Presentations connected to Sri Lanka at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association

Below you will find a list of presentations connected to Sri Lanka that are to be given next week at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association in San Francisco.  More information about the meetings can be found here:



Wednesday, November 14, 2012: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM

Doing Good for the Nation: Erasing Borders and Re-Imagining the Nation In Post-War Sri Lanka

Nalika R Gajaweera (University of California, Irvine)



Wednesday, November 14, 2012: 8:00 PM-9:45 PM
8:15 PM
An Emergent Theravada Buddhist Millennialism

Neena Mahadev (Johns Hopkins University)

8:30 PM



Wednesday, November 14, 2012: 8:00 PM-9:45 PM
8:00 PM
From Sacred Baths to Stretch Limos: Tamil Puberty Celebrations In Sri Lanka and Canada

Dennis B McGilvray (University of Colorado at Boulder) and Cheran Rudhramoorthy (University of Windsor)


Saturday, November 17, 2012: 8:00 AM-11:45 AM
Organizers:  Ann G Gold (Syracuse University)
Chairs:  Ann G Gold (Syracuse University)
Discussants:  Anand Pandian (Johns Hopkins University), Kirin Narayan (Universtiy of Wisconsin Madison) and Margaret Jane Trawick (Massey University)

8:15 AM
Notes On Love In a Varanasi Garden

Lawrence Cohen (University of California Berkeley)

8:30 AM
8:45 AM
The Ecology of Friendship: Early Tamil Landscapes of Irony and Voice

Martha Ann Selby (The University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Austin)

Kalpana Ram (Macquarie University)

9:15 AM
Anand Pandian (Johns Hopkins University)

9:30 AM

9:45 AM

10:00 AM
Wandering Lost Through the Landscape of Valaiyar Migration Stories

Diane P Mines (Appalachian State University)

10:15 AM
10:30 AM
Civil War and Ethnography: Behind the Lines with Margaret Trawick

Mark P Whitaker PhD (University of South Carolina)

10:45 AM
“Just Right”

E Valentine Daniel (Columbia University)

11:00 AM

Kirin Narayan (Universtiy of Wisconsin Madison)

11:15 AM

Margaret Jane Trawick (Massey University)

11:30 AM



Saturday, November 17, 2012: 10:15 AM-12:00 PM
Organizers:  Sandya Hewamanne (Wake Forest University)
Chairs:  Jeanne Marecek (Swarthmore College)
Discussants:  Donna M Goldstein (University of Colorado)

10:15 AM
Desires, Roles, Conflicts, and Envy: A Mother and Daughter In Rural Sri Lanka

Bambi L Chapin (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

11:45 AM



Saturday, November 17, 2012: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
Organizers:  Jeffrey A Sluka (Massey University)
Chairs:  Jeffrey A Sluka (Massey University)
Discussants:  Allen Feldman (New York University), Cynthia K Mahmood (Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame) and Peter Schalk (Uppsala University)

4:00 PM


Peter Schalk (Uppsala University)


Sunday, November 18, 2012: 10:15 AM-12:00 PM


Chair:  Alena Alamgir (Rutgers University and Rutgers University)

10:45 AM

The Stigma of Plantation Labor: Marking Undesirability Among Development Workers In Sri Lanka

Mythri Jegathesan (Columbia University)


Sunday, November 18, 2012: 12:15 PM-2:00 PM


Chair:  Thushara N Hewage (Columbia University)

1:30 PM

The Discontents of Postcolonial Democracy: The Politics of Sri Lanka’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (People’s Liberation Front)

Thushara N Hewage (Columbia University)

source: American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies

CFP 10th South Asia Graduate Student Conference, The Place of Literature, University of Chicago, April 4-5, 2013

The University of Chicago Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS) hosts an annual graduate student conference, where students from all over the world working on South Asia can present their latest research in front of a supportive yet critical audience. This year, the Tenth Annual South Asia Graduate Student Conference will take place on 4-5 April 2013 at the University of Chicago.

We are very pleased to announce that this years keynote speakers will be Dr. Whitney Cox (SOAS, University of London) and Dr. Azfar Moin (Southern Methodist University).

Inspired by the interests of our keynote speakers, we hope that this conference will provide a forum for the discussion of a wide variety of literary genres in the service of a variety of disciplinary aims. We encourage thinking of literature beyond the confines of textual history, and invite reflection on literature as a wider arena for the cultivation of particular forms of value, scholarship, aesthetics, imagination, and belonging. For instance, papers could examine literature as a place for the expression of modes of political consciousness, historiography, philosophy, enjoyment, ethics, and more.

With this in mind, we invite proposals for individual papers that approach literature in this broad sense, engaging texts of any genre, in any South Asian language, from any region and historical period. Methodological and disciplinary diversity is particularly welcome.

For those coming from outside Chicago, we will be able to reimburse you partially for travel and lodging, though we encourage you to seek support from your home institutions. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and refreshments will be provided on both days.

We invite students to submit papers individually. Panel proposals will not be considered. Abstracts should not exceed 300 words, and should be sent to in pdf format no later than 15 January 2013. Graduate students at all stages of study, research, and dissertation-writing are encouraged to apply. Applicants will be notified of a decision by 30 January 2013. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions about accommodations, travel, or other concerns.

Sincerely, Ishan Chakrabarti and Jane Mikkelson The SAGSC-X Organizing Committee

Ishan Chakrabarti and Jane Mikkelson
The SAGSC-X Organizing Committee

Visit the website at

CFP South Asian Literatures – Without English, 2014 MLA Convention panel, Chicago, Jan, 2014

Papers sought for a 2014 MLA Convention panel on “South Asian Literatures – Without English,” sponsored by the Division on Comparative Studies in 20th-Century Literature. While the majority of literature in South Asia is composed in indigenous languages, reception of these literatures (e.g., of India) in North America has focused overwhelmingly on authors who write in English. This panel seeks to bring more attention to the non-English side of South Asian literary production. Papers may deal with single authors, movements/periods/genres, literary relations, or with the meta-question of the critical reception of South Asia adumbrated above.

Panel will take place at the January 2014 MLA Convention in Chicago. Abstracts of 250 words or less, plus CV, to Thomas O. Beebee ( by 17 December, for consideration at our Division meeting at the 2013 MLA.

Thomas O. Beebee
Dept. of Comparative Literature
445 Burrowes Bldg.
Penn State University
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 814-863-4935
FAX: 814-863-8882

Call for papers: Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI). Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, June 27-30, 2013

The Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI) invites proposals for its upcoming Annual Meeting to be held at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey from June 27 to June 30, 2013.

The conference theme is “Not Quite Divine: Co-stars and Supporting Casts in South Asian Religions.” Possible topics related to this theme include investigations of a range of demi-deities, saints, spirits, ghosts, and demons. Papers may analyze near divine entities as described, invoked, and/or experienced in oral and textual narrative; artistic, musical, and theatrical expression; and ritual, mystical, and possession practice. Participants might also examine debates regarding the divine natures of saintly humans or the processes of apotheosis involving — but not limited to — human heroes, movie stars, and topographical features. Conference organizers (Corinne Dempsey, Reid Locklin, Karen Pechilis, and Brian Pennington) welcome individual paper proposals of no longer than 250 words, to be submitted to the program coordinator, Corinne Dempsey (, no later than March 1, 2013.

The Conference on the Study of Religions of India (CSRI) is a forum of exchange for scholars engaged in the academic study of the religious traditions of India in both native and diasporic contexts. It provides scholars a leisurely, collegial environment in which to present their work. Emphasis will be placed on informality among peers. Committed to critical and creative inquiry, the conference is not an advocacy forum for the religions of India and does not endorse or proscribe a particular point of view. Only scholars with terminal degrees in religious studies or related academic disciplines (like Anthropology, Art, Ethnomusicology, History, Philosophy, Theology, Women Studies) researching and/or teaching in the area of religions of India are eligible to present, attend, and participate in the conference. Graduate students in advanced standing in any of these disciplines are also welcome to participate in the conference.

Corinne Dempsey
Nazareth College
Rochester, NY

Book Review: Ronit Ricci’s “Islam Translated: Literature, Conversion, and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia″ reviewed by Afsar Mohammad

In this deftly argued and neatly written book, Ronit Ricci offers
fresh insights and tools for the study of various locally produced
Islamic texts and their reception in South and Southeast Asia.
Following the well-discussed paradigm of the “Sanskrit Cosmopolis,”
which was introduced by the Sanskrit scholar Sheldon Pollock, Ricci
develops the idea of the “Arabic Cosmopolis.” Her valuable
contribution lies in its potential to generate a debate about the
trans-local Islamic literary sphere that is constituted and defined
by language, literature, and religion at a broad level, and in South
Asian Islam in particular. According to Ricci, the paradigm of the
“Arabic cosmopolis” includes a large geographic area through South
and Southeast Asia. Focusing specifically on local translations and
transmissions of an Arabic text, _The Book of One Thousand Questions
_(printed in Arabic in 1920), into local languages, such as Javanese,
Tamil, and Malay, Ricci explores the processes of  translation and
conversion in South and Southeast Asia. Although this study is
restricted to specific local languages, her observations and
analytical paths provide tools to comprehend the contours of this
text beyond the limits of the Arabic language or various languages
that she discusses in the book.

The book begins with an introduction that theorizes the concept of
the “Arabic cosmopolis.” Connecting to various discussions on
literary transmission, translation, and religious conversions, Ricci
situates the local languages in a theoretical framework that
circumscribes diverse historical phases, literary networks, and
Islamization in South and Southeast Asia. The comparative study of
India and Indonesia lifts this work to an extremely advantageous
status. In the next key section of the introduction, Ricci expands
this discussion of the literary networks further in theorizing these
textual dynamics, and explains the concept of the “Arabic cosmopolis”
of South and Southeast Asia. She argues that the comprehension of the
processes of conversion and translation remain incomplete if we fail
to consider seriously the role of Arabic. According to the author,
“Arabic’s incorporation–at many levels–into local vernaculars has
brought about profound and long-lasting transformations” (p. 12).

This book has three parts: part 1 discusses translation focusing on
the idea of untranslatability, part 2 examines the intriguing aspect
of conversions, and part 3 offers concluding remarks. In the first
part, Ricci uses three literary texts: _The_ _Book of Samud_ from
Javanese; _Ayira Macala _(A thousand questions_ _[printed 1984]) from
Tamil; and finally _Seribu Masalah _(A thousand questions), the Malay
version of _The Book of One Thousand Questions_. Her exploration
begins with a basic premise that the word “translation” itself is
untranslatable (p. 32). While this idea is intriguing, Ricci expands
the definition of “translation” by examining various translations of
the Arabic texts in local languages. The author discovers a shift in
the approaches toward translation in locally produced texts that
simultaneously effaced the individual translator but boldy and
creatively reworked the text. Beginning with the wide-ranging
transmission of the Arabic language Ricci discusses how the dynamics
of conversion were reflected in_The Book of One Thousand Questions_
in Javanese, Malay, and Tamil texts. In the third part, the
conclusion, Ricci offers fresh insights on her idea of the Arabic
cosmopolis by looking at the role of local communities in “the
formation of a new literary and religious repository that was richly
interconnected both with a distant past and with a local present” (p.

Current research on the production and transmission of premodern
South Asian literature focuses heavily on Sanskrit texts or
Sanskrit-related materials. Although we have a few studies concerned
with non-Sanskrit languages and literature, they too mostly focus on
non-Islamic writing. Studies on Islamic literary materials remain
unexplored. Undoubtedly, Ricci’s book fills this void while
successfully analyzing an Islamic narrative that blends local and
global Islamic cultural and social aspects. In this case, this work
is more about the literary networks of South and Southeast Muslim
communities than South and Southeast Asia as such. Ricci uses the
term “literary networks” in a specific way as it represents “shared
texts, including stories, poems, genealogies, histories, and
treatises on a broad range of topics, as well as the readers,
listeners, authors, patrons, translators, and scribes  who created,
translated, supported, and transmitted them” (p. 2). For a student of
literary and cultural studies, this idea of literary networks opens
up a wide array of research options and provides a wealth of
materials and their uses in the literary cultures of South Indian
Islam. This entire discussion on literary networks takes on a
fascinating turn when Ricci uses the concept of “prior texts” as
proposed by A. L. Becker about the uses of old texts and their
reformulations in modern times. This observation parallels neatly the
debate on various Muslim texts now being circulated in South Asia in
general, and South India in particular.

Ricci’s work prioritizes the uses of diverse genres of literary texts
both in manuscript and printed  books, mainly shaped by the influx of
Arabic. The examples she presents clearly demonstrate that they were
shaped by an Arabic model, which fits comfortably into her
proposition about the Arabic cosmopolis. However, the use of Arabic
as a religious language and its vocabulary has a certain hierarchy,
which in some contexts equals a “normative” Islam. Although many
textual materials within the religious sphere of Islam remain fixed
to an Arabic paradigm, it is imperative to recognize the popularity
of Sufi materials that borrow heavily from Persian-language sources.
In the realm of popular Islam and Sufi devotional materials, either
oral or written, we find an equally significant network that is
equivalent to the Arabic cosmopolis. Although Ricci refers to a few
aspects of the Persian narrative in her book, she does so in relation
to the Arabic cosmopolis. How could we make use of her valuable tools
in the context of Persianate Islamic literary networks? Even in the
case of the conversions that occupied a significant place in Ricci’s
analysis, the networks of Persian literary texts have a crucial role
as many Sufi schools in South Asia adapted and appropriated Persian
Sufi texts to “convert” non-Muslims into Muslims. Ricci’s work opens
up the possibility for developing a different study using Persian

Citation: Afsar Mohammad. Review of Ricci, Ronit, _Islam Translated:
Literature, Conversion, and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and
Southeast Asia_. H-Asia, H-Net Reviews. November, 2012.

Ronit Ricci.  Islam Translated: Literature, Conversion, and the
Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia.  Chicago  University
of Chicago Press, 2011.  336 pp.  $45.00 (cloth), ISBN

CFP Migrant Cartography: (Dis)Placing South Asia, ACLA, Toronto, Apr 4-7, 2013

With more than 14% of the worlds refugee population, South Asia, as a region, hosts the fourth largest concentration of refugees. Displaced on account of religious, ethnic and political conflicts, refugee communities force us to experience the fluidity of borders from within the cartography of nations. From the refugee cross-border migrations during the Partition of India in 1947 to the more recent Tamil refugee crisis in Sri Lanka, the influx of Afghan war refugees in Pakistan, and the relocation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, modern South Asia has repeatedly witnessed the pain of people in a state of statelessness. By juxtaposing individual and collective trauma, refugees unsettle the differences between the self and the other, and, in so doing, force us to re-imagine rigid notions of borders and boundaries. This panel aims to examine narratives of displacement and trauma from South Asia, narratives that engage with topics such as belonging, borders and statehood. Relocating the discourse of displacement beyond the framework of the nation, we seek to raise the following pertinent questions: How do narratives of displacement help us locate, albeit partially, spaces of refuge and the possibility of vocabularies for representing pain? Do the uncompromising borders of territorial self-preservation preclude the ethical dimensions of human security? How should our perception of South Asia be remapped in the context of dislocated communities and the porous borders of their lived experiences? How does forced migration create new conceptual networks/routes for linking personal memory with the cartographic imagination of South Asia?

Kindly submit the abstract (max. 250 words) electronically at the ACLA website:

Seminar Organizers: Nida Sajid (Rutgers University), Nandi Bhatia (Western University)


Arundhati Virmani, Atlas Historique de l’Inde. Du VIe au XXIe siècle (Paris, Autrement, 2012), 96 p

The 84 maps in this Atlas present some of the successive historical
experiences which over thirty odd centuries and in a discontinuous
manner have added elements to the constitution of contemporary India.
They integrate recent historical knowledge and research on major

Preface: Sanjay Subrahmanyam


L’Inde Ancienne

L’age des recompositions
Les espaces linguistiques
Naissance des grandes religions indiennes
Alexandre et l’Inde
Entre Chine et Méditerranée
L’espace des religions indiennes

L’Inde Médiévale

Les routes de l’islam
Les 2tats musulmans
L’Empire moghol: administration et puissance
Hindous et chrétiens
Les Indes des voyageurs
La présence européenne, XVIe -XVIIIe sicle
Guerres et rivalités

L’Inde coloniale

La naissance du Raj, XVIIIe -XIX e siècle
La grande “mutinerie” de 1857 et la fin de ‘lEmpire moghol
L’organisation coloniale de l’espace
Cartographier l’Inde: les premiers relevés cartographiques
(XVIIIe-XIXe siècle)
Un Etat princier: Hyderabad, XVIIIe-XXe siècle
Les chrétiens en Inde
L’urbanisme colonial
Delhi: la ville ancienne et la ville coloniale
La colonisation agricole du Pendjab
La fabrique du patrimoine

Vers l’Indépendance
L’apprentissage de la politique: les associations politiques
La presse coloniale
Les protestations nationalistes
L’Inde de Gandhi

L’Inde indépendante
Partition et ralliements
L’unification du sous-continetn
Les espaces frontaliers
Les contestations d’un modèle de développement
Associations et “société civile”
Lutte sociales et violences religieuses
L’Inde dans l’espace mondial (I)
L’Inde dans l’espace mondial (II)



An exhibition, “Mapping Indian History”, presenting maps from this
Atlas will be held at the
Centre of South Asian Studies, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road,
Cambridge, U.K. ( 5-20 February 2013)

NEW JOURNAL: Asian Literature and Translation (ALT): A Journal of Religion and Culture

Asian Literature and Translation (ALT) is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal established by the Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA), Cardiff University. The main objective of the journal is to publish research papers, translations, and reviews in the field of Asian religious literature (construed in the widest sense) in a form that makes them quickly and easily accessible to the international academic community, to professionals in related fields, such as theatre and storytelling, and to the general public.

The scope of the journal covers the cultural, historical, and religious literature of South, Southeast, East and Central Asia in the relevant languages (e.g. Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, et al.). We particularly welcome literary translations, including extracts from longer works in progress, manuscript reports and commentarial material, new adaptations of classic texts, archive stories and debate pieces, and the discussion of new approaches to translation. Book and performance reviews, including visual material, and letters to the editor, including responses to published material, are also solicited.

As an open access online publication, ALT (Online) can be more flexible and creative than a standard print journal. The texts are in pdf-format and can be published and downloaded at virtually no cost. To increase the speed with which material can be accessed and disseminated, all contributions are issued individually in numerical order.

Contributions are welcome on a wide range of topics in the research area as defined above. All contributions should be sent electronically to The covering email should have two copies of the submission attached, one as a word.doc and one as a pdf. A short abstract of the piece must also be included. For further information, see <

“Sri Lanka: Intersections” Sri Lanka Graduate Student Conference, November 8th-9th 2012, Center for South Asia, Stanford University

The 2012 Sri Lanka Graduate Conference will be on November 8th and November 9th at the Center for South Asia, Stanford University, Palo Alto and will be co-funded by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and theCenter for South Asia, Stanford. As with the two previous graduate conferences, this workshop will bring together graduate students both in the final writing up stage and pre-research/planning stages from a variety of disciplines and institutions. In 2012, we have switched from the East Coast to the West Coast and we hope to encourage fruitful intellectual as well as geographical crossings. The graduate conference aims to enhance intellectual exchange on Sri Lanka, emphasize the production of empirical and non-sectarian knowledge, focus attention on recent potential transformation of key concepts, and strengthen and build a new cohort of researchers (and research) across disciplines and institutions as well as strengthen relationships between American graduate students and local intellectual circles in Sri Lanka.

Accordingly, in 2012 our theme is “Intersections”. To intersect is both to cut across and also to create new meeting points. As with previous conferences, our focus is thus wide-ranging and we welcome panel and paper proposals on Sri Lanka that cross disciplines and bring new or old themes and concepts together in unusual ways.

The workshop takes place over 2 days. On November the 8th, the first session will be a small closed pre-dissertation development seminar for selected participants (see below for details). In the afternoon, the Sri Lanka Graduate Conference and the Center for South Asia will present a jointly hosted public event on literature and war with new young South Asian novelists. On November 9th, we will host three student panels.




Thursday Nov 8th

Lucas Conference Center, Room 134A
SIEPR-Landau Economics Bldg
579 Serra Mall

10:00am- 12:00pm

Closed Event: Pre-Dissertation Development Seminar


Jeanne Marecek, William R. Kenan Professor Emerita of Psychology, Swarthmore College

Kalinga Tudor Silva, Senior Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya

Sharika Thiranagama, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, the New School, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Stanford



4.30pm- 7.30pm


Basharat Peer

V.V. Ganeshananthan

Tsering Wangmo

Pireeni Sunderalingam


Vilashini Cooppan, Associate Professor of Literature, University of California Santa Cruz

Saikat Majumdar, Assistant Professor of Literature, Stanford University



Friday, Nov 9th

CISAC Conference Room
Encina Hall Central, 2nd floor
616 Serra St.


Welcome and Introductory Remarks


Panel 1: Religious Practice and Modernity in Sri Lanka

Discussant: Thomas Blom Hansen, Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor in South Asian Studies and Professor in Anthropology, Stanford University

  • Christian David’s Boarding School and the Origins of Education in Ceylon”

    Mark Balmforth (Columbia University, Religions of South Asia)

  • Village Life and City Living: Catholic Interreligious Dialogue, Cultural Crossings, and Different Inhabitations of Modernity in Sri Lanka”

    Alexander McKinley (Duke University, Religion and Modernity)

  • The Plantation System through Religious Practices and Rituals in the Up-country of Sri Lanka

    Sasikumar Balasunderam

12:00pm-1:30pm LUNCH


Panel 2: Literary Politics and Religious Discourse in Sri Lanka

Discussant: Paul Harrison, George Edwin Burnell Professor of Religious Studies, Stanford University

  • The Alluring Stylus: Monastic Poets in Medieval Buddhist Sri Lanka”

    Justin Henry (University of Chicago, History of Religions)

  • Regional Circulations and the Remaking of the Buddhasāsana at Gampola Courts”

    Philip Friedrich (University of Pennsylvania, South Asian Studies)

  • Buried in Dhammic Sands: Contesting Lanka’s History of the Tooth Relic in a Thai Chronicle”

    Kelly Meister (University of Chicago, History of Religions)

3:30-4:00pm TEA AND BREAK


Panel 3: Political Formations and Transformations

Discussant: Amita Shastri, Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University

  • Buddhism without Borders?: Dana, Humanitarianism and NGO work in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka”

    Nalika Gajaweera (University of California, Irvine, Anthropology)

  • Left Perspectives of the Sri Lankan Conflict”

    Devaka Gunawardena (UCLA, Anthropology)

  • The Social Legacies of Civil War in Eastern Sri Lanka”

    Ben Pasquale (NYU, Political Science)


CFP Violence, Insurgencies, Deceptions: Conceptualizing Urban Life in South Asia, Singapore, (6-7 May 2013)

Urban life in South Asia has encompassed volatile conditions catalyzed not only by globalization, urbanization and neoliberal economic restructuring, but also by dramatic changes in the national political-economy, for instance the emergence of new electoral democracies that disrupt established norms of rule and privilege, the rise of xenophobic and exclusivist agendas that are cast within nationalist discourses, and new political rationalities that affect state transformations and urban policy. New forms of representation, plebian identities and ethnic markings coalesce in ways that disrupt the ideal vision of the modern, secular city. Alongside the new politics of xenophobia in which violence is an integral part of public culture sits the rhetoric of entitlements and aspirations of the phantom urban majority who define their stakes through contradictory and competing claims to the city. For the urban majority the precarity of urban life encompasses constant dislocations, deceptions and uncertainties that may amount to a mode of knowing or discerning political possibilities. In the realm of participatory politics hope is often dashed and replaced with the politics of irritation.

The contestations or conflicts over urban spaces and resources arising from the multiple commitments that residents make are emblematic of new conceptions of rights, notions of belonging and multiple forms of law. Law especially presents both a threat and a hope in the lived experiences of the poor. If we consider cities in South Asia as stages for the enactment and negotiations of democratic or egalitarian forms of citizenship, then we must also endeavor to understand how violence, insurgent practices and the deceptive nature of urban life both undermine and facilitate struggles for political or social transformation. While insurgent practices may expand citizenship, violence simultaneously corrodes and undermines the basis of political participation. State violence/oppression, the violation of rights, and the purposeful creation of insecurity at times in the name of development reflect the states coercive actions against subaltern groups.

The multidisciplinary workshop explores the nature of and relationship between violence and insurgent practices and the limits and slippages of state sovereignty that are constituted in the making of the built and social environments. Deception is deployed as an exploratory device to understand (1) how norms residents conventionally rely upon to know their settings eventually morph into something completely different, and (2) how vernacular strategies of claiming properties, producing infrastructures and legible citizens constitutes governance and city making processes. The city then is a site of myriad aberrations, of violence, insurgency, of protests over service delivery and of discourses of corruption, secrecy and land frauds. By making cities in South Asia a focal point of conflicts, protests and risk, we seek to problematize assumptions about the urban political sphere, which is conventionally regarded as a compartmentalized and dichotomous universe of public/private, state/civil society, secular/religious, rule of law/unruliness, formal/informal, modernity/tradition, etc. Instead, we approach the political sphere in urban South Asia as a dynamic embedded in the lived conditions of city life and buttressed by the voices of refusal, separation, resistance and uncertainty. We seek to interrogate the possibilities of political agency arising from everyday negotiations across the multiple and uneven terrains of these pervasive dichotomies.

We invite submission of papers from young and established scholars and especially those who are located in South Asia. We welcome submissions across disciplines such as history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, film and media studies, and geography. In this, we encourage applicants to consider empirical case studies grounded in specific sites and theories within comparative South Asian contexts, and what lessons might be learned for social/political transformations in other parts of the world. Themes that will guide the workshop proceedings to speak across disciplinary and geographical boundaries include but are not limited to:  Role of politics and vernacular practices/strategies (vernacular modernism?)  Ethnic and political spaces for claiming land Gender, violence and representations of community  Aggression, Militancy and Non-liberal politics  Emergent spaces of invention, agency, and hope  Mobility/ flexibility/Risk in navigating the city to maintain stability  Violence of Law, Violence of Grid  Intersections between technologies of city, body and community  Corruption, forgery, deception, secrecy


Paper proposals should include a title, an abstract (250 words maximum) and a brief personal biography of 150 words by 15 January 2013 to Dr Nausheen Anwar at

Successful applicants will be notified by 1 February 2013 and will be required to send in a completed draft paper (5,000 – 8,000 words) by 1 April 2013.

Valerie Yeo
Asia Research Institute
National University of Singapore
469A Tower Block, #10-01, Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259770
Tel: (65) 6516 5279
Fax: (65) 6779 1428
Visit the website at


Séminaire AJEI “Genre, mobilisations et dynamiques sociales en Asie du sud” 08/11/2012

Le douzième Séminaire Jeunes Chercheurs de l’AJEI aura lieu le 8 novembre 2012 au Centre d’études et de relations internationales (CERI, Salle Jean Monnet), avec le soutien du CEIAS (EHESS-CNRS) et de l’École doctorale de Sciences Po. Le séminaire aura pour thème : Genre, mobilisations et dynamiques sociales en Asie du sud

9.30 : Introduction par Virginie Dutoya (CERI, Université de Cergy Pontoise), Naïké Desquesnes (Sciences Po)

Genre et mobilisations collectives (10h-13h)

– Maia NEFF (Université Paris Descartes) : La lutte contre le VIH/SIDA comme espace de redéfinitions identitaires pour les minorités sexuelles MSM à Delhi (Inde)

Discutant : Patrice PINELL, (CESSP Paris 1, CNRS EHESS)

10.50-11.10 : Pause café

– Sophie SCHRAGO (IHEID, Université de Genève) : Genre et identité culturelle : le cas de la mobilisation des Indiennes musulmanes

Discutante : Azadeh KIAN, (CEDREF, Université Paris-Diderot)

– Julien LEVESQUE (CEIAS, EHESS) : Restaurer la dignité d’une « race non-martiale » : masculinité et féminité dans le nationalisme sindhi, des symboles aux trajectoires individuelles

Discutante : Amélie BLOM, (Chargée de cours, Sciences Po-Campus Asie)

Pause déjeuner (13h-14h)

L’enquête à l’épreuve du genre (14h – 16h)

Arnaud KABA (EHESS) : L’anthropologue et les « copains » : Construction des masculinités et relations enquêteur-enquêtés

Discutant : David PICHERIT, (University College of London, Department of anthropology)

Gayatri RATHORE (CERI, Sciences Po) : Negotiating Self-Other Boundaries: Reflections from a Muslim Neighbourhood in Jaipur (India)

Discutante : Amélie LE RENARD, (CMH-PRO, CNRS)

Conclusion générale (16h-16h30)

Remarques conclusives par Stéphanie TAWA LAMA-REWAL (CEIAS, EHESS-CNRS) et clôture du séminaire.

Informations pratiques

CERI : 56 rue Jacob, 75006 Paris
Métro : Saint-Germain des Près (4), Mabillon (10), Rue du bac (12)
Contact :

Compte rendu d’une visite à l’orphelinat de jeunes filles à Kegalle soutenu par ONG INMALANKA à Sri Lanka

Quelques jours à Sri Lanka en compagnie de Buddhima, coordinateur d’InMaLanka, ont permis de faire un point avec l’orphelinat de Kegalle.

L’orphelinat qui accueille des jeunes filles est soutenu depuis 2008 par InMaLanka. L’Etat ne versant qu’une allocation minime à chaque enfant de l’orphelinat (quelques centimes d’euros), les conditions de vie y sont difficiles. Actuellement le toit fuit et les fonds alloués par le gouvernement ne permettent toujours pas à l’orphelinat de nourrir convenablement les enfants. Les dons faits par les habitants et les allocations de l’Etat permettent de fournir 50% des repas. C’est pourquoi InMaLanka continue son apport régulier en produits alimentaires.

Les enfants et le personnel de l’école ont mis en place un petit jardin ce qui permettra d’avoir des légumes frais régulièrement.

Grâce au soutien de l’ONG Suisse SOS Pour Un Monde Meilleure et de la marraine de l’orphelinat Mme Magali B., l’ONG a apporté 50kg de riz, 4kg de lait (environ 200 verres), et des gaufrettes pour un gouter avec les enfants.
Les apports en produits alimentaires sont reconduits régulièrement.

Pour plus d’informations sur le projet de soutien d’INMALANKA dans cet orphelinat:

CFP: “Growth: Critical Perspectives from Asia”, Intl conf, Copenhagen, June 13-14, 2013

Call for Abstracts

5th International Conference

Growth: Critical perspectives from Asia

13-14 June 2013 – Asian Dynamics Initiative – University of Copenhagen

Over the past fifty years we have witnessed phenomenal economic growth in Asia, lifting millions of people out of poverty, and propelling many Asian nations to premier ranks in the global order, but as the social and ecological costs become more apparent, economic and demographic growth looms as both promise and peril. The concept of growth has not only been central to economic theory and ecological critique, but also to social and cultural theories of societal and civilizational transformation that increasingly challenges universalizing Western notions of modernity. This conference critically examines the notion of growth and the ways in which it is shaping social-political landscapes in Asia. We define and question growth in this very broad sense, implying that quantitative changes are inevitably accompanied by qualitative transformations, and paying equal attention to the intricate interconnectedness of naturally occurring growth and human interference as well as to its limitations, stagnation, decline and renewal. Understood in this extended sense, the term and related concepts can be fruitfully used to explore social, economic and cultural processes across time and space within the macro-region of Asia (and beyond) from cross-disciplinary perspectives.

Based on this notion of growth not as an autonomous, self-determined entity but as the outcome of close and constant interaction between nature and purposeful human action, at this conference we propose to rethink and scrutinize this concept from an Asian perspective and from multi-disciplinary vantage points – cultural, economic and social.


15 January 2013 Deadline for submitting abstracts

15 February 2013        Notification of acceptance

27 May 2013             Deadline for submitting paper

Please visit the conference website to read the full call for abstracts Abstracts including title, name and affiliation should be sent to

The conference is organized by the Asian Dynamics Initiative, a cross-faculty and inter-disciplinary research priority area at the University of Copenhagen.

Marie M. Yoshida
Asian Dynamics Initiative
University of Copenhagen

Oster Farimagsgade 5 (Building 33)
1353 Copenhagen K
DIR +45 35329521

source: H-Asia


“Healing the Wounds of War: Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the War” edited by Herath and Tudor Silva

Please find herewith a brochure about a forthcoming ICES publication
titled “Healing the Wounds of War: Rebuilding Sri Lanka after the
War”. If you would like to order the publication please contact
“Dhammika Herath” <>.

HealingWounds flyer

Table of Content