Past Events

TAPSA Talk - Kimberly Walters

"Force is a Form of Trafficking’: The Shifting Sands of Transnational Sympathy and the Epistemology of Commercial Sex"

With the rapid rise in transnational funding for anti-trafficking initiatives, South Indian organizations that were once sites of sex worker empowerment efforts (in the name of HIV prevention) have begun to morph into sex worker rescue projects. This talk explores this ongoing shift at a highly visible sex workers’ community-based organization (CBO) in Hyderabad, India that recently expanded into a non-governmental organization (NGO) specializing in prevention and rehabilitation. Based on fieldwork conducted at this organization in 2009 and in 2012-2013, I suggest that the anti-trafficking movement operates similarly to an industry manufacturing salable goods. The transnational charitable market for stories of the rescue of trafficked women creates demand for narratives of victimization and hence pressure for their production. Anti-trafficking organizations, consequently, cultivate these narratives among sex workers who did not previously produce them. Northern desires to consume rescue narratives effect a new form of force in the lives of sex workers in the global south with broad implications for the production of knowledge about commercial sex.

Dates: 
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

Film Screening - "Red Ant Dream"

This documentary deals with the issue of "Maoist insurgency in India." It focuses on the Maoists in Bastar in Chhattisgarh, tribals fighting against industrialists in Niyamgiri in Odisha, and protestors acting in memory of the Leftist revolutionary Bhagat Singh in Punjab. This film shows the people of these regions resisting what they believe to be oppression. Red Ant Dream was financed by funds given by an International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam Fund grant and a prize from the Busan International Film Festival.

Reception with director to follow. Refreshments will be served.

Dates: 
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 3:30pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

South Asia Seminar - Ritty Lukose

In recent debates about the post-liberalization achievements, failures, and future directions of the Indian economy, the choices before the Indian state and electorate have been cast as the "Gujarat versus Kerala" models. This discourse partakes of a long-standing construction of Kerala's development trajectory, often called "the Kerala Model", as one pole in "growth versus redistribution" policy arguments. This model came into being in the mid-1970s, linking the region to the international development apparatus, just as the transformations we currently associate with "neoliberalism" were taking shape. What was this "model" an alternative to in the mid-1970s? What is it an alternative to now? This paper addresses these questions as part of a larger exploration of our understandings of gender, development and neoliberalism.

Dates: 
Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 4:30pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

TAPSA Talk - Hamid Reza Ghelichkhani

Dates: 
Friday, March 7, 2014 - 1:00pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

South Asia Seminar - Naisargi Dave

Dates: 
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 4:30pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

"How the Vernacular Became Regional: Language and Territory in Colonial Orissa" presented by Pritipuspa Mishra

Pritipuspa Mishra is a Fung Fellow at Princeton University.

This paper tracks the process of-- what I would like to call-- ‘the colonial vernacularization of India’ in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In this period, the new Colonial state’s efforts to understand and rule its Indian dominion resulted in the establishment of major regional Indian languages as mother tongues with discrete geographical, demographic and political constituencies. By tracking this process and its unexpected consequences in regional India, I suggest that we need to rethink the way the term ‘vernacular’ is understood in post-colonial scholarly discussions on linguistic politics in multi-lingual India.

Mirroring a precolonial process of vernacularization during what Sheldon Pollock has called the vernacular millennium, colonial vernacularization was driven by both the new colonial state’s administrative needs as well as reigning ideologies of language in the colonial metropole. Regimes of juridical administration, philological enquiries as well as educational policy led to meticulous linguistic mapping of India in the early to mid-nineteenth century. While these changes resulted in the colonial state’s categorization of its Indian subjects into discrete linguistic groups, the mechanics of this mapping engaged Indian subjects in vociferous debates about the boundaries between languages and their people. In founding the access of the newly colonized to the emergent colonial state, languages came to be deeply contested ground among regional Indian elite. Under such circumstances, claims that certain languages were ‘vernacular’ to certain areas were already implicated in colonial relations of power and native politics of representation. Vernacular, therefore, was not merely indigenous and local, but it was also the vehicle of native power.

Dates: 
Monday, March 3, 2014 - 12:00pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

TAPSA Talk - Professor Don Davis

"Rules in Culture and Metaculture according to Mīmāṃsā and Dharmaśāstra"

Presented in cooperation with the Study of Ancient Religions

Dates: 
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 4:30pm
TBA

South Asia Seminar - Jocelyn Chua

“'Between the Devil and the Deep Sea': Suicide and Stories of Development in Contemporary Kerala"

Dates: 
Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 4:30pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

TAPSA Talk - Ilanit Loewy Shacham

"Unexpected Lessons in Unexpected Places: An Untouchable Devotee and a Man-Eating Demon Talk (Śrī)Vaisnavism at the Heart of Kṛṣṇadevarāya’s Āmuktamālyada"

Dates: 
Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 4:30pm
Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street)

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