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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

South Asia Seminar Nov 15: Anuradha Marwah on Love, Sex, and Transgression: The Feminist Writer and Issues of Representation

Love, Sex, and Transgression: The Feminist Writer and Issues of Representation
By: Anuradha Marwah,Zakir Husain College, Delhi University

Date:   Wednesday November 15, 2017
Time:   3:00-4:30 pm
Place:  537 Heller Hall
Event:   South Asia Seminar Series

Abstract:  My play ‘Ismat’s Love Stories’ (2017) originated from my fascination with Ismat Chughtai’s negotiations with her iconic story ‘Lihaf’ (The Quilt) (1941). Celebrated as one of the earliest stories about same sex relationship between two women in modern Indian literature and endlessly anthologised, it was the reason for Chughtai being dragged to court on a charge of obscenity along with her friend, Saadat Hasan Manto. Their fearless defence of creative purpose is legendary. However, much to Manto’s chagrin, Chughtai had in private conversation with him, in interviews and in print ‘disavowed’ ‘Lihaf’ by stating that she had no idea she was writing about lesbianism; she was sorry that she wrote it; and, also, that she had decided to never write in this way again. My play dramatises this ‘instinctive feminist’s’ [1]questioning of Manto’s idealisation of (what were considered at that time) transgressive sexual acts. She is uncomfortable not only by his valorisation of ‘Lihaf’ but also challenges his representations of the ‘prostitute’ figure.

I will present a clip from ‘Ismat’s Love Stories’ followed with instances from my work where I have grappled with transgressive love, extramarital longings, and sexual abuse. With reference to my earlier bilingual play, ‘Sarkari Feminism’ (Feminism as the State Ordains) (2010), novels Idol Love (1999) and Dirty Picture (2008), and novel-in-progress ‘My Family Drama in Too Many Acts’ I ask the question: How does a contemporary Indian writer, who identifies as feminist and activist, represent sex and transgression realistically and in a just manner? 

[1] Rakshanda Jalil’s appellation for the writer in An Uncivil Woman: Essays on Ismat Chughtai

Bio:  Anuradha Marwah is an author and academic. She teaches in Zakir Husain College, Delhi University. She is currently Fulbright Visiting Faculty at ICGC, UMN.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Special South Asia Seminar: Screening & Discussion of Garam Hawa with Tarun Kumar

Screening of Garam Hawa ("Hot Winds", 1973; Dir. M.S. Sathyu)
With Tarun Kumar

      Date:     Friday, November 3
      Time:    5-8 pm
      Place:   537 Heller Hall 
      Series:  South Asia Seminar Series

Mr. Tarun Kumar, visiting film and theater artist, will lead a discussion after the film

South Asia Scholarly Events calendar

AIIS summer 2018 and academic year 2018-2019 language programs in India

The American Institute of Indian Studies welcomes applications for its summer 2018 and academic year 2018-2019 language programs. Programs to be offered include Hindi (Jaipur), Bengali (Kolkata), Punjabi (Chandigarh), Tamil (Madurai); Marathi (Pune), Urdu (Lucknow), Telugu (Hyderabad), Gujarati (Ahmedabad), Kannada (Mysore), Malayalam (Thiruvananthapuram), Mughal Persian (Lucknow), Sanskrit (Pune) and Pali/Prakrit (Pune). We will offer other Indian languages upon request. All academic year applicants should have the equivalent of two years of prior language study. For summer Sanskrit, we require the equivalent of two years of prior study; for summer Bengali, Hindi and Tamil we require the equivalent of one year of prior study. For summer Urdu, we require the equivalent of one year of either Hindi or Urdu. We can offer courses at all levels, including beginning, in other Indian languages for the summer. Summer students should apply for FLAS if available at their institutions for funding to cover the costs of the program. Funding for Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu may be available through the U.S. State Department's CLS program (see www.clscholarship.org). AIIS has some funding available for summer students who cannot procure FLAS or CLS funding. This funding is allocated on the basis of the language committee's ranking of the applicants. Pending availability of funding, AIIS hopes to award language fellowships, on a competitive basis, to academic year students which would cover all expenses for the program. AIIS is also offering a fall semester program. We offer Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Urdu and other languages at all levels for the fall. The application deadline is December 31, 2017.  Applications can be downloaded from the AIIS web site at www.indiastudies.org. For more information: Phone: 773-702-8638. Email: aiis@uchicago.edu.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Funding for Language Study in India - Hindi or Urdu

The application for the 2017 Boren Awards is now open at www.borenawards.org !

Boren Awards fund U.S. undergraduate and graduate language study and research abroad in world regions critical to U.S. national interests (including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East).

The South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) offers Boren Awards applicants the special opportunity to study Hindi or Urdu by participating in domestic and overseas language programs in India. Created in partnership with experienced program providers, SAFLI is appropriate for applicants with no language proficiency, as well as those with intermediate and advanced proficiency in Hindi or Urdu.

This immersive program begins with an intensive summer domestic language institute at the University of Wisconsin, followed by a fall overseas program in India administered by the American Councils for International Education (in Jaipur for Hindi and Lucknow for Urdu.

Awardees also have the option to continue their Boren Awards-funded language study in India in the spring in a program they identify themselves.

The Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 for undergraduate students for language‐focused study abroad.

The Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 for graduate students to fund language study, graduate‐level research, and academic internships abroad.

Additional information on SAFLI program requirements, program locations, and a complete list of preferred languages can be found on our website. Webinars on aspects of the Boren Awards, including special regional initiatives and components of the application are scheduled throughout the 2016‐2017 academic year. Sign up today at www.borenawards.org/webinars.html.

Applicants are encouraged to contact their Boren Awards campus representatives, listed in a directory on the website, for institution‐specific guidance. They may also contact Boren Awards staff directly at 1‐800‐618‐NSEP or boren@iie.org

Monday, October 16, 2017

Two South Asia talks Wednesday, October 18: Tariq Thachil and Lalit Batra

Who do Political Brokers Serve? Experimental Evidence from India's Slums
By: Tariq Thachil
Vanderbilt University

Date:    Wednesday, October 18
Time:   11:30-1pm
Place:  Social Sciences 1314
Event:  Comparative Politics Colloquium (CPC)

Why are political brokers responsive to the claims of some voters and not others? Despite an expansive comparative literature on brokers, relatively few studies have systematically scrutinized their downstream responsiveness to clients. Existing literature anticipates brokers will privilege co-partisan and co-ethnic clients, whose reciprocity they can most confidently monitor. In this paper, we argue that brokers must also prioritize clients best positioned to maximize their local reputations for competence. We test our theoretical expectations through a conjoint survey experiment among archetypical urban brokers in the developing world: informal slum leaders. Embedded in local communities, slum leaders spearhead efforts to resist eviction and demand basic services, and encourage electoral support and turnout on behalf of political parties. Our survey of 629 slum leaders across 110 slums in two north Indian cities finds strong evidence of the importance of reputational concerns in driving broker responsiveness. We find more mixed evidence of brokers prioritizing monitoring concerns emphasized by extant literature, highlighted by a marked absence of ethnic favoritism within Indian slums.

You can learn more about Professor Thachil's research here.


The 'Native' and the "Sweeper' in the Colonial Sanitation Discourse
By: Lalit Batra
Geography, Environment and Society
Date:    Wednesday, October 18
Time:    3-4:30 pm
Place:   537 Heller Hall
Event:   South Asia Seminar Series

Thursday, October 12, 2017

AIIS 2017 winter short term fellowship competition

Below please find an announcement about the AIIS winter short-term fellowship competition which is open to faculty at AIIS member institutions. The application deadline is December 31, 2017. Please circulate to faculty at your institutions. Applicants should apply by submitting the application found on the fellowship section of our web site www.indiastudies.org

AIIS Winter short term fellowships

Talk Oct. 24: Samia Khatun on Power and Protest: Bengali Textile Workers and Resistance Narratives

Power and Protest: Bengali Textile Workers and Resistance Narratives
By: Dr. Samia Khatun,
University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh

Date:   Tuesday October 24, 2017
Time:   3:30-5:00 pm
Place:  215 Humphrey

Abstract: Dr. Khatun has begun a 400-year history of girls and young women (mostly between the ages of 13 and 21) engaged in textile work in what is now Bangladesh. Concentrating on worker-produced sources, Dr. Khatun is taking a “slices-through-time approach” and will focus on how workers have memorialized five key moments in the history of textile production through song and poetry, beginning with Mughal Bengal and ending with the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh in 2013.

Sponsors:  The ICGC Research Circle on “Subjects, Objects, Agents: Young People’s Lives and Livelihoods in the Global South” and Society for the History of Children and Youth (SHCY)

South Asia Scholarly Events calendar