Past Events

TAPSA: Justin Henry, "The Many Ramayanas of Lanka"

Scholars have for decades sought to explain the absence of the Rāmāyana narrative in Pali historiography, as well as its paucity in the Buddhist textual tradition of Sri Lanka relative to elsewhere in Southern Asia. This paper considers the literary resurgence of the Rāmāyana in 15th century Sri Lanka, with special attention given to depictions of Rāvaṇa’s kingdom. I argue that these developments represent a concession on the part of Buddhist historiographers to Sri Lanka’s religious and political diversity at the time.

Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

Workshop by Lyon Liefer on Indian bansuri

This event is free and open to the public.

Monday, February 2, 2015 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Logan 703

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.

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: Ranu Roychoudhuri, "Documentary Photography and Decolonization: The Works of Sunil Shah (1918-2012)"

Sunil Janah (1918-2012) was one of the most celebrated documentary photographers in mid-twentieth century India.Iconic images of the catastrophic and of the everyday emerged from Janah’s “social documentation” of the 1940s and his photographs of Indian industries from the 1950s. This paper will juxtapose these two different genres of images to analyze visualizations of historical moments during India’s passage from the colonial to the post colonial.

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

The Descent of the Ganga and the Ascent of the Dravida

Nachiket Chanchani, Assistant Professor of South Asian Art, Architecture, and Visual Culture, University of Michigan

Learn about a temple complex at Pandukeshwar-- a sacred center near a glacial source of the Ganga River in the central Himalayas-- where lithic shrines in Nagara (north Indian) and Dravida (south Indian) typologies stand side by side. The edifices’ forms and layouts and other archaeological evidence date them to the ninth and tenth centuries. This talk will explore how their design and construction denote the emergence, refinement, and dispersion of an idea of India as a geo-cultural landscape extending from the Indian Ocean to the high Himalayas.

Wednesday, January 21, 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

Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 4:30pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: Kimberly Walters, "Benevolent Tyrants: Sex Trafficking and Humanitarian Giving"

‘Rescue’ from the sex industry in Hyderabad, India often resembles something like a forcible trade in humans for monetary gain—a sort of humanitarian version of trafficking. This work is carried out by humanitarian brokers who must creatively mediate the frictions between, on the one hand, the stories donors are willing to hear about the sex industry and, on the other, the very different stories that Telugu women who sell sex tend to tell about themselves.

Thursday, January 8, 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.

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