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Graduate students to explore variety of topics at South Asia conference

The Fifth Annual South Asia Graduate Student Conference, “New Perspectives in South Asian Research,” will explore the current state and future trajectories of South Asian studies, particularly in the wake of interventions made by the Subaltern Studies group. The conference will be held Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12, 2008.

Graduate students in both Humanities and the Social Sciences are engaged in the investigation of a diverse range of concepts and themes.  In turn, these concepts and themes suggest some broader questions:Is there any underlying organization or unity to the kinds of questions being asked by students in the field? What kinds of new questions regarding South Asia might animate discussions in the years to come? For instance, what kinds of connections exist between the knowledge systems and societies of pre-colonial and post-colonial South Asia, and how might such continuities most profitably be explored? Or, how might one locate particular histories of domination, acquiescence, and resistance in a broader global context of social processes beyond South Asia? And ultimately, how might the next generation of South Asianists incorporate the provocative lessons of Subaltern Studies in their research without being constrained by some of its more extreme positions?

In keeping with the practice of the past few years of this conference, one day will be devoted to general presentations on any topic related to South Asia, past and present. The second day will adopt a sharper focus, on themes and questions outlined above.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, the Division of the Humanities, the Department of History, the Nicholson Center for British Studies, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, and the Council on Advanced Studies at the University of Chicago.

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