The Eighth Annual South Asia Graduate Student Conference presents:
The Limits of South Asia
March 3-4, 2011
University of Chicago
The Committee on Southern Asian Studies at the University of Chicago is pleased to announce the Eighth South Asia Graduate Student Conference scheduled to be held on March 3-4, 2011. The two-day conference is being held with the support of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS), The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC), The Center for Gender Studies (CGS), The Marion & Adolph Lichtstern Research Anthropology Endowment, the Semiotics Workshop and the Theory and Practice in South Asia Workshop (Council for Advanced Studies).
Statement on Conference Theme
As both a geographical unit of analysis and a conceptual category, it is generally agreed that “South Asia” was born from Robert Redfield and Milton Singer’s “Comparative Civilizations Project” and Norman W. Brown’s founding of the first South Asian Studies department at the University of Pennsylvania. The foundations of this capacious and cross-disciplinary project and its institutional forms rested on a conviction that a rigorously comparative approach was crucial for understanding the place of culture in the contemporary world. South Asia, its pasts and presents, were conceptualized and located within these epistemic parameters.
Since its birth, South Asian Studies has responded, in various ways, to major intellectual shifts in the humanities and social sciences – including the rise of globalization studies and post-colonial critiques of knowledge and power. Even on these shifting grounds, “South Asia” curiously remains a rather stable site around which we gather as scholars of common interest. As South Asianists, what are the limits and affordances of our regional expertise? As scholars belonging to various disciplines, how do we question and/or accept the historical, cultural, spatial and philological premises definitive of “South Asia?” Across empirical, theoretical and institutional locations today, does “South Asia” still allow us to ask questions of general theory and comparison?
We believe, as scholars committed to South Asia in its broadest sense, we all face the questions outlined above in some capacity. For this conference, we share papers from graduate students that explore the limits, boundaries and frontiers of South Asia across its common figurations in space and time.
SAGSC VIII Keynote Speakers
Sumit Guha, Professor of History, Rutgers University
E. Valentine Daniel, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University
Below are links to paper abstracts, names of participants and a tentative program of events. We look forward to your participation. For further information, please contact Mudit Trivedi (mudit at uchicago dot edu) or Sean Dowdy (sdowdy at uchicago dot edu).
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