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SAI Event Topic : South Asia Without Borders


Wed, April 12, 2017 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

“Our Clothes, Our Hair, We Don’t Care”: Prince and the British South Asian misfits

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Hasit Shah, Research Affiliate, Harvard South Asia Institute

Chair: Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies at Harvard University

When Prince passed away in April 2016, at the age of just 57, many people felt profound sadness at the loss of an artist whose performative genius was such that people from all backgrounds and lifestyles felt included in his world. SAI Research Affiliate Hasit Shah – journalist, Londoner and Prince fan – explores the connections between a group of second-generation British South Asians and a musician they too claimed as one of their own.

This event was originally scheduled for February 6. 

START
Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 04:00pm

END
Wed, Apr 12, 2017 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

0412_Hasit_Update
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Wed, April 5, 2017 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

Coins as Historical Puzzles: Examples from Ancient India

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Pankaj Tandon, Associate Professor of Economics, Boston University

Chair: Sunil AmrithMehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies at Harvard University

Coins are small metallic documents of the past. In the images and legends impressed upon them, they contain clues that can give us insights into the times in which they were created and used. In this talk, examples from ancient India will be used to show how the unpuzzling of these clues can help us bring back forgotten dynasties, recreate historical events and shine a light on political and economic conditions.

START
Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 04:00pm

END
Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

0405 coins
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Fri, October 7, 2016 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S354

Subalternity and Resistance in India’s Bhil Heartland: Historical Trajectories, Contemporary Scenarios

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Alf Nilsen, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Bergen

Chair: Ajantha Subramanian, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Harvard University

This paper aims to contribute to discussions of subaltern politics in contemporary India through an investigation of the character and trajectory of democratic mobilisation among Bhil Adivasis in western Madhya Pradesh. Grounded in a critical dialogue with recent Foucauldian approaches to the study of popular politics in India, this paper explores how subalternity is simultaneously constituted and contested in and through state-society relations. The first part of the paper outlines the contours of contemporary Adivasi subalternity in the Bhil heartland of western India, focusing in particular on the “everyday tyranny” of the local state. I then show how the historical origins of Bhil political subalternity can be traced to the restructuring of sovereignty that occurred across the tribal heartland of western India under as a result of colonial state-making projects that unfolded from the end of the Anglo-Maratha wars onwards, and how the power relations that were constituted in this process were reproduced in western Madhya Pradesh after independence. The third and final part of the paper analyzes the ways in which Bhil social movements in the region mobilized to democratize local state-society relations in the 1980s and 1990s. I read this resistance as revolving around forms of legalism from below which produced the rudiments of a civil society and an insurgent form of citizenship centred on collective resource control and self-determination. In conclusion, I reflect on what conceptual lessons the trajectories of these movements hold for the study of subalterity, resistance, and state-society relations in India today.

 

 

START
Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 04:00pm

END
Fri, Oct 7, 2016 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S354

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA 02138

1007 Nilsen
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Wed, October 5, 2016 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S153

Puja and the Space between Devotee and God: An Anthropology of Atmosphere

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Frank Heidemann, Professor, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Chair: Richard Wolf, Professor of Music and South Asian Studies, Harvard University

In puja, a Hindu act of worship, the relationship between devotee and God is transformed and the space between them altered. Using case studies of the Badagas in the Nilgiri hills of South India, this presentation analyzes puja in light of the New Phenomenology and Gernot Böhme’s philosophy of atmosphere.

Atmosphere, according to Böhme, is the quality of a surrounding space, as perceived by all the senses and the felt body (Leib). It is an intersubjective, fluid, dynamic totality: a total social fact. The perceiving persons are co-producers and part of the atmosphere, but they consider it an external, “half thing” (Halbding). Atmospheres create social realities, contextual norms, and have an impact on the emotional state of individuals. Every society has specialists who strategically construct and monitor the process of creating atmospheres. Puja and other activities of priests produce particular religious atmospheres and contribute to a shared emotional state among devotees. In other contexts atmospheres contribute to what Heidemann calls “social proprioception.” He argue for an anthropology of atmosphere that investigates the production and perception of social atmospheres and their ontologies.

Cosponsored with the Department of South Asian Studies

START
Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 04:00pm

END
Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S153
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

1005 Heidemann
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Fri, April 29, 2016 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

New Urbanism and Post-national Modernity: Capital, People and the State in Gurgaon, India

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Sanjay Srivastava, Professor of Sociology, JNU, Delhi

Chair:  Parimal G. Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Committee on the Study of Religion, FAS, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies

This paper focuses upon new urban developments in India and suggests that an ethnographic account of this context provides fruitful insights into contemporary relationships between the state, the ‘people’ and capital. The paper is organized around historical and ethnographic accounts of the privately developed DLF City in the North Indian state of Haryana. DLF City borders Delhi and is part of an area known as the National capital Region (NCR). In principle, a government body known as the National capital Region Planning Board is meant to oversee coordinated infrastructure and other forms of planning processes for the Region. In practice, urban processes within the NCR depend  upon erratic relationships between real estate behemoths, the state and a variety of residents associations. This discussion proceeds through introducing the concepts of ‘post-national modernity’ and ‘moral consumption’. These, I suggest, allow us to explore the relationships noted above, as well as allowing for a tracking of the contours of a state formation that is part of the informality it seeks to banish. The discussion also outlines some of the ways in which new forms of urban citizenship emerge through the changing relationships suggested above, as well those that are submerged.

START
Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 04:00pm

END
Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

0429 final poster
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Thu, April 7, 2016 from 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

CANCELLED: Not Poor but Pauperized

This event has been cancelled.

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Jan Breman, Professor, SOAS, University of London

Chair: Parimal G. Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Committee on the Study of Religion, FAS, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies

START
Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm

END
Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

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Thu, March 31, 2016 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S050

How $100 Smartphones are Transforming the Government in Pakistan

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Umar Saif, Chairman, Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB); Vice Chancellor, ITU

Chair: Karim R. Lakhani, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Pakistan is the 6th largest country in the world by population. Over half of the population lives below $2 poverty line; 40% of the adult population is unable to read or write; 30% lack access to clean drinking water; 85% of the world’s polio cases are from Pakistan. At the same time, with over 137 Million cellphone users in Pakistan, almost every household has a cellphone; Pakistani’s sent over 320 Billion SMS last year; you can buy a smartphone for less than $50 in Pakistan.

In this talk, Saif will present a number of smartphone-based systems his team has developed to monitor government work, improve civic services and collect citizen feedback in Pakistan. This talk will explain how they used smartphones to track and contain a Dengue epidemic, identify crime hotspots, measure teacher presence and monitor visits of rural doctors. Saif will specifically talk about an innovative vaccinator tracking application that has totally transformed the vaccination program in Pakistan to eradicate Polio.

Prof. Umar Saif works as the Chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), heading all public-sector IT projects in Punjab. He is also the founding Vice Chancellor of ITU, a newly setup research university in Lahore. Prof. Saif received his PhD in 2001 at University of Cambridge and worked at MIT for several years before returning to Pakistan. He was named as one of the top 35 young innovators by the MIT Technology Review (TR35) in 2011 and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2010. He received a Google Faculty Research award in 2011. In 2014, Prof. Saif was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz, one of the highest civil awards by government of Pakistan. He was named among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world in 2015 and 2016.

Cosponsored with the Harvard Pakistan Student Group

START
Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 04:00pm

END
Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S050
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

0331 Saif
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Tue, March 29, 2016 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

Water and Sacred Spaces: A Case Study of the Ellora-Khuldabad- Daulatabad Region

South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Dr. Yaaminey MubayiCulture and Community Development

Chair: Jinah Kim, Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University

Water as an essential resource for the evolution of human settlements throughout history, has thus far escaped the attention of scholars of history in South Asia. Contemporary research relating to the subject largely involves the examination of policy frameworks governing access to and distribution of water resources on the one hand, as well as fixating on the colonial period as a “watershed” dividing pre-modern water management systems from colonial and post-colonial policies seeking to control the use of water by communities. Both perspectives view the actual element, its presence in nature and forms of access by human agency, in an instrumental manner, reducing it to “fit in” as it were, into pre-determined political and disciplinary frameworks and arguments.

This seminar will offer a different perspective to the study of water and human history. It will focus on a historically settled and culturally active region of South Asia, i.e. Ellora-Khuldabad-Daulatabad in the Marathwada region of the Indian Deccan Plateau. It will seek to examine the ecological features of the region as underpinning the historical and cultural development of the political, socio-economic and cultural systems intrinsic to the area. Ellora-Khuldabad-Daulatabad, lying within a 10 km radius in Aurangabad district, are richly populated by historic sites such as the Ellora Cave complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Daulatabad Fort as also numerous smaller temples, pilgrimage centres, ashrams, Sufi dargahs and historic tanks (kunds). The theme for the region is set by the numerous water features, streams, rivulets, man-made reservoirs, temple tanks and historic state-sponsored waterworks. The micro-watershed of Khuldabad Taluka, within which the study area is located, provides an appropriate context for the evolution of human settlements in the region since pre-historic times.

START
Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 04:00pm

END
Tue, Mar 29, 2016 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

0329 Water UPDATE
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Mon, February 29, 2016 from 04:00pm - 05:30pm  /  CGIS South, S250

Jousting Over Jurisdiction: Sovereignty and International Law in Late Nineteeth-Century South Asia

Graduate Student Associate Seminar

Priyasha Saksena, SJD Candidate, Harvard Law School; SAI Graduate Student Associate

Chair: Samuel Moyn, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

This talk focuses on jurisdictional disputes between the Indian princely states and the British Government in late nineteenth-century South Asia to flesh out both the role played by international law in the definition and contestation of the relationship between the princely states and the British Government, as well as the influence of such disputes on the development of international law ideas. In particular, the talk will examine the influence of the historical school of jurisprudence on the development of the idea of sovereignty. Focusing on jurisdictional disputes will enable us to understand that the rhetoric of inclusion-exclusion, along with the idea of legal evolution, was core to late nineteenth century international law.

START
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 04:00pm

END
Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 05:30pm

VENUE
CGIS South, S250
Harvard University

ADDRESS
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge MA

0229_Priyasha jpg
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