Past TAPSA Talks

Debate on the Dais: Female Fakirs and Sufi Style in Bangladesh

The Boyati community in Bangladesh are a repository of melodies and poetic forms, traditionally engaging in a dialectical musical battle where they represent different positionalities at live shrine performances. This presentation examines the rise of the female fakir in such performances through their negotiations of sacred space, appropriations of metaphysical discourse, and issues of fame brought on by commodified Sufi music and a more urbane listenership. Led by Bertie Kibreah, PhD candidate in the ethnomusicology program at the University of Chicago's Department of Music.

Dates: 
Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

Everyday Life and/of Politics: Hyderabadi Muslims and the MIM

The All-India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (All India Association for the Unity of Muslims) of Hyderabad is one of three most visible Muslim political parties in India today. In spite of its controversial historical association with a militant anti-Accession position in princely Hyderabad during the 1940s, today the Majlis has crafted itself into a successful and legitimate political party. In this paper, I show how the everyday lives of Hyderabadi Muslims tangle with electoral politics, and the ways in which the seemingly routine activity of listening to and occasionally redressing grievances constitutes and performs the legitimacy of the Majlis as their most efficacious representative. This is a TAPSA event led by Shefali Jha, PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

Dates: 
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: Hasan Siddiqui

May 7 (Thurs.)
(4:30pm, Foster 103)

Dates: 
Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

Rupa Viswanath, TAPSA

May 21 (Thurs.)
4:30 PM (Foster 103)

Dates: 
Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: “It Entered My Body: Articulating a Folk Sensibility in Assam, India”

TAPSA presentation by Rehanna Kheshgi.

This paper investigates the emergence of a folk sensibility in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Folk genres play an important role in connecting bodies with states, and the sounding, moving body serves as evidence of regional and/or national belonging. In the context of contemporary Assam, physical labor practices and gender roles associated with rural livelihoods are embedded within folk performance practice. Singing techniques that incorporate dialects associated with particular regions or ethnic groups index degrees of authenticity. This paper addresses questions regarding how young performers in Assam gain access to this knowledge and learn to embody performance practices associated with this folk sensibility. How do urban music and dance teachers package information and create pedagogical techniques to satisfy an increasingly mediated and competitive folk performance arena?

Dates: 
Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: "How Buddhist Novice Monks Adjust to Monastic Aesthetics in Northern Thai Summer Camps"

TAPSA presentation by Michael Chladek.

This dissertation chapter explores “novice summer camps” (khrongkan buat samanen phak rueduron) in which boys across Thailand ordain for several weeks during the summer break from school. A main goal is for boys to learn to “adjust themselves” (prab tua) to temporary monasticism and behaving riaproi, a particular aesthetic and way of being that is neat and orderly. I argue that being riaproi is closely tied to ideas of “Thainess” (khwampenthai), linking the self-cultivation work of “novice summer camps” to Thai nationalism.

Dates: 
Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 4:30pm

TAPSA: "Coming to terms with the Non-Cooperation & Khilafat Moment: Muslims, Gandhi, and incommensurable subjects"

TAPSA presentation by Faridah Zaman, Donnelly Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of History, University of Chicago.

The Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement of c. 1919-22 is commonly described as a period of unprecedented national unity in India that was, nevertheless, ultimately a demonstration of the failures Gandhian theory in popular practice. This paper seeks to rethink the narrative of failure by considering the thought of leading Indian Muslims of this period, particularly focusing on the kinds of religio-political categories they were thinking through in addition to and often times in distinct tension with the Gandhian satyagrahi.

Dates: 
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

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