Past Events

Chat with Nur Sobers-Khan

Join us for a brown-bag lunch with Nur Sobers-Khan, Leader Curator of South Asia at the British Library.

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 12:00pm

EthNoise! The Music, Language, and Culture Workshop

A special session by Zoe Sherinian, ethnomusicologist of University of Oklahoma.

Monday, October 19, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

Humanities Day: Workshop with Sakhi

Join us for a workshop with Sakhi, the first all-girl band of Indian classical musicians.

Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 7:00pm
Foster 103

South Asia Seminar Series: "Civility and Religious Coexistence in Asokan Edicts: A Political Theory Perspective"

South Asia Seminar presentation by Rajeev Bhargava.

Scholars have frequently praised Asoka for his policy of toleration. Bhargava delves deeper into the issue, focusing on the conditions that forces him to first encourage people with diverse religious and philosophical background to live together, not back-to-back but face -to-face, and then, by formulating public norms of civility among different 'pasandas' engaged in fierce verbal disputes, provides secular foundations of such 'living together'. Bhargava argues that this norm is at the heart of his novel formulation of Dhamma. It goes beyond toleration and comes close to equal respect.

Thursday, October 15, 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?

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

First meeting for the South Asian Music Ensemble

Beginner section 4:30pm, Logan 703
Intermediate & Advanced 5:30pm, Logan 703
Instrumental 5:30pm, location TBD

Monday, October 5, 2015 - 4:30pm

South Asian Music Ensemble Open House

Join the South Asian Music Ensemble to learn and perform diverse song traditions of India, Pakistan, and other regions of South Asia. The ensemble will be co-led by separate instructors for vocalists and instrumentalists, and membership is open to beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are welcome to join. This year's repertoire will focus on a broad range of film music from the Indian Subcontinent, and will also feature workshops on dance and regional music.

Friday, October 2, 2015 - 6:30pm
Logan 703

Film screening, The Factory

Film screening by filmmaker Rahul Roy.

147 workers of India’s biggest automobile manufacturing company Maruti Suzuki are on trial for the murder of a senior manager and 2500 workers dismissed. It has been two and a half years and the case drags on. Their bail application has been rejected by the courts. On each hearing they are led to the court room by the police while families line up to catch a glimpse. The defence lawyers plan their strategy in the court canteen. Justice seems a dim hope. The film follows the fate of the under trial workers, families and dismissed workers to investigate the underbelly of industrial conflict and the elusive nature of justice.

Rahul Roy graduated from the Mass Communication Research Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi in 1987 with a post graduate degree in film making. His films have travelled across the globe to various documentary film festivals and have won several prestigious awards. Rahul Roy’s films explore the themes of masculinity and gender relations against the larger background of communalism, labour, class identities and urban spaces. His work has focused primarily on masculinities. Besides film making he has been researching and writing on masculinities. His graphic book on masculinities titled ‘A Little Book on Men’ was recently published by Yoda Press.

Roy is the Director of Aakar, a Delhi based trust that works in the area of media, culture and research. Aakar has been engaged in several interventions on masculinities across the South Asian region for more than a decade now.

Friday, October 2, 2015 - 2:30pm
Haskell 315

South Asia Seminar Series: “Army and Nation: How Did India Make its Army Safe for Democracy?”

South Asia Seminar presentation by Steven Wilkinson.

At Indian independence in 1947, the country’s founders worried that the army India inherited— conservative and dominated by officers and troops drawn disproportionately from a few “martial” groups—posed a real threat to democracy. They also saw the structure of the army, with its recruitment on the basis of caste and religion, as incompatible with their hopes for a new secular nation.

India has successfully preserved its democracy, however, unlike many other colonial states that inherited imperial “divide and rule” armies, and unlike its neighbor Pakistan, which inherited part of the same Indian army in 1947. As Steven I. Wilkinson shows, the puzzle of how this happened is even more surprising when we realize that the Indian Army has kept, and even expanded, many of its traditional “martial class” units, despite promising at independence to gradually phase them out.

Army and Nation draws on uniquely comprehensive data to explore how and why India has succeeded in keeping the military out of politics, when so many other countries have failed. It uncovers the command and control strategies, the careful ethnic balancing, and the political, foreign policy, and strategic decisions that have made the army safe for Indian democracy. Wilkinson goes further to ask whether, in a rapidly changing society, these structures will survive the current national conflicts over caste and regional representation in New Delhi, as well as India’s external and strategic challenges.

Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103