Welcome to the Committee on Southern Asian Studies

Upcoming Events

Climate Change and Asia

Asia is central to the causes, responses, and implications of climate change. This symposium explores climate policy and environmental challenges across East, Southeast, and South Asia, from water politics and renewable energy to sustainable tourism in the Anthropocene. Sponsored by: "Studies in Climate Change: The Limits of the Numerical," a Mellon Foundation Project at the Franke Institute for the Humanities

Dates: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 9:30am to 5:30pm
The Franke Institute, JRL S-118

Chicago Tamil Forum: “Mass Publicity and Mediation in Tamil Nadu, India"

This three-day workshop aims to expand our understandings of mass mediation, publicity, and the political in this part of south India by focusing on the expansive and diverse ways through which public life in Tamil Nadu is mediated.
See http://chicagotamilforum.uchicago.edu for more information.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 9:30am to Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 3:30pm

TAPSA: “‘Marwa Na Dena’: Reporting Between the Marginal and the Military”

Ayesha Mullah, doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology

Limited critical scholarship on the Pakistani military establishment has documented its penetration into virtually every sphere of public life, including the bureaucracy and the media, showing how through its allies, with both direct and indirect decision making, the military effectively dominates Pakistani society (Siddiqa 2007). This paper analyzes the ways in which the shadow of the deep state featured in my dissertation fieldwork among news media professionals in Karachi and Islamabad. The paper focuses on the shifts in tone, the anxious laughter and the lengthy pauses that verbose journalists adopted when they would perform an inarticulate critique of the military. Such enactments rest upon the very real dangers of straying past the limits of investigative inquiry in Pakistan, particularly when presented with the fate of their colleagues pursuing critical leads on military activities. How then do Pakistani news media journalists, occupying diverse class positions in professional hierarchies, negotiate their journalistic ethics while operating in a climate of uncertainty that has both fed and threatened their daily work? Based on a series of in-depth interviews, this paper will analyze the politics of producing sensationalist news and the subsequent self-regulation that media professionals must practice in a volatile sociopolitical environment.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: Marwa Na Dena’: Reporting Between the Marginal and the Military

Ayesha Mullah, doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology

Limited critical scholarship on the Pakistani military establishment has documented its penetration into virtually every sphere of public life, including the bureaucracy and the media, showing how through its allies, with both direct and indirect decision making, the military effectively dominates Pakistani society (Siddiqa 2007). This paper analyzes the ways in which the shadow of the deep state featured in my dissertation fieldwork among news media professionals in Karachi and Islamabad. The paper focuses on the shifts in tone, the anxious laughter and the lengthy pauses that verbose journalists adopted when they would perform an inarticulate critique of the military. Such enactments rest upon the very real dangers of straying past the limits of investigative inquiry in Pakistan, particularly when presented with the fate of their colleagues pursuing critical leads on military activities. How then do Pakistani news media journalists, occupying diverse class positions in professional hierarchies, negotiate their journalistic ethics while operating in a climate of uncertainty that has both fed and threatened their daily work? Based on a series of in-depth interviews, this paper will analyze the politics of producing sensationalist news and the subsequent self-regulation that media professionals must practice in a volatile sociopolitical environment.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

Crisis in Myanmar: The Rohingya Refugees & The American Response

Among the most pressing humanitarian crises that plague the world in 2018 is the mass persecution of the Rohingya community in Myanmar and the subsequent refugee crisis in South Asia. Nearly 700,000 Rohingya living in Myanmar have fled across the border to Bangladesh and into other territories as a result of violence that former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, among others, has deemed ethnic cleansing. Was this crisis preventable? What role did the United States’ action or inaction play? And, most importantly, what can be done now?
Join the IOP as we welcome two distinguished reporters, Jason Motlagh and Nahal Toosi, to discuss this crisis.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at iop-myanmar.eventbrite.com

Dates: 
Monday, May 21, 2018 - 5:30pm to 6:45pm
Logan Center for the Arts Screening Room

The Study of Southern Asia at the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is one of the leading centers for the study of Southern Asia. Countries in which we have scholarly expertise include in South Asia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; and in Southeast Asia, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Tibet (as an autonomous region), and Vietnam.

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