)
Nowhere Nation: Cruising Citizenship and Performing Brown Queerness, a 'Glee'-ful Match 'Made in Heaven'

Presenter 5
Hafsa Arain - harain@bu.edu (Boston University)
On Harm and Healing: Discourses of Religious Trauma among Queer and Trans Youth in Karachi

Presenter 6
Liza Tom - liza.tom@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Selective Inclusions: Narratives of Development and among CBOs in Bangalore


The Mythopolitics of neo-Hindutva: Identity, authority, resistance
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Silje Lyngar Einarsen - silje.l.einarsen@mf.no (MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society)

Discussant / Chair
Kenneth Bo Nielsen - k.b.nielsen@sai.uio.no (University of Oslo)

The panel takes as its starting point the political mobilization and styles of political performance that are associated with neo-hindutva and its vision of the Indian nation. Underlying the authoritarian populism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a hindutva mythopolitics, a kind of politics that draws upon and reinterprets mythological narratives, cosmologies, symbols, and forms,to assert and uphold the authority of the sovereign. However, religious cosmologies and myths are also crucial resources for new political formations that are in opposition to the mythopolitics of hindutva. In emerging popular movements and oppositional online spaces, myths are recast in ways that vehemently challenge and oppose the hegemonic narratives of the Hindu right. As an analytical approach, mythopolitics cuts across the divide between the populist authoritarianism of the state and various forms of resistance and “counter-politics”. In-between these extreme positions of political discourse, communities marginalized along caste or ethnic lines often represent muddled or “difficult” cases as they reformulate regional mythologies to invigorate pride and symbolize the community’s journey from the margins to the mainstream, strategically drawing from both hindutva and oppositional discourses in the process. Thus we ask, how is myth creatively employed to create or challenge positions of political authority? The proposed papers will look at cases wherein mythic narratives are reformulated, refashioned or re-actualized as part of active processes of identity formation and contestation. They interrogate how processes of socio-political change are expressed through the mythic in order to enhance our understanding of the explicitly political and often controversial uses of myth in the present. Beyond state-sanctioned mythologies and formal electoral politics, the papers are concerned with expressions of mythopolitical negotiations and contestations through new digital technologies and social media, and within spheres of popular culture and religiosity.


Presenter 1
Guro Warhuus Samuelsen - guro.w.samuelsen@mf.no (MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society)
Populist fantasies of the Future: Otherworldly imaginations in the Mythopolitics of Narendra Modi

Presenter 2
Sarthak Bagchi - sarthak.bagchi@ahduni.edu.in ()
Like a River Flows: Role of Myth and Memory in mobilizing a community’s collective identity

Presenter 3
The'ang Teron - theang.teron@mf.no ()
Mythopolitics of Neo Karbi Religious Idenitiy: Majoritarian Uniformity?

Presenter 4
Silje Lyngar Einarsen - silje.l.einarsen@mf.no (MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society)
Puranas and Politics: Sanskrit scriptures in the mythopolitics of neo-hindutva and its opponents


From Numbers to Neighborhoods: Critical Interventions in 20th Century India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Abhinav Ghosh - abhinavghosh@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

Discussant / Chair
Abhinav Ghosh - abhinavghosh@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

.


Presenter 1
Abhinav Ghosh - abhinavghosh@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Crisis at Scale: Education and a Productive Statistical Exercise in India

Presenter 2
Abhinav Ghosh - abhinavghosh@g.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Crisis at Scale: Education and a Productive Statistical Exercise in India

Presenter 3
Mehul Gupta - gupta.mehul1999@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
Defense or Development? The Effect of Military Presence on Road and Economic Development in India

Presenter 4
Sanjeev Routray - sanjeevkroutray@gmail.com (Universiti Brunei Darussalam)
Emplacements: Production and Social Reproduction in an Industrial Neighborhood of Delhi

Presenter 5
Anuj Goyal - anujg16@iimcal.ac.in (Indian Institute of Management Calcutta)
Growth of small towns in India: a turmoil of aspirations and desperation

Presenter 6
Raj Kamal Singh - rajkamal@ucsb.edu (University of California, Santa Barbara)
How the Divided Organize Collectively: A Study of Coalition as a Collective Action Strategy among Indian Farmers


Exploring South Asian Masculinity
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 9: Saturday, 10:30 am - 12:15 pm
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Organizer
Sucheta Kanjilal - skanjilal@ut.edu (University of Tampa)

Discussant / Chair
Sucheta Kanjilal - skanjilal@ut.edu (University of Tampa)

.


Presenter 1
Shwetha Chandrashekhar - schandrashek@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Reading aspiration, masculinity, and violence in Aravind Adiga’s Selection Day

Presenter 2
Shwetha Chandrashekhar - schandrashek@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Reading aspiration, masculinity, and violence in Aravind Adiga’s Selection Day

Presenter 3
Ishan Mehandru - ishan.mehandru@gmail.com (Northwestern University)
Reframing Masculinity: Frustrated Desires in Ismat Chughtai’s Short Stories

Presenter 4
Sucheta Kanjilal - skanjilal@ut.edu (University of Tampa)
The IT Factor: Engineering Masculinity and Petulant Vulnerability


Nationalism Across South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 10: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Organizer
Hera Shakil - herashakil@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Hera Shakil - herashakil@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

.


Presenter 1
Hera Shakil - herashakil@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Liberalism sans Pluralism: How Hindu Nationalists attract Liberal Voters

Presenter 2
Hera Shakil - herashakil@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Liberalism sans Pluralism: How Hindu Nationalists attract Liberal Voters

Presenter 3
Ametasree Bhattacharya - ab0177@mix.wvu.edu (West Virginia University)
Nation-making in Rural Bengal: The 'Palli' as a microcosm of Bhadralok Nationalism (1920-1940)

Presenter 4
Avishek Jha - avishekj@student.unimelb.edu.au (The University of Melbourne)
Shantanu Kulshreshth - shantanuiskulshreshtha@gmail.com (University of Melbourne)
The CAA-NRC Protests: Analyzing New Ecologies of Youth Protest in India

Presenter 5
Muhammad Abdur Raqib - mraqib@uci.edu (UC Irvine)
When wounds are disappeared: Massacre, memory, and Biharis in Bangladesh


Animal Representations in South Asian Cultures
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 10: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Pallavi Raonka - pallaviraonka@depauw.edu (DePauw University)

Discussant / Chair
Pallavi Raonka - pallaviraonka@depauw.edu (DePauw University)

.


Presenter 1
Pallavi Raonka - pallaviraonka@depauw.edu (DePauw University)
“We are Mundas of the land!”: Understanding Adivasi conceptualizations of nature and animals in neoliberal India

Presenter 2
Pallavi Raonka - pallaviraonka@depauw.edu (DePauw University)
“We are Mundas of the land!”: Understanding Adivasi conceptualizations of nature and animals in neoliberal India

Presenter 3
Anisha Palat - a.palat@sms.ed.ac.uk (University of Edinburgh)
Exploring the body and the cow in the work of Kirtika Kain and Sajan Mani

Presenter 4
Thakshala Tissera - ttissera@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Sacred Elephants and State Funerals: Performing Nationhood through Non-human Animals

Presenter 5
Ankush Arora - aarora06@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Symbol of Divinity or Deadly Weapon? Representation of the Cow in Indian Calendar Art and Digital Media

Presenter 6
GAYATHRI DEVI S - gayatridevi467@gmail.com (SREE SANKARACHARYA UNIVERSITY OF SANSKRIT, KALADY, KERALA)
Taming the Wild and the Trails of Labor : Elephant Trapping in Nineteenth-Century Travancore, Southern India


Villains, Vadhas, and the View from the Other Side: Antagonism in Premodern South Asian Literature
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 10: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Nell Hawley - nshawley@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard University)

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

A deep curiosity about who or what is on the “other side” underlies much of what we encounter in premodern South Asian narrative literature, where central figures are often defined in relation to charismatic antagonists who embody competing ethical, emotional, and social values. In this way the villain and the vadha—the confrontation unto death—form the backbone of epics, poems, and stories across premodern South Asia, creating structural tensions between protagonist and antagonist that are so foundational we take them for granted. Our panel digs into those foundations. Why do so many composers and readers cross boundaries between protagonist and antagonist, adopting the “other side’s” perspective? Does this speak to broader notions of religious, literary, and linguistic coexistence in which boundaries are meant to be crossed? When, by contrast, do these boundaries hold strong, facilitating cultural self-definition against some irredeemable Other? Our panel approaches these questions through four case studies. Our first paper analyzes South Asia’s archetypal villain, Ravana, as he comes to life in Punam’s Manipravalam Ramayana (the Bhasharamayanachampu, from fifteenth-century Kerala): this Ravana invites the reader’s appreciation and even affection. The second paper shows how, in the Muslim poet Masih Panipati’s Indo-Persian Dastan-i Ram o Sita (ca. 1624), the rakshasi Shurpanakha—Ravana’s sister, and the ultimate Other—sympathetically embodies human possibility. A third paper explores Mpu Panuluh’s Old Javanese Shalyawadha (part of the Bharatayuddha, 1157 CE), which paints the Mahabharata’s Shalya, a Kaurava general, as a romantic lead—but one who must be slain. Our fourth paper brings the past to the present. In the hands of Gujarati-speaking Pushtimarga Vaishnava preachers, the demon Bali—defeated by Vamana (Vishnu) in the Bhagavata Purana—becomes a model devotee and a vehicle for anti-Brahmin critique, while the actions of Vamana himself are said to defy dharma. Who’s the antagonist now?


Presenter 1
Sivan Goren Arzony - sivangoren@gmail.com (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Ten Faces to Evil: Punam’s Ravana

Presenter 2
Shankar Nair - san2k@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
“Sufi in Appearance, but Satanic in Inner Nature”: The Villainess Shurpanakha as Mirror of Human Nature in Masih Panipati’s Persian Ramayana

Presenter 3
Nell Hawley - nshawley@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Sleeping with the Enemy: Love and Antagonism in the Shalyawadha of Mpu Panuluh

Presenter 4
Priya Kothari - pkothari@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Preaching Demonic Exceptionalism: Pushtimarga Hindu Vaishnava Gurus on Bali in the Bhagavata Purana


Mediating Identities, Mediating Histories
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 10: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Daniel Heifetz - dph43@pitt.edu (University of Pittsburgh)

Discussant / Chair
Daniel Heifetz - dph43@pitt.edu (University of Pittsburgh)

.


Presenter 1
Ujaan Ghosh - ughosh2@wisc.edu (UW Madison)
The Indolent Native as the Insolent Rebel: The unexplored history of Puri’s Grain Riots

Presenter 2
Ujaan Ghosh - ughosh2@wisc.edu (UW Madison)
The Indolent Native as the Insolent Rebel: The unexplored history of Puri’s Grain Riots

Presenter 3
Ishanika Sharma - ishanika.sharma@emory.edu (Emory University)
“Just Us”: Pronouns Against Partitions

Presenter 4
Daniel Heifetz - dph43@pitt.edu (University of Pittsburgh)
“Mahatma Moses” and the Cultural Politics Indian Jewish Humor

Presenter 5
Arpeeta Mizan - amizan.law@du.ac.bd (University of Bristol Law School)
Pseudo-Minorities in Bangladesh: Can Right to Cultural Identity Answer the Identity Crisis in Bangladesh? ?

Presenter 6
Gayatri Maria de Souza - gayatridesouza@gmail.com (Freie Universität, Berlin)
Whither Goans? The Diasporic Imaginary in East Africa (1950-63)


New Perspectives on South Asian Political Histories and Philosophies
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 10: Saturday, 1:45 pm - 3:30 pm
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Organizer
Sarath Pillai - sarathpillai@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

Discussant / Chair
Sarath Pillai - sarathpillai@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

.


Presenter 1
Moinak Banerjee - moinak.banerjee@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Peripheral Aesthetics of Violent Mediations: Reading Alternative Narratives of the Indian Emergency

Presenter 2
Moinak Banerjee - moinak.banerjee@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Peripheral Aesthetics of Violent Mediations: Reading Alternative Narratives of the Indian Emergency

Presenter 3
Sujata Chaudhary - sujata.chaudhary@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
The Changing Nature of Royal Festivals in the Districts of Kullu and Mandi, Himachal Pradesh: a comparative analysis

Presenter 4
Sarath Pillai - sarathpillai@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
The Ends of Federalism: Interwar India in Global Legal History.

Presenter 5
Dhananjay Wanjari - dhananjay@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Christophe Jaffrelot - christophe.jaffrelot@kcl.ac.uk ()
The Making of Political Philosophy of Kanshiram: Early Years of Kanshiram in Maharashtra