During the last weekend in February, UW faculty and graduate students traveled to Vancouver, BC, for the 2020 South Asia Conference of the Pacific Northwest (SACPAN). Hosted by Simon Fraser University, this year’s gathering asked scholars to consider “Gaps, Blind-Spots, and Frontiers in South Asia Studies.”
Dr. Sunila Kale chaired the first panel of the conference: Re-Thinking South Asia. As part of the second panel on Gender, Politics and Social Struggles, Rachel Rothenberg (PhD student, JSIS) presented her paper “Making Women Modern: Publicity, Gender Anxiety, and the Politics of Domestic Resistance in a Rajput Community,” drawing on her ethnographic fieldwork in urban Rajasthan.
Later in the day, Shelby House presented “Taking Humor Seriously: Phone-Snatching, Comedy and Vulnerability on the Streets of Karachi,” turning attention to the political implications of comedic videos depicting street crime in modern Pakistan. In the final panel of the day, Religious Frontiers and Blind-Spots, Eshan Dabak (MA, Comparative Religion) shared his analysis of “Ayyappan in the Supreme Court: An Ethics of Deference in the Sabarimala Controversy.” The conference highlighted scholarly work from a range of disciplines, and each presentation generated lively discussion and critical feedback.