Past Events

New Directions in Global History: Rethinking Scale & Temporality

While historians have traditionally been less explicit than other social scientists in their use of theory, we have witnessed in the past half year an unprecedentedly polemicized debate within the profession over the direction, methodology, and theoretical orientation future history-writing must take. Book length treatises by Lynn Hunt (Writing History in the Global Era, September 2014), and Jo Guldi and David Armitage (The History Manifesto, July 2014) have been met with enlivened article-length rejoinders by fellow historians (Sam Moyn, Deborah Cohen, Peter Mandler).

If these historians made differing methodological, theoretical and political claims on the task of history-writing, what was emphatically not under debate was the fact that historians now have to “think big” and write global. Bringing together distinguished internal and visiting historians and social scientists, this conference aims to foster a public dialogue on the new directions of writing global histories among some of its most critical practitioners in the discipline of history and beyond.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 8:30am to 6:00pm
Franke Institute for the Humanities JRL S-102

Workshop by Bertie Kibreah & Khalada Sultana Milon on Bangla folk music

Presented by the South Asian Sound Interventions initiative and the Department of Music. This event is free and open to the public.

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Logan 703

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.

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

World Beyond the Headlines- Upper Caste Racism: The Marked and Unmarked Across the Globe

In an essay written twenty years ago, Gyanendra Pandey spoke of “upper caste racism” as a central feature of the politics of the Hindu upper castes and classes. In this presentation, Prof. Pandey will extend that proposition, and suggest that all racism is upper caste racism. Upper caste, because ruling and dominant groups and classes across the globe believe it is their inherited right to rule and to live in special comfort and prosperity. Racism, because that is a way of keeping subordinated and marginalized groups – sometimes called minorities – “in their place;” and because the assumption of the right to rule, property and ‘culture’ leads to the segregation and subordination of those without privileged access to these, and to their denigration, castigation and even expulsion at times when they are seen as challenging the existing order of caste and race, Black and White.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Social Science Research Room 122

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.

Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

Workshop with Nirmita Dholakia on Hindustani music

This event is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 23, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Logan 703

Michael Chladek, "The Dangers of 'Too Much': How Novice Monks Learn to Manage Space, Time & Emotion in a Northern Thai Buddhist Temple"

This paper focuses on adolescent boys (usually around 12 or 13 years old) in northern Thailand who ordain as Buddhist novice monks for several years in order to finish their secondary education at a Buddhist temple. Based on 20 months of ethnographic field research in a village in Chiang Mai province, I trace how new novice monks learn to not overdue monastic strictness by learning to manage the emotions of others and adjusting their behavior to “time and place” (kalatessa). I argue that this emotional management is not only an important aspect of ideal moral personhood in northern Thailand, it is also a way in which monks and novices construct regional identity and a unique northern Thai Buddhism.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 5:00pm
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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103