Past Conferences and Workshops

Chicago Tamil Forum

The Chicago Tamil Forum is an annual two-day workshop for scholars working on modern Tamil Nadu to share their on-going, unpublished work. This year’s topic is “Politics of Media, Media of Politics." In addition to the workshop proper are two public events: (1) a memorial session of the workshop dedicated to the scholarship and legacy of Chicago Tamil Forum member, Chicago PhD (Anthropology, 2000), and dear colleague, John Bernard Bate (1960-2016) (Friday, May 20th, 2:45-4:20pm, Haskell 315), and (2) a screening of Nagappattinam: Waves from the Deep, a documentary about the plight of fisherman in post-Tsunami Tamil Nadu directed by Swarnavel Eswaran Pillai (Western Michigan University) (Friday, May 20th, 4:30-6:15pm, Foster 103). A schedule and list of participants can be found here: . For more information, please contact Constantine V. Nakassis (

Friday, May 20, 2016 (All day) to Saturday, May 21, 2016 (All day)

Annual Swami Vivekananda Lecture

Annual Swami Vivekananda Lecture

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 (All day)

gender|publics|panics in the global South

A conference co-sponsored by the Center for International Studies and the Committee on Southern Asian Studies.

Thursday, May 5, 2016 (All day) to Friday, May 6, 2016 (All day)
Wilder House, The University of Chicago

Thirteen Festivals: A Ritual Year in Bengal

Lecture by Ralph W. Nicholas
Presented by International House Global Voices Author Night

Ralph W. Nicholas is the William Rainey Harper Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He was President of the American Institute of Indian Studies and now is Chair of its Board of Trustees. Before his retirement he served as the Dean of the College, Deputy Provost, and Director of International House at the University of Chicago.

"... there are many other rituals that people in Kelomal think are very important; these rituals treat deities whose characters and powers are very diverse, and whose modes of worship are quite different from one another. The Bengalis often say, in uncharacteristic understatement, baro mase tero parban, 'In twelve months there are thirteen rituals.' I have taken the title of this book from that expression." -Ralph Nicholas

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 5:30am
International House

COSAS and SALC Anniversary Conference: Sites of South Asian Studies

COSAS and SALC Anniversary Conference: Sites of South Asian Studies

Thursday, April 28: Opening address by Richard Davis
Friday, April 29: Keynote address by Sheldon Pollock

Thursday, April 28, 2016 (All day) to Saturday, April 30, 2016 (All day)
Swift Hall

Seeking New Identity and Voice: Dalit Movements in Tamil Nadu

Lecture by A. P. Anbuselvam, Dalit Resource Centre, Tamil Nadu Theological Seminary & Madras Institute of Development Studies

The Dalit student bodies in college campuses bring to focus the conflict of Dalit identity with other political identities such as the Indian, Dravidian and Tamil as well as the Dalit perspective on the oppressive caste structure and the need for its elimination. A look at these is essential to understand the increasing violence in campuses and towns, whether it is about political assertiveness or marriage across caste.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 12:00pm
Kelly 114

Smart Lecture

Lecture given by Kavita Singh, School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU.

Monday, April 18, 2016 - 4:30pm

Smart Lecture

Lecture given by Crispin Branfoot, Senior Lecturer in South Asian Art and Archaeology, SOAS, University of London.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 4:30pm
Cochrane Woods Art Center

Nayaka Studies Workshop

The so-called Nāyaka period, roughly the mid-16th through the 18th centuries, is, according to Noboru Karshima, “something akin to a black hole in south Indian history.” This period immediately preceding the rise of colonial power, and after the fall of Vijayanagara, is of interest because it is the period that that witnesses major transformations in literature, architecture, merchant activity, the organization of maṭhas, the expression of royal power, and religious practices. An interdisciplinary workshop that brings together diverse perspectives and expertise will provide the context for rethinking this vital period. In so doing, we begin to reimagine the place of early modern South India not only in Indian history, but in global early modern studies.

Keynote Address by Crispin Branfoot (4:30pm, Cochrane-Woods 157). Please see attached for a full schedule of the workshop.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 (All day) to Saturday, April 16, 2016 (All day)
Thursday, April 14, Cochrane-Woods 157; Friday, April 15 & Saturday April 16, Classics 110