Past Events


Lecture by Francis Robinson, Mellon Islamic Studies Visiting Professor in the Dept. of South Asian Languages & Civilizations and in the Division of the Humanities and the College.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 (All day)

South Asia Graduate Student Conference: Dying in South Asia

We invite papers on issues related to the idea of death, which we define in its very broadest sense. Taking death literally, we can speak of the processes and events attendant to the gradual extinction of living creatures but also of languages, texts, memories, species or even traditions. Metaphorically, death can help us to think through distinct South Asian histories of violence, impasse and loss. Yet this can also enable accompanying conversations on the possibility of recovery, resurrection and redemption. We seek to explore phenomena that resist death and the sense of an ending, including practices of ritual, memory, nostalgia and revivalism.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 (All day) to Friday, March 4, 2016 (All day)

“From Morality to Psychology: Emotion Concepts in Urdu, 1870-1920”

Talk by Margrit Pernau.

This paper will look at the change in the concepts these men used to write about emotions in Urdu between 1870 and 1920. It argues that while emotions at the beginning of the period were still thought of as premised upon notions of equilibrium and balance, which accorded a crucial role to the will and to rationality, fifty years later concepts celebrated the elementary power of emotions and their capacity to overwhelm the individual. This can be read as an indicator and at the same time as a factor of a profound emotionalization of private as well as public life.

Friday, February 26, 2016 - 12:00pm
Foster Hall 103

17TH Annual Webster Memorial Lecture: “Jantar Mantar—The Astronomical Observatories of Jai Singh”

Between 1727 and 1734 Maharajah Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five astronomical observatories in west central India. The observatories, or “Jantar Mantars,” present us with a unique opportunity to experience the relationships between astronomy, astrology, mathematics, architecture, design, politics, religion, and art. Join the Adler Planetarium and lecturer Barry Perlus—an associate professor and associate dean at Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning—for a fascinating look at these historic sites. Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 6:15pm
Adler Planetarium

"The Evidence of the Title Page"

The curators of Envisioning South Asia: Texts, Scholarship, Legacies cordially invite you to a workshop with: Professor Abhijit Gupta (Department of English, Jadavpur University, Kolkata and Director, Jadavpur University Press)
This workshop will examine early nineteenth century title pages as repositories of information about South Asian bibliographic and print-house practices, especially with respect to proprietorship, the rise of authorship, colophons, branding, epigraphs, traces of the manuscript book, distribution and the ecology of print-house labour. We will examine a number of representative title pages to see how such information may be gleaned. Participants may also bring to the workshop title pages of their own choosing, or from the collections of the Regenstein Library. Turning to a book without a title page, the second part of the workshop will focus on the rare copy of John Borthwick Gilchrist’s A Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language (Calcutta 1796) on display in the exhibition. As text and artefact, this exciting find raises many questions for the book historian, which we will collectively seek to answer.

Participation in this workshop is by registration only. To register please email Prof. Ulrike Stark at by February 15, 2016.

Friday, February 19, 2016 - 1:00pm
Special Collections, Rosenthal Seminar Room, Regenstein Library

“Slow Descent into Digital Hell: How the Moving Image Is Coping with Digital India”

Lecture given by Ashish Rajadhyaksha.

The public process of making and showing movies provided one of the major institutions of democratic modernity in 20th-century India. As India enters a new era of digital governance, the shift to digital filmmaking and exhibition is transforming the essentially political practices that the cinema created. Ashish Rajadhyaksha looks at Bollywood films and accompanying video games, independent cinema, and key works in experimental video in the context of these changes in India’s massive moving image industry.

Friday, February 5, 2016 - 5:00pm
Logan Center for the Arts