Past Events

Michael Chladek, "The Dangers of 'Too Much': How Novice Monks Learn to Manage Space, Time & Emotion in a Northern Thai Buddhist Temple"

This paper focuses on adolescent boys (usually around 12 or 13 years old) in northern Thailand who ordain as Buddhist novice monks for several years in order to finish their secondary education at a Buddhist temple. Based on 20 months of ethnographic field research in a village in Chiang Mai province, I trace how new novice monks learn to not overdue monastic strictness by learning to manage the emotions of others and adjusting their behavior to “time and place” (kalatessa). I argue that this emotional management is not only an important aspect of ideal moral personhood in northern Thailand, it is also a way in which monks and novices construct regional identity and a unique northern Thai Buddhism.

Dates: 
Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

South Asia Seminar - Adam Ziegfeld: India's 2014 General Election: Earthquake, Tremor, or Politics as Usual?

Adam Ziegfeld
Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University

India's 2014 General Election: Earthquake, Tremor, or Politics as Usual?

Media coverage of India's 2014 election widely touted the BJP's victory as representing a seismic shift in India's politics. However, a closer look at prior election results in India, the nature of the 2014 verdict, and broader concepts in the study of voting behavior suggest otherwise. At best, much more evidence is required before 2014 can be considered a major realignment in India's politics. Equally likely, the 2014 election will ultimately be understood as representing only a modest change in the electoral landscape and reflecting many common patterns observed in democracies around the world.

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

Workshop by Komal Shah on Sufi music & dance

This event is free and open to the public.

Dates: 
Monday, February 9, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Logan 703

TAPSA: Justin Henry, "The Many Ramayanas of Lanka"

Scholars have for decades sought to explain the absence of the Rāmāyana narrative in Pali historiography, as well as its paucity in the Buddhist textual tradition of Sri Lanka relative to elsewhere in Southern Asia. This paper considers the literary resurgence of the Rāmāyana in 15th century Sri Lanka, with special attention given to depictions of Rāvaṇa’s kingdom. I argue that these developments represent a concession on the part of Buddhist historiographers to Sri Lanka’s religious and political diversity at the time.

Dates: 
Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

Workshop by Lyon Liefer on Indian bansuri

This event is free and open to the public.

Dates: 
Monday, February 2, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Logan 703

South Asia Seminar - Adam Auerbach: Clients and Communities: The Political Economy of Party Network Organization and Development in India’s Urban Slums

Adam Auerbach
Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

Clients and Communities: The Political Economy of Party Network Organization and Development in India’s Urban Slums

India’s urban slums exhibit dramatic variation in their levels of infrastructural development and access to public services. Why are some vulnerable communities able to demand and secure development from the state while others fail? Based on ethnographic fieldwork and original household survey data, Auerbach finds that party networks significantly influence the ability of poor urban communities to organize and demand development. In slums with dense party networks, competition among party workers generates a degree of accountability in local patron-client hierarchies that strengthens organizational capacity and encourages development. Dense party networks also provide settlements with a critical degree of political connectivity. The study contributes to research on distributive politics, the political economy of development, and urban governance in India.

Dates: 
Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: Ranu Roychoudhuri, "Documentary Photography and Decolonization: The Works of Sunil Shah (1918-2012)"

Sunil Janah (1918-2012) was one of the most celebrated documentary photographers in mid-twentieth century India.Iconic images of the catastrophic and of the everyday emerged from Janah’s “social documentation” of the 1940s and his photographs of Indian industries from the 1950s. This paper will juxtapose these two different genres of images to analyze visualizations of historical moments during India’s passage from the colonial to the post colonial.

Dates: 
Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

The Descent of the Ganga and the Ascent of the Dravida

Nachiket Chanchani, Assistant Professor of South Asian Art, Architecture, and Visual Culture, University of Michigan

Learn about a temple complex at Pandukeshwar-- a sacred center near a glacial source of the Ganga River in the central Himalayas-- where lithic shrines in Nagara (north Indian) and Dravida (south Indian) typologies stand side by side. The edifices’ forms and layouts and other archaeological evidence date them to the ninth and tenth centuries. This talk will explore how their design and construction denote the emergence, refinement, and dispersion of an idea of India as a geo-cultural landscape extending from the Indian Ocean to the high Himalayas.

Dates: 
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

South Asia Seminar - Roundtable Discussion: India and Indonesia: Elections and Aftermath

Sana Jaffrey

PhD Student, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago

Dan Slater

Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago

Tariq Thachil

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Yale University

Maya Tudor

Associate Professor of Government and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, St. Hilda’s College, University of Oxford

Dates: 
Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

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