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 Preconference
8:00am-
8:00pm
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
12:00-
8:00pm
Exibit Hall Open
Venue: Madison Ballroom
5:30-
6:00pm
Reception
Venue: WI Ballroom
Friday, October 23rd, 2015 8:00-
5:00pm
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
8:30am-
5:30pm
Exibit Hall Open
Venue: Madison Ballroom
8:30-
10:15am
Session 1 – 15 Panels
10:30am-
12:15pm
Session 2 – 15 Panels
1:45-
3:30pm
Session 3 – 17 Panels
3:45-
5:30pm
Session 4 – 16 Panels
5:30-
6:00pm
Reception
Venue: WI Ballroom
6:00-
7:00pm
Keynote Address (Wendy Doniger)
Venue: WI Ballroom
7:00-
8:30pm
All-conference Dinner & SABA Award Presentation
Venue: Capitol Ballroom B
9:00-
11:00pm
DJ Rekha Dance Party (with Tanuja Desai Hidier)
Venue: WI Ballroom
Saturday, October 24th, 2015 8:00am-
3:30pm
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
8:30am-
8:30pm
Exibit Hall Open
Venue: Madison Ballroom
8:30-
10:15am
Session 5- 15 Panels
9:30-
11:00am
2015 SABA Author Presentation
Venue: Assembly Room
10:30am-
12:15pm
Session 6- 16 Panels
1:45-
3:30pm
Session 7- 16 Panels
3:45-
5:30pm
Plenary Session (Thrity Umrigar, Shyam Selvadurai)
Venue: Capitol Ballroom A
5:30pm-
7:00pm
CET College year in India Alumni Reception
Venue: University Room
7:00-
8:00pm
Performance (Nautanki with Devesh Sharma)
Venue: WI Ballroom
9:00-
11:00pm
AIPS Reception
Venue: Senate Rooms A & B
Sunday, October 25th, 2015 8:00-
11:00am
Registration Open
Venue: 2nd Floor Foyer
8:30-
10:15am
Session 8- 16 Panels
10:30am-
12:15pm
Session 9- 17 Panels
Filter Schedule
 
  (Results found : 161)

Gender, Sexuality and Occupation
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

DEEPTI MISRI - misri@colorado.edu (UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO BOULDER)

This feminist preconference will attempt to think through the connections between gender, sexuality and militarized occupations in South Asia and its diasporas. In what ways might we think about occupation as a feminist and a queer issue fundamentally inflected by the categories of caste, class, religion and not least, race? How might a focus on occupation speak to, draw upon, and potentially revise existing South Asian feminist theorizations of the relationship between feminism, nationalism, and transnationalism? Or indeed decenter “South Asia” as a geopolitical category? How are notions of indigeneity deployed to ground claims by both, occupying powers and those who resist them, and what are the gendered dimensions of such notions? Can the paradigm of settler colonialism, salient in studies of occupation in US/Canada and Israel/Palestine, for example, be brought to bear on occupations in South Asia, or do the latter demand a different analytical vocabulary? Furthermore, how might diasporic South Asians think through their implication in occupations elsewhere? How might a focus on militarized occupations and their histories enable a rethinking of conventional gendered geographies of nations and nationalisms? We invite submissions that engage with feminist and queer studies in thinking through the spatial and temporal dimensions of historical and contemporary occupations across South Asia and its diasporas, be it in Kashmir, Balochistan, Tibet, Afghanistan, East Pakistan, India’s North-East, or beyond.


Colonial and Postcolonial Borderlands
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Swati Chawla - sc2wt@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)

There has never been a more critical time for studying borders. Recent political events across the world have alerted us to the urgent need for better understanding the role of borders in shaping states and identities. This preconference therefore brings together a range of scholars to collectively reflect on some core questions about imagining, constructing, and navigating borders in Modern South Asia. Adopting a broad historical approach, the preconference will reflect on borderlands from the late eighteenth century to the present day, deploying a variety of methodological perspectives, from archival work to ethnography. Our program has 17 confirmed participants divided into four chronologically and thematically arranged panels. The participants range not only across thematic and regional expertise, but also generations. These include senior pioneers such as Indrani Chatterjee, William Pinch, Brian Hatcher and Ramnarayan Rawat, as well as recently appointed faculty and graduate students. We have a finalized schedule, and do not need a public call for papers (see attached file). The panels encompass presentations from history, political science, anthropology, literary and religious studies, and invite both specialist and non-specialist audiences. Each panel has a discussant and will accommodate audience questions at the end. We welcome everyone in the audience; no prior registration is required, and people may walk in and out of panels. We would like a room with a capacity for about 40 persons, including panelists and audience members. This event is the beginning of a rich conversation on border-making and border-crossing. We will propose a special issue of the journal Himalaya: The Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies for the publication of some of the papers and reflections on the state of the field. Further conversations will also continue in our universities, and other regional and disciplinary conferences in the U.S. and South Asia.


Problems in Literary Translation: Voices from the Trenches
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Martha Ann Selby - mas@austin.utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin)

Though translation is often intrinsic to the practice of South Asianist scholarship, literary translators are a small minority in the field. Because the format of academic conferences foregrounds research and prioritizes scholarly argument and theory over the practices of translation that underwrite area studies, it is often difficult for literary translators to present and discuss their work in such settings. We propose a day-long pre-conference built around presentations given by twenty participants devoted to the practice of hands-on literary translation from South Asian languages or between South Asian languages. We will invite presentations from published translators, encouraging formats that engage creatively with the process of translation, raise problems and open-ended questions, and foster discussion, debate, and critique among translators. Problems to be discussed will be largely ones of technique, including the inherent difficulties of translating dialogue (an indicator of all kinds of things such as class, caste, and status) and inflection in voice, register, and tone. How do we translate "time" and “place”? How do we balance philological concerns with the production of readable texts? How are the challenges of translating poetry different from those presented to us by prose? And finally, what happens when we translate idioms of human experience from a South Asian language into English, or from one South Asian language into another? At the end of the day’s panels, we will hold a translation “mushaira,” in which participants will be invited to present oral presentations of their work to the group.


Performance and Performativity in Modern South Asia: An Interdisciplinary Preconference
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Kat Frances Lieder - lieder@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

This preconference approaches ‘performance’ as both a rich object of analysis and a theoretical framework for the study of South Asian culture and praxis. In so doing, it demands a dedicated engagement with the diverse forms of performance in South Asia ­– including but not limited to theatre, performance art, dance, music, and performativity. The use of performance as both a tool and an object of analysis is an often under-represented field within the discipline of South Asian Studies, and we seek in this conference to emphasize its importance to topics as diverse as government bureaucracy, feminist protest, and recuperative historiography. By invoking performance as a conceptual category, we illuminate the potential for performative modes of reading and analysis to generate new understandings of the articulations of caste, class, gender and sexuality within South Asia. Given the wide scope of this preconference, we hope to attract scholars from a range of disciplines and sub-fields, uniting them around the question of what performance can do for the study of Modern South Asia Possible topics include: Feminist protest and performativity Neoliberal frameworks in performance Theater as historiography The relationship between performance, memory and the archive Performance and community: questions of ‘nation,’ ‘culture,’ and belonging Interculturalism/global networks and the circulation of performance Performance and the question of caste Performing queer identities. Dance, movement, and the circulation of affect Theater and dance in the diaspora


AIIS Dissertation to Book Workshop
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Susan Wadley - sswadley@syr.edu (Syracuse University)

Sponsored by the several organizations devoted to the study of South Asia, this workshop aims to help a select number of recent PhDs re-vision their doctoral dissertations as books. Applications to participate are due by July 15. 2017. Required is an email containing a current CV; the dissertation abstract, its table of contents, and its first chapter plus a draft book prospectus. Please submit your documents as a SINGLE PDF FILE to Professor Wadley by midnight, July 15, 2017 (wadleysusansnow@gmail.com).


Cow, Buffalo, Bullock: Bovine Politics in South Asia
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

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

In recent years, cattle have been at the heart of intense struggle across South Asia: Laws penalizing cattle-slaughter and possession of beef were tightened in several Indian states, and renewed attempts made at securing a national ban. The laws, linked to brutal and murderous violence by "cow vigilantes" on Muslims and Dalits all over the country, inspired protests and work-stoppages. Echoing well-worn themes in the scholarship, critics have bewailed political use of the symbol of the cow; the manipulation of Hindu sentiments; and the shameless oppression of India's religious and caste minorities. Yet mass protests against the ban on jallikattu bull taming, organized in defense of Tamil culture and indigenous breeds, remind us that there remains much to learn about the symbolisms and the materialities of cattle in South Asia. This preconference shifts the focus from India's anti-slaughter laws to engage the varied arenas of bovine poetics and politics across time. We will discuss how relationships to cow-sacrifice demarcate Muslim identities, among colonial ulama and across the India-Bangladesh border. We will discuss Indian Christians' tangled relationship to beef; and how for Yadav dairymen, the buffalo has become a symbol of masculine, Hindu identity. We will discuss affective relationships to cattle among butchers in India, and cow sanctuaries maintained by Hindus in the United States. And we will examine alliances between cow-protection and the state, in campaigns to deliver milk to children in colonial Madras; colonial-era breed improvement; and today's initiative to track cattle with "identity cards." Bringing the symbolisms of cattle into conversation with the materialities of cattle rearing and trading, dairy production and breed improvement, this preconference explores how the role of cattle in marking boundaries of caste, community, gender and nation are challenged and negotiated in unexpected ways.


Decolonization: Texts and Con-Texts of Freedom
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Sandeep Banerjee - sandeep.banerjee@mcgill.ca (McGill University)

See attached document


Futures of Northeast Indian Studies
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

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

Studies of Northeast India from various disciplines has increased exponentially in the American academy and beyond in the last two decades. This period saw three major paradigms emerging in this knowledge-field: a) the focus on questions of identity formation and its resultant politics, ii) a study of the region as a ‘zone of exception’ and iii) the framework of borderlands that re-envisaged this region as a cultural crossroads between South, Southeast and East Asia. In the recent years, some new paradigms seem to be emerging in the study of the region. As we discuss in our brand-new co-edited book, "Northeast India: A Place of Relations" (Ed. Yasmin Saikia and Amit Baishya; Cambridge University Press: 2017), three broad new trajectories seem to be consolidating in this new conjuncture in the field: environmental studies/history (including post-humanist approaches), a move away from paradigms of the exception to a consideration of an “everyday” Northeast, and new histories of gender relations and feminist activism. Building on this mapping of the field, this preconference seeks to investigate possible futures that Northeast Indian studies can take in the current moment. We will probe histories of the mundane and the ordinary, the traces of friendships, relations and human connections, narratives of environmental symbioses and multispecies connections, new histories of gender relations and gender-based activism, and other modalities of politics that have emerged in this region. To this end, the goal of this preconference is to continue the study of this borderland zone as a dynamic, flexible, ever-shifting locale and to investigate possibilities of new paradigms that have the potential of shifting the study of this knowledge-field.


Thinking with India: Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives on Politics, Democracy, and Representation
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Lisa Bjorkman - lbjorkman6@gmail.com (University of Louisville)

This pre-conference gathering brings together anthropologists, historians and social theorists to ‘think with India,’ drawing on empirical research in order to probe some of the key concepts and categories through which contemporary political life is practiced, described and theorized. Our conversation will be organized at the outset around three key concepts – politics, democracy, and representation – with the goal of using ethnographic and archival work from the Indian subcontinent to flesh out and perhaps rethink received orthodoxies and normative presuppositions lurking in these words. Emergent practices of political contestation and mobilization that characterize our global political present reveal the limited explanatory power, inadequate conceptual content, and troubled normative presumptions inhering in received understandings of these words. The purpose of this preconference is thus to ‘think with India’ as a way of formulating concepts, questions, and analytical frameworks that can offer fresh ways of conceptualizing the political contemporary. We will attend as well to the ways that practices of historicization have informed what is recognized as significant or insignificant, legitimate or corrupt iterations of political practice. The list of invited participants is comprised primarily of researchers working on/in India, but also includes a few from other regions of the subcontinent. Comparative perspectives on politics in the Indian subcontinent reflect our goal of carefully curating a rich conversation among scholars of the political present in South Asia. This preconference meeting is envisioned as the first of a two-part project, the second phase of which will take place at the University of Pennsylvania in Spring 2018 and will bring these insights first into conversation with ethnographic work on the political present elsewhere (in the Middle East, South Africa, South America and Southeast Asia) and second into discussion with political theorists and philosophers.


South Asian Cinemas: Comparative Perspectives
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

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

Home to more than one-third of the world’s population, South Asia in the twenty-first century is the region where one-fourth of the global total of films is produced. Underneath the surface of popular cinematic forms produced across India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh lies a complex and often turbulent politics of South Asian cinema by language, numbers, production centers and target audience. Individual linear histories of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi cinemas – the three most connected and contentious national industries in South Asia – use handpicked milestones that only work towards satisfying the urge for aligning cinema with its nation of origin. On the subject of South Asian cinema, untangling film history from political history is always difficult, and is almost impossible for the slice of history that falls between the two Partitions of the Indian subcontinent – 1947 and 1971. Echoes from that phase can still be traced in the present configurations of the film industries and the continuing political wrangling over distribution and exhibition of films among Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India. Please send abstracts of short presentations based on longer papers. The idea of the panel is premised on a horizontal comparative context that is required to comprehend the unequal development of national and regional cinemas in postcolonial South Asia. Papers covering one or more industries or filmmakers from any South Asian region are welcome. The linguistically diverse map of South Asian cinemas today, with widely divergent positions on the scale of production, makes sense only when examined in the context of national policies and cultural politics. Papers with emphasis on comparative/historical perspectives of filmmaking are particularly encouraged. Drafts of papers will be pre-circulated; there will be an opportunity for peer-reviewed publication. Please send a 300-word abstract, bibliography, and your c.v. to rbhttchr@illinois.edu.


South Asian Muslim Studies Association Pre-Conference, "Postcolonial Scholarship at 70: Seven Decades of Research on South Asian Muslims 1947-2017"
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Roger Long - rogerlong1@gmail.com (Eastern Michigan University)

The South Asian Muslim Studies Association Pre-Conference invites scholars to present their latest research with reference to the advent of post-colonial South Asia in 1947. We seek papers on any aspect of South Asian Muslim life in South Asia and in the South Asian Muslim diaspora. In addition, we welcome considerations of South Asian Muslim history in the Sultanate, Mughal, and British periods with reference to scholarship conducted since 1947. The pre-conference consists of four panels of three speakers each to allow ample time for discussion and questions. The papers can be on any geographical area covering South Asian Muslim life, thought, practice, and culture, from Pakistan to Bangladesh, and from Nepal and India to Sri Lanka. In addition, we seek papers that illuminate the South Asian Muslim experience in the diaspora, from North America and Australia to Europe. Papers can be on any topic such as history, politics and policies, women’s studies and feminism, regionalism and cosmopolitanism, spirituality and religious experience, aesthetic theory and practice in art, media, literature, music, theatre and cinema, and any other manifestations of South Asian Muslim social and cultural practice. We seek contributions from scholars of all affiliations and from any disciplinary perspective. The South Asian Muslim Studies Association embraces all research without reference to ideological position, seniority, or doctrinal allegiance. The overarching theme of the pre-conference is a consideration of the latest research on South Asian Muslim life in theory and practice within the context of research conducted during the postcolonial period, but as it does so it seeks to celebrate and disseminate research on the latest themes, interests, and topics of study.


Time and the Modern South Asian City
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Madison Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Sneha Krishnan - krishnan.sneha@gmail.com (University of Oxford)

South Asian studies is arguably undergoing a temporal turn. Scholars have begun to explore the complex ways in which multiple pasts are visible in the contemporary present, and to critically unpack the time-stories and narratives that underlie the colonial archive. In this pre-conference, we will bring questions of time and modernity to bear on the study of cities in South Asia. Urban spaces invite reflections about multiple temporalities, mobilities and publics. Debates about mobility, change and identity rely on time to place the city, map those who dwell in it and pass through it, and imbue the urban with meaning. Locating the city in the context of broader debates that address modernity as a temporal problem, this pre-conference will interrogate narratives of historical inevitability and irretrievable loss, as well as imaginaries of futurity and acceleration. Bringing together diverse strands of scholarship in the study of cities and modernity in South Asia, we will interrogate the relationship between the representation of time – in narrative, in mediatized images and in everyday talk – and time as a site of affective, ethical and economic labor. The main questions that we plan to address include: - What assumptions about time underwrite histories of the South Asian city? How do fictional and cinematic narratives, as well as the nonfiction of newspapers and journalism, discursively produce the temporal architecture of the city? - In what ways do networks of capital – within and beyond the South Asian region – and their uneven temporalities shape the urban imaginary? - How should we understand urban waste? What meaning do ruins hold in places where waste is generated so rapidly? - How do religious, spiritual and spectral experiences shape the temporalities of urban life?


Himalayan Policy Research Conference (12th in annual series)
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Soumi Roy Chowdhury - sroychowdhury@unm.edu (University of New Mexico )

The Nepal Study Center (NSC) at the University of New Mexico, its members and affiliated scholars request letting us organize the Annual Himalayan Policy Research Conference, the 12th in our series at the pre-conference venue of the University of Wisconsin's 46th Annual Conference on South Asia (October 26-29, 2017). We have had grand successes over the years in providing this platform to attract scholars from all over the world. The purpose of the event continues to be to promote scholarly interactions among the scholars with policy research interest on the Himalayan region and the countries in South Asia. We have had highly successful conferences in the past --2006 through 2016 -- at your venue where scholars came to participate from several countries such as the US, Canada, Europe, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Japan. We even did a live internet broadcast of the event in 2010. The abstracts, proceedings, feedback from participants, and photos from our previous conferences are available at the following website: http://nepalstudycenter.unm.edu/SeminarsWorkshopsConferences/HPRC_Conferences/HPRC_ConferecesMainHomePage.html The main theme of the Himalayan Policy Research Conference (HPRC) draws from the fields of development, democracy, governance, and environment. We consider these fields broadly as encompassing socio-economic growth (aggregate or sectoral), political transition, institutional development, governance and administrative reform, poverty and income distribution, education and health, regional development, gender and ethnicity, trade and remittances, aid and foreign direct investment, resource and environmental management, public-private partnership in technology and investment, child labor, and many other issues. The papers are expected to have important implications for public policy in one or more countries of the Himalayan region and South Asia.


Queer Preconference: Navigating Normativity from a Non­-normative Perspective in Academia and the Field
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Jeff Roy - jeff.roy@live.com (University of California, Los Angeles)

Scholarship on South Asia has over the last two decades espoused a postcolonial hermeneutic to the study and documentation of minoritarian cultural formations, practices, and performances. Not only has this approach attended to issues of gender, sexuality, nationality, class, caste, and ethnicity, it also challenges boundaries of established research methods that frame our engagements in the field. While scholarly literature is nuanced in its approach to these issues, the field itself imposes upon scholars of different persuasions a kind of invisible hostility augmented by colonial thought. Our intention here is not to discount the breakthroughs that have already been made in literature, but to draw attention to the underlying, implicit regimes that continue to stifle, stymie, and segregate the dynamic, interdisciplinary perspectives and approaches of scholars active in the field. In this preconference, we would specifically like to draw attention to the journeys of queer, trans, and gender nonconforming scholars working in and around South Asia in order to highlight the ways in which patriarchy, heteronormativity, and the closet––which are never fully named, specified, or explicitly demanded of us––emerge as a presence that frames our work. We consider these three concepts under the guise of normativity, which operates as a silent character in the scholar’s portfolio, their relationship to their field and academia in general. Indeed, the academic spaces that we come out of present different challenges. Appearing rarely in text, normativity nonetheless rears its head in institutional processes such as fieldwork, conferences, and job searches, as well as in racial, sexual, and gendered microaggressions that code the western academic tradition of manifesting authority and authorship (Prasad and Roy, forthcoming). Here, we invite scholars from diverse fields and backgrounds to show how our personal and professional narratives parallel one another and may serve as media through which normativity operates.


How (not) to Write a History of Urdu Literature
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Mehr Farooqi - maf5y@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)

When literary modernization in concordance with western ideas became inevitable in nineteenth century colonial India, progress in literature was assessed through lenses that privileged change in the history of languages and literatures. The languages upon which Urdu writers modeled their work—Sanskrit, Arabic, or Persian—did not have histories of literature. There were, however, an abundance of anthologies of poetry with biographical notes on the represented poets, written in Persian and Urdu, which served as records of the past and present writers/poets. When Muhammad Husain Azad wrote his influential, so-called first history of Urdu poetry, Ab-e Hayat in 1880, he described it as - “Biographies of famous Urdu poets and a narrative of the development and changes in the Urdu language.” In the first half of the twentieth century, the writing of literary histories became an important project, particularly after the split of Hindi and Urdu as separate languages. Ralph Russell drew attention to the lack of “proper” histories of Urdu in his eponymous essay, “How Not to Write a History of Urdu Literature” (1999). However, his suggestions were mostly aimed at benefitting the non-Urdu readers. The Urdu historiographer’s first hurdle is to explain how the language was saddled with the name Urdu after being known as Hindvi/Hindi for the greater part of its existence. As Shamsur Rahman Faruqi emphasized in his keynote address at the University of Virginia’s Urdu Fest (2008), Urdu literary histories paint Urdu as an elitist language; they are almost always oriented towards north India, with Delhi and Lucknow as its primary centers. These histories do not give adequate space to Urdu’s regional centers, nor do they locate genres in their cultural context. We propose to address the above-mentioned issues through papers presented in the course of panels.


Many Mahābhāratas
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Nell Hawley - nell.s.hawley@gmail.com (University of Chicago)

As is evidenced by the number of volumes that study different retellings of the story of Rāma (the most well known of which inspires our title), the Rāmāyaṇa tradition has become a staple of South Asian Studies. Our proposed preconference will draw attention to the outstanding diversity of the other great epic tradition of South Asia: the Mahābhārata. Since the compilation of the Sanskrit Mahābhārata, innumerable Mahābhāratas have lived in nearly every South Asian language and artistic genre. Our preconference will shed new light on these “Many Mahābhāratas,” some of which will be entertaining sustained academic study for the first time. We hope that the preconference will serve as an opportunity to think about the Mahābhārata tradition (and the Sanskrit epic itself) in innovative ways. The array of languages, media, genres, time periods, and disciplinary perspectives that will be represented over the course of “Many Mahābhāratas” befits this goal. Our group of eighteen senior scholars and graduate students will present on Mahābhārata retellings/reworkings in Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, English, and Sanskrit. In analyzing tellings from the eighth century to the twenty-first, they will explore the scope of Mahābhārata narrative art from classical and premodern epic poetry, regional performance traditions, and the commercial theater to modernist literature, devotional posters, and comic books. The preconference will integrate approaches from the fields of comparative literature, religion, theater and performance studies, anthropology, history, postcolonial studies, and gender studies. After all, it would not be a true Mahābhārata gathering without there being something for everyone. Organizers: Nell Hawley, Sohini Pillai Participants: Amanda Culp, Aparna Dharwadker, David Gitomer, Robert Goldman, Sudha Gopalakrishnan, Meghan Hartman, Nell Hawley, Harshita Kamath, Sudipta Kaviraj, Timothy Lorndale, Pamela Lothspeich, Philip Lutgendorf, Lawrence McCrea, Ahona Panda, Sohini Pillai, Frederick Smith, Bruce Sullivan, Sally Sutherland Goldman.


Modes of Bhakti: Approaching Bhakti through Cross-disciplinary Conversation
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

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

The Regional Bhakti Scholars Network (RBSN) was formed three years ago, and since then, it has organized an annual pre-conference to bring together scholars of diverse Indic languages and regions to share expertise and develop new perspectives on devotional traditions. Last year, we experimented with a collaborative format that encouraged cross-regional, inter-linguistic and cross-religious dialog. The robust conversations that emerged helped us rethink the protean boundaries of bhakti as a category of analysis, paying particular attention to the tension between the ways bhakti is used emically, and how it is deployed in scholarly discussions of the subject. Equally, the role of social networks and institutions in formulating what constitutes bhakti also emerged as a dominant theme across the papers. This year’s pre-conference builds on the success of the collaborative format, but also offers a corrective to the over-reliance on textual materials as the primary resource in the study of bhakti. This year’s gathering invites a more sustained and informed engagement with bhakti along interdisciplinary lines, to bring art-historical and performative dimensions into dialogue with textual and historical studies of bhakti. This year’s theme encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration on bhakti to help us tackle not only what constitutes bhakti, but how it might be shaped in different medial forms.


Science, Technology & Medicine (STM) in South Asia Pre-Conference
Preconference

Location

Session: Preconference
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Bharat Venkat - bvenkat@princeton.edu (University of Oregon)

Theme for 2017: "Science, Mystery & Miracle" Full abstract attached


Women’s Collective Enterprise, Labor and Creative Navigations of the State in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

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

In recent years, the scholarship on state, community, and development in South Asia has focused its attention on various forms of collectives where women occupy a central role. Within these engagements, microcredit-based collectives have been explored in depth for obvious reasons, looking at the ways in which they shape gendered labor within communities, households and the possibilities these collectives create (or not) for social and economic mobility (Karim 2011, Rankin 2004). Our panel draws on these seminal studies, as well as the recent literature on other formal and informal collectives in South Asia (Sharma 2008; Subramaniam and Purkayastha 2004; Lahiri-Dutt and Samanta 2004) to explore the pitfalls and possibilities of these emerging formations. Our papers collectively span Nepal, Bangladesh, and India in engaging women’s labor and collective enterprise in South Asia. One notable focus in our enquiry is how the state is engaged with or avoided in new forms of social, religious, cultural, and financial enterprise and what kinds of community dynamics such engagements engender. The panelists thus explore women’s collective action within the contexts of state-making, insurgency and counterinsurgency, social and religious movements, labor unionization, and financialization of subnational struggles. By comparing and contrasting cases from different parts of South Asia, we will examine: (1) the impact of women’s collective enterprise on state institutions and organized movements, (2) the role of state and non-state actors in shaping women’s agency and self-making within collectives, and (3) changing meaning of women’s labor in light of these collectives. In pursuing this line of inquiry, our panel contributes to a body of work that investigates women’s collectives and their power to create a vision of social change.


Presenter 1
Lipika Kamra - lipikakamra@gmail.com (Georgetown University-Qatar)
Crafting New Selves: Women’s Self-Help Groups and Counterinsurgency in Rural West Bengal

Presenter 2
Lauren Leve - leve@email.unc.edu ()
Maoist Women in Christian Churches: Gendering Religion, Conflict and the State in Nepal

Presenter 3
Debarati Sen - debarati9@gmail.com (Kennesaw State University)
Subnational Enterprise: Women’s Labor and Generational Dynamics in Gorkhaland I & II

Presenter 4
Dina Siddiqi - dmsiddiqi@gmail.com (BRAC University)
Seditious Labor: Organizing Garment Workers in Bangladesh


Modern Islamic Identities and Representations Through Art, Historiography, and Piety
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Moushumi Shabnam - mshabnam@maxwell.syr.edu (Syracuse University)

x


Presenter 1
Moushumi Shabnam - mshabnam@maxwell.syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Teleconferencing on Islam: A Transnational Site for producing knowledge and reconstructing gendered identities.

Presenter 2
Adil Mawani - adil.mawani@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Epistemological Challenges in the Composition of 19th Century Sira in South Asia

Presenter 3
Wasim Shiliwala - wasim.shiliwala@gmail.com (Princeton University)
Islamic Piety Through/Against Imagery in Early 20th Century South Asia

Presenter 4
Seher Shah - sehershah@gwmail.gwu.edu (The George Washington University)
Abd Al-Majeed Parvin Raqam and the Creation of Lahori Nastaliq: A Contemporary History of Traditional Islamic Calligraphy in Lahore.


Between East and West: Foreign Interaction with South Asia through Beads
Panel Group

Location

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

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

Due to a unique collection of natural resources, South Asia has often been the source of raw materials and finished products which were sought across the world. South Asian craftspeople themselves were in high demand and may have been lured abroad with lucrative trade offers. These papers focus on research inside and outside of South Asia which points to the complex nature of manufacture, trade and exchange through time and space focused on South Asian beads. These artifacts themselves act as important indicators of status, wealth, power and ideology in the past. The panel begins with white steatite beads from Harappan sites which come from locations in north Pakistan. A new method of elemental analysis is being tested in order to study the small Harappan steatite beads. These data will then be compared to extant white steatite beads on Harappan sites. Our next paper discusses the importance of steatite being included in some of the faience artifacts from the Indus tradition. The panel will then move to the Levant and its interactions with the Indus through carnelian beads. Statistical analysis of these beads has revealed multiple workshops producing these beads in Harappan style. The final paper will move in time and space to look at Japanese carnelian from the first millennium CE. Diamond drilled carnelian beads appear to be coming from either South or Southeast Asia and manufactured in South Asian style. New analytical techniques and recent research into the trade and manufacture of multiple materials has revealed new connections and the far reaching influence of South Asian manufacture and design on the ancient world.


Presenter 1
Randall Law - rwlaw2@gmail.com (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
The geologic provenience and exchange of Harappan steatite beads. Part 1: INAA of low-weight beads and experimental samples

Presenter 2
Brad Chase - bchase@albion.edu (Albion College)
The geologic provenience and exchange of Harappan steatite beads. Part 2: White Gold?

Presenter 3
Heather Miller - heather.miller@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto (Missisauga))
Invisible Value or Tactile Value? Steatite in the Faiences of the Indus Valley Tradition

Presenter 4
Geoffrey E. Ludvik - ludvik@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
South Asia and the Levant: Newly Identified Indus Style Carnelian Beads in 3rd Millennium BCE Israel

Presenter 5
Lauren Glover - llglover@wisc.edu (UW-Madison)
Diamond-drilled Carnelian in Japan: New insights on long distance trade 250-645 BCE


Beyond Reform and Revival: Alternative Archives of South Asian Islam
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Iqbal Sevea - isevea@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

This panel seeks to reorient conversations on Muslim intellectual traditions in South Asia from the often predicable prisms of reform, revival, and religious debates. It offers instead views on South Asian Islam that encompass often less discussed discursive archives and landscapes. For instance, this panel engages such themes as the mobilization of humor for political critique, understandings of time and history in inter-religious projects of translation, the mediation of sectarian difference through mystical thought, and philosophical debates over the question of whether God can lie. The texts and contexts presented in this panel, spanning across time, space, and linguistic registers, bring into view hitherto less studied aspects of the depth, diversity, as well as ironies of South Asian Islam. The papers assembled here explore several key South Asian Muslim thinkers, pre-modern, modern, and contemporary -- principally Muhammad Qasim Firishta (d. 1620), Shah Muhammad Isma‘il (d.1831), Akbar Allahabadi (d. 1921), and Tahir ul-Qadri (b. 1952). Several salient themes cut across most, if not all, these four papers: first, how Muslims responded to perceived ‘crises’ in Islamic political and intellectual life in varied contexts; second, how key Muslim intellectuals set out to heal the Muslim body politic through rigorous social and self-critique; third, how they positioned themselves in continuity with Muslim intellectual history in the centuries before ‘modernity’ in South Asia asserted a cleavage between a ‘medieval’ past and a ‘modern’ present; fourth, how they imagined difference and the labor of engaging the ‘other’ through linguistic and epistemic translation; and fifth, how nationalist and/or Orientalist historiographies have obscured some features of these intellectual legacies. Taken as a whole, this panel will present new perspectives on a social and intellectual milieu that many historians of Muslim India have either ignored or jettisoned in favor of the rubric of ‘reformist’ or ‘revivalist’ Islam.


Presenter 1
Syed Rizwan Zamir - zamirsr@gmail.com (Davidson College)
Sufi Mediation of the Sunni-Shiite Divide: Two Contemporary Articulations

Presenter 2
SherAli Tareen - thetareen@gmail.com (Franklin & Marshall College)
What if God could Lie? Contesting Sovereignty in Early Colonial India

Presenter 3
Fuad Naeem - fuadsnaeem@gmail.com (Gustavus Adolphus College)
Humorous Contestations: Colonial Modernity, Indo-Muslim Traditions, and the Satirical Poetry of Akbar Allahabadi


Materiality, Consumption and Religion: Negotiating Religious Markets in South Asian Islam
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Justin Jones - justin.jones@theology.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)

Ever since Max Weber portended the so-called ‘disenchantment’ of modern life following the technological and bureaucratic rationalization of human existence, scholars within Religious Studies have attempted to counter-balance this prediction with discussions of the so-called ‘enchanting’ influences of these same processes. Through fields including, for example, the theorization of ‘religious markets’ within the Sociology of Religion, and studies of material culture within modern Hindu revivalism, scholars have assessed the appropriation of these same technologies and strategies of organization in the service of making new forms of religious agency, practice and piety. This panel will apply this framework of the so-called ‘materialist turn’ in Religious Studies to explore a series of intellectual, political and religious projects among Indian Muslims. Seeking to move away from existing emphases upon either intellectualist or socio-historical frameworks as methods for interpreting processes of Indo-Muslim religio-cultural renewal, these papers will trace these efforts in terms of their material engagements with the fresh realities of cultural consumption, print capitalism and public associationalism. All papers will explore in different ways how emerging cultures of materiality, mobility and bureaucratisation have influenced the making of new kinds of Islamic piety and activity. They will explore subjects such as the embodiment of religion within new calligraphic and presentational forms; the institutional, financial and documentary re-ordering of religious life; and the increasing ability of religious leaders and adherents alike to both ‘sell’ and ‘shop’ between religious forms in this ever-more complex religious marketplace. Significantly, rather than looking at major metropolitan centers, long seen as the natural nodes of materiality and consumerism, all papers look at small-town and neighborhood contexts in north India, showing the pervasiveness of these cultures of materiality and consumption across the spectrum of Muslim life.


Presenter 1
Megan Robb - robbme@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Newspaper Markets and Consuming Islam

Presenter 2
David Boyk - davidboyk@gmail.com (Northwestern University)
Paper Soldiers: Reading and Fighting in a Bihari Qasba

Presenter 3
Justin Jones - justin.jones@theology.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)
Muftis Go To Market: Fatwa-Selling and Fatwa-Shopping in Colonial-Era India

Presenter 4
Christopher Taylor - cbtaylor@bu.edu (George Mason University)
Receipts, Forms, and Other "Forms" of Islamic Charity: Accounting for Piety in Modern North India


Tantra and Tribal Religions
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Frederick Smith - frederick-smith@uiowa.edu (University of Iowa)

The intersection between ‘tantra’ and ‘tribal religions’ constitutes an open and controversial field of enquiry. The categories of ‘tantric’ and ‘tribal’ are themselves elusive and contested, yet one can hardly deny their grounding in a constellation of discourses and imaginaries that shaped the Indic religious scene from the premodern period to the present. These discourses and imaginaries featured the interaction across socio-cultural milieux, geographical regions, and ethno-linguistic groupings, of such practices as mediumship, possession, trance, exorcism, performance, sanguinary rituals, sorcery, healing, etc. The proposed panel explores the intersection between tantra and tribal religions in the wider Indic world from a longue durée perspective. It includes four papers presenting case studies drawn from different socio-cultural milieux (e.g. Brahmanical/mainstream and tribal/folk), geographical regions (e.g. South and Southeast Asia), and ethno-linguistic groupings. The first paper evaluates the theory of a shared religious matrix in South and Southeast Asia, and suggests some similarities between the religions of the Austroasiatic-speaking tribals of both areas and the phenomenon of tantrism. The second paper examines tantric and folk/tribal understandings of trance states through examples drawn from Hindu traditions in West Bengal and Bali. The third paper describes the intersection between mainstream Hinduism and tantric practices among the Tiwas, a tribal group of Assam. The fourth and last paper outlines the distinctive features of shamanism and tantric exorcism, and locates their overlaps with specific examples from texts and ethnographic accounts from South Asia. Taken collectively, the papers advance a comparative and multi-disciplinary perspective crosschecking the ethnographic data with textual evidence from manuscripts and inscriptions in order to bring into the scholarly debate the (alleged) ‘margins’—whether the social milieux of tribal practitioners lying at the boundaries of the Brahmanical order, the outlying geographical areas of Northeastern India and Southeast Asia, or ‘semi-literate’, uncanonized textual corpora.


Presenter 1
Andrea Acri - andrea.acri@ephe.sorbonne.fr (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris)
Tantrism "Seen From the East"

Presenter 2
june McDaniel - mcdanielj@cofc.edu ()
Tantra, Trance and Tribal Tradition: Some Styles of Trance Induction in Bengali and Balinese Hinduism

Presenter 3
Sravana Borkataky-Varma - sravana.varma@gmail.com ()
The Dead Speak: A Case Study from the Tiwa Tribe Highlighting the Hybrid World of Śākta Tantra in Assam

Presenter 4
Michael Slouber - michael.slouber@wwu.edu (Western Washington University)
Is the Tantric Exorcist a Shaman?


"Intimation of Utopia: Idea of Russian Revolution in South Asia"
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Sandeep Banerjee - sandeep.banerjee@mcgill.ca (McGill University)

The news of Russian Revolution reached India as the events followed in quick succession in Petrograd and engulfed former Russian Empire. In India the violence of the Imperial War manifested in 'cloth famine', influenza and plague epidemics, rapid collapse in the prices of agricultural goods and inclining prices of finished industrial products. This constituted the material context of revolutionary upsurge. The mindless devastation in the battlefields of Europe and South West Asia convinced many among Indian intellectuals that their confinement in the 'waiting room of the history' was over.Thus, not surprisingly, between 1918 and 1920 India was in the grip of labor unrest, peasant discontent, clandestine armed nationalist revolutionary 'conspiracies' and Pan-Islamist movement. Even moderate members of the Congress and Home Rule Leaguers took steps towards more widespread confrontation with colonial government. Jallianwala Bagh massacre undermined their faith in the divine providence of the Raj. In such circumstances the news of Russian revolution appealed to many. Colonial censorship laws enhanced its appeal. Rumours spread even in the deep interior. Globalized communication system, dense network of expatriate Indians and revolutionaries spanning Asia, Europe and America and networks of sailors, soldiers and traders brought in information. By 1920 as labor movement peaked in India through strikes and the foundation of the AITUC, revolutionary intellectual activities manifested in the establishment of literary magazines, the news of Russian revolution played a critical role in informing their actions. Russian Revolution thus acted as a pivot in initiating mass nationalist movement and yet it became a forgotten episode in the mainstream Indian history writing. This panel explores how, why and in what ways Russian Revolution impacted so widely the unfolding of the Indian anti colonial struggles.


Presenter 1
Subho Basu - subho.basu@mcgill.ca (McGill University)
The Idea of Russian Revolution: Labor Militancy and Intellectual Modernity in Bengal

Presenter 2
Praśanta Dhar - prasanta.dhar@gmail.com (University of Toronto)
The two readings of Marxism and the debate on the Bengal Renaissance

Presenter 3
Ammar Jan - ammarjan86@gmail.com (University of Cambridge)
'The Time Has Come, … '; M.N. Roy and the problem of anti-colonial Marxism

Presenter 4
Suchetana Chattopadhyay - suchetana.chattopadhyay@gmail.com (Jadavpur University, )
Via Afghanistan: the journey of Indian muhajirs from pan-Islam to Bolshevism in war-time and post-1917 Central Asia

Presenter 5
Tithi Bhattacharya - tbhattac@purdue.edu ()
Different kinds of jihadis? Bolsheviks and Pan Islamists in the Interwar Period


Family, Gender, and Identity in South Asia: Historical and Contemporary Issues
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Aviral Pathak - aviral.pathak.20@gmail.com (University of Illinois at Chicago)

x


Presenter 1
Aviral Pathak - aviral.pathak.20@gmail.com (University of Illinois at Chicago)
The Art of Governing Well: Freedom and the Practice of Parenting in India

Presenter 2
Megan Reed - meganre@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Motherhood, Power, and Mobility: Evidence from the India Human Development Survey

Presenter 3
Mehreen Jamal - mehreen@email.uark.edu (University of Arkansas )
Finding Roots of Women’s Movement in Pakistan: Gender, Society and Press from 1940s to 1970s

Presenter 4
Sayali Bapat - shbapat@emory.edu (Emory University)
Challenging a normative understanding of family privacy: State Regulation and Family Formation in India


Heritagescapes: Knowledge, Environment and Change from Kandy to the Kangra Valley
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Aimee Douglas - aimeedouglas@gmail.com (Cornell University)

x


Presenter 1
Siddharth Menon - siddharth.menon@colorado.edu (University of Colorado at Boulder)
‘Building’ Knowledge: Architectural practices and their transformations in rural India.

Presenter 2
Aimee Douglas - aimeedouglas@gmail.com (Cornell University)
From Craftsman to Craft Entrepreneur: Sri Lankan Artisans and the Articulation of Tradition

Presenter 3
Amita Sinha - sinha2@illinois.edu (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign)
Ghats on the Ganga in Varanasi: The making of vernacular landscape through spatial practices

Presenter 4
Rachel Hirsch - rphirsch@umich.edu (University of Michigan-Ann Arbor)
The Baramotichi Stepwell: Mediating Climate, Gender, and Religion in Maharashtra


Racing to Supremacy: Race, Regionalism and Indian Ascendancy
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Mona Bhan - monabhan@depaw.edu (Depaw University)

The disavowal of "race" as a category of analysis and activism has a long history in South Asia. In India, a long-standing obsession with skin color, community oriented state surveillance, repeated pogroms, the structural denial of professional and cultural capital to those historically marginalized from the privileges of nation-building, while all documented widely, are rarely addressed through the prism of race. These acts are never considered to converge through a fundamental affinity with race and racialization and a historically produced race complex. We debate whether it is the very status of India as a regional-national and cultural, sub-imperial power that occludes the use of race as a category of analysis; why and how does modern India forge divergences between race and caste, race and religion? How, as Chandra asks, do the conceits of Indian secularism conspire to thwart race-based critiques? What is to be gained, and what do we jettison, in foregrounding a concept that, as Reddy shows, has too easily been evoked for a particular history and part of the world? Where, as Thomas asks, does scholarship on race in global South Asia fit into South Asian Studies proper? Together, these papers seek to question the silence over, but also, the potential of unearthing race as a distinctly Indian form of social organization.


Presenter 1
Shefali Chandra - sc23@wustl.edu (Washington University in St Louis)
De-Racialising Racism: Islam, Hinduism and Indian Secularism

Presenter 2
Gayatri Reddy - gayatri@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
“We are Indian now:” Siddis and the Un/Marking of Race in Contemporary Hyderabad

Presenter 3
Sonja Thomas - smthomas@colby.edu (Colby College)
Silos of Scholarship: Overdetermined Frames in South Asian Studies and Racialized Discrimination in India


Transitional Aspirations, Rights and Reconciliation: The Place of Tamils in Postwar Sri Lanka
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Dennis McGilvray - dennis.mcgilvray@colorado.edu (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Eight years have passed since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka and Tamil-speaking minorities are still struggling to ensure their rights in a Sinhalese majoritarian nation-state. This panel brings together ethnographic research to explore the socio-cultural, political, and economic experiences of Tamils in postwar Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on the communicative relationships among different groups of Tamil-speakers and between Tamils and Sinhalas in shared spaces. The three papers differently examine how institutions—from political parties to local labor movements to language training centers—centralize but challenge Tamils’ abilities to ensure stable futures and obtain desired forms of recognition in a postwar, but not post-conflict, multicultural polity. Bass explores how Up-country Tamils, through their involvement in the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms, rethink dominant representations of the ethnic conflict as well as mechanisms to achieve a peaceable future. Jegathesan investigates how Tamil youth on Sri Lanka's tea plantations envision dignified futures for themselves that seek to detach from the class-based stigmas of plantation and agricultural labor but nevertheless remain limited by their community's broader economic marginality. Davis examines how the Sri Lankan government’s recent deemphasizing of spoken Jaffna Tamil in the revised Tamil-as-a-second-language curriculum produces politicized notions about the kind of Tamils that should be incorporated into the nation-state. Central to each of these papers are anthropological questions of time, scale, and the uneven investment in and negotiation of rights in projects of transition and aspiration. In addressing how Tamils articulate their places in Sri Lanka's postwar "reconciliation" eight years after war's end, these papers highlight how policies and sociopolitical actions at local and national levels challenge and inform the ways in which they are redefining themselves and their futures in postwar Sri Lanka.


Presenter 1
Daniel Bass - dbass6@gmail.com (Cornell University)
The Tamil Questions: Up-country Tamil Struggles for Recognition amid Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka

Presenter 2
Mythri Jegathesan - mjegathesan@scu.edu (Santa Clara University)
Decolonial Motivations: Labor Heritage and Career Aspirations among Hill Country Tamil Youth on Sri Lanka's Tea Plantations

Presenter 3
Christina Davis - c-davis@wiu.edu (Western Illinois University)
Tamil Standardization and Political Fault Lines in Post-War Sri Lanka


Digital Media, Politics and Culture in India
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Radhika Parameswaran - rparames@indiana.edu

Digital media are becoming increasingly central to the many ways in which politics, culture and everyday life are transforming in India. The papers in this panel interrogate how digital media transform and transgress the imagined space of the nation-state by producing alternative imaginations of community and identity. At the same time, the papers also question why the digital transformations in India do not necessarily translate into democratic participation and/or enlightened citizenship. The first paper by Sangeet Kumar examines the phenomenon on “hashtag wars” on Twitter where participants do not engage with opposing arguments but instead simulate an echo-chamber for similar viewpoints. The second paper by Sahana Udupa explores how the digital media practices are shaping middle class political participation in urban India by critically evaluating Facebook content, “missed call” campaigns, messenger services and the use of interactive voice response technologies used by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Loksatta. The third paper by Shanti Kumar focuses on the advertising and promotional strategies used by media companies to integrate digital television systems with Know Your Customer services as well as the Aadhaar card and the biometric and demographic data collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), to evaluate how television viewers are being redefined as a “data subject” in the new multi-platform landscape of digital media in India. The fourth paper by Sriram Mohan and Aswin Punathambekar examines the digital storytelling practices used by the leading south Indian YouTube channel, PutChutney, and by YouTube stars such as Wilbur Sargunaraj to demonstrate the emergence of a new peninsular imagination in south Indian mediascapes that creatively connects south Indian tech-capitals to various diasporic sites in South East Asia, the Gulf states, the UK, Australia and North America.


Presenter 1
Sangeet Kumar - kumarsangeet@gmail.com ()
Hashtag Wars and Echo Chambers of Debate on the Indian Twitter

Presenter 2
Sahana Udupa - udupas@spp.ceu.edu (Central European University)
Online Swaraj: Digital media, millennial politics and the middle class in urban India

Presenter 3
Shanti Kumar - shanti.kumar@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
The television viewer as data subject: the changing relationship between television ad its viewers in digital India

Presenter 4
Aswin Punathambekar - aswinp@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
South Side Stories: Producing South India through Online Video

Presenter 5
Sriram Mohan - sriramm@umich.edu ()
South Side Stories: Producing South India through Online Video


India in 'recent past': Rethinking Post-Colonial India
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Sayantan Saha Roy - sayantan.saharoy@gmail.com (University of Chicago)

While there is extensive historical scholarship on colonial India, the engagement inexorably stops the moment India becomes independent in 1947. Instead the study of the period from 1950s onwards has been defined by disciplines such as political science and sociology. The absence of a robust historical scholarship after 1947 reveals how history as a discipline always tacitly anticipates the formation of the nation-state. It rests upon the assumption that once the nation-state comes into being, politics can only be read in terms of the ‘present.’ As a result, colonialism is cast as an overarching historical causal force for understanding structures of power in this postcolonial period. Can there be ways of foregrounding ideas of cosmopolitan thinking, and thereby challenge the assumed teleology of the postcolonial developmental state? Are there different modes of rationality emerging during this period? In what ways do the crises of this period affect the present? In our panel we explore Post-Independence India (from 1950-1980) in particular. The panel seeks to challenge the conventional understandings of an archive by looking at non-state archives, oral histories, literary sources and even social science discourses. The panel consists of papers which deal with a variety of themes from history of science and the development state to the makings of spiritual cosmopolitan imaginations. The papers also pay attention to conceptual histories- making links between events, texts and figures. The aim of the panel is to generate a discussion on writing about the ‘recent past’ and the need for interdisciplinarity and new methods to do so.


Presenter 1
Yagna Nag Chowdhuri - yn246@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
The Making of 'Spiritual Cosmopolitanisms' in Post-Independence India

Presenter 2
Shivrang Setlur - ss2994@cornell.edu ()
History and Heredity: The Sciences of Race and Caste in Early Twentieth Century India


Reimagining Bangladesh: Nation, Gender, and Community
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Nayma Qayum - nayma.qayum@gmail.com (Manhattanville College)

The gruesome attack on Holey Bakery, Dhaka, in July 2016, in the name of ISIS, by educated young men from the nation’s largely Westernized elite class led many to reconsider their earlier celebrations of Bangladesh as a development success story whose social and economic indicators surpassed those of its wealthier neighbors, as the poster child of neoliberal female empowerment through its microcredit efforts and garments factories, as a secular Muslim democracy in which Islamic militancy hovered only in the margins. What is the relationship between the territory that is now Bangladesh and the nation’s shifting and contested official identities? What role has the fact of a Muslim majority played in how the inhabitants of this region have understood themselves and in how they have been represented and targeted by national and global policymakers and media? How have ideas about this territory changed over time and why? The three papers on this panel explore these issues as they unfolded from the 1940s to the present. Elora Shehabuddin explores power-laden early encounters between women from (East) Pakistan and the US in the 1950s and 1960s as they negotiated the asymmetrical terrain of development aid and training. How important was Pakistan’s Muslim identity in the manner in which Bengali women’s groups organized for change and in the manner in which the US interacted with them? Samia Huq argues that new embodied formations highlight a trajectory beyond the narrow binary of secular versus religious nationalisms that currently provide the only way to imagine the relationship between religious sensibilities and the polity in Bangladesh today. Seuty Sabur argues that, from the Bengali militant bodies of the 1940s resisting colonial rule to those of militants in 2016 who self-identified with ISIS, shifts in the idea of the desirable gendered body map onto transformations of ideology.


Presenter 1
Elora Shehabuddin - elora@rice.edu (Rice University)
Teaching the Responsibilities of “Living in a Free Society”: US-Pakistan Encounters During the Cold War

Presenter 2
Samia Huq - shuq@bracu.ac.bd (BRAC University)
Islam, the “Hijabi” woman and her visibility in Bangladesh: “Secular” sensorium, embodied practices and a shifting nationalism “

Presenter 3
Seuty Sabur - seuty@bracu.ac.bd (BRAC University)
The Body as the Battlefield: Representation, Consumption and Resistance of ‘Militant Bodies’ in Colonial Bengal and Post-Colonial Bangladesh


Insurgency and counter insurgency in South Asia: Violent, sub-violent and non-violent strategies used in the Maoist, Kashmir and North East insurgencies
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Madhavi Devasher - madhavi.devasher@unh.edu

South Asia has been home to some of the longest insurgencies in the world, and the different states have developed a lot of experience in how to deal with such internal security threats in difficult and challenging environments, whether in the jungles of central India against the Maoists, or in the hilly terrain in Kashmir, or against the Tamil Tigers in the north east of Sri Lanka. This panel brings together papers by political scientists that are unified in their attempt to understand the various counter insurgency strategies in South Asia, and also examine the deeper and more proximate causes for emergence of rebellion. Lalwani analyzes recent patterns of violence and non-violence from Kashmir to try to explain the relatively low levels of violence, which he characterizes as sub-violent resistance, that has re-emerged there in the wake of the killing of the insurgency Burhan Wani. This paper first theorizes this form of organized “sub-violent” resistance distinct from mainstream political participation, violent resistance and non-violent resistance. Second, it explores the modalities of sub-violent resistance in the case of Indian held Jammu & Kashmir. Lacina analyzes original data on Indian parliamentary debates on federal reorganization in the 1950s, to understand how the central government resisted types of subnational ethnic autonomy. Mukherjee tries to address the puzzle of why the relatively powerful Indian state does not try to crush the low intensity but persistent Maoist insurgency (1980-ongoing), but uses relatively higher levels of violence against other insurgencies? Finally, Sarbahi uses rare and unique data on rebel recruitment in an ethnic insurgency in North East India, and demonstrates that social transformation associated with the spread of Christianity played a powerful role in shaping rebel recruitment.


Presenter 1
Bethany Lacina - blacina@ur.rochester.edu (University of Rochester)
Opposition to ethnic territorial autonomy in the Indian parliament

Presenter 2
Sameer Lalwani - slalwani@stimson.org ()
Out of the Fire, Into the Frying Pan? The Geography of Sub-Violent Resistance in the Kashmir Valley

Presenter 3
Anoop Sarbahi - sarbahi@umn.edu ()
Religion, War & Famine: A Micro-level Analysis of Rebel Recruitment

Presenter 4
Shivaji Mukherjee - shivaji.mukherjee@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
State Motivations, Counterinsurgency, and Civil War Duration—Explaining sub-national variation in anti-Maoist counter insurgency in India

Presenter 5
Madhavi Devasher - madhavi.devasher@unh.edu ()
Minority Political Responses to Violence in India


Breaking and Making: Postcolonial Reconfigurations and Hindi Modernist Literature
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Robert Phillips - rlp2@princeton.edu (Princeton University)

Broadly speaking, post-Independence Hindi literary modernism was framed by its exponents as a fundamental shift in approach and sensibility from the established writers, schools, and conventions of the preceding Hindi literary tradition, reflective of the breaking down of traditional social norms and relations and accompanied by political disillusionment and loss of faith in the grand ideologies of modernity. According to its writers, the experiential realities of this new moment necessitated new perspectives and new modes of expression, ones that radically reconfigured notions of self and society, literary realism, genre, subject matter, and form, as well as literary meaningfulness and the nature of writerly commitment. The papers in this panel will thus explore various key thematics of breaking and making in post-Independence Hindi modernist literature—of displacement and destabilization in relation to self, society, and literature, as well as strategies and maneuvers of innovation, realignment and consolidation. Topics of particular focus include, among others, the creative reconfiguration of conventional gender norms and tropes, innovations in the parameters of genre and subject matter, the postcolonial modernist break with the ideological orthodoxies of the literary Left, and the internal splits and attempts at consolidation within Hindi modernism itself over the nature and purpose of literature.


Presenter 1
Snehal Shingavi - snehal.shingavi@utexas.edu (University of Texas Austin)
Two Different Readings of Marxism: the Nayi Kahani and its Critics

Presenter 2
Preetha Mani - preetha.mani@rutgers.edu (Rutgers University)
Recasting Gender: Man-Woman Relationships in the Hindi Nayi Kahani

Presenter 3
Robert Phillips - rlp2@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
Hindi Literary Modernism(s) in the Late ‘Nayi Kahani’ Moment (1964-68)


Marginalized Communities in Urban Areas of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Faiza Moatasim - fmoatasi@hamilton.edu

This panel will explore both discourses and practices that have shaped policies concerning the integration of the ‘marginalized’ into the ‘mainstream’ in cities in contemporary South Asia. It will present research on marginalized communities including, migrants, refugees, trafficked child laborers, dalits, and residents of informal housing, and efforts by activists, writers, artists, academics, and NGOs at integration of these communities into the public sphere. This discussion will highlight the role that language, ideology, and market mechanisms play in the experience and governance of urban marginality.


Presenter 1
Lisa Trivedi - ltrivedi@hamilton.edu ()
From Slum to Basti: Languages of Marginality in Modern South Asia

Presenter 2
Vikash Yadav - vyadav@hws.edu (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
Black Cat, White Cat: Public-Private Partnerships in Marginalized Areas

Presenter 3
Nimanthi Rajasingham - nrajasingham@colgate.edu (Colgate University)
From Militant to Immigrant: Shobasakthi, Neoliberalism and ethnic violence Across the North-South Divide

Presenter 4
Navine Murshid - nmurshid@colgate.edu (Colgate University)
“Slum tours” and neoliberal machinations


The Hermeneutics of Language, Social, and Religious Theory in Premodern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Lawrence McCrea - ljm223@cornell.edu (Cornell University)

In their exegesis of the Vedic corpus, hermeneutists in the discipline Mīmāṃsā developed premodern South Asia’s most rigorous theory of language interpretation. Mīmāṃsā’s hermeneutics deeply informed how intellectuals working in premodern South Asia’s other knowledge systems (poetics, the initiatory traditions, epistemology, jurisprudence, theology) thought about language and textuality — in ways we are only beginning to unravel. This panel inquires into how intellectuals in other disciplines, times, and places in premodern South Asia critically engage Mīmāṃsā and repurpose & reconfigure its tools in their own intellectual enterprises. Nils Seiler explores how Jayantabhaṭṭa, the 10th C. Kashmirian scholar of Nyāya (“Logic”), critically engages the epistemology of Mīmāṃsā’s godfather, Kumārilabhaṭṭa, to articulate a position conducive to a Nyāya theory of scriptural authority. Patrick Cummins investigates how Gaṅgeśopādhyāya (early 14th C.) reworks Mīmāṃsā’s tools in the Tattvacintāmaṇiśabdakhaṇḍa to formulate a comprehensive system on language where Nyāya previously had a cluster of positions — to dethrone the language philosophy of Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā. Christopher Fleming examines how the renowned 16th and 17th C. Bhaṭṭa family of Mahārāṣṭrian brahmins in Benares develop a Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā-inflected theory of property in their works on Jurisprudence in a debate with leading Nyāya intellectuals, vying for patronage and socio-intellectual prominence. Anand Venkatkrishnan probes how the 17th C. religio-intellectual Bābādeva of the Benares-based Deva family, self-proclaimed descendants of the Mahārāṣṭrian devotional poet-saint Eknāth, uses Mīmāṃsā’s tools, originally developed within an atheistic system, to analyze a single verse of the Bhagavadgītā, bringing theism under the discourse’s purview. The study of the Sanskrit knowledge systems’ intellectual history is only underway. Charting Mīmāṃsā’s influence in the other disciplines is a huge desideratum for South Asian Studies, as systematic thought in premodern South Asia was deeply preoccupied with language, textuality, etc. — topics over which Mīmāṃsā reigned supreme.


Presenter 1
Nils Seiler - nilsseiler@gmail.com (Cornell University)
Scriptural Authority: Jayanta on Kumārila's Failure to Validate the Veda

Presenter 2
Patrick Cummins - ptc46@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
The Hermeneutics of Language Theory in Nyāya

Presenter 3
Christopher Fleming - christopher.fleming@balliol.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford )
Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā and the Jurisprudence of Ownership in 17th Century Benares

Presenter 4
Anand Venkatkrishnan - anand.venkatkrishnan@gmail.com (Oxford University)
To Serve God and Mīmāṃsā: Theistic Hermeneutics in Early Modern India


Tradition, Textuality, and Transformation in South Asian Religion
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Room: Madison College D240
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Patton Burchett - pburchett.columbia@gmail.com (College of William and Mary)

x


Presenter 1
Joydeep Bagchee - jbagchee@yahoo.com (LMU Munich)
The Mahābhārata: Retold through the Puranas

Presenter 2
Daniel Heifetz - dpcheifer@gmail.com (Bucknell University )
Moralizing Science: Religion and the New Middle Class in the All World Gayatri Pariwar

Presenter 3
Ross Bernhaut - bernhaut@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Nicholas Roerich: A Russian Yogi in the Himalayas?

Presenter 4
Vincent Burgess - veb24@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Contemporary Commemoration in a Rajasthani Village: Myth and Mela


Politics 6
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 1: Friday, 8:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Room: Madison College Meeting Room 1
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Subhasish Ray - polrs@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)

x


Presenter 1
Subhasish Ray - polrs@nus.edu.sg (National University of Singapore)
Taberez Neyazi - neyazi.taberez@gmail.com ()
Post-Civil War Elections: Theory and Evidence from a Maoism-affected Region in India

Presenter 2
Harsh Taneja - harsh.taneja@gmail.com (University of Missouri)
Impact of elections on ideological polarization in news consumption: Evidence from the world’s largest democracy

Presenter 3
Thibaud Marcesse - thibaud.marcesse@gmail.com (Cornell University)
Patronage guaranteed? Institutions and Party Building in rural Uttar Pradesh


Changing Women/Changing Families: The Vicissitudes of Female "Upliftment" in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Jeanne Marecek - jmarece1@swarthmore.edu (Swarthmore College)

These papers address broad-scale policies and programs intended to “uplift” women and their families. Drawing on ethnographic observation, interviews, and document review, the authors peer beyond these intentions. Examining the gendered experiences of those expected to benefit from these programs, the panel members demonstrate more complicated and contradictory realities as beneficiaries actively engage them. Vagisha Gunasekera examines microcredit-based entrepreneurship in a town in Sri Lanka’s former war zone. Microcredit schemes have been touted as a means to lift women out of poverty. However, Gunasekera shows that debt-driven self-employment rarely afforded women a secure future; it often led to failure, harassment by creditors, and humiliation. Bambi Chapin examines the Sri Lankan state’s public health outreach to pregnant women and new mothers, intended to improve the health of children. Chapin suggests these visits also deliver particular cultural models of childcare, conjugal relations, and family life that may conflict with the models that mothers, their family members, and the health officers hold. Vidyamali Samarasinghe turns her gaze toward the 600,000 Sri Lankan households that have a wife/mother who works overseas and is the main breadwinner for her family. A recent policy has imposed controversial restrictions on mothers leaving their children behind. Samarasinghe examines how “left- behind” fathers cope as primary care givers for children when mothers are abroad. Cynthia Caron examines a large-scale program in West Bengal that was designed by the Indian government to “empower’ adolescent girls. Caron points to the uneasy juxtaposition of the programmatic emphasis on motherhood and homemaking and the government’s stated goal of “empowering” girls and helping them to assert their legal rights. Taken together, the papers uncover unanticipated effects of programs intended to improve the wellbeing of women and families as people take them into use.


Presenter 1
Vagisha Gunesekara - vagisha.ails@gmail.com ()
Post-war Livelihoods and The ‘Financially Responsible Woman’

Presenter 2
Bambi Chapin - bchapin@umbc.edu (UMBC)
Teaching New Mothers: State-sponsored Home Healthcare Visits in Sri Lanka

Presenter 3
Vidyamali Samarasinghe - svidy@american.edu (American University)
Role Reversal? Analyzing the Effects on Fathers “Left Behind” When Migrant Housemaids Assume the Role of Household Breadwinners in Sri Lanka

Presenter 4
Cynthia Caron - ccaron@clark.edu ()
Training Girls to be Healthy Mothers, Homemakers and Future Land Owners


Many Bengals: Histories, Cultures, Communities
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Samia Khatun - samia.khatun@unimelb.edu.au (University of Melbourne)

x


Presenter 1
Masahiko Togawa - fakir@muh.biglobe.ne.jp (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Saintly cults and Syncretistic Tradition in Bengal:

Presenter 2
Ujaan Ghosh - gerrardghosh@gmail.com (Center for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta)
The Temple of Doom: The Many Histories of Kalighat in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Calcutta

Presenter 3
Samia Khatun - samia.khatun@unimelb.edu.au (University of Melbourne)
Seeing Past Bengal, Imagining the Future: Textiles production and Protest Cultures in Bangladesh

Presenter 4
Samuel Wright - swright@nalandauniv.edu.in (Nalanda University)
Sanskrit Scholar Networks in Early Colonial India: a view from Bengal


South Asian Lithic and Metal Technologies: Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Experimental Approaches
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Randall W. Law - rwlaw@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

This panel will highlight the variety of methods that archaeologists employ to understand the social, political, and economic organization of past societies in South Asia. From the Paleolithic to the modern era, South Asia has been a major center for the advancement of lithic and metallurgical technologies. Understanding the development, the cultural integration, and the temporal changes of these technologies is critical to reconstructing the societal organization of ancient cultures. To accomplish such goals, archaeologists use a variety of research methods. Archaeological studies allow us to understand the societal roles of specific technologies and how those roles shifted as new technological traditions emerged across South Asia. Ethnographic research enables archaeologists to construct useful analogues to interpret social structures in the past and demonstrates how local conditions molded technological traditions. Experimental studies provide detailed analysis of materials and processes that help to enlighten and clarify both archaeology and ethnographic studies. The session will open with Mary Davis discussing her detailed study of the lithic industry at the Indus Civilization site of Harappa and the methods that can be used to identify a variety of crafting activities and community organizations in the context of the large urban center. Dr. J. Mark Kenoyer will present the results of experimental and analytical work on the copper metallurgy industries of Oman and South Asia during the 3rd millennium BC. The presentation by Brett Hoffman will extend the discussion of 3rd millennium copper and bronze metallurgical traditions with a presentation on the interactions between the Indus, Mesopotamia, and other regions. Lastly, Alan Lee will use an ethnoarchaeological approach to examine the modern iron-working Agaria and how their ideologies and technologies for iron-working offer insight into 2nd millennium BC Central Indian iron-working.


Presenter 1
Mary Davis - madavis4@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin- Madison)
Crafting Community at Harappa, Pakistan. An overview of crafting and communities with the addition of chipped stone tool data.

Presenter 2
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer - jkenoyer@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Copper Smelting and Alloying Replicative Studies in Oman and Pakistan: New insights into 3rd millennium metallurgy

Presenter 3
Brett Hoffman - bchoffman@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Rajasthan Copper Source Areas: Internal and External Interactions During the 3rd Millennium BC.

Presenter 4
Alan Lee - aflee@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
Iron Technology in Ancient South Asia: A Perspective from the Agaria of Central India


Beyond Cosmopolitan and Vernacular: The Contours of Multilingualism in Pre-colonial India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Davesh Soneji - dsoneji@upenn.edu

In South Asian Studies, for both practical and programmatic reasons, scholarship is habitually segmented by region and language. Particularly in reference to the rise of Vernacularization in the second millennium, social, cultural, and religious identities are often viewed as similarly segmented, confined by the impermeable boundaries of language-based communities. The geographical lines of state and language-based nationalism, a product of the modern era, often anachronistically delimit our understanding of the past. And yet, as our textual archive attests, well into the early modern period, new cultural formations are often not only multilingual in practice but in fact develop in the context of polyglossic institutions and deliberate textual practices of translation and commentary. Such multilingual spheres of circulation often fostered multiple vernacular and cosmopolitan textual and performance traditions within the same region. A closer examination of the dynamics of exchange between these spheres allows us to bracket the cosmopolitan—vernacular binary, turning to new models that situates multilingualism not as an anomaly but a crucial mode of cultural exchange. Understanding cultural change in the early modern period, in short, requires a methodological approach that moves beyond regionality to capture the dynamics of religious exchange across linguistic and geographical boundaries. By drawing on neglected and unstudied textual archives from across the subcontinent, the four papers in this panel aim to open up discussion on the following questions: 1) How is cultural knowledge and identity dependent on interlinguistic exchange and translation? 2) How do the South Asian cosmopolitan languages—Sanskrit and Persian—interact with each other and multiple vernaculars in ways not explained by a unilateral process of Vernacularization? 3) What social and religious institutions support, and are dependent upon, multilingual exchange, within the same region and transregionally?


Presenter 1
Sonam Kachru and Jane Mikkelson - sk3hp@eservices.virginia.edu ()
The Mind as Its Own Place: Of Lalla’s Languages

Presenter 2
Jason Schwartz - khecara36@gmail.com ()
The King of the Yogis on the Tongues of the People: Linguistic and Cultural Translation in the Ocean of Discrimination and Nectar of Discrimination

Presenter 3
Elaine Fisher - emfisher@wisc.edu (Stanford University)
Hinduism in Translation: Early Vīraśaiva Theology in Polyglossic Perspective

Presenter 4
Shankar Nair - san2k@eservices.virginia.edu ()
Multilingualism and Polyglossia in the Mughal Court: Crafting a Discourse of "Persian yoga"


Narratives of Muslim Belonging in Colonial South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Justin Jones - justin.jones@theology.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)

How did Muslim subjects in colonial South Asia envision and articulate their Muslim identity? What sort of relationships with Islam did such self-definitions entail? While prominent Muslim politicians and theologians appear frequently in scholarship on Muslim identity in colonial South Asia, voices from Muslim voluntary associations and provincial communities are relatively rare. This panel explores narratives of self-identification produced by three different Muslim actors or groups—members of the Anjuman-i Himayat-i Islam of Punjab, the Sayyids of the qasbah Amroha in the United Provinces, and the Arain landholders of early twentieth century Punjab. Maria-Magdalena Fuchs examines debates in the Anjuman on Muslim identity, reform of customs and religious education to reveal the ways in which voluntary associations in late colonial Punjab defined and understood Muslim-ness. Through such contestations, the Anjuman delineated Muslims as a bounded community based on specific notions of piety. S. A. Zaidi’s paper turns toward the Muslim ashraf of north India, and examines the ways in which the notion of zillat (dishonor) shaped their sense of being and selfhood during the late nineteenth century. Soheb Ur-Rahman Niazi investigates genealogical histories produced by Sayyid families of Amroha, to show how claims of Arab descent underlay the self-identification of these Muslims and throws light on the modes of social stratification that existed at the local level of the qasbah. Ashish Koul’s paper analyzes a similar Islamic genealogical self-imagination among the Arain agriculturalists of early twentieth century Punjab. To assert an intrinsically ‘pure’ Muslim identity which differentiated them from other Punjabi Muslims, the Arains claimed to be descendants of Syrian soldiers who had participated in the Umayyad general Muhammad bin Qasim’s early eighth century conquest of Sindh.


Presenter 1
Maria-Magdalena Fuchs - mf14@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
Redefining the Qaum: Muslim Voluntary Associations and Debates on Religious Belonging and Identity

Presenter 2
S.A. Zaidi - sakbarzaidi@gmail.com ()
Qaum ki Halat-e Maujudah: Zillat and the Muslim Qaum, c. 1860-1900

Presenter 3
Soheb Ur Rahman Niazi - sohebrniazi@gmail.com (Freie Universitat)
Genealogy and Social Stratification among Muslims in Colonial North India: The Case of Qasbah Amroha

Presenter 4
Ashish Koul - ashish.koul@vanderbilt.edu (Vanderbilt University)
The Making of a Muslim Caste: Arains and Arab Genealogy in Colonial Punjab


Unusual Iconographies of South Asian Deities
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Padma Kaimal - pkaimal@colgate.edu (Colgate University)

The papers in this panel discuss unusual iconographies of forms of familiar deities and of deities who are unique in South Asia. They present recent research on these gods and goddesses from an interdisciplinary perspective (art history and religious studies) and shed new interpretations on complex issues. The first paper examines the iconography of an unidentified late-Kushana/early-Gupta period sculpture of a goddess holding a large bowl and wearing an ascetic's topknot. It discusses the significance of the feminine imagery and places the sculpture in the context of female practitioners, who belonged to early ascetic communities in the Mathura region. The second panelist focuses on a fierce manifestation of Śiva known as 'Fever' (Jvara), described in sections of the Mahābhārata and some Purāṇas as having three heads, three arms and three legs. The paper discusses representations of the divinity from Tamilnadu and Bengal and presents new material from Nepal, which shows that stone sculptures of this form of Śiva were installed in the Kathmandu Valley between the 13th and 19th centuries. The representations of Jvara from these three geographial regions retain their own peculiar characteristics. The third paper studies deities who are carried in a procession to participate in an annual pilgrimage in the Garhwal and Himachal Pradesh Himalayas. It discusses their unusual iconography and the ways in which they are linked with characters of the Mahābhārata. The fourth panelist focuses on Triveni Balaji, a three-headed divinity worshipped in a temple in New Delhi. The deity's iconography is unique and combines three preexisting gods. The paper examines the urban cult of devotion focusing on this new form of Balaji, who is said to possess miraculous powers, which enable him to fulfill the wishes of his devotees in the quickest time possible.


Presenter 1
Chandreyi Basu - cbasu@stlawu.edu (St. Lawrence University)
Ascetics and Goddesses in ancient Mathura

Presenter 2
Gudrun Buhnemann - gbuhnema@wisc.edu (The University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Three Heads, Arms and Legs: Śiva's Manifestation as Fever

Presenter 3
Frederick Smith - frederick-smith@uiowa.edu (University of Iowa)
Deities in the annual Mukhva-Gangotri procession and their links with wider Mahābhārata culture in the Indian Himalaya

Presenter 4
R. Jeremy Saul - rjsaul@gmail.com (College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University)
Triveni Balaji and the Evolving Idiom of Urban Hindu Devotion


Law, Social Movements, and State Formation in Postcolonial India - Part 1
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Anand Vaidya - anand.p.vaidya@gmail.com (University of Bergen)

The independent Indian state was inaugurated by a social movement and the ongoing process of state-making in the country has similarly taken place through a complex interaction with social movements. The long unravelling of the Nehruvian state was driven in no small part by popular mobilizations. Similarly, contemporary elite revolts of globalization and Hindu nationalism confront multiple resistances that destabilize the making of a neoliberal state in twenty-first century India. Throughout this trajectory, contestations over how the Indian state should be constituted have been mediated by law. On the one hand, social movements have sought – and partly achieved – the inscription of oppositional projects in law, for example pertaining to gender violence, caste-based discrimination, land rights, and access to social protection. On the other hand, law has enabled political elites to contain subaltern movements – partly through the ways in which law-making simultaneously accommodates and attenuates oppositional claims and partly through the ways in which the law authorizes coercion and violence in Indian democracy. What emerges from these countercurrents is a persistent dialectic in which the law is simultaneously a site of hegemonic consolidations and counterhegemonic mobilizations. This preconference brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to explore this dialectic across time, from the making of the postcolonial state to the neoliberal present. The preconference will examine how the law mediates the oppositional claims and projects of social movements, the ways in which these claims and projects have come to be inscribed in the different avatars of the postcolonial Indian state, how political elites and state actors use law to deflect and suppress subaltern opposition, and the extent to which these dynamics converge to both enable and constrain the development of a more substantively democratic polity in India.


Presenter 1
Jeffrey Witsoe - witsoej@union.edu ()
Right to Work Activism and the Potentiality of Citizenship

Presenter 2
Sanjay Ruparelia - ruparels@newschool.edu (New School for Social Research)
Struggling to see: visualizing social welfare in post-liberalization India

Presenter 3
Haley Duschinski - duschins@ohio.edu (Ohio University)
Contesting Public Interest in Kashmir

Presenter 4
Bengt Karlsson - beppe.karlsson@socant.su.se (Stockholm University)
Innerlines: Making Sense of the ongoing ILP Agitations in Northeast India.


Questioning Authority Through The Destabilization of Gendered Expectations
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Bonnie Zare - bzare@uwyo.edu (U of Wyoming)

x


Presenter 1
Mengia Silvana Tschalaer - mengiahong@gmail.com (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York)
Destabilising Gendered Proprieties: Muslim Women’s Visibility within the Public Space in the City of Lucknow

Presenter 2
Charles Preston - cpreston@uchicago.edu (Northwestern University)
Civilizing Women through Sanskrit: Cultural Nationalism and Gender in Modern Sanskrit Dramas

Presenter 3
Bonnie Zare - bzare@uwyo.edu (U of Wyoming)
Voice 4 Girls Activity Camps: Best Practices for Creating Girls as Agents of Change

Presenter 4
Sarah Shepherd-Manandhar - ssheph2@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Finding Balance: Strategies for Resolving the Discord between Gender and Class Expectations in Kathmandu, Nepal


Stage, Screen and the Space of Politics: Negotiating Power and Identity in South Asian Film and Drama
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Lakshmi Damayanthi - lbulath1@binghamton.edu (State University of New York, Binghamton)

x


Presenter 1
Lakshmi Damayanthi - lbulath1@binghamton.edu (State University of New York, Binghamton)
Woman, Motherhood and Practice: Challenging the Traditions in Post-Independence Sri Lankan Drama

Presenter 2
Salma Siddique - salmasid9@gmail.com (Freie Universität)
A Proleptic History of Partition: Deewar and the Prithvi Repertoire in the 1940s

Presenter 3
Sucheta Choudhuri - choudhuris@uhd.edu (University of Houston-Downtown)
“Tum Log Yeh Shabd Ke Peechhey Kyon Parh Jaate Ho?”: Language, Melodrama and Queer (In)visibility in Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh.*

Presenter 4
Nalin Jayasena - jayasen@miamioh.edu (Miami University)
Multiple Maneuvers: Sexuality, Power and the Marketing of Sinhala War Cinema


Enter, the Problem Solver: Expert (Dis)solutions of the South Asian State
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Vivian Choi - vivianychoi@gmail.com (St. Olaf College)

Across South Asia, neoliberal reforms in the last few decades have emboldened calls to dissolve statist ideologies and dismantle bureaucratic hierarchies in favor of a logic of targeted “problem-solving” that relies on technocratic expertise and ever more narrow “skill-sets.” A reevaluated discourse on “efficiency” has become the mantra and motive force for projects of national import in a liberalized subcontinent being increasingly imagined in post-agricultural terms. Maximization in agriculture is subordinated to finding new “solutions” to depoliticized “problems” that are imagined to be hindering the global ascendance of the subcontinent. Suitable solutions are sought after in digital and data driven infrastructure, finance and market-centric institutions, liberal trade reforms; such solutions mobilize unexpected collaborations between new stakeholders and experts, often rendering existing alliances obsolete. The state in South Asia has often been associated in literature and popular discourse with corruption, bureaucratic malaise, and clientelism. Future-oriented enterprises, in contrast, draw legitimacy from a presumed market proficiency, politically unencumbered technocratic methods, and a willingness to experiment. In other words, an approach that is divorced from state-aggrandizing ideologies and the still pervasive—and often less calculable—modalities of authority. This panel interrogates how new expert modes of problem-solving construe “problems,” in their drive to build an unproblematic—so to speak—future: as they negotiate between the centralized strategies of the state on the one hand and market driven liberalization on the other, experts enact a break from what are perceived as unsustainable pasts. We ask how this impatience with hidebound rule and procedure, and thirst for “practical,” practicable solutions to the pervasive problems of the “developing” subcontinent is shaping governance and markets in the region. Papers examine expert solutions to electricity scarcity and faltering welfare delivery mechanisms in North India, the management of natural disaster in Bangladesh, and interventions in Sri Lanka’s “national” tea industry.


Presenter 1
Jonathan Balls - jonathannballs@gmail.com (University of Melbourne)
Private solar micro-grids in rural India: depoliticising citizenship?

Presenter 2
Alexios Tsigkas - tsiga894@newschool.edu (The New School for Social Research )
Crashing the Planters’ Club: Redistributing Expertise in Ceylon Tea

Presenter 3
Vijayanka Nair - vn361@nyu.edu (New York University)
India as a Living Laboratory?: Tracking Biometric Identification and “Experimentality” in North India

Presenter 4
Dilshanie Perera - dperera@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
What the Farmer Knows: Managing and Imagining Catastrophe in Coastal Bangladesh


South Asia and the Making of the Postwar Global Order
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
matthew hull - hullm@umich.edu (University of Michigan)

The historiography of the post-1947 period in South Asia has long been divided between national and international frames of analysis. Nation-centered histories of state-making, bureaucracy, and electoral democracy have reproduced conceptions of state power delinked from their embeddedness within global contexts. Likewise, historians of diplomacy, development, decolonization, and the global Cold War have emphasized transnational connections, often using the fraught category of ‘expertise,’ without an equally substantive engagement with the worlds of South Asian politics, law, or culture. Our panel bridges these two scales, the national and the international, to argue for South Asia as a crucial site for understanding broader structural transformations in global political economy. Rather than seeing the postwar economic order and interstate system as stable pre-existing structures into which South Asian states entered during the 1950s, the panel seeks to historicize this moment of emergence and trace some of the myriad claims and contestations that made it possible. Our papers present diverse perspectives on South Asia’s role in the making of the postwar world. Tariq Omar Ali examines peasant conceptions of the postcolonial Pakistani state and the Cold War American empire in the context of a rural development ‘laboratory’ in Comilla, East Pakistan. Mircea Raianu examines the relationship between the steel town of Jamshedpur as capitalist enclave and the utopian ‘new town’ movement, showing how debates in India contributed to the rise of urban planning as a transnational form of governance. Matthew Shutzer’s contribution follows the idea of mineral nationalization in the decolonizing world and its impact on the making of India’s energy policies and infrastructures under the socialist cabinet minister, K.D. Malaviya, during the 1950s. Lydia Walker considers Nehru’s 1960 decision to create an Indian ‘special’ state of Nagaland in the context of national liberation in decolonizing Africa.


Presenter 1
Tariq Omar Ali - toali@illinois.edu ()
A Laboratory for Rural Modernization: Peasant Households, the Postcolonial State, and the Cold War Empire in Comilla, East Pakistan, 1958-1970

Presenter 2
Mircea Raianu - mraianu@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
From Company Town to New Town: Jamshedpur, Tropical Urbanism, and Population Governance in the Third World

Presenter 3
Matthew Shutzer - mbs472@nyu.edu (New York University)
Blood of the Economy, Body of the Nation: Decolonization and the Technopolitics of Oil

Presenter 4
Lydia Walker - lydiawalker@fas.harvard.edu ()
India’s ‘Fissiparous Tendencies’ and 1960s Global Decolonization


Confronting/countering Majoritarian/Right Wing Populism
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Wendu Singer - singer@kenyan.edu

The transnational ascendancy of majoritarian and right-wing populism in many parts of the world, including South Asia, compel feminist social science scholars to contemplate both the manner in which this ascendancy has been accomplished, and the responses of leftist-feminist groups and religious minorities. The three papers in this panel focus on different aspects of this overarching theme in South Asia. Laura Jenkins' paper traces the roots of the “love jihad” conversion master plot and demonstrates its inextricable links to the current “anti-Romeo squads” unleashed by the majoritarian Hindu nationalist government in power in India. Meera Sehgal’s paper focuses on the trials and tribulations of a South Asian feminist network (Sangat, which has core group members in all the countries of South Asia) in contesting and countering majoritarian religious intolerance/nationalism in the region by using feminist pedagogies of pluralism. Kristina Teater’s paper explores how Christian minority groups fight anti-conversion laws and NGO funding crackdowns in India by using religious transnational advocacy networks. While Jenkins’ paper teases out the nuances of how right-wing populist governments frame and deploy well-worn master plots before and after they come into power, Sehgal’s and Teater’s papers contemplate the efforts of anti-majoritarian civil society groups to confront and counter right-wing forces by using transnational networks and counter-hegemonic pedagogies and discourses. Chair/discussant Wendy Singer, a social and cultural historian of political movements, will respond to the papers and lead a timely Q&A/discussion of the panel theme. This panel features scholars of history, sociology, and political science at a range of ranks, from PhD student to full professor.


Presenter 1
Laura Dudley Jenkins - laura.jenkins@uc.edu (University of Cincinnati)
Love jihad and Romeo squads: Fake news and Islamophobic Patriarchy

Presenter 2
Meera Sehgal - msehgal@carleton.edu (Carleton College)
Feminist Pedagogies of Pluralism: South Asian Feminists Contesting Religious Nationalism

Presenter 3
Kristina Teater - teater@uc.edu ()
Christian Minorities in India and the Efficacy of Transnational Advocacy Networks as a Response to Religious Restrictions


A Climate of Imagination in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Nayanika Mathur - nm289@cam.ac.uk (University of Sussex)

Amitav Ghosh has provocatively described the climate crisis as a crisis of the imagination. This panel interrogates this claim through a focus on spaces, times, things, humans, and nonhumans and the dynamic interrelations between and amongst them in contemporary South Asia. Panellists contend that engagements with these dynamics reveal distinct, though often troubling, climactic imaginativeness. In lieu of ruing the absence of a deeper climactic imagination or lack of action on climate change, we argue the task ahead of us involves a foregrounding of the existing voices, critiques, and things that allow us to re-see life in the Anthropocene. Our contributors theorise climate heterodystopias in Bangladesh (Cons); elaborate the task of climate translation or the grounding of the Anthropocene in the Himalaya (Mathur); engage the question of imagination in South Asian environmental history (D'Souza); and link the question of imagination to landscape and taste (Besky). In all cases, the contributors incorporate recent moves in the social sciences and humanities that seek to move beyond the human as well as engage with the productive dimensions of the Anthropocene. This grounding in South Asian history, environments, ethnography, and politics allows us to simultaneously argue for climatic imaginativeness as well as suggest a possible new politics that can tackle climate futures.


Presenter 1
Rohan D'Souza - rohanxdsouza@gmail.com ()
The ‘Great Derangement’ and South Asian Environmental History in the Epoch of the Anthropocene

Presenter 2
Nayanika Mathur - nm289@cam.ac.uk (University of Sussex)
The Task of the Climate Translator

Presenter 3
Sarah Besky - sarah_besky@brown.edu ()
Environmental Change and Landscapes of Digestion: Tea Tannins, Industrialization, and Human Health, 1900-1940

Presenter 4
Jason Cons - jasoncons@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Hetero(dys)topia: Imagining Climate Futures in the India-Bangladesh Borderlands


The Life Strategies of Young Generation in Contemporary Bangladesh
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
S.M. Shamsul Alam - shamsul.alam@bracu.ac.bd

Nowadays’ Bangladesh is the society being focused on rapid education expansion and on their significant economic growth. The two phenomena are connected each other. For instance, “the first educated generation” who were born in the 1980s and have started going to school where their parents had no such experience now have been migrating from rural to urban areas seeking their job opportunities or higher education, which aims to further social class mobility with their educational or economic capitals. Needless to say, their “mobility,” both as rural-urban migration and as social class movement, has been strongly influenced by the globalization in the sense of information or ideology. Moreover, the globalization has affected their identities; for example, some groups of the youth become active on Islamic radicalism through social media. Our panel is going to discuss the life strategies and “cultural sense” of this generation. Four target groups will be focused; 1) how the life styles and ideas has been changed of young people migrating from rural to urban to get job mainly in garment industry, 2) how the public university students have been seeking their career opportunities, 3) how Madrasa background youth identify themselves in their job markets. 4) We will also have the presentation about the Islamic radicalism as their identity politics particularly among the private university students who can be said economically being privileged. What factors/capitals are required for their mobility, what strategy do they adopt for their future, or how do they form their new culture? Thus, this panel will clarify/demonstrate the social transformation under the economic growth from the perspective of youth.


Presenter 1
Kazuyo Minamide - kazuyom@andrew.ac.jp (St. Andrew's University)
Rural-Urban Migration of Youth and their Seeking “New Life” in Bangladesh

Presenter 2
Md Siddiqur Rahman - appolloju1@yahoo.com ()
Economic Globalization and Career Aspirations of Public University Graduates in Bangladesh

Presenter 3
Humayun KABIR - kabir.jp@gmail.com (Humber College)
Negotiating Careers within Faith and Identity: Madrasa Educated Young Bangladeshis

Presenter 4
Mohammad Bulbul Ashraf Siddiqi - bulbul_ashraf@yahoo.com (North South University )
Understanding Youth Radicalisation in Bangladesh


Unexpected Intimacies: Spatial Proximity and Social Distance in Five South Asian Cities
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

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

Scholarly analyses of intimacy tend to focus on particular relationships and spaces: sexual and kinship relations, most often located in private spaces or in the home. These studies have been immensely generative, drawing out the implications of the domestic sphere—and relations within it—for the formation of gender, for the production and passing on of social values, for imaginations of belonging in the more abstract collectives of nation, caste, religion, and race. Situated in the distinct contexts of five contemporary South Asian cities, our papers build on this literature to examine modes of intimacy in other kinds of sites and relationships: we consider the sociality of the beauty salons in Karachi, in everyday interactions in urban neighborhoods of Lucknow, in therapeutic counseling encounters in Kandy, and in the relationships among gem traders in Beruwala and Kayalpatnam. Intimacy in these contexts becomes variously entangled with the emotional labor of negotiating respectability in ambiguously public spaces; the constant making and unmaking of relations through and against stereotypes of caste and religious difference; and the production of class sensibilities and national identities through tropes of familial closeness, feeling, and harmony, where personal well-being mirrors the well-being of the nation. While intimacy mediates social distance, we want to explore how this distance can also be generative of it. In each of our papers, we examine how everyday segregations and desegregations based on gender, religion, class, succeed each other rapidly as people traverse the different spaces of a city, move between cities, and encounter others in new kinds of proximity. We explore the results that these segregated, and desegregated intimacies produce for interclass and intercommunity relations, in the varied political landscapes of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India.


Presenter 1
Sidra Kamran - kamrs623@newschool.edu (The New School)
Intimate labor in a ‘modern zenana’: The Fractured Experience of Work in Beauty Salons in Karachi

Presenter 2
Nadia Augustyniak - naugustyniak@gmail.com (CUNY Graduate Center)
Therapeutic Intimacy: Sociality, Care and the Politics of Feeling among Counselors in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Presenter 3
Katyayani Dalmia - dalmk559@newschool.edu (The New School for Social Research)
“One Percent Suspect:” Stereotype and Everyday Intimacy in Lucknow

Presenter 4
Nethra Samarawickrema - nethras@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Intimate Business: Trust, Secrecy, and Transnational Ties Between Sri Lankan and Indian Gem Traders


Sovereignty, Abolition, and Decolonization in Princely India: The Case of Travancore
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Anthony Cerulli - acerulli@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

British India has received the lion's share of the attention of colonial historians. Princely India, or states under native rule, by comparison, has been little-studied though it constituted an estimated two-fifths of the subcontinent. This obscures the insights that princely India has to offer, especially in understanding social change under native rule, as compared to under colonial rule. The sovereignty of these states, even if constrained by British treaties, differentiated the trajectories that ritual, social legislation, and decolonization took there. This panel proposes to illuminate these trajectories by turning to the case of Travancore. Deepthi Murali's paper demonstrates how spectacle is used to shore up sovereignty. Taking the royal chariot as its object of analysis, this paper argues that the process of constructing the king as a semi-divine figure and the production of alternative spheres of modernity can be read as resistance to the British presence in the kingdom. Malarvizhi Jayanth's paper indicates how this limited sovereignty induced a process of negotiation during the imposition of legislation against slavery. Drawing on correspondence between the British resident and native bureaucrats, she shows the partial reforms that conflicting interests produced in the kingdom. Sarath Pillai shows how indirect rule produced a different form of decolonization, as compared to direct rule. He argues that the princely state offers an instance of decolonization that included the embrace of both democracy and monarchy. Together these papers make a case for the comparative study of British India with princely India. They show the contrasts between colonial and alternative forms of modernity, abolition as emerging from negotiation rather than direct imposition, and decolonization through constitutionalization rather than popular movements. These contrasts highlight the need for comparative study and contribute to an improved understanding of social change in princely India.


Presenter 1
Malarvizhi Jayanth - malar.jayanth@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
Transplanting Abolition into Travancore, 1847-1855

Presenter 2
Deepthi Murali - dmural2@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago )
Cultural Politics of Divine Kingship in Travancore, 1840-1860

Presenter 3
Sarath Pillai - sarathpillai@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago and Yale Law School)
Constitutional reforms in Travancore and Decolonization in Princely India


Lineages of the Urban: Public Spheres, Literary Production and Sex Marketplaces in Colonial North India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair

Conceptual frameworks of the city and the urban have shown tremendous import for understandings of the engagement between social processes and spatial forms. Cities are sites at which multiple social relations and identities intersect, and often play host to important contestations over power. The objective of this panel is to explore expressions of urbanism in the north Indian cities of Lucknow, Jaipur and Allahabad during the colonial and princely periods from a bottom-up perspective by utilizing marginalized archives, vernacular literature and reading official records against the grain. The papers explore: the making of political subjectivities within the public sphere in mid-twentieth century Jaipur; literary discourses on the city-space and urban experience in twentieth-century Allahabad; and the spatial manifestations of sex marketplaces in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Lucknow. As this panel wishes to disentangle urban histories from the top-down approach of state governance, our methodologies involve reading archives against state perspectives, while also utilizing manuscripts, novels, newspapers and civil society records in order to chalk out the urban history of cities independent of larger frames such as nation and community. Our panel aims to propose new modes of understanding the city and the urban beyond Western theorizations of the concept that largely focus on Eurocentric contexts and experiences. We take a hybrid approach to cities, contending that city-spaces ought to be considered in their uniqueness and specificity, while also acknowledging the broader influence of state structuring. In taking this approach, ‘Lineages of the Urban’ seeks to offer insights on the specific urban experiences, memories, and spatialities in Indian cities, how identities play out amid different modes of power relations, and how evidence can be marshaled for the purposes of recovering marginalized experiences of urbanism.


Presenter 1
Garima Dhabhai - garimadhabai@gmail.com (Yale University)
Princely Cities and the ‘Modern Public’: A Study of Journalistic Networks in Mid-Twentieth-Century Rajasthan

Presenter 2
Sanjukta Poddar - sanjukta@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Producing Allahabad 1920-1940: Viewing the Literary "Archive" through the Lens of the Urban

Presenter 3
Zoya Sameen - zsameen@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Spaces of Sex-Buying: Soldiers, Civilians and Prostitutes in Colonial Lucknow, 1870-1911


Senses of the Lyric in South Asia: Sanskrit, Braj, Tamil, Urdu
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Jack Hawley - jsh3@columbia.edu (Barnard College, Columbia University)

This panel attempts to bring the idea of the lyric to the study of South Asian literature. The genre of the lyric typically includes any literary form that differs from narrative, including the ode, sonnet, ballad, hymn, stotra, bhakti pad, muktaka, tanippatal, and ghazal (to list just a few). In the past few decades, literary theorists have attempted to find a more substantive notion of the lyric, one that would go beyond its mere difference from narrative. While some have approached this task directly, offering their own theories of what makes the lyric distinctive, others have taken a historical approach, reconstructing various genealogies of the lyric in the West. Some have even questioned whether the genre is stable enough to admit of a single unifying idea. The papers in our panel will be leaving these rich discussions aside, pursuing the far simpler task of showing how even a broad notion of the lyric can enrich our study of South Asian literature. We understand the lyric not as a taxonomic label but as a concept designating a distinct field of literary theoretical inquiry. To be precise, the idea of the lyric draws our attention to domains of experience that narrative analysis tends to miss. For example, whereas stories are typically concerned with how actions and their consequences unfold in time, lyrics foreground a range of experiences and situations we don't often find in narratives, including passing thoughts, complex perceptions, subtle shifts in emotion, the irruption of memory into the present, a self relating to itself, a speaker addressing absent or inanimate entities.... Reading poems from four different South Asian literary traditions, our papers will offer a sampler of the kinds of insights that the lyric idea makes possible.


Presenter 1
Shiv Subramaniam - sks2184@columbia.edu (Columbia University)
Seeing Clouds: Lyric Perception in Kalidasa's Meghadūta

Presenter 2
Jack Hawley - jsh3@columbia.edu (Barnard College, Columbia University)
Lyric, Apostrophe, and Bhakti Personhood

Presenter 3
Kristina Rogahn - kcrogahn@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Anthologizing the Lyric in the Tamil Renaissance

Presenter 4
Meghan Hartman - hartman.meghan@gmail.com (University of Virginia)
Eros and Lyric Time: Miraji Encounters Sappho


Religion, Politics, and Literature in the Making of Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Madison College D240
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
MAZHAR HUSSAIN - mazharmehdi@gmail.com (JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY)

x


Presenter 1
Naila Sahar - nailasah@buffalo.edu (University at Buffalo, State University of New York)
Revisionary Political Historiography in Contemporary Pakistani Fiction

Presenter 2
Rudrani Gangopadhyay - rudraniganguly@gmail.com (Rutgers University)
Reading This Side That Side, Revisiting the Partition

Presenter 3
Feisal Khan - khan@hws.edu (Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
Struggling to write a constitution The long gestation (’48-56) and short life (’56-58) of Pakistan’s first ‘Islamic’ constitution

Presenter 4
Yaqoob Khan Bangash - yaqoob.bangash@gmail.com (Information Technology University)
Minorities and constitution-making in Pakistan 1947-56

Presenter 5
MAZHAR HUSSAIN - mazharmehdi@gmail.com (JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY)
Science, Religion and Worldview: Islam in the Nineteenth Century Colonial India


Breaking Down and Building Up: Lessons on Democracy and Conflict Resolution
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 2: Friday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Madison College Meeting Room 1
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Marios Falaris - mfalaris@gmail.com (Johns Hopkins University)

x


Presenter 1
William Logan - wal0003@auburn.edu (Auburn University)
Building Tarapur: A Sociocultural History of the Construction of India’s First Commercial Nuclear Power Station

Presenter 2
Marios Falaris - mfalaris@gmail.com (Johns Hopkins University)
Uncertain Trust and NGOs in Kashmir

Presenter 3
Mahendra Lawoti - mlawoti@gmail.com (Western Michigan University)
Poverty, Diversity and Democracy: Breakdown, Erosion and Endurance in South Asia

Presenter 4
Keji Mao - kmao1@jhu.edu (Johns Hopkins Univerisity, SAIS)
Learning from the Leninists: Lessons for India’s BJP from the Chinese Communist Party Under Transition


Beyond affect: Case studies in women’s work in 19th and 20th century South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

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

The categories of affect and status-maintenance continue to dominate the scholarship in the field of women’s labor in colonial South Asia. Moving beyond these tropes, this panel will explore the discourses and practices that erased the work that women performed as the invisible sustainers of successful men and polities. In talking about the careers of three women—a nineteenth-century widow from an upper caste business household, the wife of a nineteenth-century Islamic reformer, and the wife and spiritual guide of a twentieth-century mystic—this panel will point to the limits of mislabeling women’s work, as mothers, wives and widows, as fundamentally affective. Narayan focuses on the strategies and struggles of a Brahmin widow to hold on to her estate who secured her household’s legacy through a continued investment in the family’s practices of piety and patronage as a way to cultivate support at a time when the East India Company was an established political force. Khan pieces together the career of Badi Pirani, the wife of the noted Islamic reformer Maulana Ashraf Thanawi (d. 1943). Through analysis of his speeches and biography, Khan suggests that Maulana Thanawi’s wife was an unacknowledged foot solider of reform, often carrying his message to women’s quarters of the Muslim families in Thana Bhavan. Gregory Maxwell Bruce’s paper complicates the narrative of reform and women’ literature by examining the intersection of gender, piety, and aesthetics in the writings of Ahmad Husain Amjad Hyderabadi (d. 1961), a mystic and poet who was raised as a girl by a single mother, changed from woman to man as a young adult, and eventually claimed spiritual discipleship to his wife. Together, these papers will talk about the political, economic, and religious structures that engaged women across caste and class in relationships of unpaid and unacknowledged spiritual, political and intellectual labor.


Presenter 1
Rochisha Narayan - rochisha.narayan@gmail.com (William Paterson University)
Laboring Widows: Gendered politics of patronage and remembering in Early Colonial Northern India

Presenter 2
Darakhshan Khan - darakhshan@gmail.com (University of Pennsylvania)
Reform’s foot soldier: The hidden career of Maulana Thanawi’s wife

Presenter 3
Gregory Maxwell Bruce - gmbruce@berkeley.edu (The University of California, Berkeley)
Gender, Mysticism, and Islam in Urdu Literature: The Case of Amjad Hyderabadi


ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES IN SOUTH ASIA: LEGACIES AND POTENTIAL
Roundtable

Location

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

Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan - k.sivaramakrishnan@yale.edu (Yale University)

This roundtable assembles a small group of humanists from fields including anthropology, art history, history, literature and religion, to ask the simple question: what are the environmental humanities in South Asia? How, we secondarily ask, is this interdisciplinary field responding to planetary challenges, and shaped by existing trajectories of humanistic scholarship in South Asia? Finally, we take this opportunity to assess some of the directions in which such scholarly endeavor is moving. We suggest South Asia may provide a distinct point of view on global questions or useful comparison to developments elsewhere. Apart from scientific and policy responses to global environmental change, environmental humanities have been understood to focus on fundamental questions of meaning, value, responsibility and purpose. Since the early 2000s a powerful formulation has gained force: that the planet has entered a new geological epoch, labeled "anthropocene" because it is irreversibly shaped by human influences on biogeochemical processes. This view, creatively termed by some humanists as a materialist semiology, has sparked intense conversations among the humanities, the sciences, and those professional fields most directly engaged in environmental policy. These conversations are urgent, provoked in part by a widespread sense of commitment to respond to unprecedented environmental crises of the present. Environmental humanities, then, would denote a moral, political, and artistic commitment that is extraordinary and generative. Our roundtable participants will focus and deliberate on how these processes are at play in South Asia and in South Asian Studies. Thus we ask what regional studies might offer to illuminate broader debates in environmental humanities. We seek lessons and new directions within existing traditions of study such as environmental history, religion and ecology, as well as literary and artistic insights into nature stewardship and environmental justice.


Presenter 1
Ann Gold - aggold@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Presenter 2
William Pinch - wpinch@wesleyan.edu
Presenter 3
Archana Venkatesan - avenkatesan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Presenter 4
Sugata Ray - sugata@berkeley.edu (University of Claifornia Berkeley)

Inscribed materials from the Indus Civilization: new perspectives on writing, iconography, style & technology
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Gregg M. Jamison - gregg.jamison@gmail.com (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Inscribed materials are important components of Indus material culture assemblages, often used to identify the Harappan character of a site. The discovery of inscribed seals at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro heralded the announcement of a new ancient civilization one hundred years ago, and studies of inscribed materials and the script have been prevalent ever since. The papers in this session highlight current research on inscribed materials from the Indus civilization. New analytical approaches and interpretations of the writing system and its function challenge earlier models that need to be revised. Comparative analyses of iconography on inscribed materials emphasize their aesthetic value and provide new insights into spatial and temporal patterns that reflect larger cultural trends. Studies of stylistic and technological aspects of inscribed materials focus on patterned variation and diachronic changes that support earlier research by Kenoyer and others, strengthening inference that writing in the Indus did not appear rapidly and remain static throughout its use. This session combines diverse research foci, novel and established methodological approaches, and underscores the diversity present in an important class of Indus material culture. It also emphasizes the utility of analyzing existing data sets to learn more about the organization of one of the world’s earliest urban societies. Even without a deciphered script, there is much to be learned by studying inscribed materials from the Indus civilization.


Presenter 1
Daniel Quigley - dgquigley@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
The Indus Valley Script: a Corpus Compilation and Statistical Analysis of Pottery Inscriptions Found in the Indus and Adjacent Regions

Presenter 2
Gregg M. Jamison - gregg.jamison@gmail.com (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Variability in Indus Seal Inscriptions: a stylistic and metric approach

Presenter 3
Marta Ameri - marta.ameri@colby.edu (Colby College)
Seals, Sealings, and Tablets: Imagery and Material Choice in the Glyptic Arts of the Harappan World

Presenter 4
Dennys Frenez - dennys.frenez@gmail.com (University of Bologna)
Indus Civilization administrative technologies. New data and novel interpretations of Indus stamp seals from their impressions on clay tags.

Presenter 5
Ayumu Konosukawa - kotdiji@hotmail.co.jp (Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo)
Some unique features of the Indus seals discovered in the Ghaggar Basin in light of their writing, iconography, style and technology


Images in Flux
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Barbara Holdrege - holdrege@mindspring.com (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Molders and practitioners of image worship in Hindu and Jaina contexts in South Asia have understood images in various ways. Some images have come to be regarded as self-manifested (svayambus), others as having the form of the divine (svarupas). Yet others have been comprehended as likenesses (pratimas), substantiations (murtis), energy fields (yantras), and as shadows (chayas). By examining the theorization, manufacture, use, and reception of different types of revered images, this panel investigates relations among and between them. In doing so this panel moves beyond the terms of the long-standing debates that have focused on distinctions between iconic and aniconic images and have sought to narrowly understand presence and absence. Equally, this panel seeks to question arborescent genealogies of the development and dispersion of image practices and proposes the value of a rhizomatic approach.


Presenter 1
Tamara Sears - tamara.sears@rutgers.edu ()
Memorial Pillars and Funerary Practices: The Materiality and Soteriology of Vira-Stambhas and Sati Stones

Presenter 2
Ellen Gough - ellen.m.gough@emory.edu ()
The Jina’s Preaching Assembly as a Tantric Diagram

Presenter 3
Woodman Taylor - woodman.taylor@gmail.com (American University in Dubai)
From Self-Production to Reproductions: Image Practices in the Vallabha Sampradaya

Presenter 4
Nachiket Chanchani - nachiket@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
A Goddess and Her Shadow


Śaivism in New Contexts
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Larry McCrea - ljm233@cornell.edu

Scholars in recent decades have developed an increasingly sophisticated and comprehensive account of the development of Śaivism in South Asia, with one milestone in this maturing area of scholarship being the publication in 2009 of Alexis Sanderson’s, “The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism During the Early Medieval Period.” Sanderson’s sweeping study charts the increasing reach of Śaivism in political and religious circles in the “Early Medieval Period” (the fifth to thirteenth centuries), mapping its growing reach into the royal court and civic life, and its expansive influence in religious orders, including its influences on Buddhist tantra. This panel seeks to extend these findings by identifying contexts of influence heretofore unexplored—either in Sanderson’s seminal essay or in other secondary works—, and the papers here included will examine the reach of Śaivism both within and beyond the historical period covered by Sanderson, including: (1) the spread of Śaivism from North India into South India in the seventh century, with the emergence of Tamil-language narrative works that appropriate and translate Sanskrit scriptural concerns into their new linguistic and cultural context in Tamil Nadu; (2) the reach of Śaiva influences beyond the canon of tantric religious works and into the story literature (in this instance the eleventh-century Kathāsaritsāgara); (3) the synthesis of Vedic and Śākta tantric modes in the South Indian interpretation of the Tripurasundarī tradition, which begins in the thirteenth-century but influences it to the present day; and (4) in 19th-century appropriations of Śaiva religious forms among ‘self-initiated’ subaltern peoples, in particular Dalits and other non-elite non-Brahmins. Together, these papers seek to examine the particular ways in which Śaivism contributed to the development of new religious ideas and practices and established the worship of Śiva as a ubiquitous and indispensable form of religiosity in South Asia.


Presenter 1
Anne Monius - amonius@hds.harvard.edu ()
From the Mouth of an Ersatz Cowherd in Three Thousand Verses: Sanskrit Āgamas Arrive in the Tamil-Speaking Region

Presenter 2
John Nemec - nemec@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Tantra Beyond the Tantras: The Śaiva-Brahminical Narrative of the Kathāsaritsāgara

Presenter 3
Anna Golovkova - aag227@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
A Kaula Woman or a Lady of Good Family?: New Interpretations of the Cult of the Goddess Tripurasundarī in Thirteenth-Century Exegesis

Presenter 4
Srilata Raman - s.raman@utoronto.ca ()
Dalit Vedānta: Acceptance as a slave (āṭkoḷḷapaṭutal), the experience within (svānubhava), and Non-elite Advaitic Śaivism in 19th-century Tamil Nadu


“Talking Back at the Indian State: Oppositional Nationalisms and Citizenship Claims in Contemporary South Asia”
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Yasmin Saikia - yasmin.saikia@asu.edu (Arizona State University)

The panel focuses on expressions of nationalist sentiment and claims of citizenship directed against the Indian state in the post-Independence period. The papers argue that these “failed” nationalisms are productive sites from which to understand the performance of citizenship and nationalist identity on the one hand, and the proscription and thwarting of it by the state on the other. Understanding citizenship as legal and political status, bundles of rights and entitlements, and marker of identity and belonging (Niraja Gopal Jayal, 2013), the panel includes four assertions of these claims through nationalist movements in Punjab, Sikkim, Nepal, and Bihar. The papers explore the various ways in which these regions direct their dissatisfaction at the Indian state: imagination of separate histories, demands for greater autonomy or secession, mass protest movements, and legislative action limiting citizenship rights for children of mixed parentage. From the Indian side, the panel documents the strategies used by the state to control these assertions of independence: from direct military action, to economic appeasement, granting token political autonomy, exerting cultural influence through mass media, and pursuing an aggressive foreign policy. Taken together, the panel exposes the fault lines of nationalism and citizenship in South Asia, as well as the fragile and constantly negotiated unity of the Indian state, compromised as it is by pulls of multiple nationalist movements in the borderlands and the mainland alike. It points to the violence of physical and cultural borders, while simultaneously highlighting the resilience of communities that collectively navigate increasingly intransigent regimes of citizenship-making and exclusion in contemporary South Asia. The panel is inter-disciplinary, with papers from history, anthropology, and area studies, extending over the period from 1947 to the present.


Presenter 1
Swati Chawla - sc2wt@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Sikkim in the Age of Nation States, 1950-1975

Presenter 2
Dannah Dennis - dannahdennis@gmail.com (University of Virginia)
Policing the Border by Policing Women’s Bodies: Gender, Anti-India Sentiment, and Nepal’s Citizenship Laws

Presenter 3
Hayden Kantor - haydenkantor@gmail.com (Cornell University)
Narratives of Exclusion: Articulating Nationalism and Citizenship in Bihar, India

Presenter 4
Avinash Singh - avinash@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)
States of Unrest: Provincial Autonomy and the Sikhs, 1947-1984


Law, Social Movements, and State Formation in Postcolonial India - Part 2
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Alf Nilsen - alfgunvald@gmail.com (University of Bergen)

The independent Indian state was inaugurated by a social movement and the ongoing process of state-making in the country has similarly taken place through a complex interaction with social movements. The long unravelling of the Nehruvian state was driven in no small part by popular mobilizations. Similarly, contemporary elite revolts of globalization and Hindu nationalism confront multiple resistances that destabilize the making of a neoliberal state in twenty-first century India. Throughout this trajectory, contestations over how the Indian state should be constituted have been mediated by law. On the one hand, social movements have sought – and partly achieved – the inscription of oppositional projects in law, for example pertaining to gender violence, caste-based discrimination, land rights, and access to social protection. On the other hand, law has enabled political elites to contain subaltern movements – partly through the ways in which law-making simultaneously accommodates and attenuates oppositional claims and partly through the ways in which the law authorizes coercion and violence in Indian democracy. What emerges from these countercurrents is a persistent dialectic in which the law is simultaneously a site of hegemonic consolidations and counterhegemonic mobilizations. This preconference brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences to explore this dialectic across time, from the making of the postcolonial state to the neoliberal present. The preconference will examine how the law mediates the oppositional claims and projects of social movements, the ways in which these claims and projects have come to be inscribed in the different avatars of the postcolonial Indian state, how political elites and state actors use law to deflect and suppress subaltern opposition, and the extent to which these dynamics converge to both enable and constrain the development of a more substantively democratic polity in India.


Presenter 1
Sophia Zehra Abbas - sophia.abbas@yale.edu (Yale University)
Legality and property transitions in the frontiers of metropolitan India

Presenter 2
Kenneth Bo Nielsen - k.b.nielsen@sum.uio.no ()
Law, environmental governance, and the anti-mining movement in Goa

Presenter 3
Poulami Roychowdhury - poulami.roychowdhury@mcgill.ca ()
With or against the law? The politics of sexual violence

Presenter 4
Conference Organizer - conference@southasia.wisc.edu (UW-Madison)
Law and the state in the shadows in India’s land markets


Trajectories of the 'Queer' in South Asia: Between Sovereignty and Subjection
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Elizabeth (Liz) Mount - eamount@maxwell.syr.edu (Syracuse University)

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Presenter 1
Rovel Sequeira - rovelseq@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Telling Lives: Hijra Autobiography and Queer Politicking in India

Presenter 2
Elizabeth (Liz) Mount - eamount@maxwell.syr.edu (Syracuse University)
“Risk and the Reproduction of Marginalization for Female-Assigned Sexual Minorities in South India”

Presenter 3
Nishant Shahani - nshahani3@wsu.edu (Washington State University)
Safe in the City: Gay Tourism in India and the Politics of "Worlding"

Presenter 4
Brian Horton - brian_horton@brown.edu (Brown University)
Death of a Gharana? Queer Inclusion Between Social Reproduction and Decay

Presenter 5
Shakthi Nataraj - shakthi.nataraj@gmail.com (University of California, Berkeley)
The future of woman: Thirunangai identity as a reformulation of time


Contemporary Economy, Well-Being and Ethics in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Camille Frazier - c.frazier@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)

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Presenter 1
Michael Givel - mgivel@ou.edu (University of Oklahoma)
Mahayana Buddhism and Gross National Happiness Trends in Bhutan

Presenter 2
Camille Frazier - c.frazier@ucla.edu (University of California, Los Angeles)
Horticultural Aspirations and Insecurities at the Urban Periphery in Bengaluru, India

Presenter 3
Silpa Satheesh - silpas@mail.usf.edu (University of South Florida )
Environmental Movements, State and Neoliberal Governmentality: The tactics of taming the Anti-Endosulphan Campaign

Presenter 4
Dolly Daftary - dolly.daftary@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)
Bovines, capital and the politics of value, affect and lifeworlds in Gujarat, India


Social and Relgious Debates in Early Hindi Narratives
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Linda Hess - lionda@stanford.edu (Stanford University)

Narratives in early Hindi texts are often based on traditional, mainly religious stories found in older sources such as the Puranas, Mahabharata and Ramayana. Other early Hindi narratives are hagiographical histories of important religious personalities and the communities they founded. The presentations in this panel discuss the ways in which these Hindi narratives include, in either explicit or implicit fashion, debates about social and religious issues important to their authors and audiences. These issues include, for example: (1) child marriage, exemplified by Dadu’s defense of an older marriage age in Jan Gopal’s Dadujanmalila (c. 1720); (2) the ways in which Agradas (c. 1550) reworked, in his Nam Pratap, the Puranic story of Ajamil, a Brahmin who became an evil doer but was ultimately saved by Vishnu, to benefit the Ramanandi community in Mughal India; (3) the retellings of the Bhagavata Purana stories of Prahlad, Dhruv, and Jadbharat by Jan Gopal (c. 1720) in ways that emphasized nirguni theology of the Dadu Panth and the social issues important to the Panth’s mostly Vaishya and Shudra followers; and (4) the challenges to the views and practices of the Nath yogis found in Sufi Romances (premakhyana) such as Manjhan’s Madhumalati and Jayasi’s Padmavati. The overall aim will be to show how these narratives go beyond the role of simple pious entertainments and actively engage these key social and religious issues like these.


Presenter 1
Purushottam Agrawal - purushottam53@gmail.com (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
The Age of Marriage Debate in Jan Gopal’s Dadu Janamlila

Presenter 2
Patton Burchett - pburchett.columbia@gmail.com (College of William and Mary)
Ajamil in Mughal Dress: A Bhagavata Purana Narrative in the Hands of a 16th Century Bhakti Reformer

Presenter 3
David Lorenzen - lorenzen@colmex.mx (El Colegio de Mexico)
Jan Gopal’s Retellings of the Bhagavata Purana Stories of Prahlad, Dhruv and Jadbharat

Presenter 4
Heidi Pauwels - h.pauwels@u.washington.edu ()
Dynamic Tensions: Yogis and Disguises in Sufi Romances


South Asian Leftist and Internationalist Imaginations
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Saadia Toor - saadia.toor@csi.cuny.edu

This panel examines intersections between twentieth century South Asian movements for liberation and leftist internationalism across national, local, and regional contexts. Hussain’s paper focuses upon the little-known, fascinating working-class revolutionary Dada Amir Haider Khan, who spends his life on the move, in India, the US, the USSR and at sea. Hussain examines how Dada comes into radical consciousness and argues that the shared experience of difference and exploitation that constituted the experience of migrant men like Dada, provided them in their bodily memories an archive to be mined. Ali Raza’s paper charts the political career of Sohan Singh Josh, a prominent communist leader in pre and post Partition Punjab. From his role in the Akali movement in the 1920s, to his successive affiliations with leftist organizations, the paper reveals Josh’s politics in relation to the Indian Left, and how communist internationalism was woven into regional politics in the interplay between local considerations and internationalist loyalties. Waheed examines the writings on culture and international solidarity of the Pakistani progressive poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz through his travels in Beirut and Moscow, in the aftermath of the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Trial. The trial has typically been narrated as a watershed moment for the crushing of leftist political parties in Pakistan, but Faiz’s time in exile in the 1950s and 1970s reveal a pivotal period of internationalist imagination amongst the Pakistani left. Kanjwal explores the rise and fall of progressive leftism in Kashmir by examining how the early postcolonial Kashmiri state mobilized cultural production through the patronage of local artists, then how the state co-opted the cultural intelligentsia in order to build a Kashmiri national identity, and finally how cultural producers responded to this co-option. She argues that the bureaucratization of culture led to a decline of the progressive literary movement and leftism in Kashmir.


Presenter 1
Salman Hussain - salmanh@umich.edu ()
Sailing across Scales: Dada Amir Haider Khan’s Body in Imperial Geography

Presenter 2
Hafsa Kanjwal - hafsak@umich.edu ()
Jashn-e-Kashmir (Festival of Kashmir): Progressive Cultural Politics and the Building of a National Identity

Presenter 3
Ali Raza - aliraza28@gmail.com (Zentrum Moderner Orient/Lahore University of Management Sciences)
Localizing Internationalism: Sohan Singh Josh and the Communist Movement in British India

Presenter 4
Sarah Waheed - sawaheed@davidson.edu (Davidson College)
Fashioning Self and Solidarity: Faiz Ahmed Faiz Writings on Culture


The Political Economy of Accountability and Performance in India and Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

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

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

A key concern of scholars of South Asia has been on how to ensure the accountability and performance of politicians and street-level bureaucrats. These actors often shirk their responsibilities, and when they are not shirking perform poorly. The papers on this panel explore a series of explanations for politicians and bureaucrat performance. The paper by Gulzar argues that political alignment between legislators and the governing party in Pakistan leads to greater provision of health services, but this comes at the cost of quality. The paper by Malik argues that the provision of information on legislators tax information in Pakistan is only effective when legislators face electoral pressures. The paper by Bhavnani and Lee argues that affirmative action policies in the recruitment of IAS officers has small effects on bureaucratic performance, but better targeting of resources to lower caste communities. Finally, the paper by Davies suggests that an important driver of teacher absenteeism in India are demands by politicians during election years. Together, the panel explores how political incentives and institutional arrangements can help the functioning of the Indian and Pakistani states.


Presenter 1
Rikhil Bhavnani - bhavnani@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin)
The Downstream Effects of Affirmative Action in a Bureaucracy: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India

Presenter 2
Saad Gulzar - saad.gulzar@nyu.edu (New York University)
Can Political Alignment be Costly?

Presenter 3
Rabia Malik - rabia.malik@nyu.edu (New York University Abu Dhabi)
Transparency, Elections, and Tax Evasion in Pakistan

Presenter 4
Emmerich Davies - emmerich_davies_escobar@gse.harvard.edu (Harvard Graduate School of Education)
Explaining Absence: Electoral Cycles and Teacher Absenteeism


“Bombay Below the Line : Craft, Labor, and Expertise in Indian Filmmaking”
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Priya Jaikumar - pjaikumar@cinema.usc.edu (University of Southern California)

This panel interrogates and expands ideas about creativity, expertise, and authorship in Indian filmmaking by focusing on the sites, practices, and practitioners - those frequently referred to as “below-the-line” workers in film studies and industrial parlance -- that are not typically accorded creative agency in the filmmaking process. Based on both historical and ethnographic research, the papers in this panel examine the material conditions and laboring practices of different modes and periods of film production in Mumbai as a way to broaden our understanding of cinematic creativity and practice. Examining Manto’s short stories to offer an ecological theory of film production in the 1930s, Mukherjee asks what are the categories of experience that help define the specificity of film-as-work in different times and places? Wilkinson traces the passage of design concept from production designer to art director to construction crew, showing how aptitudes and practices are reconfigured as different personnel are deployed in preparation for shooting. Drawing on interviews with hair and makeup artists, costume and set designers who worked in the 1980s’ Bombay film industry, Nair narrates a hidden history of ‘reverse-engineered’ special effects in low-budget horror films to challenge traditional notions of authorship, originality, and creativity. Ganti examines the practice of dubbing Hollywood films into Hindi, detailing how vocal, linguistic and cultural expertise are articulated and deployed by dubbing directors and voice-artists, belying any simplistic notion that dubbed films are mere “translations” of the Hollywood originals. What do we learn about cinema when we distribute agentive work, creative decision-making, and technical expertise across a range of bodies? Drawing attention to overlooked components of the filmmaking endeavor allows us to critique the authorial claims of above-the-line workers, asking to what extent dominant creative identifications actually depend upon processes of marginalization in order to prevail.


Presenter 1
Debashree Mukherjee - m.debashree@gmail.com (Columbia University)
Manto’s Ecological Theory of Film Production

Presenter 2
Clare Weber - wilkinson.clare@gmail.com (Washington State University)
Construction models: design and execution in Hindi film art direction

Presenter 3
Kartik Nair - kartiknair@gmail.com (New York University)
Re-Animators of Bombay: Reverse Engineering Special Effects in 1980s’ Horror Films

Presenter 4
Tejaswini Ganti - tganti@nyu.edu (New York University)
From Translation to ‘Transcreation’: The Craft and Practice of Dubbing Hollywood Films into Hindi


Problematizing Visibility: Gender and Violence
Panel Group

Location

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

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

From Amartya Sen’s “missing women” to Lata Mani’s colonial gaze, from British colonial portrayals of purdah to Partha Chatterjee’s “women question,” visibility has proven a powerful trope for discussing gender and power in South Asia. The impulse to make gendered bodies visible reposes earlier questions around the possibilities and limits of language with regard to the marginalized (Spivak 1988, Das 2001). But there remains a need for fine-grained examination of the ways in which visibility and invisibility come to constitute recognition, inequality, and gender itself. This panel uses anthropology and performance studies to unfold pressing questions around gender and violence: What does it mean for visibility to mediate recognition with respect to gender, and what happens when such recognition is selective? How does gendered violence become visible through everyday and institutional ways of seeing, the imaginaries they produce, and their deceptions? And how can feminist research proceed when the object of study itself--the female fetus, for instance--appears invisible? Drawing on fieldwork in different regions of northern India, the panelists consider the historical, cultural, and ethnographic visibility of gender and violence as they relate to a variety of phenomena: experiences of intimate violence in Kolkata, campaigns against sex selection in Gujarat, abandonment by husbands and women’s theatrical performances in response to sexual violence in New Delhi. Taken together, the diverse papers develop a methodological and theoretical argument for attending seriously to the co-production of visibility, gender, and violence. In a South Asian context, where scholarly and political interventions have often been tasked with unveiling marginalized bodies, these papers seek to problematize the role of visibility in framing subjects of gendered violence.


Presenter 1
Amrapali Maitra - amaitra@stanford.edu (Stanford University)
Under the Skin: Ethnographic Encounters and Embodied Narratives of Domestic Violence in Kolkata, India

Presenter 2
Megha Sharma Sehdev - msehdev@gmail.com (Johns Hopkins University)
The Parallel Archive: Photographs of "Illegitimate" Marriage in Delhi

Presenter 3
Kat Frances Lieder - lieder@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Slow Sexual Violence in Mallika Taneja's Thoda Dhyaan Se (Be a Little Careful, 2013)

Presenter 4
Utpal Sandesara - utpal.sandesara@gmail.com (University of Pennsylvania)
The Threatened Daughter: Representations of Female Fetuses in the Gujarat Government’s Campaign against Sex Selection


Citizenship and Subjecthood in Global South Asia, 1890 - 1968
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Haimanti Roy - hroy01@udayton.edu (University of Dayton)

This panel examines different conceptualizations of belonging represented by subjecthood and citizenship amongst Indians in the territorial borders of India and those who migrated to various corners of the globe between 1834 and 1898. British colonial capitalistic needs created the demand for labour of multifarious forms. While indentured workers landed in plantation complexes across the empire, policemen were used in international settlements. Lei Zhang’s paper examines the equivocal subject status of Sikh policemen by underlining how on one hand, they reinforced imperial authority in Shanghai and on the other, launched protests against the British authorities. Such ambiguous subjecthood allowed Chinese nationalists to highlight the “enslaved” status of Sikh policemen. Meanwhile Indian plantation workers faced the numerous challenges of subjecthood in the crown colony of Mauritius. Yoshina Hurgobin’s paper uses the case study of Mauritius to explain how demographic majoritarian interests undergirded the claims for citizenship rights of descendants of Indian indentured workers. Other socio-economic and ethnic groups considered this demographic majoritarianism an obstacle to the “common citizenship” for all individuals of the independent nation of Mauritius. In India, nationhood and citizenship were fraught discussions for Congress leaders of the 1930s. William Kuracina’s paper suggests how such discussions were not only shaped by incipient nationhood but also by global contigencies. More specifically, Kuracina’s paper argues how the nationalist aspirations of Congress leaders privileged political freedom over socioeconomic citizenship. He thus shows how hegemonic nationalist aims trumped the attainment of socioeconomic citizenship rights.


Presenter 1
William Kuracina - william.kuracina@tamuc.edu (Texas A&M University-Commerce)
Socialism as the Subject of Political and Socioeconomic Citizenship

Presenter 2
Lei Zhang - lzhang09@syr.edu (Syracuse University )
“Indian” Face and British Imperial Power: Sikh Policemen in Shanghai, 1884-1938

Presenter 3
yoshina hurgobin - yoshina.hurgobin@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
“Indian” Citizens and Indian Nationalists in Mauritius, 1948 to 1968


Designing Modern Heritage
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Abigail McGowan - amcgowan@uvm.edu (University of Vermont)

This panel studies a narrative of modernism that associates the end of colonial rule and birth of new states in South Asia with the arrival of Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, and Ray and Charles Eames, or the emergence of a native generation of designers, including Balkrishna Doshi and others. This same mid-century moment, however, called for an explicit, renewed focus on design heritage, by which those working in crafts, architecture, and home furnishings evoked past traditions in order to reorient production and consumption. In this panel, we explore the power and utility of heritage claims within mid-century design, examining how various design projects deployed ‘heritage’ to particular ends, based on what authority, and to what consequences. Scrutinizing the adoption of industrial decentralization in mid-1950s India, Anthony Acciavatti explores the mobilization of village industries to design and manufacture handmade consumer goods for domestic and international markets. Focusing on attempts to adapt crafts to modern interiors, Abigail McGowan how designers used ‘Indian décor’ to domesticate novel architectural spaces and claim authority over craft heritage. In an investigation of the roots of the architectural, landscape, and textile design of Minnette De Silva in Sri Lanka, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi analyzes the history of an early-twentieth-century arts and crafts movement that produced the scales for radically thinking independence on the subcontinent.


Presenter 1
Anthony Acciavatti - anthony.acciavatti@yale.edu ()
Institutes of Village Technology during India’s Golden Age of Industrial Decentralization (1951-1961)

Presenter 2
Abigail McGowan - amcgowan@uvm.edu (University of Vermont)
‘For that modern Indian look’: Craft heritage in modern interiors, 1945-1965

Presenter 3
Anooradha Siddiqi - iyersiddiqi@gmail.com (New York University)
Scales of Independence: Minnette De Silva and Arts and Crafts Thinking in Sri Lanka


Muslim Cosmopolitanism
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Laura Dudley Jenkins - laura.jenkins@uc.edu (University of Cincinnati)

Peace studies, history, and political science reveal how Muslim cosmopolitanism emerged and its relevance to contemporary struggles. Assistant Professor of History Tilmann Kulke, Associate Professor of Political Science Anas Malik, and Professor of History/ Chair of Peace Studies Yasmin Saikia contemplate the role of Muslim cosmopolitanism in several senses: as the chronicle of a king transcending the boundaries of a single text, as ideas of freedom beyond nation-state boundaries, and as collective action across religious boundaries. Dr. Kulke’s intertextual analysis examines how Aurangzeb’s chronicler Mustaʿidd Ḫān worked to create a narrative of Aurangzeb as a cosmopolitan ruler through a complex compilation and citation of prior sources. Dr. Saikia reveals the role of “middle actors” between elite and subaltern figures in India freedom movement politics. She argues that Maulana Obaidullah Sindhi and mullah Fazal Illahi drew on the Islamic concept of the human as free to embark on a struggle for azadi (freedom) as possibility for human advancement, encompassing more than the political freedom demanded by the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. Dr. Malik compares Muslim pietists’ religious public advocacy for cooperation as examples of “civic artisanship.” Such advocacy has potential to overcome collective action problems, as shown in Muslim-sectarian, Muslim-Christian, and Muslim-Buddhist case studies. The panelists take on issues of the present—including contemporary assumptions that Aurangzeb was the Mughals’ “bad guy,” concerns about the current demand for the Caliphal Islamic State, and the notorious “clash of civilizations” narrative—through their historical and analytical insights about Muslim cosmopolitanism. They show how South Asian Muslims, working with concepts from Islam as well as the texts, people and world events around them, created new narratives and networks for emancipation. Organized by the South Asian Muslim Studies Association, this is a diverse panel in many senses, including academic ranks and fields.


Presenter 1
Tilmann Kulke - tilmann.kulke@eui.eu ()
A cosmopolitan chronicler and a non-cosmopolitan king? Some reflections on Musta’idd Ḫān’s (d. 1724) conflicting duties while writing the Heroic Deeds of Aurangzeb Alamgir (d. 1707)

Presenter 2
Yasmin Saikia - yasmin.saikia@asu.edu (Arizona State University)
Islam, Freedom, and Cosmopolitanism: “Middle actors” in India’s anticolonial struggle

Presenter 3
Anas Malik - malik@xavier.edu (Xavier University)
Muslim Interreligious Covenants: Collective Action, Constitutional Choice, and Doctrinal Commensurability with Tradition


The Textual Lives of the People: Crowds and Communities in the Post-Partition Literature of East Bengal
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Keya Ganguly - gangu003@umn.edu

This panel explores the traffic between politics and literature in post-1947 East Bengal. Focusing on the literary accounts of the crises and possibilities of the time, the panelists theorize the logics underpinning the literary representations of the amorphous crowd, the historically overdetermined “Bengal Muslim community,” and the normatively weighty category of "the people". The names that appear in the papers are well-known figures in post-partition Bengali literature: Anisuzzaman, Ahmed Sofa, Akhtaruzzaman Elias, and Mahmudul Huq. The writing of these authors—who by no means boasted a common inheritance or held a singular vision of the future— is animated by a preoccupation with "the people." In addressing how this figure pervaded the literature and the literary history of the period, this panel raises a set of concerns. Tracing the transformation of the insurrectionary crowd into the people—a theme informing Mahmudul Huq’s novel set in 1971—it explores the paradox created by the necessity of the normative concept of the people and the destabilizing forms of its concrete emergence. How and why did the projects of literary history, as in Anisuzzaman and Sofa’s writings, collapse into a general history of the Bengali Muslim mind? What accounts for the transition from a focus on literary artifacts to an emphasis on intimate psychologies? What theoretical insights about the popular can we glean from the narrative of a political procession (michhil)—as in Sofa’s much-celebrated Omkar or Elias’ Chilekothar Sepai—where a collectivity comes into being at the expense of a cathartic self-negation? How does the feminine figure as agent or victim of the march of the people? These are some of the questions that the panelists—an anthropologist, historian, and political theorist— tackle through their reading of important literary work located in an under-explored chapter of South Asian political and literary history.


Presenter 1
Nazmul Sultan - nazmulsultan@uchicago.edu (The University of Chicago)
“When Humans Become the People”: Toward an Eventful History of the Crowd in Bangla Literature

Presenter 2
Thomas Newbold - newboldjthomas@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
The Mind And The Puthi: Bengali Muslim Literary History

Presenter 3
Nusrat Chowdhury - nchowdhury@amherst.edu (Amherst College)
Where the Street Meets the Text: Crowds as Catharsis in Bangladeshi Literature


Interfacing Through Cultural Performances: Identity, Diaspora and Activism
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Madison College D240
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Arshiya Sethi - arshiyasethi@gmail.com (University of Minnesota )

x


Presenter 1
Arshiya Sethi - arshiyasethi@gmail.com (University of Minnesota )
ITS THERE IN BLACK AND WHITE: Triple Talaq and other issues in Dance

Presenter 2
Nicole Berger - nberger@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
A Festival for All Tamils? Between Unity and Distinctiveness in Diasporic Tamil Pongal Celebrations in France

Presenter 3
Deepa Mahadevan - dmahadevan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Indian 'classical' arts in the Diaspora space - A textual interface

Presenter 4
Debadatta Chakraborty - debadattac@siu.edu (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)
Intersectional Identities in Community Building: Gender, Age, Race and Ethnicity in a Rural U.S. Indian Diaspora


The Blurry Borders Between Society and Politics in Colonial South Asia, 1830-1947
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 3: Friday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Madison College Meeting Room 1
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
H William Warner - hwarner@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

x


Presenter 1
Devika Shankar - devika@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
A Slippery Sovereignty: Princely States and the Development of British Cochin 1850-1920

Presenter 2
Alex Polyak - alexrpolyak@gmail.com (University of Pennsylvania)
Mother Dairy: Ghee Adulteration and Civil Society Activism in the United Provinces 1880-1936

Presenter 3
Soumita Mazumder - history.soumita@gmail.com (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
“The Clique of the Club: A Small History of Nationalism in Calcutta, 1920-1946.”

Presenter 4
H William Warner - hwarner@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
“We Cannot Kill Our Wilayatis, So We Must Try Deporting Them”: Afghans, Foreign Migration, and British India, c. 1830-1947


Reflections on Freedom and Liberation: Feminist Sightlines
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Dina Siddiqui - msiddiqi@gmail.com

It would have been hard to imagine, only a few decades ago, that the concepts of freedom and liberation would once again merit such spirited discussions within South Asian studies. There is little doubt that debates about the historiography of “freedom” and “liberation” are very much in the air and that the intellectual or political payoff of interrogating, demystifying, and defamiliarizing the terms is no longer self- evident. For scholars working within minoritized histories of gender, sexuality, caste and region, the continuing salience and timeliness of “freedom” and “liberation” as political projects has become especially pressing as one is often expected to defend and justify what was previously taken for granted. In this respect, our panel offers a complex temporality and spatiality to the terms by rerouting their histories through reformist encounters with abolition, caste, sexuality and gender. We look to longer histories of the terms to engage their emergence within regional encounters: from the economic “liberations” flooding the Brahmaputra river valley, to the sexual “freedoms” of Portuguese India, from narratives of “emancipation” and indenture, to plantation histories within and without the nation-state.


Presenter 1
Mrinalini Sinha - sinha@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
Thinking Through the Khula (Emancipation)

Presenter 2
Indrani Chatterjee - ichatterjee@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Liberalism and Liberation: a Historical Exposition

Presenter 3
Anjali Arondekar - aarondek@ucsc.edu (UCSC)
Becoming Ordinary: Sexuality and Freedom


A roundtable discussion on "Liberalism in Empire: An Alternative History"
Roundtable

Location

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

Dwaipayan Sen - dsen@amherst.edu (Amherst College)

This roundtable will feature a friendly and critical conversation about Andrew Sartori’s publication, Liberalism in Empire: An Alternative History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014). Sartori’s argument dramatically reinterprets received narratives about the contradictory relationship between liberalism and empire by considering the emergence to plausibility and availability of this peculiar ensemble of political ideals in the agrarian hinterland of colonial Bengal. In tracing the adoption of specifically liberal norms articulated through a Lockean discourse of property by Bengali Muslim politicians and pamphleteers during the late-colonial period, Liberalism in Empire proposes a radically different interpretation of how to understand the sources of liberalism itself. A history of both liberal and political-economic concepts in the vernacular, the book eschews simplistically Eurocentric accounts of liberal thought as well as notions of liberalism’s propensity for empire. In so doing, it suggests interesting possibilities for the reconceptualization of the intellectual and political history of modern South Asia, and raises provocative questions about the contemporary status of liberalism. Sartori will respond to remarks by four commentators, before opening the floor to Q&A with the audience. The roundtable thus hosts discussion on this path-breaking contribution by challenging participants across disciplinary and regional specializations to examine its implications for the study of history, the social sciences, and liberalism in South Asia.


Presenter 1
Uday Chandra - udaychandra84@gmail.com (Georgetown University, Qatar)
Presenter 2
Debjani Bhattacharyya - db893@drexel.edu (Drexel University)
Presenter 3
Atreyee Majumdar - atreyee.majumder@utoronto.ca
Presenter 4
Andrew Sartori - sartori.andrew@gmail.com

Archaeological Research in Northwestern Pakistan and Afghanistan
Panel Group

Location

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

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

The archaeological heritage of Pakistan and Afghanistan covers a wide range of time periods and this panel will present recent innovative research that covers the prehistoric period at the end of the Indus Civilization (after 1900 BCE), the Early Historic Period (800 BCE-500 CE), and the Islamic Period (specifically the 10th to 12th centuries). This panel will bring together scholars who are working in adjacent regions in order to provide a larger perspective of the cultural developments in what is now northwestern Pakistan. The first paper by Dr. Massimo Vidale focuses on the period that is poorly documented in the Swat region and helps to fill in some important gaps in our knowledge of the linkages between the Indus and the Iron Age. The next paper by Dr. Ghaniur Rahman shifts the region to the south where Swat and the Indus Valley intersect. The surveys that he will report provide a new understanding of the importance of this region for trade and the exchange and spread of ideologies during the prehistoric and early historic periods. The paper by Michael Skinner and Dr. Abdul Samad presents and important newly discovered inscription that provides insight into the ways in which ideological systems overlapped and evolved between Buddhist and later Hindu periods. The final two papers focus on a unique collection of Islamic pottery and the ways in which to study and conserve glazed ceramics.


Presenter 1
Massimo Vidale - mass.vidale@gmail.com ()
The protohistoric culture of the Swat valley (Pakistan) in a new light

Presenter 2
Ghaniur Rahman - ghaniurrahman@hotmail.com (Quaid-i-Azam University)
Explorations and Documentations in Tehsil Batkhela, District Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan

Presenter 3
Sabaina Younas - sabainayounas@gmail.com (Quaid-i-Azam University )
Analytical Study of Badalpur Monastic complex in Taxila: Its style of Architecture

Presenter 4
Manoj Kumar - manurorxxx@gmail.com (Kurukshetra University Kurukshetra)
The first discovery of the Tri-Ratha Style Kushana Brick Temple’s Remains at Thanesar, Kurukshetra, Haryana (India)


Chicken Soup for the Soulful: Morals, Markets, and Venture Spiritualism
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Andy Rotman - arotman@smith.edu (Smith College)

Markets are intensely moralized, and moralizing, entities, complicating any easy distinction between religion and business. Taking inspiration from classic self-help books that likewise couple moral betterment and commercial success, we explore various ways that the business of religion has functioned in South Asia, demonstrating the complex interactions between prestige and profit, credibility and credit. Are morals from Mars? Are markets from Venus? Join us and find out. Novetzke’s paper, “How to Win Frenemies and Influence Pandits: The Spiritual Economy of 13th Century Maharashtra as Told through the Mercurial Friendship between Chakradhar and Sarang Pandit” investigates the spiritual economy in which Marathi literature first emerged by observing the dynamics of two emblematic “venture spiritualists” as they navigated the complex terrain of a literary-political-spiritual-cultural field. Chann’s paper, “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Sant: The Life of Mahamat Prannath in the Early Modern Persian Gulf,” focuses on the eccentric 17th century leader of the Pranami movement and how he extended his trade, political influence, spiritual power, and tithing networks from Mughal Gujarat to the Safavid and Yarubid Persian Gulf littoral. Schwecke’s paper, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Sakh-cess: Caste and Entrepreneurial Moralities on (Extra-legal) Credit Markets in Banaras” examines the evolution of mercantile ethics in money lending and “indigenous” banking practices in 20th century northern India, which was characterized by the “degeneration” of religious underpinnings following the decline of collective forms of bargaining and an increased individualization of the market. Rotman’s paper, “Who Moved My Cheez? Branding Gods in the Bazaars of Banaras,” examines the ways that gods have functioned as brands in the bazaar, and how this works with, and against, the conception that brands are gods. His paper focuses on various divinely named sweetshops, including the historic Shri Shri Ram Bhandar. Can Lord Ram be a brand? Is he one already?


Presenter 1
Christian Novetzke - novetzke@gmail.com ()
How to Win Frenemies and Influence Pandits: The Spiritual Economy of 13th Century Maharashtra as Told through the Mercurial Friendship between Chakradhar and Sarang Pandit

Presenter 2
Naindeep Chann - naindeep@gmail.com (UCLA)
7 Habits of a Highly Effective Sant: The Life of Mahamat Prannath in the Early Modern Persian Gulf

Presenter 3
Sebastian Schwecke - sebastian.schwecke@cemis.uni-goettingen.de ()
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Sakh-cess: Caste and Entrepreneurial Moralities on (Extra-legal) Credit Markets in Banaras

Presenter 4
Andy Rotman - arotman@smith.edu (Smith College)
Who Moved My Cheez? Branding Gods in the Bazaars of Banaras


Sites of Contention – Doctrine, Dispute, and the Development of Religious Discourse in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Srilata Raman - s.raman@utoronto.ca

Contestation, whether over religious doctrine, ethical conduct, or texts themselves, figures prominently in the religious discourses of South Asia. Despite its ubiquity, contestation is multi-valent. This panel charts contestation across a broad literature in order to investigate its function, form, and social conditions. By drawing from multiple linguistic registers—Maṇipravāḷa, Kannada, and Sanskrit—this panel identifies broader modes of discourse operative across various sectarian, textual, and temporal domains. Investigating a prominent point of contention in medieval Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta, Manasicha Akepiyapornchai traces debates on how a liberated person (prapanna) is obliged to a life of service. Drawing upon the work of Vedāntadeśika and Piḷḷai Lokācārya, Akepiyapornchai shows how diverging attitudes to scripture and caste underpinned debates on the prapanna’s life of service. Jonathan Peterson investigates how the Vaiṣṇava initiatory ritual of branding sectarian symbols on the body mobilized early-modern anti-Vaiṣṇava polemics. By locating the debate on Vaiṣṇava initiation practices within broader social constraints, Peterson’s paper questions how certain polemic texts might reframe conversations on the connection between scholastic discourse and the social conditions of its emergence in the early-modern era. Zoë High looks to situate ‘debate’ itself as a literary trope, where it functioned as a mode through which Vīraśaiva authors subsumed Śaiva heterodoxies within broader religious taxonomies. High argues that the employment of debate as a literary trope demonstrates how Kannada Vīraśaiva literature participated within a larger context of interreligious debate in fifteenth-century Vijayanagara. Looking at commentaries as localized sites of conflict, Sucharita Adluri investigates exegetical elaborations on individual self in the commentaries of Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja on the Bhagavadgīta. Adluri argues that interpretive maneuvers such as “a decisive introduction, clarification of ambiguous terminology, reference to authoritative scripture, and refutation of rival perspectives” allow both commentators to articulate Kṛṣṇa’s teaching that is in line with Advaita and Viśiṣṭādvaita ideologies.


Presenter 1
Manasicha Akeypiyapornchai - ma886@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
A Life of Service: Debates on the Life of the Liberated Person (Prapanna) in the Śrīvaiṣṇava Tradition of South India

Presenter 2
Jonathan Peterson - jon.peterson@mail.utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Branded by God, Branded as Outsider: situating early-modern polemic against the Vaiṣṇava initiation practice of taptasaṃskāra

Presenter 3
Zoe High - zwhigh@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Doctrinal Debate as Literary Trope in Kannada Hagiographical Literature

Presenter 4
Sucharita Adluri - s.adluri16@csuohio.edu (Cleveland State University)
Techniques of Exegesis in Sanskrit Commentaries: Śaṅkara and Rāmānuja on the Bhagavadgītā


Do Maslaks Matter? The Construction of Sunni Muslim Identities in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

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

In post-Mutiny South Asia, the loss of Muslim political sovereignty generated the conditions for unprecedented intellectual ferment, as competing groups of scholars (‘ulama’) wrestled with the practical implications of living under British colonial rule. The ‘ulama’ divided into competing normative orientations (masalik, sing. maslak), with contrasting programs of religious reform. Today South Asian maslaks (from the Arabic suluk, meaning practice or conduct) define both the discursive and ritual boundaries of the Islamic tradition. Our panel focuses on the genealogy as well as lived dimensions of maslak identity today. Haroon’s paper, on a legal dispute in nineteenth-century Tajpur, Bihar, between an Ahl-i Hadīth imam and a group of Hanafi Muslims over the legitimacy of his practice of offering prayer in a certain manner, argues that the dispute must be understood in light of British-mandated changes in the financial structure of the waqf endowment of the mosque in question. Bashir looks at the diverse strands of the Deobandi maslak and argues that the network of madrasas affiliated to the Dar ul-‘Ulum, and above all the elders (akabir) of the Deobandi maslak, hold the key to the continued resilience and relevance of Deobandī identity. Sanyal’s paper looks comparatively at a Barelwi madrasa for girls and a modern online Qur’ān class for women run by Al-Huda, an Ahl-i Hadīth affiliate. While on the face of it poles apart, the two models of education offer intriguing parallels in terms of shared goals. Abraham’s paper, on a Mappila reform movement led by Vakkom Moulavi in the early twentieth century, raises the question: Do maslaks matter? Like the Ahl-i Hadīth, Vakkom Moulavi rejected the authority of the Sunni law schools and implicitly of the South Asian maslaks, claiming that the authority of the Qur’ān and hadith was all that mattered for the modern Sunni Muslim.


Presenter 1
Sana Haroon - sana.haroon@umb.edu (University of Massachusetts Boston)
The Ahl-i Hadith and the Fragmentation of South Asian Mosque Practice Under the Colonial State

Presenter 2
Aamir Bashir - abashir1@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
The Continued Relevance of Deobandī Maslak Identity

Presenter 3
Usha Sanyal - ushasanyal3@gmail.com (Queens University of Charlotte)
Dīnī Taʿlīm for Women: Two Perspectives

Presenter 4
Jose Abraham - jose.abraham@concordia.ca (Concordia University Montreal)
Discourse on Modernity and Muslim Identity Construction in Kerala


Gender and Violence in the History and Politics of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Ann Wilder - wildera@sfasu.edu (Stephen F. Austin Sate University)

x


Presenter 1
Shahin Kachwala - skachwal@indiana.edu (Indiana University - Bloomington)
Paths to Political Violence: Gender, Revolutionary Subjectivity, and Indian Anticolonialism

Presenter 2
Anisha Saxena - salabhanjika@gmail.com ()
It was Women’s Fault Then, it is Women’s Fault Now: Comparisons in attitude towards rape in Pre-modern and Contemporary India

Presenter 3
Kathleen Fernando - fernandok@kenyon.edu (Kenyon College)
A Body Grown Oceanic: Testimonies of Violence, Forgiveness, and Tamil Femininity in V.V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage.

Presenter 4
Ann Wilder - wildera@sfasu.edu (Stephen F. Austin Sate University)
Widows and Human Traficking in Contemporary Indian Society

Presenter 5
Jared Dmello - jared_dmello@uml.edu (University of Massachusetts, Lowell)
Violence Against Women in India: State-Level Characteristics as Predictors of Victimization Likelihood


Urban Spatial Formation: Identity and Planning in Indian Cities
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Swati Mantri - swatimantri15@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi)

x


Presenter 1
Tupur Chatterjee - tupurc@gmail.com (University of Texas Austin)
'Architectures of Happiness': Notes on a spatial design for the 'South Delhi Woman'

Presenter 2
Apurva Apurva - akashya1@binghamton.edu (Binghamton University )
“Transform-Nation” through Smart Cities? Four Theses on Smart Urbanization

Presenter 3
Swati Mantri - swatimantri15@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi)
Construction of a Socio-Spatial Identity: Community and Performativity in the City

Presenter 4
Soundarya Chidambaram - chidambaram.2@osu.edu (Bucknell University)
Whose City? A critical look at gender and urban planning in India


The Violence and Promise of Mobilities: Navigating Everday Experiences of Migration and Geographies of Hope(lessness)
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Frank J. Korom - korom@bu.edu

x


Presenter 1
Andrea Wright - andrea_wright@brown.edu (Brown University)
Geographies of Beauty, Geographies of Aspiration: Intimate Labor, Discrimination, and Community Building among North East Migrants in Bangalore

Presenter 2
Ina Zharkevich - ina.zharkevich@anthro.ox.ac.uk (Oxford University)
‘Living for the Future’- On Maoist revolutionaries, Christian Converts, and Irregular Migrants: Hopelessness, temporality, and ‘existential mobility’ in rural Nepal.

Presenter 3
Calynn Dowler - cdowler@bu.edu (Boston University)
Migration and Environment in India's Sundarbans Islands: Linking Public Discourses, Policy Frameworks, and Local Voices

Presenter 4
Catherine Larouche - catherine.larouche@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Falling between categories . Narratives of violence and displacement in the Muslim relief camps of Muzaffarnagar, India


Bodies of Substance: Constituting Hierarchy and Equality in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Joseph Alter - jsalter@pitt.edu (University of Pittsburgh)

Taking as a launching point a classic idea in the social sciences that the body politic is made evident in the symbolic medium of the physical body (Douglas 1966), this panel explores how bio-moral substance in South Asia constitutes bodies and in doing so creates, reinforces, and/or challenges social hierarchies. The anthropological record is full of accounts of the ways substance constitutes both belonging and otherness in kinship, caste, religion, etc. in South Asia, including such substances as food (Marriott 1968), land (Daniel 1987), sexual fluids (Alter 2011), and soil (Bashford 2014). The papers on this panel address the following questions: What are the historical processes and contemporary practices through which bodies are constituted? How does the differential constitution of the body create specific forms of hierarchy? What kind of work reproduces or changes the body and therefore the body politic? Under what historical and political circumstances do new ways of configuring and constituting bodies emerge? Two of the papers, Cieslak’s and Balaswaminathan’s, address the constitution of caste-ed bodies. While Cieslak brings low-caste sanitation workers’ ideas about the stomach into dialogue with public health discourses in Delhi, Balaswaminathan discusses how artisans in South India are re-negotiating historic caste-based claims to bronze sculpting. Khan’s paper similarly addresses a challenge to historic claims to legitimacy, as he argues that Pakistani Tablighis’ particular form of preaching establishes in the practitioner religious status once exclusively available through genealogy. Conversely, Loveridge’s paper demonstrates the endurance of ideas about differently-constituted bodies, as he examines how eugenic thinking from the 1920s and 1930s informed government pursuits in rural post-colonial India. By taking the body as the central focus of our analysis, this panel will examine how the domains of kinship, religion and politics intersect in contemporary South Asia.


Presenter 1
Jacqueline Cieslak - jacqueline.cieslak@gmail.com (University of Virginia)
Stomaching the Biomoral Substance of Caste

Presenter 2
Sowparnika Balaswaminathan - sbalaswaminathan@ucsd.edu (University of California San Diego)
Creating the Proper Sculptor: Blood, Labor, and Legacy in a Tamil Artisan Caste Community

Presenter 3
Arsalan Khan - khana@union.edu (Union College)
The Limits of Transcendence: Ritual and Genealogy in the Tablighi Jamaat in Pakistan

Presenter 4
Jack Loveridge - loveridge@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Into the Fertile Future: American Philanthropy's Eugenic Quest in Rural India, 1944-64


Technologies and Mythologies of Mobility in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Rashmi Sadana - rsadana@gmu.edu (George Mason University)

Mobility has become a key parameter for the planning and renewal of cities across the world and is pivotal to creating efficient networks of transport, communication and exchange in global contexts. Managing the speed and accessibility of mobility is a core concern of models of urban planning. However, the articulation of mobility as the movement of not just material goods and people but also the movement of imaginations, desires, and aspirations has expanded the concerns of doing research on mobility. The historical processes of colonialism, the current neoliberalization of global governance and the emergent processes of ‘worlding cities’ in South Asia provides a ripe context to study the ways in which ideas surrounding global mobility get mimicked, animated, and reconfigured in local contexts giving rise to the collective production of urban frictions and fictions. In this panel, we build on these insights and critically explore the material-historical contexts, discursive apparatuses, and affective circuits that undergird the fraught production of ‘mobile space’ in non-West societies.While we argue that mobilities enable particular freedoms, inform everyday aspirations, and enable city dwellers to participate in city-making, we want to empirically evaluate the possibilities of these assertions in the context of South Asia. In particular, how do collective transurban imaginations of mobility get configured in policy, and how do they get adopted and adapted in the particularities of urban life in South Asia? What are the kinds of technologies that enable mobility and how do these become wrapped in particular urban myths of speed, efficiency, sustainability and excitement?


Presenter 1
Sneha Annavarapu - snehaa@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
"Wake Up! Hyderabad": an analysis of road safety campaigns in urban India

Presenter 2
William F Stafford Jr - wstafford.jr@berkeley.edu (UC Berkeley)
The auto-rickshaw meter and the encompassment of space: units, location, direction

Presenter 3
Aditi Aggarwal - aaggar20@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Regulars and irregulars: The gendered labour of building livelihoods on the Mumbai local

Presenter 4
Noopur Raval - naraval@uci.edu ()
Title: Studying ridesharing in Bangalore: thoughts on infrastructure and technology-use


Whatever Happened to Class? Fresh Reflections from South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Emmanuel Teitelbaum - ejt@gwu.edu (George Washington University)

This panel explores the continued relevance of class in understanding politics in South Asia. We revisit some of the key questions presented a decade ago by Herring and Agarwala, in their edited volume Whatever Happened to Class? and raise some new ones. In this iteration, Herring and Agarwala examine whether we can really dismiss the relevance of class in South Asian politics, like the Rudolphs (1987) did in their seminal volume, simply because the effects identity politics via caste and religion remain more explicit and immediate. The panel will also analyze how class helps us understand contemporary challenges to democracy from a variety of sources including entrenched poverty, inequality, sectarian divisions and insurgencies. To this end, Bownas’ paper will explore the salience of caste and class identity among migrant workers in Nepal as these migrants adapt to life in an urban setting, while Sen’s paper will examine the interplay of class and caste identities in both democratic and insurgent politics leading to formation of the state of Jharkhand. We will also explore the evolving relationship between India’s rising middle class and other groups including informal workers, political parties and organized labor. To this end, Sinha’s paper will analyze the state-business nexus in India and how it is changing in the post-liberalization period. The chair/discussant, Emmanuel Teitelbaum, will offer his thoughts on how unions have reacted to the challenges presented by the Modi government and its reform agenda. As significant political developments including Brexit and the US presidential election underscore the urgency of probing the role of class in motivating voters, this panel on the continued relevance of class makes a timely contribution to the conference and provides a useful jumping off point for a broader intellectual engagement on the topic among scholars in South Asian studies and beyond.


Presenter 1
Ronald Herring - rjh5@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Rina Agarwala - agarwala@jhu.edu ()
The Uses and Limits of Class Analytics for Indian Politics: Complicating the Rudolphs’ Perspectives on Centrism, Tradition and Modernity

Presenter 2
Richard Bownas - richard.bownas@unco.edu (University of Northern Colorado)
Caste, Work and Urban Migration in Central Nepal: The Experiences of Dalits

Presenter 3
Aseema Sinha - aseema.sinha@cmc.edu (Claremont McKenna College)
The Porous State and Embedded Capitalism: Blurred Boundaries and the Evolving Business-State Relationship in Liberalizing India

Presenter 4
Rumela Sen - rs723@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Competing Mobilization of Caste, Class and Tribal Identity: Evidence from Jharkhand


Regulating frontiers: Law finance and infrastructure in the South Asian Borderlands
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Jason Cons - jasoncons@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)

The term frontier has been historically construed as timeless, spatially indeterminate and conceptually elastic. By contrast, the scholarly discussion around borders and boundaries has considered them as specific sites of regulation and violence. As has been well documented, the advent of modern nation-states meant that historic frontier spaces often became collapsed into the logic of national borders. This panel considers the landscape of the frontier in South Asia to examine how such spaces are defined in relation to ideas of law, regulation and infrastructure in the effort to pacify and integrate them into the national body politic. How do such political contestations play out in transforming frontiers into borders and boundaries? How are they translated into present social struggles and claims for justice? What are alternative forms of landscape and community that are reflected in struggles over access and citizenship? Further, are we witnessing a re-frontierization of borderlands in context of new forms of capital and commodity flows? The four papers in this range from border populations and legal regimes in eastern Sindh, through networks of material and financial infrastructures along the India-Bangladesh border as well as in Kashmir, to emergent socialities on the Asian Highway in north-east India.


Presenter 1
Ghazal Asif - gasif1@jhu.edu (Johns Hopkins University)
Zones of Partial Recognition: Legislating a Border Religion

Presenter 2
Swargajyoti Gohain - swargajyoti@gmail.com (Indian institute of technology Kanpur )
Highways, gateways, inclusion and exclusion

Presenter 3
Aditi Saraf - aditisrf@gmail.com (Johns Hopkins University)
Financial superstitions: Credit, conflict and counterinsurgency in Kashmir

Presenter 4
Sahana Ghosh - sahana.ghosh@yale.edu (Yale University)
Tobacco, ganja, and the ‘return’ of the road: Refrontierization of the India-Bangladesh borderlands


Producing India: Antiquarian Practices and Knowledge Circuits 1755-1900
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Rama Mantena - rmantena@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)

This panel showcases new research on the practices through which knowledge about India was produced and disseminated in the 18th and 19th centuries, entailing transactions among European orientalists and antiquarians and Indian artists and intellectuals. Examining the practices operative at a variety of sites at which antiquarian knowledge was created, archived, and circulated, the papers illuminate the instability and plurality of intention and agency surrounding antiquarian transactions regarding India as well as the excess of meaning produced by them. Studying the 1774 album of French officer Jean-Baptiste Gentil, Chanchal Dadlani argues that the paintings, executed by Indian artists, constitute a visual translation of the A’in-i Akbari. She examines the album’s reception in France and its impact on French audiences, including orientalists connected to the Royal Library. Indira Peterson illuminates a shift in British colonial antiquarian goals and practices on the founding of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain in London in 1823. Focusing on King Serfoji II of Tanjore, who sent architectural drawings and other information to the RAS, she traces both the agency of “Madras” orientalist circles in the RAS and the new relationship established between metropolitan antiquarians and their ‘native’ counterparts in India. Holly Shaffer analyses the circuits of image collection and image-making through which the English antiquarian Major Edward Moor’s popular book The Hindu Pantheon (1810) were constituted. She sheds light on the conversations between the book’s European engravings and the Indian line drawings on which they were based, showing that these images are embedded in a western Indian cultural matrix, and traces the re-circulations that placed them in new aesthetic and political contexts. Discussant Rama Mantena is the author of a major book on antiquarianism in India.


Presenter 1
Chanchal Dadlani - dadlani@wfu.edu (Wake Forest University)
Visual Epistemologies: Indo-Persian Manuscripts and Eighteenth-Century French Orientalism

Presenter 2
Indira Peterson - indira.p19@gmail.com (Mount Holyoke College)
New Orientalisms, New Orientalists: Serfoji II of Tanjore and the Royal Asiatic Soci

Presenter 3
Holly Shaffer - hollyshaffer@gmail.com (Dartmouth College)
Edward Moor’s The Hindu Pantheon (1810)


Re-crafting Alaṅkāra: New Thoughts on an Ancient Practice
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Tamara Sears - searst74@gmail.com (Rutgers University)

A ubiquitous feature of Hindu temple ritual is the ornamentation of the body of the god known as alaṅkāra. This ornamentation is synchronized to daily and festival calendars, with elaborate, spectacular alaṅkāra realized during festival times. Alaṅkāra often offers the priest scope for creativity, yet it is carefully regulated, for it is the means through which the God is understood to be revealed. Our four panelists seek to recraft our understandings of what alaṅkāra is and does as an aesthetic practice— its materials, practices and codifications— as well as what it says about Hindu notions of humanity and divinity. We begin with a consideration of Śrīvaiṣṇava alaṅkāra-practices, performed for Viṣṇu and Nammāḻvār, the 9th century āḻvār-poet, during the annual festival of recitation at the temple in Alvar Tirunagari, to demonstrate how it functions as experiential, visual commentary of God’s nature. Continuing in Tamil country, the next paper explores the fashioning of a ritual vessel-a pativilakku- in non-Brahmin ceremonies to invite deceased relatives, pūvāṭaikkāri, back into the home. With evocative descriptions of the deities’ iconography and the dead’s visual attributes, this paper extends the aesthetic conventions and ornamental vocabulary of alaṅkāra. Our third panelist reflects on alaṅkāra through a consideration of the commissioned divine portraiture of Sahajanand Swami or Swaminarayan within the preserved 19th-century Vachanamrut, temple images and sacred momentos of Swaminarayan. The paper considers the aesthetics of this rich archive i as mediating between, and expanding understandings human and divine. Our last paper speaks to new practices of alaṅkāra in temples in Bangalore through the usage of new materials such as Kiwi fruit and Kewpie dolls. It suggests a new understanding of modernity and Hindu aesthetics, not only expanding devotees’ understandings of divinity, but inviting devotees to feel adbhutha or wonder.


Presenter 1
Archana Venkatesan - avenkatesan@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Of Rubies and Corals: Alaṅkāra as Visual Commentary in the Śrīvaiṣṇava Tradition

Presenter 2
Amy Allocco - aallocco@elon.edu (Elon University)
Amid Flowers and Flames: Decorations for the Dead in Domestic Tamil Ritual

Presenter 3
Cynthia Packert - cpackert@middlebury.edu (Middlebury College)
Both Human and Divine: Ornamenting Swaminarayan

Presenter 4
Tulasi Srinivas - tulasi_srinivas@emerson.edu (Emerson College)
Kiwi Fruit and Kew pie dolls: Transformative Alankara and Modernity in Bangalore


Improving Governance Through Fiscal decentralization in Pakistan: The Role of Provincial Finance Commissions
Panel Group

Location

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

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

Improving Governance Through Fiscal decentralization in Pakistan: The Role of Provincial Finance Commissions. The issue of effective governance has received much of the attention of researchers interested in federalism and decentralization. The central argument in most of the studies has been that, a balance of power between the center and all federating units has the potential to solve many of the obstacles the country like Pakistan faces; from militancy to state coercion, ethnic conflict, and economic progress. It may; however, be argued that Some of the recommendations of the studies are over-ambitious and impractical. Nonetheless, the 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) award, that was agreed upon in December 2009 and 18th amendment that was passed in April 2010, not only showed promise for improving the state of federalism in Pakistan but also of democratic atmosphere . According to the constitution now, the four main provinces are Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Paktunkhwa (KPK) (while Gilgit Baltistan, FATA and Kashmir have been given a special status). The 7th NFC award attempted at providing these four provinces with equitable distribution of resources. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, population had not been made the only factor considered for the allocation of resources; other factors such as poverty and backwardness and inverse population density were included to ensure an improved, more equitable distribution. However, substantial work focusing on the distribution of the allocated budget within the provinces does not exist. This panel seeks to explore the questions such as: How is this budget distributed? To what extent are the Provincial Finance Commissions (PFC) functional? Are there differences between the PFCs, and if so, of what sort? Does the absence of a constitutionally binding framework for their existence have an effect on the functioning of PFCs?


Presenter 1
Aisha Shahzad - aishashahzad@hotmail.com (Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan.)
Fiscal Decentralization in Pakistan A Case Study of Punjab Provincial Finance Commission

Presenter 2
Azam Muhammad - muhammad.azam@uos.edu.pk (University of Sargodha)
PROVINCIAL FINANCE COMMISSIONS AND DEMOCRATIZATION IN PAKISTAN

Presenter 3
Mudassar Hussain Shah - mudassarshah@fccollege.edu.pk ( Forman Christian College (A Chartered University), Lahore - Pakistan)
Vertical and Horizontal flow of Development through PPFC Award 2016-2017: Correlation between Media agenda and Public Perception on Key Issues in Two Districts of Punjab

Presenter 4
Younis Muhammad - muhammadyounis@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College ( A Chartered University))
Improving Governance Through Fiscal decentralization in Pakistan: The Role of Provincial Finance Commissions.


Representations of "Voice" in Urdu literature
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Snehal Shingavi - snehal.shingavi@utexas.edu (University of Texas Austin)

This panel seeks to explore the ways in which Urdu literature conceptualizes and engages with the notion of “voice.” There are many dimensions to voices. They can be: individual, collective, gendered, poetic, performative, literal, metaphorical, public, private, political, or social. By examining “voice” through various Urdu mediums and genres, this panel will explore humor, resistance, and gender. The papers will attempt to answer the following questions: How is voice generated, silenced, or subverted? What spaces does it occupy, and how does the space influence what sort of voice is being utilized? What are the mechanisms by which some voices are privileged over others? What are its effects and limitations? How does voice intersect with laughter, body, and community? How does form and genre inhibit or enable certain voices? What are alternative ways of conceptualizing voice? The papers will also aim to shed light on larger discourses of disenfranchisement, resistance, community building, and multivocality through the lens of voice.


Presenter 1
Sabrina Datoo - sdatoo@uchicago.edu ()
Pain Spoken: The Voice of Ailing Ashraf Men c. 1911

Presenter 2
Charlotte Giles - charlottegiles88@gmail.com (University of Texas at Austin )
Community and Orality in Urdu Humor

Presenter 3
Sundas Amer - sundas.amer@utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Playing with the Familiar: the Creation of Humor in Urdu Literature


Theatrical Intersections: Parsi Theatre on the Global Stage
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Harshita Mruthinti Kamath - hmruthi@yahoo.com (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

In the late 19th century, a new kind of theatricality developed in urban centers such as Bombay and Calcutta. Western-influenced yet hybrid, realistic yet spectacular, popular and accessible yet engaged with modernity, the Parsi theatre became the chief representative of this development even though it shared much with the Bengali, Marathi, and Tamil theatres of the day. When Parsi-led companies began touring across India and then took to the high seas, their distinctive stagecraft, melodramatic plotting, and irresistible music found great favor and were widely imitated and adapted into local languages. The intersections between the performances of Indian artists and their audiences generated numerous offshoots. New dramatic genres such as Nurthi in Ceylon, Bangsawan in the Malay world, Komedie Stambul in Indonesia emerged. This panel revisits this narrative to examine more closely the points of intersection between disparate genres of theatre. How did Ram Lila, grounded in celebration of devotion, ritual, and sacred space, respond to the possibilities presented by the secular Parsi theatre? Pamela Lothspeich explores the contact and borrowing, focusing on contested ideas of realism. Her paper points to the enduring legacy of Parsi theatre in the Hindi heartland. Garrett Field juxtaposes the contrasts between Nurthi, and its antecedent, Nadagam. His side-by-side reading of libretti from the two genres problematizes the contribution of Parsi theatre and seeks to clarify the genealogy of modern Sinhala-language drama. Kathryn Hansen's project documents the 55-year engagement of Parsi theatre in Burma. It highlights the case of Dosabhai Hathiram, a theatre man who rooted himself in Rangoon his entire life. And it asks, why was Parsi theatre celebrated elsewhere in Southeast Asia as a vector of modernity, and yet in Burma it left scarcely a trace behind?


Presenter 1
Pamela Lothspeich - ploth@email.unc.edu (University of North Carolina)
Still Chasing the Parsi Theater: What is Realism in Ramlila?

Presenter 2
Kathryn Hansen - kgh@austin.utexas.edu (University of Texas at Austin)
Intersecting Theatricalities: The Parsi Theatre in Burma


Sri Lanka and Globalization in the Context of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Neil DeVotta - devottn@wfu.edu (Wake Forest University)

In the post 1970 phase of globalization, a large number of countries joined ranks of liberal democracies. Economic liberalization has boosted economic growth, reduced unemployment, and cut down poverty in South Asia and elsewhere. The global economic recession of 2008 was a major setback to economic globalization. In politics, UK’s Brexit, nativist politics in USA and Europe, and the emergence of the Jihadists in the Islamic world, have had a similar negative impact. This panel reviews Sri Lanka’s recent political and economic development in that broader global context. Neil DeVotta’s paper “Globalism, Populism, and Communalism in Sri Lanka” discusses how Sri Lanka is grappling with the challenges of state formation, especially after 2009, in the context of global and local populism. In Sri Lanka one of the more insidious manifestations of populism is the emerging Islamophobia. The paper argues that populism is transnational, and offers an in-depth analysis of the unfolding trends in Sri Lankan politics. Amita Shastri’s paper “Changing Role of Political Parties in Sri Lanka in a Context of Liberalization and Political Reforms” analyzes the changing role of political parties in contemporary Sri Lanka in a context of economic liberalization/ globalization and political reform. It offers an in-depth analysis of the impact that changes in the electoral system in Sri Lanka after 1977 had on the unfolding trends in party politics and the party system. Stanley W. Samarasinghe’s paper “Challenges of Globalization for a Dependent Economy: Sri Lanka” shows both the positives and negatives of globalization for a small export-dependent non-oil economy. Sri Lanka wins when the global economy does well and the country crafts its economic policy to exploit the opportunities the world offers. The country fails when bad policies are adopted. The situation becomes worse when the latter combines with adverse global economic conditions.


Presenter 1
Neil DeVotta - devottn@wfu.edu (Wake Forest University)
Globalism, Populism, and Communalism in Sri Lanka

Presenter 2
Amita Shastri - ashastri@sfsu.edu (San Francisco State University)
Changing Role of Political Parties in Sri Lanka in a Context of Liberalization and Political Reforms

Presenter 3
Stanley Samarasinghe - ssamara1963@gmail.com (Tulane University)
Challenges of Globalization for a Dependent Economy: Sri Lanka


National, Cultural and Intellectual Identities in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Room: Madison College D240
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Craig Danielson - craig.pca@gmail.com (Worcester Polytechnic Instutute)

x


Presenter 1
Craig Danielson - craig.pca@gmail.com (Worcester Polytechnic Instutute)
Secularism Fatigue: An Ethical Analysis of Indian Media on UP Chief Minister Selection

Presenter 2
Rehnuma Sazzad - rehnuma.sazzad@yahoo.co.uk (SOAS, University of London)
South Asian Nationalisms: Disparate Delineations of National Culture

Presenter 3
Manjula Jindal - mjindal@umich.edu (Independent Scholar)
Women and Family Law Reform in India - The Relevance of Secularism

Presenter 4
Ray Bromley - rbromley@albany.edu (University at Albany, SUNY)
Sociology’s many origins in British Colonial India


Politics and Institutions: Colonial and Post Colonial South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 4: Friday, 3:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Room: Madison College Meeting Room 1
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
David Gilmartin - david_gilmartin@ncsu.edu (North Carolina State University)

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Presenter 1
Naumana Kiran - naumana.history@pu.edu.pk (University of the Punjab, Lahore)
Politics of Sindh and the Federal Cabinet of Pakistan, 1947-55

Presenter 2
Zayad Bangash - bangash44@email.gwu.edu (George Washington University)
Building a Pakistan Worth Fighting For

Presenter 3
Cynthia Farid - farid@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Separation of Power or Separated Power?Judicial Discourse in Early 20th Century India


Queer Testimonies: Three Road Maps on the Political from Sri Lanka
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Geeta Patel - patel.weston@gmail.com

This panel asks, what are the road maps that suggest queered routes to alternative understandings of the political in contemporary post-war Sri Lanka and South Asia more broadly? In answer, it analyzes three such road maps that offer a multi-genre discussion of Sri Lankan post-war art, queer rights activism, and Sri Lankan American fiction. The first paper by Neloufer de Mel analyzes the deployment of utopian post-war urban development projects built on slum evictions, relocations, and Colombo’s post-war “beautification.” Through a reading of José Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia, she presents a critical analysis of how the Sri Lankan urban city has become an important site of contestation over the country’s post-war future. The second paper by Thiyagaraja Waradas presents a contrast between urban and rural queer rights activism and testimonies in Sri Lanka. He investigates why queer activism in the country has largely been “elite-driven” even though a majority of the LGBTQ community are often from “non-elite” social backgrounds. Finally, through an examination of three Sri Lankan American novels, Dinidu Karunanayake’s paper charts how the diasporic writers envision “queer” spaces of national belonging, identities, histories, and human rights activism by recourse to memory. His paper proposes “postmemory” as a device through which intra/inter-generational “lost” memories gain traction. Setting these three transactions across/against each other, the panelists ask why urban development and decay have become a particularly important site of contestation on post-war futures? What conditions govern queering in Sri Lanka today? What circuitries, complicities, and schisms attend queer activism in the country? What can we learn from literary narratives about how memories queer violence and nationalism? In answering these questions, each paper brings together a compendium of texts and practices by way of offering readings that (re)turn to the political through queerness.


Presenter 1
de Mel Neloufer - nelouferdemel@gmail.com (University of Colombo)
Concrete Utopias: Queering the Political in Post-War Sri Lanka 

Presenter 2
Thiyagaraja Waradas - thiyagarajawaradas@gmail.com ()
Queer Rights Activism in Sri Lanka: Questions of Elitism and Urban-Rural Divide

Presenter 3
Dinidu Karunanayake - priyankp@miamioh.edu (Miami University of Oxford, Ohio)
War, Postmemory, “Queer Diaspora” and Sri Lankan American Fiction


FILM : After the Flood
Single Paper

Location

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

Status :
Approved Download Letter
Christopher Giamo - cgiamo@gmail.com

After the Flood is a short documentary filmed in the aftermath of mass floods which devastated the Kashmir Valley and capital Srinagar in September 2014. The film bears witness to the plight of a flood victim from the neighborhood of Rajbagh, one of the most effected areas on the banks of the River Jhelum. In a state of desperation, the protagonist has turned to hash-smuggling in an attempt to rebuild his life. Throughout the film, these dual themes of deluge and drugs are interwoven in order to convey the direness of the present circumstance, and the dramatic extent to which Kashmiris have been pushed to survive. 


FILM : Ways of Being
Single Paper

Location

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

Status :
Approved Download Letter
Abikal Borah - abikalassam@gmail.com

Ways of Being documents the story of four struggling musicians whose life experiences reflect on the effects of natural calamities, identitarian political formations, and armed struggle in the Brahmaputra valley of Northeast India. The documentary is inspired by the small and hitherto unknown histories of people in the valley. The ethnographic accounts that the film brings together give access to the contemporary history of violence, trauma, and silence. The everyday experiences of people in the region are further contextualized through narratives formulated by a few prominent social science scholars who explain the historical situation within which these stories are located. 


Archaeological Research in Northwestern Pakistan and Afghanistan P2
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Ashraf Khan - ashrafarchaeologist@gmail.com (Quaid-i-Azam University)

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Presenter 1
Ashraf Khan - ashrafarchaeologist@gmail.com (Quaid-i-Azam University)
Seals and sealing from Buddhist monastery Badalpur: their functions, techniques and iconographic study, District Hariput, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Presenter 2
Michael Skinner - mcskin@uw.edu (University of Washington)
A 6th-8th Century CE Vasudeva Image from Pakistan

Presenter 3
Shakir Ullah - shakirkhan04@yahoo.com (Hazara University)
Ghaznavid Period Glazed Ceramics Collection at Hazara University Museum: Analytical Study and Conservation

Presenter 4
Ihsanullah Jan - arch.ihsan@yahoo.com (Hazara University Mansehra, Pakistan)
Geometric Designs and Calligraphic Decoration as Writing Art on the Glazed Ceramics Collection of Hazara University Museum


Eleanor Zelliot’s Contributions to Dalit Studies: Retrospectives, Assessments, and Prospects
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Anupama Rao - arao@barnard.edu (Barnard College. Columbia)

Eleanor Zelliot (1926-2016) was a trailblazing scholar of modern Dalit movements and a frequent, stalwart participant at Madison South Asia Conferences. In over 130 publications in the course of sixty years, Zelliot pioneered research on B. R. Ambedkar and helped shape the nascent field of Dalit Studies. This panel assembles explores aspects of her work, its location in contemporary scholarship, and its inspiration for further research. Ramnarayan Rawat observes Zelliot’s shift to begin studying the religious landscape in Maharashtra that preceded modern Dalit movements, highlighting how this shift relates to developments in his own work, toward Nirgun bhakti and Rai Das devotion in Uttar Pradesh. Jon Keune also investigates Zelliot’s interest in bhakti saints and Dalit movements but through the lens of modern historiography, focusing critically on the development of a trope of unrealized transformational potential, which Marathi scholars introduced in the 1940s and that Zelliot reinforced. Joel Lee argues that Zelliot made a crucial observation that sheds light on Gandhi and untouchability. By focusing on the figure of the Bhangi rather than other communities and participating in Bhangis’ traditional manual labor (removing nightsoil), Gandhi could claim to be a Bhangi and speak as a Harijan to preclude Dalit self-representation. Shailaja Paik assesses Zelliot’s scholarship on Dalit organizations and adds to it by discussing activists in the 1930s and 1940s who sought to spread Ambedkar’s social and political messages to non-literate Dalits through the medium of jalsa (folk drama). In doing so, Paik introduces a new primary source for studying sexual politics and social history in Maharashtra. Drawing on her own research on Dalit movements and history, Anupama Rao is very well-positioned to respond to the presentations and reflect further on Eleanor Zelliot’s contributions to the field.


Presenter 1
Ramnarayan Rawat - rawat@udel.edu ()
The Ethical and the Political: Dalit Genealogies of Liberalism in North India

Presenter 2
Jon Keune - keunejon@msu.edu ()
Disappointment Revisited: Bhakti, Dalits, and Historiography

Presenter 3
Joel Lee - jl20@williams.edu ()
Gandhi as Bhangi

Presenter 4
Shailaja Paik - shailaja.paik@uc.edu (University of Cincinnati)
Ambedkari Jalse (Ambedkarite Jalsas) of Late Colonial Bombay: Masculine Politics and Exclusion of “Dangerous” Femininity


Space of Empire, Spirit of Nationhood
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Azfar Hussain - azfarhussain1@gmail.com

Space is not merely “there.” It is historically constructed through a range of material, symbolic and affective relationships. Being preoccupied with “time,” historians had often overlooked the importance of space. Only in relatively recent years have historians such as David Ludden and Manu Goswami begun to take seriously the role of space and territory in the making of states, nations and identities. This “spatial turn” generates many new questions. How do we locate space in relation to culture, ideology, and political economy? How can old and new methodologies, from intellectual history to computational analysis, help us better understand important spatial transitions, such as the making of South Asian nation-states from the British Empire? The papers in this panel offer three distinct conceptual and methodological models for understanding spatial history. Particularly, they ask: how has “national space” in South Asia been different from “imperial space” of the British Empire? Through computational and visual analysis, Tara Kola explores the role of locality in early Company trade between India and China. While such imperial space was famously “global,” ideas of national space often had transnational dimensions as well. Hence, Abhishek Ghosh traces the global genealogy of the term “Arya,” a key idea in conceptualizing national space in colonial India. Finally, Aniket De reflects on the conceptual shift in making India’s national “borders” out of British imperial frontiers. Together, the papers suggest that an historical analysis of space is necessarily multifaceted and intersectional, going far beyond solely geographical concerns. The “thickness” of space is produced though a range of cultural, ideological and political economic relationships, from trade networks of tea and opium to religious imaginings of national homelands. In examining the critical historical transition from Empire to nation-state, this panel explores how space in South Asia has been constructed and negotiated over time.


Presenter 1
Abhishek Ghosh - ghoshab@gvsu.edu (Grand Valley State University )
‘Ārya’ as a Transnational Indo-European Identity Marker

Presenter 2
Tara Kola - kolatara@gmail.com (Tufts University)
Networks of Trade: Visualizing Imperial Space through Digital Humanities

Presenter 3
Aniket De - aniket_de@hotmail.com (Harvard University)
The Borders of India: From Empire to Nation


Laboring Identities: Thinking Through Farms, Factories, and Finance
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Amrit Deol - adeol3@ucmerced.edu (University of California, Merced (UC Merced))

x


Presenter 1
Amrit Deol - adeol3@ucmerced.edu (University of California, Merced (UC Merced))
“Resisting Colonialism with Ghadri and Sikh Cosmopolitanism and the Construction of a Global Labor Movement”

Presenter 2
Smitha Radhakrishnan - sradhakr@wellesley.edu (Wellesley College)
"Social Work" in Frontier Finance: Gender, Loans, and Livelihoods in Bangalore's Slums

Presenter 3
Lily Shapiro - lshapiro@u.washington.edu (University of Washington)
After the accident: danger, risk, and responsibility in everyday factory accidents in Tamil Nadu


Literature 2
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
shakuntala ray - shakuntalaray5@gmail.com (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

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Presenter 1
shakuntala ray - shakuntalaray5@gmail.com (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Neoliberal India, the Crisis of Taste, and the Contemporary Anglophone Novel

Presenter 2
Sushil Sivaram - sushil.sivaram@rutgers.edu (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
(Re)Staging the Postcolonial in the World: The Jaipur Literature Festival and the Pakistani Novel


Patients and Healers in South Asia: New Epistemologies, Professional Dilemmas, and Responses to Modernity
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Venera Khalikova - zaryaa@gmail.com (University of Pittbsurgh)

x


Presenter 1
Sree Padma Holt - spadma@bowdoin.edu (Bowdoin College)
Surviving and Saving Lives: Practicing Traditional Medicine During Sri Lankan Civil War

Presenter 2
Ifqat shaheen - ifqatmahr@gmail.com (Allama Iqbal Open University)
Vernacular Healing Traditions in Pakistan A Socio-Historical Perspective

Presenter 3
Venera Khalikova - zaryaa@gmail.com (University of Pittbsurgh)
Doctors and "Medical Houses:" Family-based Medical Pluralism in Contemporary India

Presenter 4
Vandana Chaudhry - vandana.chaudhry@csi.cuny.edu (City University of New York, College of Staten Island)
Decolonizing Disability Epistemologies and Politics in India: An Ethnographic Perspective


Minorities, Migrations, Mobilities: The Struggles of Identity Formation within Colonial and Postcolonial Spaces
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Cara Cilano - cilano@msu.edu (Michigan State University)

x


Presenter 1
Kristina Hodelin-ter Wal - hodelinterwa@wisc.edu (Radboud University)
The intersection of Christianity, Migration, and Mobility in the Long Nineteenth Century: The Ceylonese Tamils of Malaya, 1816-1985

Presenter 2
Nabaparna Ghosh - nabaparna@gmail.com (The Cooper Union for Advancement of Science and Arts)
Unequal Settlements: Refugees, Adivasis, and Forest Policies in Postcolonial India

Presenter 3
Cara Cilano - cilano@msu.edu (Michigan State University)
Materializing Imaginaries: Space, Mobility, and Non-Muslim Minorities in Pakistan's Early Years


Ethnography of Political Process: the aporias of democracy and elections in India
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Lisa Björkman - lisa.bjorkman@louisville.edu

Despite the complexities of social structure in India, democracy is assumed to be ‘naturally’ suited to the ‘Indian conditions’ (Kothari 1970). Additionally, Indian democracy is seen as an auto-correcting, vital process that may exacerbate social conflicts and differences of opinion but eventually becomes the mechanism for their resolution and political accommodation (Kaviraj 2004). Often its ‘success’ is measured by the relatively regular conduct of elections and an overall preservation of a unified territorial polity in India (Guha 2007). But how do different socio-political groups who become involved with the political process view ‘democracy’ as it exists? Looking at the actual engagement of people with the processes that are considered part of Indian democracy—caste mobilizations, critical and moral argumentation, or political contestations over sovereignty—will suggest that the overarching, idealistic view needs to be reconsidered. This panel examines the complex socio-historical life of ‘democratic’ processes and events in India through ethnographic focus on particular instances of their articulation. Democracy in the region, the panel argues, gets its meaning from the specific contexts of its functioning, and not as a formal idea that uniformly shapes or animates diverse political formations or social groups. The panel looks at how people with varied political claims may view democracy in India as a stage for launching moral critiques, as a field for making claims of exception, or as marked by normative incongruities. The papers are based on close studies of three cases: 1. Panchayati Raj elections in Rajasthan in 2015; 2. Jat mobilization for reservation in Haryana in 2016-17, and 3. Assembly elections in the aftermath of a flood in Kashmir in 2014. While focused on specific instances of elections or political mobilizations, the papers locate these instances within the longer histories of political claims of the people involved in them.


Presenter 1
Bhawani Buswala - bhawanibuswala@gmail.com (Yale University)
Ward No. 9: Politics, Morality, and Social Functions of a Local Election in North India

Presenter 2
Vineet Rathee - vineet.rathee@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Jat Agitation, Caste Panchayats, and the Making of Caste Publics

Presenter 3
Mohamad Junaid - mjunaid@gradcenter.cuny.edu (The Graduate Center, CUNY)
State of Emergency, State of Elections: The Social Meanings of ‘Democracy’ in Kashmir


From the Margins of “Classical” Music: Print, Performance, and Social History in Colonial Tamilnadu
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Indira Peterson - indira.p19@gmail.com (Mount Holyoke College)

This panel focuses on musical voices from the margins of what is commonly recognized today as “classical Karṇāṭak” tradition, based on close readings of Tamil print materials produced in Madras from roughly 1894 to 1920. The papers argue that these sources provide us with alternate frameworks for understanding the social, religious, and aesthetic complexity of musical production and consumption immediately prior to the “reinvention” of the arts by Hindu elites in Madras beginning in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The margins of Karṇāṭak music illuminate the pervasive presence of both the Urdu language and the Tamil Islamic devotional world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Davesh Soneji’s paper examines a Tamil transcreation of Agha Hasan Amanat’s 1853 Urdu play Indar Sabhā entitled Periya Intiracapa (“The Great Indar Sabhā”), by T.T. Appāvupiḷḷai. Soneji argues that the insertion of highly flexible musical idioms such as the jāvaḷi into the Parsi theatre open new pathways for imagining a wholly innovative style of “musical drama” that comes to be known as icai natakam. Praveen Vijayakumar offers a close reading of a Tamil musical text called Caṅkīta Cantirikai (“An Illumination of Music,” 1902) by S. Manikka Mutaliyar. Vijayakumar locates it in a proto-Dravidianist Tamil cultural framework, and argues that Mutaliyar’s focus on “marginal” composers and the absence of Brahmin composers scripts an alternative history and pedagogy for music before its re-organization at the hands of nationalists in Madras. Samira Junaid’s paper examines clusters of devotional Tamil compositions in the kīrttaṉa genre dedicated to the Sufi saint Shahul Hamid of Nagore, arguing that such music was at the core of Tamil Islamic devotional traditions. Junaid also offers a challenge to the narrativization of South Indian rāga-based music as exclusively “Hindu,” a strategy that was deployed by the Tamil revivalists of the 1940s.


Presenter 1
Davesh Soneji - davesh.soneji@mcgill.ca (University of Pennsylvania)
Indra’s Court in Madras: The Urdu Theatre and the Cosmopolitan Origins of Modern Tamil “Musical Drama”

Presenter 2
Praveen Vijayakumar - praveenvijayakumar7@gmail.com (McGill University)
Proto-Dravidianist Musicology: Sound and Social History in the Caṅkīta Cantirikai (1902)

Presenter 3
Samira Junaid - samirajunaid@gmail.com (University of Pennsylvania)
Singing in Praise of a Sufi “Lord”: Nākūr Āṇṭavar and Icaittamiḻ


Women, State-Building and Feminism in Post-colonial India
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Barbara Ramusack - ramusabn@ucmail.uc.edu (University of Cincinnati)

This panel explores the imbrications of feminism and state-building in post-colonial India. It focuses on the myriad roles played by women activists--as volunteers, organizers, bureaucrats and citizens--in shaping emerging ideologies and structures of independent India. Although these feminist women played critical roles in different spheres of nation and state-building, such as refugee rehabilitation, population control, welfare, and education, their participation is both under-studied and inadequately theorized in the existing scholarship. This panel brings together close readings of women’s labor in various state-building projects. It focuses particularly on the period of transition from colony to nation-state and its immediate aftermath to illustrate the myriad ways in which feminist activism and ideologies developed during this period. Contrary to its characterization as ‘the dead decade’ of feminism, during this time feminist activists and ideologies informed the ideologies and institutions of an emerging post-colonial state and society. However, as the individual papers suggest, the involvement of feminist activists did not necessarily contribute to anti-patriarchal state institutions or ideologies. As social workers, women often drew upon, or were circumscribed by, gendered notions of labour, family, service and education. The results were contingent and frequently contradictory. For example, in the sphere of family planning, feminist activists may have in fact deepened patriarchal controls. In the sphere of education, women social workers argued for privileged spaces for women in democratic decision making. In refugee rehabilitation, the active participation of elite feminist activists in framing policies for refugee women led to gendered models of participatory citizenship, which did not necessarily benefit refugee women.


Presenter 1
Mytheli Sreenivas - sreenivas.2@osu.edu (Ohio State University)
Feminism, Family Planning, and the “Women’s Question”

Presenter 2
Uditi Sen - usen@hampshire.edu (Hampshire College)
Practical Feminists or Handmaidens of Patriarchy? ‘Lady Social Workers’ and the rehabilitation of refugee women

Presenter 3
Dr Anjali Bhardwaj Datta - anjali.b24@gmail.com (University of Cambridge)
‘Useful’ and ‘Earning’ Citizens? Women and Work in Post-colonial Delhi (1947-1960)

Presenter 4
Emily Rook-Koepsel - rookkoepsel@pitt.edu (University of Pittsburgh)
Social Work Education and Gendered Citizenship in 1950s India


Ethnography and History from the Edges of the State: Class, Media and Politics in Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
David Gilmartin - gilmarti@ncsu.edu

In early 2017, the disappearances of six Pakistani activist-bloggers triggered international media attention and following their mysterious return, raised renewed questions about the unaccountable nature of state power in Pakistan. Drawing on the edges of the Pakistani state, this panel explores how enforced boundaries reveal the fragility of state power - expressed in the state’s anxiety to maintain ideological and spatial edges - particularly when statist narratives are challenged from within. Anthropologists have long approached margins, borders and frontiers as physical sites of their ethnographic work, as well as conceptual locations that ground the everyday lives of their informants in various ways. The edginess of the state is not only a policy instrument, or political rhetoric, within state establishments. It is an experienced reality among communities who transgress, or are perceived to, the state’s sociopolitical categorizations of ethnicity, gender, class and the provocation that they pose to statist narratives. Based on ethnographic and historical research, this panel evokes the notion of edginess and investigates the forms and objects within which it is socially and politically experienced; material and discursive modes it takes; and the sites from which it is challenged. The papers range from addressing colonial administrative practices to tracing the sound of drones; from mapping archives of enforced disappearances to pausing at the muted limits of investigative journalism. Within these moments we ask: what are the ways in which state power is both experienced and challenged in Pakistan? What are the sites, those accessible and inaccessible, the material forms and discourses, gestures, even sounds, through which state power takes shape and is experientially recognized? What are the artifacts, objects and zones from which challenges to statist narratives, its history and archives take place?


Presenter 1
Salman Hussain - sal.huss@gmail.com (The Graduate Center, CUNY and Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology)
Evidence-Making and Claim-Making: Memory Against Archive in the Cases of Enforced Disappearances in Pakistan

Presenter 2
Ayesha Mulla - ayeshamulla@gmail.com ()
‘Marwa Na Dena’: Reporting Between the Marginal and the Military

Presenter 3
Zehra Hashmi - zehashmi@gmail.com ()
Territory, Property and Tribal Identification in Pakistan’s Borderlands

Presenter 4
Ayesha Omer - ayesha.omer@nyu.edu (New York University )
Abstract Title: Sonic Experiments in Drone Warfare


Scribes, service histories and the rhythms of daily governance in India
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Karen Leonard - kbleonar@uci.edu (University of California at Irvine)

This panel examines and builds upon more recent trends in Indian historiography by looking at the role that scribes played as powerful actors of historical change. Long at the margins of our historical interpretations, much recent work has started to demonstrate just how important munshis, qanungos and scribal families have been in shaping governance culture and taxation in India. This panel aims to push our understandings of scribes and the centrality of (often mundane) daily governance and interaction between rulers and ruled. Specifically, it looks at how European understandings of modern comparative linguistics and how William Jones drew heavily upon Indian munshis in understanding Indian languages, how Hyderabadi scribal groups refashioned their cultural and service histories in the transition to independence, how Kayastha scribes in north India shaped the early fiscal contours of the colonial state, and how the khalisa sharīfa, as the main revenue cutcherry and treasury, became a sight of crucial daily interaction between munshis and the Company in colonial Bengal. Through these papers, this panel seek to offer new, refreshing interpretations of how pensmen and men of letters shaped governance, fiscal policies and served as crucial interlocutors between sovereigns and subjects over the course of India’s history.


Presenter 1
Rajeev Kinra - r-kinra@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Mughals, Munshis, and Modern Intellectual History: Revisiting William Jones's Persian Sources

Presenter 2
Hayden Bellenoit - bellenoi@usna.edu (US Naval Academy)
Kayasthas, scribes and the fiscal foundations of the colonial state, 1760-1860’

Presenter 3
Karen Leonard - kbleonar@uci.edu (University of California at Irvine)
Cosmopolitan Worlds: India’s 1956 Linguistic States Reorganization and the Reorientation of Hyderabad’s Mathur Kayasths

Presenter 4
Robert Travers - trt5@cornell.edu ()
Accounting for empire: a forgery scandal from early colonial Calcutta


“Deep Vernaculars: Literary Cultures in History from South Asia”
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Henry Schwarz - henry.schwarz07@gmail.com (Georgetown University)

Recent scholarship on global literary cultures, especially relevant to the study of South Asia, has been the disavowal of the “hideous global anglophone,” and the call to “Forget English!” (Mufti, 2016). The publication of the Wiley Postcolonial Encyclopedia in 2016 has hopefully spelled an end to the tendency in Postcolonial Studies, and more recently in World Literature, to assume English as the new lingua franca, and that any major writer from around the world must write in English, or be translated into it, to be worthy of global recognition. Yet South Asia, which was an English colony for two hundred years, never lost its vernacular literary culture nor embraced the English language to the exclusion of its ancient literary practices. Indeed while English became a fully indigenized foreign language for a thin stratum of functionaries and an even thinner layer of colonial elites, its ancient literary cultures persisted intact over two millennia, even as it gradually evolved into regional vernacular bhashas and experienced the dislocations of successive waves of invasion from the west. This panels explores the deep persistence and complexity of bhasha culture in its profound intertexuality with other regional kavya traditions, taking insight and inspiration from contemporary literary historiographers Sheldon Pollock and GN Devy, among others.


Presenter 1
Peter Valdina - pvaldina@albion.edu (Albion College)
Sanskrit Commentary and Vernacular Translation in Nineteenth-Century Bengal

Presenter 2
Sutopa Dasgupta - sutopad@gmail.com (Harvard University)
A Vernacular Aesthetics of Genre from Early Modern Bengal


Technology, Politics and Governance in India
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Savita Bailur - savita@cariboudigital.net (Caribou Digital/LSE)

Digital technologies are being increasingly deployed by higher-level bureaucrats in various states of India to improve implementation of development schemes. This panel focuses our attention on the politics of how these new technologies are appropriated by those within the state as well as by citizens and civil society organizations. We are concerned with both how existing practices and use of old technologies resist outcomes as well as the ability of the civil society organizations to deploy new technologies. By finding agency in a broad set of actors and practices beyond those of higher-level bureaucrats we are able to better understand the impacts (or lack thereof) of these strategies. We argue for hybridities in design by considering the affordances in the old technologies as well as by fully considering the participation of all actors.


Presenter 1
Rajesh Veeraraghavan - rajesh.veera@georgetown.edu (Georgetown University)
Transparency regimes and agency of lower-level bureaucrats

Presenter 2
Janaki Srinivasan - janaki.srinivasan@iiitb.ac.in (IIIT Bangalore)
Unique or just another ID?: Seeing the state with (U)IDs in India

Presenter 3
Vivek Srinivasan - vivekdse@gmail.com (Stanford University)
Informing imagination: Civic technology for grievance redressal

Presenter 4
Megh Marathe - marathem@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
Examining the Persistence of Paper in Electronic Grievance Redress in Madhya Pradesh


Risk, Slavery, and Commodities in the Age of Global Capital
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Navyug Gill - gilln2@wpunj.edu (William Paterson University)

This panel focuses upon economic transformations within colonial South Asia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Together, these papers examine the emergence, proliferation, and breakdown of new social relations and livelihoods in a global context. By focusing upon colonial agrarian projects, agrarian insurance scams, and new commodifications, this panel ties together long-standing research in South Asian economic history with new critical histories of capitalism. Our panel seeks to historicize social and cultural aspects of agrarian life within a rapidly transforming global economy. We will consider how historical archival research can reveal new dynamics in understanding the contingent and transforming nature of economic relations. Through this shared methodological commitment, we explore the agrarian-urban relations that might explain the sudden explosion of indigenous “insurance” of agrarian life-events at the turn of the century. We further focus upon Carolina rice and Rajshahi ganja to understand the emergence of global commodities produced for internal and external consumption. We examine how such projects were related to but different from other projects - from enslavement in the American South to metropolitan insurance operations. We finally consider the role of new institutions like agricultural societies, cooperatives and indigenous insurance companies in this global economic system. Through multi-sited analyses, we interrogate the function of the global in relation to specific spaces and practices within an economy increasingly defined by capitalist social relations. The panel further provides unique insight into economic transformations in colonial South Asia by reflecting on how peasant politics and action, in rice paddies, ganja fields and an emergent insurance market determined how they were viewed as participants in their own economic organization by elites and the colonial state. Together, these agrarian histories offer a vantage for reconsidering assumptions about the nature and character of South Asia’s place in the broader global economy.


Presenter 1
Meghna Chaudhuri - meghna.chaudhuri@gmail.com (New York University)
The Value of Life: Providential Events in Agrarian South Asia

Presenter 2
Utathya Chattopadhyaya - chattop2@illinois.edu (University of Illinois )
Taking to Co-operation: What made Ganja an Agrarian Commodity? c. 1905-1925

Presenter 3
Zach Sell - zachary.sell@gmail.com (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Enslaved Culture: Failing to Grow Carolina Rice in India, 1830-70


Translanguaging, Hypercorrection, Compound Subjects, and Incomplete Acquisition: The (Non-Grammatical) Case of Hindi/Urdu
Panel Group

Location

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

Discussant / Chair
Sarah Beckham - sbeckham@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin)

This panel brings together Hindi/Urdu linguists to address questions relevant to second-language acquisition, pedagogy practice and linguistic performance in the era of globalization and an increasingly shifting linguistic ecology in South Asia. Bhatia presents findings on the role of translanguaging, or language mixing, with special reference to Hinglish in classroom practices. His paper addresses important concerns about the integration of Hinglish in formal instructional settings from the perspective of learnability, communicative competence, language processing and the development of pedagogical materials. Hong discusses verb agreement patterns in Hindi/Urdu constructions with animate and non-animate compound subjects/objects and proposes to transform these findings into a finite number of predictable rules which can then be introduced into classroom language instruction. Samarth presents findings from an ongoing study of hypercorrection in Hindi speakers’ usage of Urdu words, motivated by speakers’ linguistic insecurities over perceived deficiencies in command and access to higher-register, Urduized speech. He accounts for the observed hypercorrections in the context of certain sociolinguistic shifts in Modern Hindi; namely, the influx of Urdu lexical items in contemporary Hindi vernaculars and the privileging of Urdu as the literary, aristocratic speech variety. These empirical findings relate to larger theoretical frameworks of hypercorrection and add to our understanding of phonological acquisition across Hindi/Urdu. Finally, Mahajan examines systematic acquisition patterns among heritage learners of Hindi/Urdu where incomplete exposure results in predictable knowledge gaps, targeting those areas where specific instruction based on linguistic awareness will lead to efficient teaching and learning. Bridging together different studies and disciplinary approaches to Hindi/Urdu acquisition, this panel attempts to answer understudied, yet significant questions in the fields of Hindi/Urdu linguistics and second-language acquisition.


Presenter 1
Gyanam Mahajan - mahajan@humnet.ucla.edu (UCLA)
Heritage Learner Acquisition Patterns in Hindi/Urdu

Presenter 2
Tej Bhatia - tkbhatia@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Translanguage Practices in the Classroom: The Case of Hinglish

Presenter 3
Sungok Hong - shong@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
Pedagogical Approach to Verbal Agreement: Compound Subjects and Objects

Presenter 4
Brajesh Samarth - brajesh.samarth@emory.edu ()
High Confidence Errors: Hypercorrection of Urdu Words in Hindi Speakers’ Speech


Time, Region, and Female Agency in Hindu Text and Practice
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Room: Madison College D240
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Jay Ramesh - jay.ramesh@gmail.com (Columbia University)

x


Presenter 1
Aleksandra Wenta - aleksandra.wenta@queens.ox.ac.uk (Oxford University/Nalanda University)
‘Eating Time’: A Solar Esotericism of the Kālīkrama and its Impact on the Formulation of the Kashmiri Śaiva Doctrine and Practice.

Presenter 2
Emilia Bachrach - ebachrac@oberlin.edu (Oberlin College)
Gender, Reading, and Ritual Practice in Pushtimargi Vaishnavism

Presenter 3
leena taneja - ltaneja@hotmail.com (Zayed University)
Beyond Brahmincal Asceticism: A study of Female Ascetics in the Chaitanya Vaishnava Tradition

Presenter 4
Gardner Harris - a_gardnerharris@yahoo.com (Hampden-Sydney College)
Phenomenology of Time in Māṇikkavācakar’s Tiruvācakam

Presenter 5
Jay Ramesh - jay.ramesh@gmail.com (Columbia University)
Regional Religion: Synthesizing Tamil Śaivism in the Śivarahasya


Negotiating Gender, Sexuality, and Power in South Asian Cinemas
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 5: Saturday, 8:30 AM - 10:15 AM
Room: Madison College Meeting Room 1
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
-

x


Presenter 1
Rebecca Peters - rlp08c@fsu.edu (Florida State University)
Calling on the Goddess: Goddess Iconography in Film Empowering Victimized Women

Presenter 2
Dina Khdair - dkhdair@mail.depaul.edu (DePaul University)
From "Saala Khadoos" to "Dangal:" Hard Female Bodies and Hindutva in Popular Hindi Cinema

Presenter 3
Ganga Rudraiah - gangarudraiah@gmail.com (University of Toronto)
When the Lights Go Off: Significations of the `First Night´ Scene in Tamil Cinema

Presenter 4
Gwendolyn Kirk - gwendolynkirk@gmail.com (University of Texas at Austin)
Khaṛāking at the full moon: Violence, gender, and power in Pakistani Punjabi cinema


Re-storying 1947: Partition’s Complexities
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Urvashi Butalia - urvashi.butalia@gmail.com

Seventy years later, there is little to commemorate those affected by the Partition of British Colonial India in 1947, where nearly fifteen million people were displaced and widespread violence occurred. This panel will take us through unexpected twists and turns as we come to understand how the event reverberates through the arts and humanities, including oral history, literature, film and art. Our panel includes Amber Abbas, whose research will focus on never-been-heard-before stories from former students at Aligarh Muslim University who settled in East Pakistan. As they examine the many partitions of Bengal, their experiences defy standard narratives of border violence and the polarization of the post-partition states. Kavita Daiya’s scholarship explores new representations of Partition in South Asian graphic narratives about partition, gender, secularism, and displacement in contemporary South Asia. Annu Palakunnathu Matthew’s visual artwork focuses on the children of Partition and tells their stories through photo animations to honor and collectively remember the people who were affected by the Partition. The panel will illuminate how deeply politics has affected the region. Understanding and acknowledging the multiple perspectives and its effect on contemporary politics and the current refugee crisis, will allow us to rethink human rights, ecological devastation, and the gendered experience of dislocation and statelessness, then and now.


Presenter 1
Amber Abbas - aabbas@sju.edu (Saint Joseph's University)
Aligarh, Bengal and Partition: New Oral Histories of 70-Year-Old Events

Presenter 2
Kavita Daiya - kdaiya@gmail.com ()
Graphic Migrations and the Geopolitics of Peace: Re-storying 1947

Presenter 3
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew - 18percent@uri.edu (University of Rhode Island)
Open Wound – Stories of Partition

Presenter 4
Guneeta Bhalla - guneeta@1947partitionarchive.org (The 1947 Partition Archive)
1947 Partition Archive


FILM : Mardistan (Macholand)
Single Paper

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Status :
Approved Download Letter
Harjant Gill - hgill@towson.edu (Towson University )

SYNOPSIS: Mardistan (Macholand)is an exploration of Indian manhood articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds. A middle-aged writer trying to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed studying in an elite military academy, a Sikh father of twin daughters resisting the pressure to produce a son, a young 20-year-old college student looking for a girlfriend with whom he can lose his virginity, and a working-class gay activist coming out to his wife after twenty years of marriage. Together, their stories make up different dimensions of what it means to be a man in India today. Mardistan (Macholand) starts a conversation on critical issues including patriarchy, son preference, sexual violence and homophobia in a nation increasingly defined by social inequalities.


FILM : Sent Away Boys
Single Paper

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Status :
Approved Download Letter
Harjant Gill - hgill@towson.edu (Towson University )

SYNOPSIS: What happens to families in the absence of sons? What happens to land in the absence of farmers? What happens to villages in the absence of men? Sent Away Boys weaves together stories of individual ambitions and family biographies from Punjab (India) to chronicle the gradual transformation of agrarian landscape and patriarchal traditions through ongoing transnational migration. As the promise of a secure future in agriculture grows increasingly uncertain for young men across the region, escaping India to join the low-wage labor in countries like Canada and USA becomes their sole aspiration. In rural Punjab, being a successful man now entails leaving their village, traveling abroad, and sending money home. Through interviews with men preparing to undertake often risky journeys and women awaiting the return of their sons, brothers and husbands, Sent Away Boys shows how young men's decisions to emigrate implicate families and communities across North India. 


Authority and Authorship in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Mark McClish - mark.mcclish@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)

x


Presenter 1
Mark McClish - mark.mcclish@northwestern.edu (Northwestern University)
Nīti and Dharma: Chronology and Intertextuality in Early Arthaśāstra and Dharmaśāstra

Presenter 2
Mekhola Gomes - mekhola.gomes@gmail.com (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Command in Copper: Cultures of Writing and Practices of Power in Early South Asia

Presenter 3
Anna MacCourt - maccourt@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
Maharaja and Mahasamanta: Using Royal Titulature to Manipulate Elite Narratives

Presenter 4
Jahnabi Barooah - jahnabi@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Marginal Histories? Querying Jain Manuscript Colophons and Scribal Remarks, ca. 1250-1500 CE

Presenter 5
Miki Chase - mchase7@jhu.edu (Johns Hopkins University)
Producing a ‘useable past’: Jain discursive engagements with atheism and secularity


Purity, Power, and Purpose: Non-elite Goddess Traditions in India and Their Encounters with Modernities
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

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

Given the pervasiveness of female divinities in India, goddesses have become a crucial site through which devotees have negotiated a plurality of modernities. This panel approaches these modernities – technological, legal, gendered, economic and medical, among others – as they interface with colonial and contemporary North and South Indian goddess traditions. Lisa Blake explores developing print technologies in colonial South India, examining the nineteenth-century publication of the Māriyammaṉ Tālāṭṭu to reconfigure Māriyammaṉ devotion as existing across caste boundaries. Elaine Craddock discusses the impact of the recent legal recognition of a “third gender” on Tamil Tirunaṅkais, male-to-female transgender individuals who identify with the goddess Aṅkāḷammaṉ. Craddock argues that these rulings, alongside amplified media presence, have further legitimized the Tirunaṅkais’ status as ritual experts in service of the goddess. Darry Dinnell explores the continuing role of the Gujarati goddess Haḍkāī Mātā as a healer of rabies, which has persisted despite the encounters with biomedical modernity occasioned by her devotees’ increasingly middle-class aspirations. These papers draw attention to moments of adaptation and continuity within goddess traditions throughout diverse regions and time periods as they encounter modernity in many facets. This panel also revisits ideas of caste and class, elite and non-elite, as they relate to goddess worship. In all of these contexts, the power of the goddess and the devotion it inspires remain paramount regardless of pronounced societal change.


Presenter 1
Darry Dinnell - darry.dinnell@gmail.com (McGill University)
Haḍkāī Mātā, Healing, and Hydrophobia: a Gujarati Rabies Goddess Meets Biomedical Modernity

Presenter 2
Elaine Craddock - craddoce@southwestern.edu (Southwestern University)
Tamil Transgender Servants of the Goddess

Presenter 3
Lisa Blake - lisa.blake@mail.mcgill.ca (McGill University)
Publishing Piety: Māriyammaṉ, Epidemic Smallpox, and Print Culture in Nineteenth-Century South India


Vernacular Vedānta
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Lawrence McCrea - ljm223@cornell.edu (Cornell University)

Advaita Vedānta is usually thought of as a Sanskrit philosophical tradition, but in fact the tradition has found expression in regional vernaculars throughout South Asia, not only in modern times but also in the centuries leading up to the colonial period. Works of Advaita Vedānta exist by the dozens in Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, and Oriya (Balasubramanian 2000). Scholars have only just begun to study these works, which promise to give us a clearer picture of the relationship between elite and popular traditions in South Asia, and to help fill out the history (still largely unwritten) of post-Śaṅkara Advaita Vedānta. The transmission of Vedāntic ideas in vernacular languages in the pre-colonial period might also call into question the views of scholars who have suggested that the widespread popularity of Vedānta in modern India is traceable to the work of orientalists and colonial-era reformers (Rocher 1993, King 1999). The four papers in this panel explore vernacular (or at least non-Sanskrit) expressions of Advaita Vedānta across a range of languages and periods. Anand Venkatkrishnan draws our attention to the Marathi works of the poet-sant Eknāth (16th c.), arguing that the transmission of ideas in early modern South Asia was not always top-down, from Sanskrit to vernacular, but sometimes moved in the other direction. The next two papers focus on adaptations of the Sanskrit Prabodhacandrodaya, an eleventh-century drama expressing the teachings of Advaita Vedānta in allegorical form. Michael S. Allen discusses the Brajbhāṣā version of Keśavadāsa (fl. 1600), while Supriya Gandhi investigates the Persian translation by Banwālīdās (17th c.). Finally, Eric Steinschneider explores the life of Mutturāmaliṅka Ñāṉatēcika Cuvāmikaḷ (1791-1847), the founder of a non-Brahminical monastic establishment dedicated to teaching Advaita Vedānta in Tamil.


Presenter 1
Anand Venkatkrishnan - anand.venkatkrishnan@gmail.com (Oxford University)
Philosophy from the Bottom Up: Eknāth’s Vernacular Advaita

Presenter 2
Michael Allen - msa2b@virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
Vedānta for Kings: Keśavadāsa’s Song of Knowledge (Vijñāna-gītā)

Presenter 3
Supriya Gandhi - supriya.gandhi@yale.edu (Yale University)
Beyond Mazhab: Indic and Persian non-dualisms in Banwālīdās Walī’s Rose Garden of Ecstatic States

Presenter 4
Eric Steinschneider - esteinschneider@email.arizona.edu (University of Arizona)
Advaita Vedānta in a Tamil Key: Caste and Canon at the Kōvilūr Ātīṉam


Forces of Nature: Environmental Discourses and Politics in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Julie Hughes - juhughes.ibid@gmail.com (Independent Scholar)

x


Presenter 1
Pranathi Diwakar - pranathi@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
A Recipe for Disaster: Post-tsunami evictions and the governance of risks in Chennai

Presenter 2
Suchismita Das - suchismita@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Forests of Cedar and Forests of Sal: Trees, Tourism and Politics of Recognition on the Himalayan Frontier

Presenter 3
Julie Hughes - juhughes.ibid@gmail.com (Independent Scholar)
The Tiger in Independent India: Becoming a National Animal

Presenter 4
ABDUL AIJAZ - ijazppk@hotmail.com (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Water Tree: Material Transformation of water-society relations under colonial rule


Health and Wellness in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
-

x


Presenter 1
Lesley Branagan - lesleybra@yahoo.com (Macquarie University)
Blame, kinship and agency in urban illness narratives in India

Presenter 2
Gourav Krishna Nandi - gouravkrishna.nandi@yale.edu (Yale University)
India’s Polio-Free Status: A Case Study in post-Cold War Health Politics

Presenter 3
Gowri Vijayakumar - gowri@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)
“South to South”: India, Kenya, and the Technocratic Imagination in HIV/AIDS Programs and Activism

Presenter 4
Kellie Wallace - kellie.wallace@uml.edu (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Nature vs. Nurture: Evaluating Mental Illness in India through a Social Lens


Politics of Education in Modern South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Aamir Bashir - abashir1@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

x


Presenter 1
Md Abdullah Al Masum - masumhis@yahoo.com (University of Chittagong)
University of Calcutta and the Impediments to Higher Education of the Muslims in Colonial Bengal

Presenter 2
Aamir Bashir - abashir1@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
Training Ḥanafī ʿUlamā’ in the Modern World: A Study of the Evolution of Deobandī Madrasa Curricula in South Asia

Presenter 3
Nilanjana Paul - nilanjana.paul@utrgv.edu (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
Bethune School and the Sakhawat Memorial Girls School: A Comparative Study of Women’s Educational Institutions in Colonial Bengal.

Presenter 4
Maria Ritzema - mritze1@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)
"We were worried for our children." Education as a Tool of Ethno-nationalism in Sri Lanka.


Motivating Migrations: Voices of the Skilled and Unskilled Migrants from South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Diditi Mitra - diditimitra@gmail.com (Brookdale Community College)

x


Presenter 1
Diditi Mitra - diditimitra@gmail.com (Brookdale Community College)
Engendering Immigrant Voices: Sikh women reflect on migration to the U.S.

Presenter 2
Vivekananda Nemana - vnemana@princeton.edu (Princeton University)
Tilting at Visa Mills: Global Education and Networks of High-Skilled Migration

Presenter 3
Laxmi Dhungel - laxmi.dhungel23@gmail.com ()
A journey of learning: Critical analysis of migration experience among educational returnee women of Nepal


Reacting to Activisms: Transforming Discourses in Social Movements
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Lisa Bjorkman - lbjorkman6@gmail.com (University of Louisville)

In this panel, we consider how activisms are constituted: as political strategy, as forms, on the one hand, of reproduction of hegemonic practices, and, on the other hand, resistance and subversion to such practices through alternate community. Across a range of allied and oppositional activist groups, we examine the identities through which groups define themselves, the difficulties with realizing these goals within political fields, and the contradictions they inhabit. Studying the making of activisms allows us to map the Indian state across cross-cutting forms of regulation and production. Pratiksha Baxi’s paper speaks to feminist protests that address speech, violence and freedom, specifically the phenomena of "trolling" women with rape threats. The rise of the hyper masculinist anti feminist free speech provides newer kinds of scripts to justify and normalise rape in India. Sayan Bhattacharya’s paper looks at the intersections of transgender movements and disability movements to think about how bodies that are deemed worthy of welfare are constituted in the national imaginary. What does it mean for social justice movements to turn around this vocabulary of brokenness as radical solidarity against the hegemonic State? Scott Sorrell explores Bangalore Town Hall as a site many different activists inhabit in Bangalore, to ask how and why such a common site does not facilitate common politics. Ethnographic accounts from Town Hall show that practices of activist placemaking simultaneously work to cohere communities and consolidate imaginaries, even as they cleave the politics and agendas of activism(s) from one another in the same place. Srimati Basu presents strategies of embodiment adopted by the Indian Men’s Rights Movement, which accuses the state of being too feminist, of having gone too far in the name of liberalism: male bodies are inscribed as objects of ridicule and pathos in a bid to upend understandings of gender, class, kinship and violence.


Presenter 1
Scott Sorrell - sas528@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Speaking to the state from the steps of Town Hall: Queer activists, other activists, and the politics of protest in Bangalore.

Presenter 2
Srimati Basu - srimati.basu@uky.edu (University of Kentucky)
Moustaching for the Cause: Strategic Embodiment in the Indian Men’s Rights Movement

Presenter 3
Sayan Bhattacharya - sayanb360@gmail.com (University of Minnesota)
The Broken Other(s) of the Nation State: Debility as a Ground for Social Movements

Presenter 4
Pratiksha Baxi - pratiksha.baxi@gmail.com (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
On Anti-Feminist Free Speech


Performance & Politics in Tamil Nadu
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Radhika Parameswaran - rparames@indiana.edu

Culture and politics have always been tightly interwoven in the South Indian public sphere. This panel aims to tease out the relations operating in Tamil Nadu today between performers of theater, film, and ritual, and those who appreciate, respect, love, and adulate these performers and their performances. Issues of caste, class, gender, and regional vs. national identity are central to our analyses. We use the term “politics” in the title of this panel in the most generous and open-ended way possible: we recognize all issues of representation and performance as political, much in the feminist tradition of the 1970s adage ‘the personal is political’. The term “politics" in this panel therefore does not so much mean that the papers presented will be concerned with electoral politics, as much as that they will be concerned with the politics of embodying a powerful ideological and material presence in the culture of everyday life in Tamil Nadu. We are concerned with the ways in which heroes, heroines, and their fans, as well as ritual specialists and their onlookers, articulate power, privilege, and their own self-respect in terms that make sense locally and increase the power and prestige of those who enact these tropes in locally salient terms. We invite a complex understanding of staged and enacted performances – including film, drama, and ritual -- as cultural texts in which identities are made and un-made in the context of an overall appreciation of the active ability to remake oneself, one’s self presentation, and ultimately one’s societal value.


Presenter 1
joyojeet pal - joyojeet@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
Social Media and the Evolving Rajinikanth Fan

Presenter 2
Sara Dickey - sdickey@bowdoin.edu (Bowdoin College)
The Cultural Politics of Possession Rituals, Caste, and Class

Presenter 3
Pallavi Rao - raop@indiana.edu (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Mani Ratnam’s Oeuvre and the Filmic landscape of Caste

Presenter 4
Susan Seizer - sseizer@indiana.edu (Indiana University)
Tamil Heroines: Female Homo-sociality in Special Drama


Film Booklets and their Publics
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Neepa Majumdar - nmajumda@pitt.edu

This interdisciplinary panel examines film booklets that enjoyed prolific circulation alongside the rise of the talkie in South Asia. As crucial material artifacts for historiographies of print culture, visual culture, stardom, and film viewing practices, our papers' methodological approaches collectively span musicology, history, performance studies, and cinema studies. The individual papers consider various lives and methodological questions with respect to film booklets across a number of South Asian film cultures that include Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, and even Persian-language productions. As objects that contain text, film stills, typographical flourishes, ornamental decorations, and illustrations, we approach film booklets as assemblages of affects and representational traditions, which in turn raise questions about visuality, orality, and iconicity across multiple old and new media. Sunya examines two 1930s film booklets as artifacts of Bombay studio-era productions to explore cinematic tensions between the particularity of language and the universality of image. Ball-Phillips considers the emergence of Marathi film culture outside the cinema, tracing the class dynamics of film booklet consumption. Iyer focuses on the 1930s-40s star, Sadhona Bose to study the gains and caesuras in the production of film history when much of it is informed by film booklets rather than the films themselves.Putcha focuses on the career of Telugu actress Bhanumati Ramakrishna, tying film booklets to the larger economies of print culture and desire. Analyses of film booklets alongside other artifacts such as film posters, press materials, and other print archives, draw attention to methodological questions of access to historiographies of film cultures. A focused consideration of film booklets thus occasions reflection upon such paratexts, whether by necessity, when booklets are taken as traces of films that are no longer extant, or as an intervention in and of itself, which displaces the assumed centrality of the screen/theatre/film reel.


Presenter 1
Samhita Sunya - ss7dn@eservices.virginia.edu (University of Virginia)
“Song” Booklets and Short Circuits - of Words and (Moving) Images

Presenter 2
Rachel Ball-Phillips - rmball@smu.edu (Southern Methodist University)
Film Booklets and Consumption: Tracing Film Culture Outside Cinema Halls

Presenter 3
Usha Iyer - ushaiyer@stanford.edu ()
Histories of the Ephemeral – Producing a Narrative of Film Dance through Song Booklets

Presenter 4
Rumya Putcha - rsputcha@tamu.edu (Texas A&M University)
Books, Brahmins, Beauties: Affective Economies of the Film Songbook in Independence South India


Bodies in Time: Memory, Temporality, and Identity in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Naisargi Dave - naisargi.dave@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)

What does it mean to record a life? Nancy Scheper-Hughes has suggested that social researchers become the “clerk of the records” through their story collections, framing social landscapes as an archive or series of conceptual historical documents, enlivened and animated by bodies. With this in mind, this panel considers the social records that inhabit and encase bodies and/as spaces of identity. How do shared temporalities, experiences, and historical traces coalesce as a material and social landscape? As bodies, psyches and communities hold histories that become “ideas” or “truths,” how do we as social researchers interpret the files? In asking such questions the four papers of this panel consider four contexts of experience within South Asian communities. In doing so they consider how we think through the development of identity through experience, movement, and temporal compression. How are identities made and remade through processes of accumulation that become social records, stored in the bodies and minds of individuals and communities?


Presenter 1
Kathryn C. Hardy - khardy@sas.upenn.edu (Washington University in St. Louis)
“Aging Courtesans from Another Time and Place”: Chronotopes of Development in the Single Screen Cinema Hall

Presenter 2
Saiba Varma - s2varma@ucsd.edu (University of California, San Diego)
The Siege: Time, Kamzori, and What Stubbornly Remains

Presenter 3
Sarah Pinto - sarah.pinto@tufts.edu (Tufts University)
Moral matter: The organic psyche in 20th century Indian psychiatry

Presenter 4
Maura Finkelstein - mfinkelstein@muhlenberg.edu (Muhlenberg College)
The Archive of Industrial Debris: Embodied Temporalities in Mill Land Mumbai


Working Delhi 1
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Damien Carriere - carri196@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)

   Delhi is produced by the work of a multitude of devalued hands. Labor was given the potential virtue to emancipate workers, to break the back of bondage. It seems on the contrary that capitalism perpetuates itself by adopting and carrying forward existing structures of inequalities. Labor is always embedded and always material, never fully abstract. Thus the “living form giving fire” (Marx 1973) has been a tool for exploitation. Impoverished workers living in Delhi are not exceptions to this rule. Some scholars point at the “disappearing significance of labor” (Goldman, 2015) in the making of the south Asian cities. For them the city itself is the collateral for capital, and not value production. In this context laborers are surplus people. However, going back to the making of cities via the labor question shows how it remains the condition of possibility of city-making. From industrial auto-workers to security guards, from rickshaw pullers to shop salesmen, fatigue remains the building block of cities and the first medium through which they are experienced. Delhi, through slum evictions and beautification drives, seem to have become the paradigmatic example of an anti-industrial city in India – a city that dreams itself to be free of the presence of surplus people. Delhi in this regard is a paradigmatic failure. With a tight set of strongly field-work based papers, this panel claims that all has not been said about labor, its role in the reproduction of “life as excess value” (Gidwani, Wisconsin 2014), on the way it produces the city, or on how it mediates one’s experience with it.


Presenter 1
Garima Jaju - garima.jaju@lincoln.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)
Performing Work and Worker Performance: Ethnographic Inquiry into Work in New Delhi, India

Presenter 2
Ishani Saraf - isaraf@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Body, Machine, City: Contiguity and the traces of labour

Presenter 3
Snigdha Kumar - kumar238@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
Rickshaw puller: No space in the World Class city.

Presenter 4
Damien Carriere - carri196@umn.edu (University of Minnesota)
Security guard – surplus labor for the police or policing surplus laborers?


Perspectives on South Asian Syntax: A panel in honor of Alice Davison and James W. Gair
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Hans Henrich Hock - hhhock@illinois.edu (University of Illinois)

Within four months, South Asian linguistics lost two of its most productive scholars and solid friends — James W. Gair (10 December 2016) and Alice Davison (3 March 2017). This panel honors their work through presentations on South Asian syntax. Davison worked on the Indo-Aryan languages of the north with special focus on Hindi. Gair’s syntactic work centered on Sinhala and Tamil/Malayalam in the south, and on convergence between these languages. Both scholars were fully aware of, and appreciated, each other’s work, as well as that of other South Asian linguists, ranging from Dardic in the north to Sinhala and Dhivehi in the south, from ancient Sanskrit, Pali, and Old Tamil to the languages of modern South Asia. The contributions to this panel focus on the syntactic and areal-linguistic interests of Davison and Gair. Geographically, they range from Kashmiri and Burushaski in the north to Tamil and Sinhala in the south. The topics addressed — direct object syntax, relative clauses (both finite and non-finite), and syntactic convergence — belong to central themes in Davison’s and Gair’s research. E. Annamalai argues for principled limits to South Asian convergence, and draws on relative-clause formation and compound verbs in Hindi and Tamil for illustrations. Rakesh Bhatt addresses the issue of accusative-marked objects in Kashmiri, a topic raising interesting questions for the syntax of objects in South Asian languages in general. Benjamin Slade focuses on relative-correlative constructions in Sinhala/Tamil/Malayalam and Nepali/Burushaski and the fact that these display “unexpected” differences in particles that follow the relative clause. In his discussion, the moderator, Hans Henrich Hock, places the findings of these contributions within the larger context of the typology and history of the South Asian languages, with special focus on relative constructions.


Presenter 1
E. Annamalai - annamalai38@yahoo.com ()
Hindi cannot be Tamil: Limits to Convergence

Presenter 2
Rakesh Bhatt - bhattrm@gmail.com (University of Illinois)
Accusative objects in Kashmiri

Presenter 3
Benjamin Slade - b.slade@utah.edu (University of Utah)
South Asian relative-correlatives and unexpected particles


Gautama V. Vajracharya's Contributions to the Arts of South Asia's Monsoon Culture
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Joseph Elder - elder@ssc.wisc.edu (Joe Elder)

This panel will discuss Gautama Vajracharya's contributions to the Arts of South Asia's Monsoon Culture through his references to Vedic literature, ancient South Asian Art, and systematic attention to the underlying Newar religion that manifested itself in medieval Newar art and festivals


Presenter 1
Michael Witzel - witzel@fas.harvard.edu ()
Stages in the Development of Newar Culture: From hunters-gatherers to monsoonal agriculturalists and followers of Indian religions

Presenter 2
Gautama Vajracharya - gvvajrac@wisc.edu ()
When I Heard the Frogs Croaking

Presenter 3
Jan VanAlphen - jc.van.alphen@gmail.com ()
Two exhibitions on Nature, gods and myths in Indian and Nepalese art

Presenter 4
Henry Drewal - hjdrewal@wisc.edu (UW-Madison)
A Discussion of Gautama Vajracharya's contributions


The Colonial State and the Nonhuman
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Nasser Mufti - nmufti@uic.edu (University of Illinois at Chicago)

Over the past few years, scholarship in a number of disciplines has alerted us to the importance of acknowledging the nonhuman. Part of the urgency in doing so is prompted by our growing awareness of the anthropocene, our current geological epoch, in which humans feature as historical as well as geological actors. As Amitav Ghosh points out in his recent work, The Great Derangement (2016), our inability to fully contemplate the magnitude and implications of the anthropocene is largely on account of our obliviousness to “the elements of agency and consciousness that humans share with other beings and even perhaps the planet itself”(locs 884). South Asia, of course, through its various narrative traditions, mythologies, rituals, and folklore, has historically offered a strong counterpoint to the Cartesian dualism that rigidly separates the human from the nonhuman. However, while it is tempting to look to indigenous knowledge-systems as recuperative sites in this respect, doing so also runs the risk of reifying (colonialist) tendencies to view the global south in its redemptive or salvific cast alone. This panel proposes, instead, to examine how the nineteenth-early twentieth century colonial state in South Asia negotiated with the nonhuman in ways that produced, fostered, and disseminated a fairly complex --if not ambiguous--notion of the nonhuman. Drawn primarily from the field of literary and cultural study, the three papers focus on different forms of writing-- drama, prose, bureaucratic records—to consider how the colonial state variously negotiated with the nonhuman, be it plant (Banerjee), object (Hofmeyr), or animal (Roy). In such an examination, it is not only the ceaseless traffic with the nonhuman that becomes inescapable but also the “all too human” quality of the colonial state, which we otherwise tend to view in deindividuated, if not machinic terms.


Presenter 1
SUKANYA BANERJEE - banerjee@uwm.edu (UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE)
Indigofera Tinctoria and the Idioms of Loyalty

Presenter 2
Isabel Hofmeyr - isabel.hofmeyr@wits.ac.za (University of the Witwatersrand)
Colonial Copyright, Customs and Excise, and Port Cities: Material Histories and Intellectual Property

Presenter 3
parama roy - proy@ucdavis.edu (University of California, Davis)
Of Gods, Animals, and the Colonial State


Revisiting Genre in South Asian Fiction
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Kumar Bhattacharya - kumarsankar123@gmail.com (Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani)

x


Presenter 1
faiza zaheer - faizazaheer@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College University, Lahore )
Confrontation, Denial and Motherhood A psychoanalytic Criticism of the Narration of Talat Abbasi’s “Mirage”

Presenter 2
Anwesha Maity - maity@wisc.edu (UW Madison)
“Reading rasa in contemporary times: Science Fiction and Aesthetic Relish” *Please include in a panel on literary studies*

Presenter 3
Kumar Bhattacharya - kumarsankar123@gmail.com (Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani)
Reading from Below: "Ravanayana" as an Alternative to "Ramayana" in Neelakantan's Asura: The Tale of the Vanquished

Presenter 4
Ayelet Ben-Yishai - abenyishai@univ.haifa.ac.il (Cornell University / University of Haifa)
Emergency Realism and Reality

Presenter 5
Deepika Marya - deepikamarya@umass.edu (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Critical Ecology beyond postcoloiniality in Premchand's Godaan


Dynamic Northeast: Understanding Political Aspects On The Other Side of South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Madison College D240
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Manbor Warjri - wmanbor@gmail.com (Sankardev College)

x


Presenter 1
Brandon Miliate - bmiliate@gmail.com (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Grounded Aspirations: Political Demands at the Intersection of India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar

Presenter 2
MADHUMITA SENGUPTA - madhumitasg@iitgn.ac.in (Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar)
Colonialism and the Refashioning of Social Identities in British Assam

Presenter 3
Sayantan Saha Roy - sayantan.saharoy@gmail.com (University of Chicago)
On the Hunger Strike: Law and Life in India

Presenter 4
Manbor Warjri - wmanbor@gmail.com (Sankardev College)
India's North East...an emerging Geopolitical powerhouse.


Recovering Caste Histories: Historiograhpical and Ethnographic Approaches to Casteist Visions and Anti-Caste Struggles
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 6: Saturday, 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Room: Madison College Meeting Room 1
Floor: Madison College

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

x


Presenter 1
Vivek V. Narayan - v.v.narayan@gmail.com (Stanford University)
Ayyankali and the caste-based performance codes of colonial Kerala

Presenter 2
Anusha Hariharan - anushah@live.unc.edu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Anxieties, Aspirations and Legacy: Narratives of Dalit Activist Movements

Presenter 3
Ketaki Jaywant - jaywa001@umn.edu (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Anti-caste Critique and the Publishing world of 19th-century western India: A focus on Jatibhedviveksar (Reflections on the Institution of Caste).

Presenter 4
Sameena Sameena - sameena42@hotmail.com (University of British Columbia )
Recasting Caste: Mimesis and the Internalization of Castiest Vision


Gender and Indian Cinema: Media-ting the Cinematic and the Political in Post-liberal India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Assembly Room
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Usha Iyer - ushaiyer@stanford.edu

This panel draws from and contributes to scholarly conversations about the intersection of post-liberal Indian cinema and gender by analyzing various iterations exhibited in different formats and media like documentary, mainstream cinema, social media, and news reports. How has contemporary Indian cinema represented the fraught issue of gender? What roles have the cinematic medium and form played in the ways gender has been represented in popular Hindi cinema? What roles have star texts and bodies played in representing gender? And how have some of these representations taken on a life of their own within fan cultures? How have cinematic representations of gender intersected with hegemonic narratives of religion, sexuality, and nation? And to what end? These are some of the questions that this panel seeks to address through critical and intersectional readings of cinematic representations, star texts, and fan cultures.    The panel begins with Soumitree Gupta’s examination of the contested trope of the mobile Indian woman in post-liberalization Indian public culture. She discusses how the documentary modality activates decolonial feminist critiques of multiple hegemonic scripts operating at the intersections of gender, religion, and nation. Next, by analyzing Vidya Balan’s star text, Tanushree Ghosh investigates the reactionary nature of cinematic nostalgia about forms of Indian femininity as well as the emergence of a more revisionist gender politics through Balan’s films and media presence. Shifting from films to other cinematic texts, Kuhu Tanvir deliberates on the relationship between fans and the images of a star’s body by looking at social media platforms like Tumblr. She analyzes the processes of erasure that accompany a GIF format in the case of Katrina Kaif. Finally, Gohar Siddiqui considers fandom, films, and public conversations surrounding the three Khans in Hindi cinema to analyze masculinity and Islamophobia locally and globally.


Presenter 1
Soumitree Gupta - sgupta@carroll.edu (Carroll College)
Documenting the Mobile Woman: Documentary Practices and Decolonial Feminist Critiques in The World Before Her and The Ghetto Girl

Presenter 2
Tanushree Ghosh - tghosh@unomaha.edu (UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT OMAHA)
The Subversive Dissonance of Vidya Balan’s Star Text

Presenter 3
Kuhu Tanvir - kut10@pitt.edu ()
Looking at Katrina Kaif: ‘Dhoom Machale’, GIFs and Tumblrs

Presenter 4
Gohar Siddiqui - siddiquig@uwplatt.edu (Clark University)
Muslim Masculinities and Islamophobia: Gender and Religion in National and Global Contexts


FILM : Sramik Awaaz: Workers Voices
Single Paper

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Caucus Room
Floor: Floor 1

Status :
Approved Download Letter
Chaumtoli Huq - chaumtolihuq@gmail.com

Crowdfunded and subtitled in English, Sramik Awaaz: Worker Voices is the first film to fully explore the lives, work, and organizing efforts of Bangladesh’s garment workers. Through interviews carried out in 2014 and 2015, and filming through 2016, the film chronicles the barriers faced by the mostly female workers at home, at work, and in life. These interviews reflect some clear policy prescriptives for improving the rights of workers not only in Bangladesh, but the issues raised echoes in workforces around the world even among low wage workers in US and Europe. The film is 58 minutes in length. It is an unique collaboration between human rights lawyer and researcher Chaumtoli Huq and documentary filmmaker Mohammed Romel.


Administrative Rule and The Pursuit of Knowledge in South Asian Empires
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Senate Room A
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair
Patrick D'Silva - pdsilva@live.unc.edu (UNC-Chapel Hill)

x


Presenter 1
Patrick D'Silva - pdsilva@live.unc.edu (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Evaluating India's Knowledge: Abu'l Fazl and Mughal Approaches to the Science of the Breath in the A'in-i Akbari

Presenter 2
Rafiullah Khan - rafiulakhan@gmail.com ( Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad)
Swat around the mid-second millennium CE: a socio-historical analysis of Tawarikh-i-Hafiz Rahmat Khani

Presenter 3
Osama Siddiqui - ors9@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
Sir Sayyid and Mr Mill: Urdu Economic Thought in Muslim North India

Presenter 4
Dr. Razia Sultana - raziasultanaqau@gmail.com (Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University)
Durranis’ Rule at Peshawar: Rediscovering a Historical and Cultural Profile


Performing Liberation: Discourses of Salvation in South Asian Traditions
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Senate Room B
Floor: Floor 1

Discussant / Chair

Many South Asian religious traditions across regions and eras share the concept of liberation and often employ similar terminology to denote it. However, these conceptual and terminological overlaps can be misleading, insofar as they reduce the wide range of soteriological doctrines and practices in South Asia to a monolithic set of assumptions and strategies. This panel casts a critical eye on received soteriological categories by focusing on the diverse ways they are performed or represented in textual, ritual, and ethnographic contexts. What does the pursuit and attainment of liberation entail for practitioners in different places, times, and traditions? How do elements of liturgy, forms of expressive culture, and varieties of embodied practice delineate paths to salvation? Drawing on Vedic, Jain, Hindu, and Yogic literatures and an ethnographic study, this panel aims to inspire a conversation about the diverse ways in which the idea of liberation has been interpreted and performed in South Asian traditions. The first paper focuses on the performance of singing OM in the Jaiminiya Samaveda (ca. 800-600 BCE) in conjunction with subtle body exercises as a means of transcendence. It argues that these teachings on “singing liberation” are the historical antecedents for later contemplative soteriologies on OM. The second paper examines the discussion of ritual technologies, such as mantra, in the hymns of the Svetambara scholar-monk Hemacandra (1089-1172 CE), who wrote them to convert the Shaivite King Kumarapala to Jainism. Both his “Hymn to the Dispassionate One” and his “Hymn to the Great God” contain passages that articulate the mantra arham and yoga as a step towards liberation. The third paper will present ethnographic accounts conducted in Varanasi of how ascetics performatively assume Bhairava’s divine identity and the rituals performed by lay devotees, contextualized with Sanskrit narrative (Skanda Purana) and theological (Svacchanda Tantra) materials.


Presenter 1
Finnian Gerety - finnian_moore-gerety@brown.edu ()
Singing Liberation: Vedic OM and the Jaiminiya Soteriology of Song

Presenter 2
Lynna Dhanani - lynna.dhanani@yale.edu (Yale University)
Ritual Performance and Liberation in the Hymns of the Jain Scholar-Monk Hemacandra

Presenter 3
seth ligo - sethligo@gmail.com (Duke University)
Acts that Liberate and Acting Liberated: Asceticism, Devotion, and the Worship of Bhairava


Secularisms: Critical Perspectives
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Conference Room 1
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Eunsook Jung - eunsookjung@gmail.com

Secularism has been the subject of renewed academic and policy debates over the past 15 years in the US. The astonishing elections of 2014 in India, the continuing sectarian violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the rise of Stephen Bannon in America are manifestations of the failures of state secularism to provide a way of living in amity within pluralist societies. This panel examines the ways in which different articulations of secularism from South Asia can be used to make sense of the limits of secularism as a state doctrine. We consider the emergence of postsecular discourses as a means of overcoming these limits. To what extent can postsecular feminisms or Islam as critique offer other ways of living modern lives? This panel is one which explicitly links developments in South Asian thought and activism with the broader discourse on secularism. It suggests that what happens in South Asia in the articulation of a Dalit feminism, or the adoption of a majoritarian Hindutva, or the creation of narratives of Islamic resistance to the West are all aspects of a dialogue with a particular American, Christian, imperial, materialist secularism. Can they offer ways of tempering its self-assurance? Can their role as critique make them dangerous for marginalized groups within South Asia?


Presenter 1
Khurram Hussain - khh209@lehigh.edu (Lehigh University)
Islam as Bad Religion

Presenter 2
Nandini Deo - ndd208@lehigh.edu (Lehigh University)
Rethinking the Secular from a Feminist Perspective

Presenter 3
Timothy Loftus - timothyloftus3@gmail.com ()
Is Dalit Feminism Postsecular?

Presenter 4
Simanti Lahiri - simanti.lahiri@villanova.edu ()
Majoritarianism, Secularism, Nationalism, and Politics in Sri Lanka


Changing Identities in Modern South Asia: Contemporary Representations of Caste, Class, Gender, Ethnicity
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Conference Room 2
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Henry Schwarz - henry.schwarz07@gmail.com (Georgetown University)

x


Presenter 1
Jana Fedtke - jfedtke@aus.edu (American University of Sharjah)
Trans/national Identities in Tahmima Anam’s Bangladesh Trilogy

Presenter 2
Kristina Nielsen - kniels@sas.upenn.edu (University of Pennsylvania)
Title: Neutral English, an emergent standard of Indian English from the outer circle

Presenter 3
Sophia Powers - sophiatheasp@gmail.com (UCLA)
The Curious Temporality of Performance through the Lens of Sheba Chhachhi

Presenter 4
Henry Schwarz - henry.schwarz07@gmail.com (Georgetown University)
“The Five Language Formula in the Ghetto of the Gypsy Thieves: Everyday Life in the Deep Vernacular”


Mediatized Lives: Dissonant Discourses and Practices in Contemporary India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Conference Room 3
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Ruma Sinha - rusinha@syr.edu (Syracuse University)

x


Presenter 1
Deepika Rose Alex - deepualex297@gmail.com (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Subin Paul - subin-paul@uiowa.edu (University of Iowa)
“Sacred Communication”: Ritualizing the Practice of Newspaper Reading

Presenter 2
Padma Chirumamilla - padmachi@umich.edu (University of Michigan)
"By the grace of Ramoji Rao, my job survived": television stories from Andhra Pradesh

Presenter 3
JUHI Sidharth - juhisidharth@gmail.com (FLAME University, Pune)
PLEASURES AND RISKS: THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE EVERYDAY SOCIAL AND SEXUAL LIVES OF GIRLS IN URBAN INDIA

Presenter 4
Ruma Sinha - rusinha@syr.edu (Syracuse University)
Digital Dalit Archives


Between Policy and Practice: Political Implications for Education in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Conference Room 4
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Saiful Islam Chowdhury - saifulimlcu@gmail.com (University of Chittagong)

x


Presenter 1
Saiful Islam Chowdhury - saifulimlcu@gmail.com (University of Chittagong)
Role of Higher Education in Changing Status of South Asian Women: Evidences from Bangladesh and Pakistan over the Last Two Decades

Presenter 2
Ashar Khokhar - asharkhokhar@fccollege.edu.pk (Forman Christian College (A Chartered University))
Identity Lost and Found: Textbooks in Pakistan

Presenter 3
Neha Gupta - neha2502@gmail.com (Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi)
Progressive Educational Ideas in an Instrumental Context?: Questions from Fieldwork on Schooling in Jaipur City


Performance, Politics, and Anxiety in South Asian Identity
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Conference Room 5
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Andrew Flachs - aflachs@gmail.com (Washington University in St. Louis)

x


Presenter 1
Andrew Flachs - aflachs@gmail.com (Washington University in St. Louis)
Postcolonial Performance and “Scripts” in Telangana Cotton Farming

Presenter 2
Ian Reed - ibr12@my.fsu.edu (Florida State University)
Building Pandals, Building Ta’ziyahs Building Identity: Muharram and Durga Puja Celebrations by Minority Communities

Presenter 3
Arighna Gupta - aurighnogupto@gmail.com (University of Delhi)
Poets, performers and their 'Babus' – A Colonial City Revisited

Presenter 4
Dheepa Sundaram - dheepa.sundaram@gmail.com (University of Denver)
Epics, Orality, and Primacy of Sound: The Evolution of Terukkūttu


Revising the Past, Perfecting the Present: Re-membering Poet-Saints in South Asia
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom A
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Jack Hawley - jsh3@columbia.edu (Barnard College, Columbia University)

Those who retell the lives of past poet-saints profoundly reshape how those figures are understood. Re-tellers are frequently overshadowed by the saints revered, and yet, their interventions and innovations are often absorbed into the poet-saints’ core legacies such that they may overpower the original contributions of the saints themselves. Drawing on a breadth of Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Persian, Telugu, and Sanskrit written, visual, and performative sources, this panel analyzes commemorations of revered Jain, Śaiva, Sufi, and Vaiṣṇava figures from the 8th to 20th centuries, seeking to foreground the contributions of these later agents, whether they be hagiographers, commenters, image-makers, or worshippers. Gil Ben-Herut considers radical changes in the representation and understanding of the 12th-century Vīraśaiva saint Allama Prabhu from the first decades after his life to the heyday of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. Dean Accardi analyzes how the earliest known manuscripts of Lal Ded’s poetry from the 18th-century may involve an intentional reclaiming of Lal Ded as a Śaiva saint consonant with temple-based devotion. Steven M. Vose argues that twentieth-century biographies and images of the Gujarati Jain Rajacandra translate longstanding tropes of asceticism into positivist, empiricist terms to index his advanced spiritual nature, a process in which Rajacandra himself participated. Harshita Mruthinti Kamath argues that the emergence of the hagiographies of Kshetrayya and Siddhendra is a direct byproduct of mid-twentieth century Telugu elite scholars promoting Telugu arts within a framework of bhakti. John Stratton Hawley, senior scholar of Indian bhakti traditions, will situate the papers within the broader study of regional bhakti traditions. Examining the profound role memorializers have had in reshaping the legacies of those they claim to commemorate, this panel resituates poet-saints as not simply esteemed people from the past but figures that transform and live in those that create their memory.


Presenter 1
Gil Ben-Herut - gilb@usf.edu (University Of South Florida)
A Talkative Mum: The Genealogy of Allama Prabhu’s Post-Mortem Verbosity

Presenter 2
Dean Accardi - dean.accardi@gmail.com (Connecticut College)
Poetic Rebirth: Hinduization of a Kashmiri Saint through a New Poetic Corpus

Presenter 3
Steven Vose - svose@fiu.edu (Florida International University)
Forming the Traditional Modern Ascetic: Translating Textual and Visual Tropes in Representations of Rajacandra (1867-1901)

Presenter 4
Harshita Mruthinti Kamath - hmruthi@yahoo.com (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Constructing the Telugu Bhakti Saint: Hagiographies from Krishna District


The Moral and Material Life of Data: Inclusions and Exclusions via the Digitization of the State
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Capitol Ballroom B
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Vijayanka Nair - vn361@nyu.edu (New York University)

We live amid the proliferation of databases rendering populations manageable, apparently transparent, and presumptively identical to themselves (that is, not inflated or seeded with false identities). In India, databases diagnosed as isolated silos are increasingly gaining in value and governmental capacity through their attachment to a universal platform, the Unique Identification Authority or Aadhaar. The promise and the threat of such attachment has generated an immense range of both hopeful and critical engagement, what this panel engages as a contest over data’s moral life. The panel brings into dialogue scholars coming both from the human and social sciences and from the information sciences. It not only examines government’s recreation of itself through digitization, distribution, and platform at the site of central government, where much of the literature of new data worlding has lodged itself, but in the contingent and constitutive particularities of state government. Its focus is on the remaking of the subject of governance through its relation to distributions of “service”—food, schooling, credit, cash, and recognition itself. Its focus is thus on the ethics, politics, and technics of the inclusion and exclusion of persons amid these emergent practices and norms of the government of data and platform. It links close, long-term empirical attention to the digitization of the state to its conceptual underpinnings. it examines the varied returns of all that is excluded from the conceptual field: amid the exclusion of the material trace from digital governance, its return; amid the exclusion of ‘the social’ and of desire and self-interest from the platform, their return; amid the exclusion of the improvisational craft that once constituted the state in face of rationalized mechanization, its return.


Presenter 1
Ursula Rao - ursula.rao@uni-leipzig.de (University of Leipzig)
Crafting a biometric body

Presenter 2
Ashveer Singh - ashveerps@gmail.com ()
The Digital Grain Heap: The Computerization of the PDS in Punjab

Presenter 3
Lawrence Cohen - cohen@berkeley.edu (University of California, Berkeley)
Plastination Today: On Demonetization, Aadhaar, and the Material Supplement to Identity

Presenter 4
Aakash Solanki - solanki.aakash@gmail.com ()
Making the Database Sacrosanct: Aadhaar and the Coming of Quality in Haryana’s Delivery of Education

Presenter 5
Ashveer Singh - ashveerps@gmail.com ()
The Digital Grain Heap: The Computerization of the PDS in Punjab


So What's Indian About This?
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Wisconsin Ballroom
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
William Mazzarella - mazzarel@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)

So What’s Indian About This? At the 2016 Madison conference, several of us were on a panel at which the first audience question was: ‘So what’s Indian about this?’ We propose to devote our panel in 2017 to reflecting on this question. What (culturalist? historicist?) conceptions and standards of ‘Indianness’ undergird the desire for areal specification and distinctiveness? What kinds of (civilizational? geographical?) understandings of context are at work in producing a satisfactory definition of the ‘Indian’? In part, then, this is a conversation about the fates, failures and futures of South Asian area studies. More broadly, though, we are interested in clarifying the hermeneutic commitments that allow scholars to evaluate relevance and resonance in any specialized ‘field.’


Presenter 1
Bharat Venkat - bvenkat@uoregon.edu ()
India Without Indology?

Presenter 2
Bhrigupati Singh - bhrigupati_singh@brown.edu ()
Sovereignty and Territory as a Mental Health Concern

Presenter 3
Harris Solomon - harris.solomon@duke.edu (Duke University)
Hardboiled: Mystery, Medicine, and the City

Presenter 4
Naisargi Dave - naisargi.dave@utoronto.ca (University of Toronto)
Vital Contexts: Animality Neither Right nor Left


Aspiration, Mobility and Materiality in Uttarakhand
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: University A/B
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan - k.sivaramakrishnan@yale.edu (Yale University)

Recently achieved statehood, long histories of migration, and unstable geological formations –factors that are simultaneously political, social and environmental – have reshaped Uttarakhand culturally and spatially in the last few decades. In this panel we take this ongoing remaking of a Himalayan region as a point of departure to ask: what can practices of physical and social mobility, especially as they intersect with contingent material forms including land, infrastructure, and ecology, tell us about how obsolescence, innovation, and aspiration are experienced and understood in the contemporary moment? The papers on this panel address this question through critical engagement with the classic issues of migration, environmental and agrarian change, urbanization, and new political futures that have dominated scholarly and popular accounts of Uttarakhand’s history. They will attend to development schemes across government and private agency, electoral politics as village life, roadways and motoring, and the emergence of urbanism as ubiquitous cultural condition in a largely forested and farmed terrain. In particular, the papers will explore how emerging reconfigurations of mobility and materiality are experienced in this region through ethnographic and historical analyses of the following themes: how the shared, embodied experience of new forms of travel and transportation in the mountains are radically shaping ideas of people’s mobility and transforming their relationship to the environment; how the subjectivities and identities of young, educated village women, who are increasingly seeking employment with local NGOs, are formed in relation to their complex negotiations over the gendered nature of work and wages in this arena; and, finally, the role of electoral politics across multiple scales in molding the nature of aspiration and sociality in villages through a particular focus on how people navigate the social dramas wrought by multiple and competing demands on their loyalty.


Presenter 1
Radhika Govindrajan - radhikagovindrajan@gmail.com (University of Washington at Seattle)
"A village of liars": duplicity, sociality, and mobility in an Indian village election

Presenter 2
Rachael Goodman - rggoodman@wisc.edu (UW-Madison)
“I Just Want to Work”: Changing Aspirations and (Im)Mobilities Among Young Women in Kumaon, India

Presenter 3
Bhoomika Joshi - bhoomika.joshi@yale.edu (Yale University)
Drivery: Transport, Mobility and Possibility in Uttarakhand


Working Delhi 2: gender in labor.
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: University C/D
Floor: Floor 2

Discussant / Chair
Priyam Tripathy - tripthy3@illinois.edu (University of Illinois)

Delhi is produced by the work of a multitude of devalued hands. Labor was given the potential virtue to emancipate workers, to break the back of bondage. It seems on the contrary that capitalism perpetuates itself by adopting and carrying forward existing structures of inequalities. Labor is always embedded and always material, never fully abstract – and always gendered. Some scholars point at the “disappearing significance of labor” (Goldman, 2015) in the making of the south Asian cities. For them the city itself is the collateral for capital, and not value production. In this context laborers are surplus people. This panel shows how labor remains the condition of possibility of city-making. Fatigue remains the building block of cities and the first medium through which they are experienced. Delhi, through slum evictions and beautification drives, seem to have become the paradigmatic example of an anti-industrial city in India – a city that dreams itself to be free of the presence of surplus people. Delhi in this regard is a paradigmatic failure. With a tight set of strongly field-work based papers, this panel claims that all has not been said about labor, its role in the reproduction of “life as excess value” (Gidwani, Wisconsin 2014), on the way it produces the city, or on how it mediates one’s experience with it. The second part of this panel brings together an eclectic mix of papers that focus specifically on the production of gendered labor and precarious laboring conditions in the peri-urban interface of Delhi-NCR. We question how "work" and "labor" as seen through the analytic of gender negotiates within interstitial spaces, between formal and informal sectors, organized and unorganized means to create value and produce distinct subjectivities.


Presenter 1
Priyam Tripathy - tripthy3@illinois.edu (University of Illinois)
Who Makes Our Cities? (In) Visible Women Workers Between the Farm and Factory

Presenter 2
Soumya Mishra - soumya.mishra@sant.ox.ac.uk (University of Oxford)
How are migrant bodies experience being disciplined and managed as a source of ‘unorganised’ and cheap labour in Delhi NCR?

Presenter 3
Sonal Sharma - ssharm48@jhu.edu ()
From the Margins of Dalit Labor: Female Labor Force Participation among Dalits in Delhi


Problems with Persian: The Limits of the Persianate in Colonial India and Beyond
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Parlour Room 627
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Purnima Dhavan - pdhavan@uw.edu (University of Washington, Seattle)

In recent years, Marshall Hodgson’s notion of the “Persianate”—i.e., a broad cultural complex linked together by the Persian language and shared textual traditions—has provided a useful heuristic for situating South Asia within connected intellectual histories of early modern Eurasia. Yet apart from revealing expansive elite cultures of ecumenical humanism, scholars have also highlighted important divisions within the Persianate domain, noting for example struggles between Indian and Iranian literati over claims to linguistic authenticity, fractures produced by nineteenth- and twentieth century nationalisms, and larger debates over Persian’s implicit association with Islam. This panel continues to probe the Persianate world’s geographic, historical, and conceptual limits by focusing on the impact of Persian’s career as a language of empire and colonial governance in Central and South Asia. Reflecting broader tensions in early modern “Persianate” states, James Pickett illustrates how the Central Asian city-state of Shahrisabz resisted the discursive dominance of neighboring Bukhara as the latter used Persian historiography to reify its political authority over its neighbors. Moving to North India, Nick Abbott considers how Persian histories in the Mughal successor regime of Awadh provided an arena for the East India Company and Indian rulers to articulate shared and contested visions of sovereignty and statehood. Josh Ehrlich then takes up the question of how British officials variably understood themselves as part of the Persianate world by revisiting debates from the 1830s over Persian’s future as language of education and colonial rule. Finally, Andrew Amstutz explores Persian’s contested legacy in late-colonial India, as promoters of Urdu posited the latter as the superior vehicle for constructing Muslim modernity in South Asia. Taken together, these papers suggest that the boundaries and meanings of Persian and the Persianate world were profoundly reconfigured by a multiplicity of colonial entanglements over the long nineteenth century.


Presenter 1
James Pickett - pickettj@pitt.edu (University of Pittsburgh)
Subaltern Dynasty?: The Forgotten Persianate Emirate of Shahrisabz

Presenter 2
Nicholas Abbott - nabbott@wisc.edu (University of Wisconsin-Madision)
Patronage, Politics, and Persian Historiography in Nineteenth-Century Awadh

Presenter 3
Joshua Ehrlich - jehrlich@fas.harvard.edu (Harvard University)
Anglicism-Orientalism Revisited: The Fate of Persian in British India

Presenter 4
Andrew Amstutz - ama245@cornell.edu (Cornell University)
“The Modern Foreign Phrases of Persian”: Debating Persian’s Past for Urdu’s Future in the Deccan, 1920-1931


Analyzing Microfinance as a “Magic Bullet for Women’s Empowerment” In Bangladesh and Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Parlour Room 629
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Navine Murshid - nmurshid@colgate.edu (Colgate University)

Microfinance is a broad term that constitutes financial services, including credit, insurance, and savings, available to women living in poverty in much of South Asia. Microfinance can be viewed as economic resources that have the potential of generating future income. However, some contend that it increases gender-based violence particularly among certain groups. Proponents of microfinance, however, argue that participating in microfinance has the potential to increase options for women, including the option to leave abusive relationships, while enhancing women’s empowerment. Missing from the narrative are perspectives of providers, as well as analyses of recent datasets to assess the impact of microfinance on various aspects of women’s empowerment such as IPV, justification of IPV, and control over resources, and engagement. Critelli provides an overview of microfinance as practiced in Pakistan, identifying some of its challenges, such as patriarchal social norms that restrict women’s economic activities, and promises, such as increased decision-making power among women who participate in it, from the perspectives of both providers and participants of microfinance. De and Christian assess the claim that microfinance participation increases the propensity of experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) using an unexplored dataset, the Urban Health Survey from Bangladesh. They find that women are not more likely to experience IPV when they participate in microfinance in urban Bangladesh. Murshid focuses on whether microfinance participation is associated with justification of IPV. She finds that the two are not associated until women have no control over their incomes; among microfinance participants who had no control over their resources, justification of IPV was lower than those who had control over their resources. Qayum and Samadder explore whether microfinance groups can self-governance. They apply Ostrom’s principles for enduring institutions to the BRAC Village Organization (VO) and find that VOs can self-govern when they rely on endogenous norms.


Presenter 1
Filomena Critelli - fmc8@buffalo.edu ()
Microfinance: Challenges and Promises in Pakistan

Presenter 2
Prabal De - pde@ccny.cuny.edu ()
Can we blame domestic violence in Bangladesh on microfinance?

Presenter 3
Nadine Murshid - nadinemu@buffalo.edu (University at Buffalo)
Microfinance and justification of IPV in Bangladesh

Presenter 4
Nayma Qayum - nayma.qayum@gmail.com (Manhattanville College)
The Microfinance Group as a CPR: The BRAC Village Organization


The sociology of elected representatives in India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Parlour Room 634
Floor: Floor 6

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

Election studies in India tend to focus on the measure of electoral behavior or on macro-studies of party performance. Little attention has been spent on individual candidates or on dynamics concerning individual elected representatives. Who contest Indian elections, who gets to become a representative and what do these representatives do once they are elected? Do representatives’ actions during their mandate impact their chances of re-election or does individual anti-incumbency prevails over their chance of serving more than one term? This panel proposes to examine recent evolution of party-candidates and candidates-voters linkages under the light of new evidence coming from recently created unique datasets on Indian legislators. These include data on individual incumbency, on voting patterns and discretionary public money spending by legislators (MPLADS), on the prevalence of political families in local democratic institutions and on a composite socio-demographic profile of elected representatives in Uttar Pradesh. Pavithra Suryanarayan’s contribution examines the role of party-candidates linkages. She argues that weak linkages split voters' loyalties between parties and candidates, and diffuse the responsibility for who is to be held accountable for performance in office, leading to higher levels of anti-incumbency and weaker economic voting. Francesca Jensenius’ contribution examines the choice of public fund allocation of elected representatives. Politicians linked to parties with a strong organizational structure or a clear social base will face strong pressures to allocate funds to their loyal supporters, contrary to those belonging to parties with weak organizational structures and a fluid social base. Rajkamal Singh’s contribution examines the role of political family linkages, caste and local political patronage network in the functioning of district-level democratic institutions. Gilles Verniers finally examines the evolution of the socio-economic profile of MLAs in Uttar Pradesh and uncovers a trend of homogenization of the state’s political class on the basis of their occupational background.


Presenter 1
Pavithra Suryanarayan - pavithra.suri@gmail.com ()
Party-candidate linkages and Anti-Incumbency Voting: Evidence from the Indian States

Presenter 2
Francesca Jensenius - francesca.jensenius@gmail.com (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)
Privileging one's own? Voting patterns and politicized spending in India

Presenter 3
Gilles Verniers - gilles.verniers@ashoka.edu.in (Ashoka University)
Business first: the changing profile of Uttar Pradesh legislators

Presenter 4
Rajkamal Singh - rajkamal.singh@ashoka.edu.in ()
Concentric Clientelism:
A Case Study of Rural Saharanpur


Violence, Identity and Politics in late colonial India
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Parlour Room 638
Floor: Floor 6

Discussant / Chair
Uma Ganesan - uganesan2@gmail.com (Manchester University, Indiana)

This panel explores how various regional and religious communities interacted with nationalist and colonial policy during the final thirty years of British rule in India. As such, they highlight the complexity of the Indian anti-colonial process as political concerns and support had to contend with various policy demands within a political arena crosscut by religious, provincial, regional, cultural and constitutional constraints. Avinash Singh‘s paper, “Eyeing the ‘Nation’”/ In the ‘Nation’s’ Eyes: Sikh Political Identity in the early 20th Century”, argues how local concerns and demands interacted with a wider nationalist and imperial system by investigates how Sikh protests for Gurdwara Reform in the 1920s Punjab helped create a Sikh political identity, and how this identity’s placement within a wider Congress-led nationalism impacted notions of Sikh ‘nationalism.’ Similarly, Dr. Richa Molhotra’s paper, “Region, Nation and Religion: Quest for Identity in Central Provinces and Berar 1936-42,” examines the interplay between the Central Provinces and Berar’s diverse ethno-linguistic sub-regions, the growth of anti-British nationalism and the implementation of provincial self-rule under the Government of India Act of 1935 to highlight the growth of grass roots nationalism and local religious groups in creating religious-cultural rhetoric. Finally, Tyler Herber’s paper, “Imperial Representations: Violence and Partition in the Punjab, 1945-7”, explores how protest, agitation and violence in the Punjab was interpreted by British officials as actions of political support for demands made by elite Indian nationalists thus participating in the decision to partition the subcontinent. These three presentations shed light on the complexity of Indian politics during the late colonial period. Dr. Uma Ganesan, who has done extensive research on the caste and gender politics of the Self-Respect movement in the Madras presidency, will be this panel’s chair-discussant.


Presenter 1
Avinash Singh - avinash@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)
Eyeing the ‘Nation’”/ In the ‘Nation’s’ Eyes: Sikh Political Identity in the early 20th Century

Presenter 2
Dr. Richa Malhotra - richa_cvs@hotmail.com (College of Vocational Studies, Delhi University)
Region, Nation and Religion: Quest for Identity in Central Provinces and Berar 1936-42

Presenter 3
Tyler Herber - herber0@purdue.edu (Purdue University)
Imperial Representations: Violence and Partition in the Punjab, 1945-7


Perspectives on the Efffectiveness of Political Institutions in Pakistan
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Madison College D240
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Mariam Mufti - mmufti@uwaterloo.ca (University of Waterloo)

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Presenter 1
Mariam Mufti - mmufti@uwaterloo.ca (University of Waterloo)
RELYING ON MEN: ON GENDER QUOTAS AND CANDIDATE SELECTION PROCESSES IN PAKISTAN

Presenter 2
khan faqir - khanfaqiraf@yahoo.com (University)
The 21st Constitutional Amendment and the Establishment of Military Courts in Pakistan

Presenter 3
Yasser Kureshi - yasserkk@brandeis.edu (Brandeis University)
Judicial Defiance: How Pakistan's Supreme Court Became the Military Regime's Greatest Challenger

Presenter 4
Maira Hayat - maira@uchicago.edu (University of Chicago)
The Reluctant Bureaucrat: the ethical and the everyday in Punjab’s Irrigation bureaucracy


Post-Conflict Sri Lanka: Identity Politics and Development Rhetoric in Modernity
Panel Group

Location

Session: Session 7: Saturday, 1:45 PM - 3:30 PM
Room: Madison College Meeting Room 1
Floor: Madison College

Discussant / Chair
Susan Rajendran - sgowriraj@yahoo.ca (York University)

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Presenter 1
Susan Rajendran - sgowriraj@yahoo.ca (York University)
The Postcolonial Nation and Buddhist Identities in Sri-Lanka

Presenter 2
Krishantha Fedricks - kfedricks@utexas.edu (The University of Texas at Austin)
The Revival of Ravana in Contemporary Post-War Sinhala Nationalist Discourse

Presenter 3
Mihiri Tillakaratne - mihirit@gmail.com (UC Berkeley)
“These Moves Are Memories”: Embodied Memory, Sex, and Heteronationalism in Island of a Thousand Mirrors

Presenter 4
Elizabeth Bittel - elizabeth.bittel@colorado.edu (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Gender, and the “Modernization” or “Development” of Sri Lanka’s east coast after the tsunami and war