Past Conferences and Workshops

"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.

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

Jami Conference

The A Worldwide Literature: Jāmī (1414-1492) in the Dār al-Islām and Beyond is a project supported by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.

This second conference of the larger project will gather the scholars who contributed to the symposium in Chicago (October 2012) as well as new participants. The conference will be held at the Chicago Center in Paris and the College de France.

Support for the conference was provided by the Neubauer Collegium, Southern Asia at Chicago, the Chicago Center in Paris, France Chicago, Mondes Iranien et Indien, CETOBAC, and College de France.

Thursday, November 14, 2013 (All day) to Friday, November 15, 2013 (All day)

Swami Vivekananda's 150th Birth Anniversary


Welcome Music by Sur Musafir

Opening Ceremony
Lighting 150 Lamps & Peace Chant by Children of Chinmaya Mission

Welcome Address
Elizabeth Davenport,, Dean, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel

Keynote Address
Swami Varadananda, Asst. Minister, Vedanta Society of Chicago

Group Song by Unity in the Dunes Church Choir

Empowerment of Women
Professor Rochona Majumdar, University of Chicago

Unity in Diversity
Swami Shantarupananda, Minister-in-Charge, Vedanta Society of Portland

Group Song by BAGC

Upliftment of the Masses
Professor Gary Tubb, University of Chicago

Vivekananda’s Contribution to Humanity
Swami Ishatmananda, Vedanta Society of Chicago

Eastern & Western Fusion Music by Sur Musafir
Vote of Thanks

Sunday, October 6, 2013 - 2:30pm
Rockefeller Memorial Chapel (5850 S. Woodlawn)

Audio Cultures in India

Monday, September 16, 2013 (All day) to Wednesday, September 18, 2013 (All day)

Travels of Law: Networks, Trajectories, Transformations

A workshop to develop collaborative scholarship across the areas of law, colonialism and the Indian Ocean arena, aimed at developing new analytic and methodological approaches to answering broad questions about the movement of legal institutions, ideas and agents.

Friday, April 12, 2013 (All day)

Film Screening - Celebrating 100 Years of Indian Cinema

A Retrospective of Films by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and the Symposium "Parallel" to What? Pasts and Futures of Indian Arts Cinema

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
The University of Chicago
915 E. 60th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Thursday, April 11, 2013 (All day) to Saturday, April 13, 2013 (All day)
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

"New Directions in Modern South Asian History" Colloquium

Chris Bayly - The Death and Afterlife of "Liberalisms"
Faisal Devji - Interest as a Problem in Modern Indian History

Sponsored by COSAS and the University of Chicaogo History Department. We will have a dinner on the evening of April 10th after the colloquium.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 (All day) to Thursday, April 11, 2013 (All day)