Upcoming TAPSA Talks

Theory and Practice in South Asia (TAPSA)

The workshop is designed to keep faculty and graduate students of social science and humanistic disciplines concerned with South Asia in touch with new directions in the field by providing interdisciplinary models of methodological and substantive approaches. The Workshop makes a special point of crossing the boundary between the humanities and social sciences. It collaborates with the South Asia Seminar, one dedicated to graduate student presentations, the other to presentations by in-resident or visiting scholars and faculty. The South Asia Seminar series and the TAPSA Workshop bring together not only scholars from various disciplines, but make a special point of attracting scholars from South Asia. Their visits are designed to promote continuing exchanges with recent work on the sub-continent and to introduce graduate students to future colleagues in South Asia.

All events are open to the public.

The South Asia Seminar Series and TAPSA Talks meet on alternating Thursdays at 4:30PM-6:00PM in Foster 103 (1130 East 59th Street).

TAPSA: "Thinking about Rights in India: Life and/or Liberty"

This presentation deals with the centrality of the notion of right to life, derived from Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in India's judicial and legislative discourse- the centrality of this proposition in thinking and doing things legally in India as evidenced by recent judgments from the triple talaq to the upholding of privacy as a fundamental right. This paper will try to explore two questions. Firstly, it will try to understand how right to life emerged as a thinkable proposition in Indian jurisprudence, how it emerged at a particular moment in post-emergency India. Secondly, it will try to understand how right to life has emerged as a more effective tool of legitimation in India and not liberty, given the fact that life and liberty are both protected under Article 21.

Presented by Sayantan Saha Roy, doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology

Thursday, February 1, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: "Region, Indigeneity, Development: The Politics of Environment in the Hindi Novel"

The state of Jharkhand was constituted in 2000 after a long political struggle that highlighted regional underdevelopment and a distinct Jharkhandi culture. The political claim to statehood was also coupled with a long history of adivasi resistance to the colonial and postcolonial state. The paper looks at the Hindi fiction in the aftermath of state formation from the prism of new struggles over natural resources and infrastructural development. I discuss how contemporary Hindi writers from Jharkhand represent adivasi cosmologies and mythology as a response to widespread environmental degradation of the region.

Presented by Joya John, doctoral candidate in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103

TAPSA: "Historical Perspectives on Eighteenth Century India"

A wide ranging literature on the economic history of the eighteenth century in India has cast doubt on many of the conventional explanations for the rise of British power. What then is the status of the various conventional explanations for British ascendancy and how do we make sense of them given the historical scholarship? How do these explanations fare in a broader discussion of the "divergence" between East and West? And if divergence is no longer a credible paradigm within which to understand the colonial encounter, what are some new approaches suggested by the historical literature?

Presented by Anjali Anand, doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 5:00pm
Foster 103