South Asia Seminar Series

South Asia Seminar: Anna Schultz (Stanford University), “The Afterlives of Publishing: Memory and the Remaking of Bene Israel Song”

When older Bene Israel women perform Marathi Jewish songs, they sing from notebooks of song texts lovingly transcribed from the voices of mothers, aunts, and friends. Men rarely maintain such notebooks, and most singers are unaware that women’s songs were composed, published, and performed by men in the context of 19th-century Indian cultural nationalism and Indian Jewish renewal. Drawing on published sources and on fieldwork conducted with Bene Israel singers in India and Israel between 2012 and 2015, this paper addresses the role of memory in the re-gendering and re-literization of Marathi Jewish song, and interrogates the shifting interplay between orality and literacy in this tiny minority community. This is a South Asia Speaker Series event led by Anna Schultz, Assistant Professor at Stanford University's Department of Music.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

South Asia Seminar: Sharika Thiranagama (Stanford University), “Civility and intimacy: Post war transformations in Sri Lanka”

Join us to hear Sharika Thiranagama, Assistant Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University, speak on "Civility and Intimacy: Post-War Transformations in Sri Lanka" as part of the University of Chicago's South Asia Speaker Series. The Sri Lankan civil war ended brutally in 2009. Alongside the triumphant and troubling extension of Sri Lankan state sovereignty over the war zone areas, new possibilities and old ghosts animate everyday life in post-war Jaffna, one of the former disputed zones. This talk will discuss and contrast narratives about emerging forms of civility around two different kinds of post-war life, the first about inter-ethnic civilities between Tamils and Muslims and the second about intra-ethnic caste disputes with Tamil neighborhoods and families.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

South Asia Seminar: Kris Manjapra (Tufts University), “Age of Entanglement: Indian-German Encounters and the Death of Europe”

Pursuing a multi-sited approach to the study of global intellectual history, this paper studies the interrelation, friction, and entanglement that developed between two distant centers of intellectual modernism located in Calcutta and Berlin, beginning in the late nineteenth century. The paper argues that the apparent peculiarity of German and Indian engagements from the 1880s-1950s actually serves to reveal deep characteristics of global modernist knowledge production, cutting across colonial, racial, civilizational and historiographic divides. By following traces of intellectual diaspora and entanglement, Kris Manjapra employs a critical transnational optic to challenge conventional notions about the boundaries of national identity, the global production of racial thinking, the uses of international comparison, and the sources of modernist thought. This is a South Asia Seminar Series led by Kris Manjapra, Associate Professor of History at Tufts University.

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

State versus Sexuality: Decriminalizing and Recriminalizing Homosexuality in India

A discussion led by Jyoti Puri, Professor of Sociology at Simmons College of Arts and Sciences. Delving into the struggle against the anti-sodomy law, this presentation juxtaposes the historic 2009 Delhi High Court ruling decriminalizing homosexuality and the subsequent 2013 Supreme Court decision recriminalizing it. Seeing these state institutions through the lens of sexuality, the discussion accounts for the diverging judicial outcomes. In so doing, it unravels the contested understandings of state and sexuality in post-liberalized India. This event is free and open to the public.

Dates: 
Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

South Asia Seminar - Dan Slater: Party Cartelization, Indonesian-Style

Dan Slater
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago

Party Cartelization, Indonesian-Style

Democratic opposition has not emerged as quickly as expected in Indonesia, because presidents have shared power much more widely than expected. The introduction of direct presidential elections in 2004 has gradually led to a sharpening of the government-opposition divide; but this shift is neither complete nor irreversible. Accountability relations between voters and parties thus remain surprisingly tenuous in Indonesia, more than fifteen years after Suharto’s dictatorship collapsed.

Dates: 
Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 4:30pm
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

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

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

South Asia Seminar - Yael Rice"e Emperor’s Dreams and the Painter’s Brush: Artists and Agency at Jahangir’s Court"

This talk will consider the unusually agentive status that early seventeenth centuryMughal painters enjoyed as the depicters—as opposed to inventors—of the Mughal emperor Jahangir’s oneiric experiences. In doing so, it argues that Mughal artists, among other makers of the book (calligraphers, binders, illuminators), played an integral and hitherto under appreciated role as producers of and participants in the imperial aura.

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

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