16 October 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) views with very serious concern the appearance of posters in Sinhala on Monday, 15th October 2012 in the environs of Colombo, the English translation of the text of which states: “Let us save the pro-people Divineguma Act that builds the lives of fifteen lakhs of low income families from the Paikiasothy gang that aids and abets the separation of the country.” Photographs of the poster are attached. The chilling import of the reference to CPA Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, requires no emphasis in the current political climate of violence against critics of the government and the culture of impunity for perpetrators. This is the most recent attack against CPA and its Executive Director. It must be unreservedly condemned.
The context of the reference in the poster to the Divineguma Bill, which is currently in the enactment process, and CPA’s legal challenge to its constitutionality, is as follows. When the Bill was placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on 10 August 2012, both CPA and Dr. Saravanamuttu in his capacity as Executive Director, filed petitions challenging the Bill in the Supreme Court, bringing to the Court’s attention a number of substantive and procedural grounds on which the Bill was potentially inconsistent with the Constitution. There are several substantive areas of constitutional concern in what is envisaged in the Bill, including the doctrine of the separation of powers, the possible reversal of certain subjects devolved to Provincial Councils, Parliament’s control over public finance and its general oversight over the executive, and public access to information held by government. We will make no further comment at this stage on these issues as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
On the procedural issues, however, the Supreme Court agreed with the averment in our initial petitions that the substance of the Bill impacts on a number of devolved subjects in such a way as to require it to be passed in terms of the special procedure laid down in the Constitution, which involves the consent of the Provincial Councils. Pursuant to this determination by the Supreme Court, the government sent the Bill to the Provincial Councils where consent has been forthcoming, except in the case of the Northern Province, where there is no elected Provincial Council. There is currently a legal challenge by a Member of Parliament for the Jaffna District to the consent provided on behalf of that Province by the Governor. Regardless of the matter being referred to the Supreme Court on the question of the role of the Governor, the Bill was tabled for the second time in Parliament on 9 September 2012. CPA and Dr. Saravanamuttu have challenged the Bill yet again, with the matter to be taken up in the Supreme Court this week.
Aside from these attacks, CPA also wishes to disclose that the military visited CPA  on the morning of Monday 15th October, the same day the posters appeared. The military personnel informed CPA security that they in turn had been told by the Postal Department that the CPA address was one that had a connection to the Elections Department, which they were checking. Whether there is some causality between the appearance of the poster and the visit by the military, or whether it is mere coincidence, we are at a loss to understand how the military has a role in the conduct of such inquiries in terms of the law of the land.
Beyond the vilification and incitement of public hatred against an individual, we are concerned that these developments signify deeper changes that seem to be occurring in our post-war political culture. The government seems increasingly to regard not only critique and dissent from civil society, but also any constitutional restraints on its power as unacceptable to its agenda, and its stock response to any form of democratic dissent is to accuse opponents of a lack of patriotism. It seems to regard populism and majoritarianism as the only legitimate elements and forms of democracy, and needless to reiterate, CPA is founded on a set of beliefs, which are directly contrary to such perspectives on democracy.
We believe that forms of electoral democracy that are unrestrained by constitutional controls, checks and balances, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, fundamental rights and minority protections, devolution, and a vibrant and sceptical electorate, media and civil society, constitute no democracy at all. The emasculation of these fundamental principles in the purported interests of economic development is not only a false dichotomy, but also serves to corrode the traditions of choice and change we have enjoyed as part of the democratic way of life since 1931.
As the history of many countries which have had the unfortunate experience of populist authoritarianism has shown, the attenuation of legal and political restraints on political power that is exercised, at first instance, in the form of purportedly ‘pro-people’ policies have an alarming tendency to turn anti-people before long, when governments get used to centralisation and an absence of controls. In the light of recent manipulations of the Constitution, the strengthening of the executive at the expense of both Parliament and democracy, the undermining of established arrangements for ensuring good governance, the treatment of political opponents, violence against protestors, activists and journalists, enforced disappearances, attacks on the independence of the judiciary, the militarisation of civic life, and the pervasive culture of impunity, we wish to state categorically that we see a process taking place in Sri Lanka today which is aimed at dismantling surviving liberal democratic institutions and norms, including through the demonisation of critical voices.These developments are taken lightly at the peril of our democratic future.

Our contact details are:
24/2, 28th Lane,
off Flower Road,
Colombo 7,
Sri Lanka

Tel: +94 11 2565304-6, 5552746, 5552748

Overall Coordinator of CPA Programmes
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Executive Director
Tel: +94-11-2301634 (direct)
Email: psara@cpalanka.orgLIKE US ON FACEBOOK HERE.

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. The primary role envisaged for the Centre in the field of public policy is a pro-active and interventionary one, aimed at the dissemination and advocacy of policy alternatives for non-violent conflict resolution and democratic governance. Accordingly, the work of the Centre involves a major research component through which the policy alternatives advocated are identified and developed.
 source: Centre for Policy Alternatives


Dans le monde, plus de 40 millions de personnes – majoritairement des jeunes femmes – travaillent dans des zones franches, où les entreprises jouissent d’avantages réglementaires, fiscaux et “sociaux”. Mais comme l’a constaté une étude de la Confédération Internationale des Syndicats Libres (CISL), ces privilèges permettent bien souvent aux employeurs de bafouer “systématiquement les droits des travailleurs, notamment la liberté d’association”(1). C’est le cas au Sri Lanka, où “zone franche signifie zone franche de syndicat”, regrette Anton Marcus, secrétaire général du FTZ & GSE Union(2). Confrontés à la répression, les ouvriers de ce pays en appellent à la responsabilité des importateurs : multinationales, mais aussi acheteurs publics. Car dans l’usine de GP Garments, où près de 500 ouvriers ont été brutalement licenciés pour avoir revendiqué leurs droits, ce sont des uniformes de l’armée française qui sont confectionnés.
Lorsqu’en janvier 2005, les salariés de l’usine de GP Garments, située dans la zone franche de Biyagama, sont informés qu’une réorganisation est prévue pour améliorer la productivité, le syndicat Progress Union ne s’y oppose pas. Il propose en revanche d’engager une discussion sur les implications de ces changements, notamment en termes de conditions de travail et de salaires. Pour toute réponse, la direction lance des actions d’intimidation à l’encontre des syndicalistes et affirme que le propriétaire de l’usine (un citoyen belge), est prêt à la fermer purement et simplement en cas de contestation.

Fin mars 2005, les actions anti-syndicales se multiplient. Le président du Progress Union est menacé de mort au téléphone. Le lendemain, la Force d’intervention spéciale de la Police pénètre dans l’usine et interroge un syndicaliste, officiellement en raison de ses liens supposés avec des délinquants. Il est photographié et menacé d’arrestation voire de prison à vie.

Le 24 mars, une grève a lieu pour protester contre cette campagne d’intimidation. Le lendemain, les cadres de GPGarments ferment l’usine et en interdisent l’accès aux ouvriers. Ceux-ci déposent une plainte au Ministère du travail et manifestent pour demander la réouverture de l’entreprise.

De promesses en promesses

Le 1er avril, lors d’une réunion en présence du Commissaire Général du Travail à Colombo, la capitale, la direction annonce que les arriérés de salaires pour le mois de mars ont été envoyés à leur domicile, au lieu d’être payés sur le lieu de travail comme d’habitude. La plupart des salariés venant de la campagne, certains parcourent de longues distances pour aller chercher leurs salaires, mais tous découvrent soit qu’ils n’ont rien reçu, soit qu’ils sont en possession d’un chèque ne pouvant être endossé !

Le 4 avril 2005, la direction rouvre enfin l’usine et remet au travail certains groupes de salariés, mais suspend 13 représentants syndicaux. Les ouvriers continuent leur mobilisation et demandent aux autorités d’intervenir. Le 6avril, au cours d’une nouvelle réunion dans le bureau du Commissaire Général du Travail, la direction déclare qu’elle va payer les primes et réembaucher tous les ouvriers. Nouvelle promesse en l’air : les syndicalistes qui se présentent ne sont pas admis et aucun versement n’est effectué…
Le 20 avril 2005, excédés, les salariés occupent l’usine. La riposte est immédiate : la direction ferme à nouveau le site de production et licencie près de 500 personnes. Depuis cette date, elle use de manoeuvres pour que les recours légaux déposés par le syndicat s’éternisent. Sur le terrain judiciaire, elle a même contre-attaqué en accusant plusieurs grévistes de “prise d’otage” (un délit très sévèrement puni au Sri Lanka) parce que des cadres de l’entreprise ont été retenus quelques heures durant l’occupation.

Pour honorer ses commandes, GPGarments a transféré sa production dans une autre usine du même groupe. Plus grave : en décembre 2005, elle a obtenu l’autorisation de remplacer provisoirement les ouvriers “récalcitrants” par une nouvelle main-d’oeuvre pour faire tourner l’usine.

Réponse insatisfaisante du Ministère

GP Garments fabrique principalement des uniformes pour l’armée française. Le Ministère de la Défense est donc en mesure d’obtenir un changement d’attitude de la direction. Interrogé par la FITTHC(3), la CFDT-Hacuitex(4), puis par la CFDT-FEAE(5), qui s’est très activement saisie du dossier, il a donné jusqu’à présent des réponses insatisfaisantes. Dans son dernier courrier, le plus détaillé, le Cabinet du Ministre fait valoir que la réglementation “ne donne pas compétence aux personnes responsables des marchés pour intervenir dans les conflits sociaux” mais que pour autant, les services du Ministère ont effectué depuis 2002 “sept missions de contrôle des conditions de travail dans l’entreprise GP Garments”, lesquelles n’ont révélé “aucune infraction aux dispositions légales et réglementaires” et ont permis de constater “le parfait état du site de production”.

Cependant, le Ministère fait ici l’impasse sur le non-respect de la liberté d’association et de négociation collective, pourtant l’un des principaux droits inscrits dans les conventions internationales de l’Organisation Internationale du Travail (OIT). Et dont les ouvriers sri lankais demandent légitimement à ce qu’il leur soit reconnu.

(1) « L’envers des marques » Conditions de travail et droits des travailleurs dans les zones franches d’exportation (

(2) Free Trade Zone and General Services Employees Union,

Syndicat des Zones Franches et des employés des services

(3) Fédération Internationale des Travailleurs du Textile de l’Habillement et du Cuir

(4) Fédération habillement, cuir et textile de la CFDT

(5) Fédération des établissement et arsenaux de l’État de la CFDT

Anton Marcus en France


Call for papers: Histories of Medicine in the Indian Ocean World, Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC),McGill University, Montreal, Canada 26-27 April 2013

The IOWC is looking for papers that address any aspect of medicine in the region of the Indian Ocean, including Northeast, East and South Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Ocean islands, South, Southeast, and East Asia, in any historical period. The aim of the conference is to interrogate the concept of the Indian Ocean as a world using the exchange of medical goods, texts, instruments and ideas as a lens through which to examine how far the region may be regarded as a cultural entity. As well as being an article of trade, medicine is associated with religious, spiritual, and cultural ideas about the body and its relation to the environment. These ideas both govern the acceptance, modification, or rejection of medicines and medical ideas and are altered by them. Medical exchanges can thus be used to provide a cultural perspective on historical events and trends such as the spread of Islam and other faiths, the movement of migrant and diaspora communities, free and enslaved, and the rise and fall of empires in the region. The conference being multidisciplinary, papers from geography, sociology, anthropology and area studies as well as the history of medicine and science are welcome. [English and French]

Ed. note: Added material from website:


Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

– Circulation and translation of medical texts
– Transfer of medical techniques and healing practises
– Adoption and adaptations of medical theories and practises
– Spirit possession & modern medicine
– Humoral theory
– Theories of contagion
– Transplantation of medicinal plants
– Trade and marketing of plant or animal drugs
– Plantations/ mass production of medical substances
– Use of narcotics in medicine
– Marine materia medica
– Naval medicine
– Veterinary medicine
– Doctors & medical practitioners as agents of diplomacy or colonialism
– Trade or exchanges of medical instruments/ medicine containers
– Decoration and symbolism of medical instruments/ medicine containers
– Medical imagery/ illustrations
– Medical practises of migrant and diaspora communities
– The history of hospitals/ clinics/ dispensaries
– Medical missions
– Shrines as centres for healing
– International organisations focused on health care provision in the region
– Politics of healthcare

Anna Winterbottom
Peterson Hall
3460 McTavish Street, Room 100
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0E6
Tel: 514.398.6204
Visit the website at

source: H-Net

Resource and call for papers: “Entangled Religions: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Religious Contact and Transfer”

Dear Colleagues

We are pleased to announce the launch of the online journal Entangled Religions published by the Kate Hamburger Kolleg Dynamics in the History of Religions as part of the Center for Religious Studies (CERES) at Ruhr University Bochum. Entangled Religions is a peer-reviewed online periodical with gold open access and has been established to channel research on religious contact and transfer in past and present times into a single journal. Its purpose is to provide a platform for bringing together scholars of various academic specializations  ranging from philologies to the social sciences, and also bridging historical and contemporary research.

Entangled Religions welcomes papers on all aspects given above! Please visit us at

The first articles will be online in spring 2013. Submissions are welcome at any time.

CFP: “South Asian Childhoods: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives” Conference

understandings of contemporary children’s lives through historical
perspectives.  The conference will be held at the Australian National
University in Canberra from 18th – 19th of July, 2013.

When we consider that children are marginalized by age in relation to
structures of power – as well as, caste, class and gender – they in fact
constitute multiple subaltern groups.  The critical interrogation of the
concept of childhood and experiences of children is timely and
important.  Although
there is intense theoretical and development interest in children in South
Asia, children’s perspectives remain largely silent in political, social
and economic debate.  Where children are the subject of adult speculation
in development discourses, impacts on the lives of real children are often
surprisingly underrepresented.  This workshop will locate children in
important historical and social changes in contemporary India while
foregrounding children’s stories and agency.  We aim for a convergence of
innovative ideas around childhood, recognizing that this category is
contested and raises important dilemmas for inter-disciplinary studies.

This workshop will bring together previously disparate threads of different
disciplinary approaches to children and childhood, allowing us within these
two days to identify and develop convergences, conflicts, and aspects that
may have been over-looked by one discipline, but explored in another.  The
conference aims to highlight the methodological implications of research
into the perspectives and experiences of children.

Some of the dilemmas and themes to be explored include:

– children’s experiences, voices and stories
– universal versus multiple childhoods and the historical and cultural
specifities of conceptualizing childhood in South Asia
– how we conceive of children’s agency in relation to structures of
– a critical interrogation of child rights discourse, and the gap
between the rhetoric and reality of children’s participation
– diverse childhoods across class and caste, with a particular focus
upon marginalized children
– how to methodologically approach children’s perspectives and
experiences as adults and as scholars
– experiences and discourses of gendered girlhoods and boyhoods
– the significance of education in issues of social inequality,
constructions of Indian nationalism and modernity.

Topics that papers could consider include, but are not limited to:

– childhood and modernity, development and consumption amidst rapid
social and economic changes
– institutions of childhood, including schools, hostels, early infant
welfare centers, orphanages and youth organizations
– the anthropology of education, ideologies and styles of pedagogy, and
children’s experiences and agency within the classroom
– children and medicine (children’s understandings and experiences of
illness and healing; discourses surrounding children and health)
– children’s cultures (including play and friendship)
– South Asian children’s literature and children’s representation in
– gender and sexuality
– children in families (including changing domesticities, family
relationships and structures of power, and sibling-caretaking)
– children and violence (domestic, communal and state)
– children and work.

We invite proposals from various scholarly disciplines (including
anthropology, history, sociology, law and justice studies, development
studies, cultural and visual studies, etc), as well as representatives of
organizations working specifically with issues surrounding youth and

Please submit 200-300 word abstracts for proposed papers by 10th January
2013 to either Dr. Zazie Bowen ( or Jessica Hinchy ( ).

Jessica Hinchy

School of Culture, History and Language
College of Asia and the Pacific
Australian National University, Canberra

source: H-Asia

Statement on the assault of the Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Mr. Manjula Tillakeratne

10 October 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka: CPA strongly condemns the assault on the Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Mr. Manjula Tillakeratne on 7th October and demands an immediate end to intimidation and physical violence against the judiciary and all other dissenting voices. This attack is the latest episode in a series of intimidating and sometimes violent attacks on the judiciary and a direct threat to its independence in post-war Sri Lanka.  Subsequent to the assault, the authorities stated that action will be taken against any perpetrators. This is a standard response following violent incidents. There is no genuine follow up in most cases and perpetrators are not held to account. As in the past, CPA calls for a full and speedy investigation and action to bring the perpetrators to justice.  There has to be an end to the culture of impunity.
CPA has been disturbed by a spate of incidents in recent days targeting the judiciary and its officers. Mr. Tillakeratne himself has been publicly vilified, including by the President himself at a meeting with journalists on 27th September, after the JSC issued an unprecedented press statement alleging that the independence of the judiciary was under threat. More recently, Mr. Tillakeratne predicted violence when he alerted the media to threats to the security of members of the JSC and their families.

This incident must, therefore, not be viewed in isolation. The attacks on the judiciary are the culmination of a systematic effort to intimidate and silence all critics of the government. It further demonstrates that a fundamental premise on which our democracy, indeed any democracy, is supposed to be built – the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary – are under severe threat. CPA has consistently highlighted the systematic breakdown in the rule of law and of independent institutions, and among others, challenged the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution. It is of paramount importance that the authorities immediately arrest these dangerous trends and adhere to the commitments made by the government to preserve and protect the fundamental elements of a functioning democracy in our country.

Our contact details are:
24/2, 28th Lane,
off Flower Road,
Colombo 7,
Sri Lanka

Tel: +94 11 2565304-6, 5552746, 5552748

Overall Coordinator of CPA Programmes
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Executive Director
Tel: +94-11-2301634 (direct)


The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. The primary role envisaged for the Centre in the field of public policy is a pro-active and interventionary one, aimed at the dissemination and advocacy of policy alternatives for non-violent conflict resolution and democratic governance. Accordingly, the work of the Centre involves a major research component through which the policy alternatives advocated are identified and developed.

source: CPA

“Sri Lanka: Protests In Katunayake Free Trade Zone 2011” by Rezwan (GlobalVoices)

Earlier this month clashes at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Sri Lanka between protesting workers and police claimed life of an young worker and injured over 200 workers and policemen. The FTZ workers were protesting against the Sri Lanka government’s proposed Private Pension Scheme.

Katunayake FTZ manufactures around 30% of export products, most are involved in the garment industry, one of Sri Lanka’s top three foreign exchange sources. After the clashes the FTZ remained closed for 2 days resulting in huge loss.

Protest against the Police attack against the unarmed workers at FTZ in front of Railway Station in Colombo (01 June 2011) – Organized by Trade Union Alliance. Image from Flickr by Vikalpasl. CC BY – NC

Rasika Jayakody notes at Groundviews:

“Apart from this tragic death, this brutal police attack against Free Trade Zone workers left more than 200 people injured. On Monday evening, Ragama and Negombo hospitals were flooded with injured protesters. It is, undoubtedly, one of the brutal crackdowns in recent history. There are several video footages which clearly show the barbaric and inhuman manner that some police officers carried out attacks against unarmed protesters.”

Srilankan Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mahinda Balasuirya resigned after the incident and two police officers who escalated the clash were arrested. A presidential inquiry was initiated.

On the next day hundreds of Buddhist monks came out for the first time to protest against the killing outside the President’s house.

Blogger Serendipity questions:

Who ordered live bullets? who ordered iron bars? why were trained riot police not used? and why was water cannon not brought in?

It is also surprising that no Employer of the FTZ has come out to protest, which I can only presume to be the govt. has bought their silence by implying that ‘if you go against us we will find a means to make it difficult for you’, fear psychosis!

So what does this protest mean for Sri Lanka? Rasika Jayakody explains:

This particular protest, done by Free Trade Zone workers in Katunayake, has given an unexpected shock therapy to the ‘big shots’ of the government who are intoxicated with power and high-handedness. It has sent them a clear-cut message about people’s agitation towards their snobbish political behavior.


CFP Modernity & Its Discontents: Early Career South Asian Studies Workshop, Princeton University, April 26-27, 2013

The recent crescendo of public opinion, as well as less conspicuous rumblings of the past, has called into question the trajectories of political and economic development in modern South Asia. In academic debate, these critiques are not restricted to the postcolonial state and its government but trace longer genealogies of power structures and knowledge formations. This workshop aims to bring different disciplines in conversation on the theme of modernity and the voices of difference and discontent that resist it, or are silenced by it.

We invite papers from early career scholars (graduate students and junior faculty) in all disciplines that engage with South Asia. Papers could address, but are not limited to the following sub themes:

GENEALOGIES OF MODERNITY: How do we untangle the long genesis of forces, relationships, and tropes which inform the conflicts associated with modernity? This sub-theme may include issues such as transitions to early modernity in the subcontinent, the “invention” of tradition, and the production of identities and practices connected to debates over modernity.

THE STATE AND ITS INSURGENTS: Unification and separation present a deep tension in modern state building projects in South Asia. Despite attempts to standardize and unify independent post-colonial nation states on the subcontinent, there were other voices and projects that called for separation, differentiation and recognition.

STAGES OF CAPITAL: Does Capital trace a different path in non-western cultures and does this path subsume in its travels all other economies? Is there an indigenous economy that can contest the flow of Capital in different cultures? We invite papers that locate difference in economic practices, discuss terminologies like crony capitalism and trace parallel economies in the history of Capitalism.

TEXTS OF POWER: How does privileging archives constituted by law, science or statistics inform our understanding of modernity? What are the languages and expressions of resistance and difference? Are they to be found in popular literature, Dalit fictions, populist movements, or more hidden transcripts that the scholar must learn to read?

MULTIPLE MODERNITIES: Can we trace the alternate routes of the modern as it travels cultures? How does the modern find its place in regional literature, art, architecture, urban spaces, music, and films? Does a shift in focus to the region meaningfully inflect our idea of the modern?

GENDERED MODERNITY: Recent feminist studies have explored new theories of modernity, foregrounding the social construction of gender and challenging our understandings of modern masculine/feminine binaries. How do such theories reconfigure perceptions of modern gendered social relations?

Paper proposals should include a title, a 300-word abstract, institutional affiliation and contact information. Please submit proposals to by December 1, 2012. The University will provide for accommodation for two nights and will contribute towards travel expenses.

Organizers: Isabelle Clark-Deces, Radha Kumar and Nabaparna Ghosh, Princeton University.

Nabaparna Ghosh,
Doctoral Candidate
Department of History
Princeton University

source: H-Asia


CFP Asian Conf. on Arts and Cultures, Bangkok, Jun 13-14, 2013

The College of Social Communication Innovation, Srinakharinwirot University is holding an international conference on arts and culture and Asian indigenous knowledge titled The Asian Conference on Arts and Cultures 2012 between June 13- 14, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand. The conferences objective is to bring together the academics and experts from different parts of the world to share knowledge, research and academic works in various aspects, and consequently create an academic network of those who contribute to the body of knowledge in the field of Asian arts and culture.

Call for Papers Deadline: 2013-03-31

Weeranan Kamnungwut
College of Social Communication Innovation
Srinakharinwirot University
114 Sukhumvit 23 Road, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand
Visit the website at

source: H-Asia

History Institute, UT Austin, announces “Trauma and Social Transformation” theme in 2013-14

The Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
announces its 2013-14 theme, Trauma and Social Transformation.

Catastrophes– whether war, genocide, mass rape, enforced disappearances,
or environmental disasters –inevitably leave their mark on the social
fabric.  Civic trauma is an unavoidable, and yet little-explored, element
and consequence of such tragedies.

For the Institute’s 2013-14 theme, we seek proposals that analyze trauma
as a transformative historical experience for individuals, families,
communities, and nations. Projects may include but are not limited to the
suppression of trauma and processes of individual healing and collective
transformation; the cumulative toll and intergenerational nature of
trauma; trauma as a catalyst for geographic displacement, social reform,
and political mobilization; varied cultural and historical understandings
and representations of trauma; the fetishization and commercialization of
trauma; and the methodological challenges of integrating trauma into
historical analysis.

Drawing from the fields of human rights, psychoanalysis, memory studies,
sociology, anthropology, the cognitive and neurosciences, and semiotics,
applicants are encouraged to employ interdisciplinary approaches to the
historical study of trauma. From the testimonial to the theoretical, the
medieval to the modern, and from the secular to the religious, we invite
papers from across periods, sites, and historiographical traditions that
foreground trauma as a frame for historical analysis.

The IHS invites applications for resident fellows at all ranks. Deadline:
January 15, 2013. For more information about the institute’s fellowship
and application process, please visit:

For further information on IHS, including events programming and
applications for residential fellowships for 2013-14, please visit the IHS

Institute for Historical Studies
The University of Texas at Austin

source: H-Asia


CFP – 7th Annual South Asian Studies Conference, April 19-21, 2013, University at Albany – SUNY

South Asian Studies Association conferences strive
to advance our understanding of South Asia’s peoples, cultures,
histories, issues and opportunities in a professional environment
notable for its relaxed atmosphere and warm collegiality. Participants
come from all parts of the US, Europe, and South Asia. Your attendance
sends a strong signal that South Asian Studies programs need to figure
prominently in university life across the globe. Your presentations
further the discipline and increase cross-cultural understanding.

We welcome papers from all academic disciplines and all periods of time
that address the rich tapestry that is South Asia’s past, present and

We also encourage university students interested in any facet of South
Asian life or scholarship to join us at this conference.

ABOUT OUR HOST:Founded in 1844, the University at Albany
<> is the intellectual center of one of the oldest
cities in North America and the Capital of New York State. Travel to it
is through its International Airport and frequent Amtrak service from
Penn Station in New York City. The Conference will be held at the heart
of the main campus, known as the Uptown Campus.

ABOUT YOUR PARTICIPATION*:*SASA accepts paper and panel submissions
online at

MORE INFORMATION:Conference accommodations, access, travel links,
program details, and more are at

QUESTIONS?Contact the Program Chair, Dr. Kumaran Muthlusami, at


International Journal of Asian Studies- volume 9, issue 2, now available online

International Journal of Asian Studies (IJAS) is an interdisciplinary,
English-language forum for research in primarily the humanities with
historical perspectives. Examining Asia on a regional basis, IJAS
focuses attention on the work of Asian scholars as well as western
scholars, in order to encourage multi-directional communication across
the international Asian studies community.

More information about the journal can be found here:

Gillian Greenough
Cambridge University Press
32 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013-2473 USA

Tel. (001) 212.337.5037
Mobile. (001) 646.549.1174
Fax. (001) 212.337.5959

MA & PhD opportunities Centre for Indian Studies in Africa

The Centre for Indian Studies in Africa (established in 2010) has two ongoing projects funded by the Mellon Foundation and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of India. We are interested in promoting interdisciplinary and comparative transnational work looking at the connected histories of colonialism, capital, labour, religion and literature across the Indian Ocean as well as post-colonial ideologies and formations in the Global South. The project funded by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is concerned with the migration of labour and capital from India to Africa and emerging notions of global responsibility. In particular we are interested in themes of labour migration; labour regimes and legal cultures; the changing profile of Indian communities in Africa; emerging themes of environment, food security and the resource race in Africa; and entrepreneurial activity by Indian migrants.

On the Mellon funded Indian Ocean/Global South project we are inviting applications for
two MA Fellowships which will be tenable for one year starting January 2013 and will be of the value of R 100000.Candidates should have an Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline. The programme entails an MA by dissertation plus one compulsory module on the Indian Ocean. Applicants for the MA should send their CVs and a
covering letter stating why they wish to do an MA by dissertation on the Indian Ocean area.

On the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs project we are calling for applications for
one PhD fellowship tenable
for three years commencing January 2013 leading towards a PhD from the University of Witwatersrand and will be of the value of R 150000 p.a. Candidates should have a Masters degree in an appropriate discipline and preferably some experience of research or a research

one Masters fellowship for an MA by dissertation commencing January 2013 tenable for one year and will be of the value R 100000. Candidates should have a first class Honours degree or equivalent in an appropriate Social Science discipline.

Applicants for these fellowships should send CVs; a covering letter stating how their research interests could contribute to the project; and three references.
Complete applications should be emailed to
on or before the 31st October 2012 or posted to the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa c/o African Literature Department University of Witwatersrand Private Bag 3 Wits 2050 Johannesburg South Africa. For further information contact Prof Dilip Menon (

Dilip Menon
Mellon Chair in Indian Studies
Director, Centre for Indian Studies in Africa
School of Literature and Language Studies Room 3162 Senate House
University of the Witwatersrand Pvt Bag 3 PO Wits 2050
Johannesburg South Africa
tel: (011) 717 4020 cell: (27)763983407

Sri Lanka graduate student workshop, Stanford, 8-9 November 2012

The Sri Lanka graduate student workshop that will be held at Stanford University on 8–9 November 2012.  This event is co-funded by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and the Center for South Asia, Stanford University. The workshop is organized by Sharika Thiranagama and is designed for students at all stages of graduate study.  Students who attended the earlier workshops in this series found the workshop both intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.

For more information, please go to

CFP Women & Asian Religions edited volume of essays

CALL FOR ESSAYS for a volume on Asian Religions for a series titled Women
and Religion in the World. This set explores the experiences of women and
how their daily lives interface with a dynamic aspect of life and culture,
that of religion. The design of this multi-volume, interdisciplinary work
depicts a representation of contemporary selected experiences of women in
six categories: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Asian Religions, Indigenous Religions, and New Religions.

The themes of (1) Woman, Family, Environment; (2) Socio-economics, Politics,
Authority; (3) Body, Mind, & Spirit; (4) Sexuality, Power, & Vulnerability;
and (5) Women, World-View, & Religious Practice, serve as guiding parameters
for contextual analysis to better relate the daily lives of women as shaped
by their faith practice. We are looking for essays between 6,000 and 9,000 words (24-30 pages).

If you are interested in contributing to this project, would you kindly send me a 100 word abstract by the end of October? The essays themselves would be due December 31st, or soon thereafter. The deadlines are not hard and fast, and I’d be willing to work with you for a deadline that is more doable from your perspective.

Zayn Kassam
John Knox McLean Professor
Religious Studies, Pomona College
551 N. College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711-6337
Tel: 909 607-4095
Fax: 909 621-8540

source: H-Asia