|►||India Distinguished Visitor Program|
|►||Title VI Programs|
South Asia Conference of the Pacific Northwest
SACPAN 2014 AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, SEATTLE
SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2014
The Walker Ames Room, Kane Hall 225, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (Map)
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
9:00 - 10:30 AM - Panel One Discussion
10:30 - 10:40 AM - Break
10:40 - 12:00 PM - Panel Two Discussion
12:00 - 1:30 PM - Lunch and Presentation
1:30 - 2:30 PM - Panel Three Discussion
2:30 - 2:45 PM - Break
2:45 - 3:45 PM - Panel Four Discussion
3:45 - 4:00 PM - Break
4:00 - 5:00 PM - Final Presentation
Panel One - Texts, Words, and Interpretations
9:00 - 10:30 AM
The first two novels in Ghosh's Ibis trilogy are more about journeys and continuous transnational mobility than they are about settlement and assimilation. In focusing on journeys and different forms of affiliation, Ghosh unsettles essentialist gender identities and destabilizes the heteropatriarchal family narrative. This work in progress is an examination of the journeys of several key characters in the Ibis trilogy to explore how “unhoming” both geographically and familially shapes Ghosh’s vision of the diaspora.
Swāmī Niścaldās, a relatively recent Advaita Vedānta proponent and Dādūpanthī, deliberately chose to compose his independent treatises on Vedānta in Hindi despite being well-versed in Sanskrit. This talk examines Niścaldās’s stance on caste (jāti) which he supports by citing passages from the Mahābhārata, as well as the commentary to the Brahma-sūtra by Śaṅkara, the leading exponent of Advaita in the eight century. Śaṅkara’s position on caste is explored, as well as that of the Mahābhārata, in order to determine whether Niścaldās is following Advaita tradition or breaking with it and presenting his own innovative interpretations.
Panel Two - Contemporary South Asia
10:40 - 12:00 PM
This paper looks at whether the religious debates taking place on the New Media constitute an alternative public sphere in Pakistan. It analyzes threads that explicitly discuss religious topics on two different Pakistani blog sites, Pak Tea House and Pakistan Ki Avaaz, using Lincoln Dahlberg’s theoretical framework.
The aim of this presentation is to stimulate interest in critiques of microfinance through the lens of hagiography. Drawing on a variety of research from city and regional planning, cultural anthropology, feminist theory, to South Asian studies, I explore how representations of key figures such as Muhammad Yunus have helped to solidify and propagate the microfinance model as a means of economic development. Yunus and Grameen Bank’s joint receipt of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize can be viewed as the event of sainthood; and the joint receipt can be understood to signify both a lifetime achievement award for Yunus, and an affirmation of the Grameen model. I then explore parallel processes of various neoliberal development agendas.
This paper ethnographically explores the inscriptional practices within sites of women’s religious learning in contemporary Pakistan. In particular, it examines the innovations in material forms of the Quran that are inspired by and brace the emphasis on translation and interpretation of the Quran.
Lunch and Presentation
12:00 - 1:30 PM
Panel Three - Gender in Modern South Asia
1:30 - 2:30 PM
Dominant global legal frameworks concerned with sex trafficking in the global South emphasize a prosecutorial approach to the problem. In response, some donor-driven NGOs in India are using legal expertise to work with the criminal justice system, training women rescued from brothels to testify effectively against alleged traffickers. Pondering the limitations of this solution, this paper offers ethnographic insights into how marginalized women engage with the discursive frameworks and political economy of truth-telling in the legal system. I draw on insights from postcolonial feminism and law and society scholarship, and reflect on my findings vis-à-vis the current climate of emotionally charged calls for gender justice over the past year.
Panel Four - Urban South Asia
2:45 - 3:45 PM
This presentation will explore the relationship between urban entrepreneurship and infrastructure development in Bombay and Karachi (1949 to 1971). Specifically, this essay comparatively traces the effects of the introduction of American styled “master plans” on entrepreneurs and consumers in Bombay and Karachi in this period.
Since the new millennium, Delhi has embraced a ‘culture of legality’ in the planning and management of pre-existing informal settlements or slums. The subsequent and ongoing demolition drive has incited legal violence and prompted the urban poor to seek alternative sources of security and legality in order to maintain their urban existence. Through its focus on Kathputli Colony - one of Delhi’s numerous informal settlements - this paper attempts to understand the new forms of identities and modes of negotiations that residents of informal settlements actively employ in order to achieve legitimacy and full citizenship status. Based on an ethnographic study, we attempt to capture a temporal moment in the transient, uncertain, ‘everyday’ existence of the residents of this squatter settlement in west Delhi, which is soon to be demolished as part of Delhi’s first in-situ rehabilitation project.
The archaeological chronology of Bamiyan has been the object of many researches, beginning in 1922. During the last decades, thanks to the analysis with Carbon-14, we were able to date the Bamiyan Buddhasto to VI-VII century A.D. However, in the light of recent excavations spearheaded by Prof. Tarzi (2002-2012) on ancient Buddhist monasteries of Bamiyan, until now unknown, new and exciting discoveries have been made. Thanks to archaeological observations and analysis with Carbon-14 we are able to date the beginning of monastic life to be as early as the III century A.D. Prof. Tarzi will present the result of his research at Bamiyan.
Questions should be directed to Keith Snodgrass, Associate Director of the South Asia Center, University of Washington, Seattle: email@example.com.
|South Asia Center|
|University of Washington|
|303 Thomson Hall|
|Seattle, WA 98195|
|(206) 543-4800 phone|
|(206) 685-0668 fax|
|Anand Yang, Director|
|Keith Snodgrass, Associate Director|
|Molly Wilskie-Kala, Program Coordinator|
|Nick Gottschall, Graduate Student Assistant|
|Robyn Davis, FLAS Coordinator|
|Sunila Kale, Graduate Program Coordinator|