Past Events

'Harishchandra Chāritra’ and the Medieval Shaiva Literary Canon in Kannada

South Asia Seminar: Vanamala Viswanatha, Azim Premji University

Harishchandra Chāritra, or Harishchandra Kāvya, as more popularly known in Kannada literary culture, (The Life of Harishchandra, Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press, 2017) was written by poet Raghavanka of Hampi in Northern Karnataka, around 1225 CE. Like the mythical, two-headed gaṅḍabhēruṅḍa bird, the insignia of Karnataka kings, that looks back and looks forward at once, this kāvya text of narrative poetry in the mārga/courtly tradition combines in equal measure aspects of the dēsi/vernacular which came to dominate literary production in the ensuing centuries. The talk demonstrates ways in which this shaiva text from the medieval period forges important links with its literary forebears from the Sanskrit kāvya tradition even as it establishes a local habitat for itself in a quintessential Kannada milieu. Drawing from the oral and folk traditions of Kannada, the poet innovates a new metre called shatpadi, which also provides creative expression for the Vaishnava poets in the later centuries. The text becomes a dialogic space in which Kannada and Sanskrit, the classical and the popular/ dēsi, the local and the pan-Indian jostle against each other to gesture towards a poetics that could go beyond its sectarian moorings. I argue that Raghavanka could accomplish this by maintaining a critical distance in terms of ideology, theme, and form from the canonical Virashaiva poets of the earlier century as well as from Harihara, his own guru and contemporary poet.

Dates: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

UChicago Presents Hosts Music Without Borders

Carnatic vocalist TM Krishna is a revolutionary force in Indian classical music and art. Born to musical parents, Krishna grew up in Brahmin society, surrounded by the traditional arts and educated by gurus of Carnatic musical form and style. Now one of India’s most revered musicians and one of the world’s most recognized representatives of Indian culture, however, Krishna is releasing Carnatic music from its upper-caste confines, revitalizing it and making it relevant for today.

TM Krishna performs with violinist RK Shriramkumar and mridangam player K Arun Prakash on the Logan Center stage on Sunday, October 14 at 3 pm. Before the concert, Krishna will join Professor of Music Anna Schultz on stage in conversation about his life and music, and on Monday, October 15, he presents a lecture titled “Art, Politics, and Society: the role and responsibility of artists to right-wing nationalism and social/religious conflict” at 7 pm in International House.
Sunday, October 14: TM Krishna (location: Logan Center)
• 2 pm – pre-concert talk with TM Krishna and Anna Schultz
• 3 pm – TM Krishna performance: “A Classical Protest”

https://chicagopresents.uchicago.edu/events/2018-2019/2018-10-14-200000

Monday, October 15: continued talks with TM Krishna (location: International House)
• 12:15pm -- Roundtable discussion in Coulter Lounge
• 1pm -- Refreshments in Assembly Hall
• 1:30pm -- Music Workshop & Master Class with South Asian Music Ensemble
• 6:00pm -- Pre-Discussion Reception with TM Krishna
• 7:00pm - Public Discussion in Assembly Hall

https://ihouse.uchicago.edu/events/event/the_role_responsibility_of_arti...

Dates: 
Sunday, October 14, 2018 (All day) to Monday, October 15, 2018 (All day)

Old World, New World; Old Ways, New Ways: Libraries and Cultural Property

South Asia Seminar: Graham Shaw, British Library

[Celebrating the Career of James Nye Dinner Following, Classics 110]

In this talk, Graham Shaw will offer a review of the ways in which South Asian collections in the West - Europe and America - have developed from the 18th to the 20th centuries in the light of changing historical circumstances, relationships and technologies. Shaw comes to Chicago to join in honoring the many contributions of South Asia bibliographer Jim Nye, who will retire from UChicago this fall. Shaw credits Nye with devising an ethical approach to collections and cultural property and will discuss how the field has changed over the course of both men’s careers.

Dates: 
Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: “‘Marwa Na Dena’: Reporting Between the Marginal and the Military”

Ayesha Mullah, doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology

Limited critical scholarship on the Pakistani military establishment has documented its penetration into virtually every sphere of public life, including the bureaucracy and the media, showing how through its allies, with both direct and indirect decision making, the military effectively dominates Pakistani society (Siddiqa 2007). This paper analyzes the ways in which the shadow of the deep state featured in my dissertation fieldwork among news media professionals in Karachi and Islamabad. The paper focuses on the shifts in tone, the anxious laughter and the lengthy pauses that verbose journalists adopted when they would perform an inarticulate critique of the military. Such enactments rest upon the very real dangers of straying past the limits of investigative inquiry in Pakistan, particularly when presented with the fate of their colleagues pursuing critical leads on military activities. How then do Pakistani news media journalists, occupying diverse class positions in professional hierarchies, negotiate their journalistic ethics while operating in a climate of uncertainty that has both fed and threatened their daily work? Based on a series of in-depth interviews, this paper will analyze the politics of producing sensationalist news and the subsequent self-regulation that media professionals must practice in a volatile sociopolitical environment.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: Marwa Na Dena’: Reporting Between the Marginal and the Military

Ayesha Mullah, doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology

Limited critical scholarship on the Pakistani military establishment has documented its penetration into virtually every sphere of public life, including the bureaucracy and the media, showing how through its allies, with both direct and indirect decision making, the military effectively dominates Pakistani society (Siddiqa 2007). This paper analyzes the ways in which the shadow of the deep state featured in my dissertation fieldwork among news media professionals in Karachi and Islamabad. The paper focuses on the shifts in tone, the anxious laughter and the lengthy pauses that verbose journalists adopted when they would perform an inarticulate critique of the military. Such enactments rest upon the very real dangers of straying past the limits of investigative inquiry in Pakistan, particularly when presented with the fate of their colleagues pursuing critical leads on military activities. How then do Pakistani news media journalists, occupying diverse class positions in professional hierarchies, negotiate their journalistic ethics while operating in a climate of uncertainty that has both fed and threatened their daily work? Based on a series of in-depth interviews, this paper will analyze the politics of producing sensationalist news and the subsequent self-regulation that media professionals must practice in a volatile sociopolitical environment.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

Climate Change and Asia

Asia is central to the causes, responses, and implications of climate change. This symposium explores climate policy and environmental challenges across East, Southeast, and South Asia, from water politics and renewable energy to sustainable tourism in the Anthropocene. Sponsored by: "Studies in Climate Change: The Limits of the Numerical," a Mellon Foundation Project at the Franke Institute for the Humanities

Dates: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 9:30am to 5:30pm
The Franke Institute, JRL S-118

Chicago Tamil Forum: “Mass Publicity and Mediation in Tamil Nadu, India"

This three-day workshop aims to expand our understandings of mass mediation, publicity, and the political in this part of south India by focusing on the expansive and diverse ways through which public life in Tamil Nadu is mediated.
See http://chicagotamilforum.uchicago.edu for more information.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 9:30am to Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 3:30pm

TAPSA: "Dancing Corporate: Shifting Transnational Patronage in Indian Contemporary Art Worlds”

Ameera Nimjee, doctoral candidate in the Department of Music (Ethnomusicology)

This paper explores the patronage of Indian dance by multinational "corporate houses" and virtual communities, underscored by the transnational travel of capital in and beyond South Asia. This paper explores how technological and telecommunications companies such as Nokia, NASSCOM, and IBM negotiate contracts with artists to perform and produce affective capital at events, product launches, and through media platforms. The paper focuses on Indian contemporary dance as a case study in the investigation of transnational corporate patronage. Practitioners define the form as one of high art that is visually similar to world traditions of modern dance, in which they draw on abstract movement vocabularies to express responses to issues. Also explored are the aesthetic, kinesthetic, and fiscal mobilities of practitioners within the confines of corporate contracts, and how these contracts challenge national and transnational notions of citizenship in the patronage of Indian art worlds at large.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

New Medium, New Historiography: Re-Narrating Islamic Pasts in India through VCDs

The formulation of history in late colonial India and the crystallization of Hindu Nationhood are deeply enmeshed. Indian historiography was rewritten at that time to advance a widely acclaimed standard of a Hindu nation which excluded non-Hindus and in particular the large Muslim minority in the subcontinent, from the nation’s ethos and past. In sovereign India, this historiography was articulated by the visual mainstream media that generally emphasized the Hinduised past and present and defined Indian Muslims’ past through narratives of historical and genealogical estrangement. These narratives contributed to the formation of what Dipesh Chakravarty termed a “historical wound”.[i] This presentation addresses yet another historiography to remedy and negotiate this “wound” through a new medium that targets the Muslim niche market in India: the under-regulated arena of Video Compact Discs (VCDs). This decade-old medium re-writes Indo-Islamic history and challenges the ways the Islamic past is habitually portrayed and visually imagined, as well as the discipline of modern historiography itself.
[i] Dipesh Chakravarty, “History and the Politics of Recognition”, in Theorising the Present – Essays for Patha Chatterjee, eds. Anjan Ghosh et al. (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011), 21-34.

Dates: 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 12:30pm
Foster 103

Tackling Tantrāloka

South Asia Seminar: Alexis Sanderson, University of Oxford, All Souls College, Faculty member

Professor Sanderson will discuss his long-term project to edit, translate, and write a commentary on the Tantrāloka, Abhinavagupta monumental treatise on the Tantras, and in doing so will seek to explain the genesis and purpose of his work.

Dates: 
Thursday, May 10, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

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