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South Asia by the Bay Conference Program May 9: Panels 1-6 May 10: Panels 7 - 12 May 11: Panels

13-16 Panel #1 The Politics of Identity and Representation in India Panel Organizer: Sharika Thiranagama, Stanford University and the New School Panel Discussant: Sharika Thiranagama, Stanford University This panel examines the politics of identity and representation in India. The papers examine how constitutional identity markers play an important role in political mobilization. Francesca Refsum Jensenius, Univeristy of California, Berkeley Representation, Power and Development for SCs in India 1974-2008 Using a unique dataset of the members of each cabinet across Indian states 19742008, this paper shows that while SCs have been guaranteed a political presence in state legislatures through the political reservation system, they have been underrepresented in cabinet positions. In the few cases of SCs getting into positions of power we see a change in the development trajectories for SCs in their area. This suggests that guaranteeing a group descriptive representation, through measures such as reserved seats, is not enough to ensure them substantive representation. If the goal is to increase the substantive representation of groups, measures must also be made to get them access to position of power within the political system. Alexander Lee, Stanford University Caste Identity and Social Change in Colonial India Why do some ethnic groups mobilize politically while others do not, despite the substantial advantages of doing so? And why do some groups, having chosen to mobilize, chose to relate their identity claims to larger systems of ethnic hierarchy which do not necessarily privilege them? This paper answers these puzzle by developing a theory of the political value of social status. It argues that markers of social status serve as costly signals of political power in areas with little information, and that possession of status markers enables individuals to extract resources from individuals without these markers with the threat of coercive sanctions. These non-state interpersonal transfers are an important part of the political economy of pre-modern societies. Some of the implications of these theory are that the level and type of political mobilization are dependent on the resource endowments of groups, their ex ante social status, and the level of political information within the society as a whole. 1

Sanjog Rupakheti, Rutgers University Political Economy of Caste and Rituals: Hierarchy and Power in South Asia The Nepali rulers deployed combination of treatises, maxims and royal orders to regulate caste structures, which were driven by the political-economic imperatives of the eighteenth century state-making projects. After 1854 the Ain broadened the legislative and judicial power of the state to intervene swiftly in matters related to caste, marriage and commensality rules. This paper illustrates how various labor relations within caste structures were embedded in and generated by the process of state-making at a particular historic juncture. Panel #2 Spaces, Encounters, and Politics Panel Organizer: Sangeeta Mediratta, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Sandria Freitag, North Carolina State University The papers in this panel will look at questions of spatial politics. Sophia Powers work looks at Khoj International Artists Associations attempt to make art that is both Indian and (post)modern; Ragini Srinivasan looks at intercultural encounters in Keralas permier art institution, Kalamandalam; and Azeen Khan looks at the place of displeasure (and broadly, affect) in Pakistan and India based artist Bani Abidis work. Sophia Powers, University of California, Los Angeles Village Vanguard: Unraveling the Khoj Conundrum This paper is based on more than six months of fieldwork in Delhi over four consecutive years including a three-month internship at the Khoj headquarters. Based in a small undeveloped village in the heart of modern Delhi, Khoj International Artists Association supports an artistic community that strives through a diverse and sophisticated set of practices to address the conundrum of how to make art that is both Indian and (post) modern. Yet despite the international elite art-world status garnered in large part through the embrace of alternative art media made hip by Western artistic practice, Khoj has been self-consciously locally oriented and politically inclined since its inception. Artists are not only drawn from the surrounding (non-elite) community, but are encouraged and even required to interact with and address its denizens through their work. Indeed, it is through this agenda that what are understood as originally Western art forms are creatively Indianized, and then, somewhat ironically, exported internationally via the biennial circuit. Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan, University of California, Berkeley Kalamandalam Calling: Intercultural Encounters and the Transformation of a Kerala Arts Institution

This paper thinks with and about some of Kalamandalams resident foreigners, including Eugenio Barba, Clifford and Betty True Jones, Richard Schechner, Phillip Zarilli, and Marlene Pitkow. How, I ask, have Kalamandalams resident foreigners responded to the Kalamandalam call? And how did these intercultural encounters prime Kalamandalam for its 2007 transformation from gurukula to government-run university, a shift, as V. Kaladharan argues, from religious space to a secular space?3 I proceed from the hypothesis that there is a kind of collectivity staged between scholars called by the same objects, housed by the same schools, and educated by the same informants, even as they are dispersed in time and space. Considered collectively, the work of these anthropologists and performance theorists speaks to Kalamandalams specific institutional history and suggests ongoing implications of the Western study of Indian classical and ritual arts. Azeen Khan, Duke University The Time of Affect: Bani Abidi and the Postcolonial Sensus Communis This paper brings together Jacques Derridas writings on aesthetics and psychoanalysis and specifically his attention to the question of displeasure in the writings of Immanuel Kant and Sigmund Freud in conversation with the work of a postcolonial visual artist, Bani Abidi, who is based in Pakistan and India. In the paper, I suggest that Abidis artwork, which indexes the specific historical condition of postcoloniality, offers us alongside Derrida, Kant, and Freud a notion of an aesthetics of displeasure, wherein displeasure is understood as a category, both aesthetic and psychoanalytic, that undoes any notion of a contained subjectivity. In particular, the paper makes the argument that Abidis work, through its emphasis on temporality, and particularly attunement to the rhythms and cadences of waiting in forms of urban belonging in South Asia, allows us to posit a postcolonial sensus communis that is attentive to anxiety as a historically specific affect. The larger argument of the paper is to suggest that questions around visuality and citizenship, or a relation to the public or commons in South Asia, must simultaneously be attentive to the problem of affect. Panel 3 Global and Local Negotiations of South Asian Culture and Identity Panel Organizer: Swethaa Ballakrishnen, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Sudipta Sen, University of California, Davis The last few decades of globalization have ushered in a host of new ways to conceptualize and negotiate the South Asian identity. This panel welcomes papers and research projects that shed light on the various mechanisms that lead and shape these processes. For instance, at the level of the individual, how has the meaning of being South Asian changed, especially given the rise of the global South Asian identity? How is this identity accepted and moderated in different contexts? Similarly, how have market, social, cultural and global forces affected the ways in which larger organizational and institutional identities emerge in the subcontinent? 3

Mihiri Tillakaratne , University of California, Los Angeles The Future of Buddhism in America: Multiculturalism, Ethnic and Religious Identity, and the Second Generation at Los Angeles Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara This paper examines how Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara, a Sri Lankan Sinhala Theravada Buddhist temple in Los Angeles, balances adaptation and cultural continuity, and how it is a site for both religious and social congregation. Specifically, this paper explores how the second generations formation of ethnic and religious identities is shaped by Dharma Vijayas approach to fostering the future of Buddhism by encouraging younger generation participation as well as a multicultural congregation. The paper discusses temple history, negotiating multiple layered identities of scholar-practitioner-ethnographer, and the clergys role in adapting Buddhism to an American context. It also examines how Dharma Vijayas status as a multicultural temple influences the temple on both a daily basis as well as on important festival days. Finally, we will discuss how the influence of the clergy and multiculturalism affects the second generations experience at the temple as well as their conceptions of Sinhalese, Buddhist, and Sri Lankan American. Swethaa Ballakrishnen, Stanford University I love my American Job: Professional Prestige and the Western Halo Effect in the Developing Country Context This paper uses field data from the Indian legal outsourcing industry to show the ways in which association to the West has emerged as a marker of prestige and how, while important, traditional understandings of prestige markers (e.g. Abbott: 1981) are not enough to explain this transformative function. Universality of professional prestige has traditionally not taken into consideration the effect of globalization as a prestige factor in and off itself. I offer here that in addition to the markers used (for e.g., level of skill, monetary rewards, etc), and especially while trying to understand the emerging-industrialized world, an approach more reflective of the halo effect of the West is crucial. Rachel Brule, Stanford University Whats yours isnt mine?- An Inquiry into Negotiations in Property Rights, Gender Equality & Identity in Rural South India This paper investigates the changing nature of mens and womens negotiations over rights to inherit ancestral property. It uses interviews with nearly 900 women and their husbands across rural Andhra Pradesh to peek beneath the surface of traditional languages of familial duty to examine how both brothers and sisters are creatively renegotiating identity, security, and power using a combination of traditional and modern norms, rights, and resources. Extensive qualitative analysis reveals a disjuncture between public and private resources. The effect of global norms of gender equality on local rural institutions and individual identities must 4

account for changing dynamics not only in land transfers but also in new webs of intra-familial relationships, and the composition of agricultural production, producers, and the larger set of economically-mobile individuals reshaping the boundaries between rural, urban, and international communities. Louise Harrington, University of London, The School of Oriental and African Studies The Emergence of the South Asian Irish The existence and nature of South Asian diasporas is a field of study that has generated much social debate and scholarly engagement. This paper seeks to address this lacuna in current research by examining the concept of a South Asian Irish community. The relationship between the diasporic and the home communities will be at the centre of this discussion in order to explore the realities of an existing cultural exchange. It is thus necessary to examine the spaces and places established by the South Asian diasporas in Ireland which recreate or translate the homeland in this new location, as well as the position of the Irish home community and their role in embracing the diverse cultures of these relatively recent migrants. As this paper is interested in culture in particular, it will look at several cultural features or modes of production in its analysis which highlight interaction between the various communities, including film, religious ritual and celebration, and food. Harpreet Mangat, University of California, Berkeley The recent Punjab Elections and the Sikhs in the Bay Area This paper aims to trace the evolution of the Sikh diaspora in the USA and particularly study the current phase of the Long Distance Nationalism which involves philanthropy and reaction to the recent Indian legislation of allowing NonResident Indians to vote. The Punjab elections were held in January 2012 and the result of the research conducted by the author suggests that the Sikhs in diaspora largely did not take advantage of their newly acquired right. The ongoing research also suggests that had they in fact used this right; it might have made a difference in the Punjab elections. Panel #4 Social Marginality and New Forms of Capitalism Panel Organizer: Samil Can, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Vivek Srinivasan, Stanford University Neoliberalism in South Asia has reflected many contradictions in political economy. The contradictions of this new form of capitalism can be seen in a variety of ways, in especially in terms of the widening gaps between rich and poor and the inaccessibility of the new economic prosperity for different social groups. This panel is an inquiries into the transformative impact of liberalization on key social and economic aspects of South Asia. Furthermore, this panel also seeks to understand the 5

impacts that globalization and liberalization have had on marginalized groups in South Asia. Leslie Hempson, University of Michigan Thinking Through Things: The Ambar Charkha and the Invention of the Spinner as Artisan This paper explores the relationship between technology and artisanry through a discussion of the invention of the ambar charkha, a type of spinning wheel officially unveiled to the Indian public in 1953. Drawing upon methodological insights gleaned from the field of science and technology studies as well as material culture, this paper argues that the ambar charkha was capable of supporting a new class of professional spinners, a far cry from the occasional spinners who plied the charkha throughout the khadi movement. Though not described as such, these professional spinners constituted an artisanal class, one both like and unlike the artisans whose roots stretched back to the colonial period and beyond. This study shows that even during the 1950s, a time when heavy industry seemed to dominate the development agenda, artisanal communities were created anew. Lilly Irani, University of California, Irvine Designing Citizenship: Innovation, Empathy, and Social Reform in Elite India This paper offers an account of how designers in urban India draw on transnational discourses of design including those articulated and legitimized by IDEO and Stanfords d.school to articulate and advocate for a distinct form of middle-class citizenship. Though primarily articulated in high-prestige technological discourses, this form of citizenship also rests upon institutions and discourses of Sri Aurobindo, Theosophy, and pre-liberalization managerial discourses. Advocates pose these practices as an alternative to post-liberalization middle-class aspirations they deem inauthentic. Yet as it responds to Indian concerns, this form if also constituted transnationally. Designerly entrepreneurialism is epistemologically undergirded by notions of origin-derivation, plan-implementation, invention-menial labor inscribed in intellectual property regimes and popularized through new media forms. Abhijeet Paul, University of California, Berkeley Industry and Sympathy: Labor and Gender at Work in Kolkata Laborers who inhabit the economy and culture of jutealso known as chatkaliain the outskirts of Kolkata, India have lived and worked in poor conditions with little or no social security for generations. It is in this particular context of the everyday that I encountered chatkalia narratives of sympathy, friendships, mutual support, neighborliness, and familial trust among the members of a rather diverse laboring community. In this paper, I want to talk about womens stories where they eloquently share their thoughts on everyday schedules in competitive regimes of informal and contractual labor and work in refeminized jute economies created for export-oriented units for greater revenue. 6

Kasia Paprocki, Cornell University Microcredit and Agrarian Change in Bangladesh: Toward a Topography of Development and Dispossession This paper explores the experience of loss and dispossession embedded in the process of capital accumulation. Taking Arampur, a village in Northern Bangladesh, as a case study, it uses microcredit borrower testimonies to examine the underlying character of microcredit as a tool of the capitalist development project. Particular attention is paid to testimonies of alienation and corresponding dispossession from means of social reproduction, which shed light on the manifold ways in which borrowers lives and livelihoods are reconfigured through capital accumulation. This focus on extra-economic means of dispossession is central to understanding the process of accumulation through development, wherein individuals often experience great loss and social dislocation without also experiencing the material loss and physical displacement associated with concepts such as proletarianization and depeasantization. By reflecting on the ways in which microcredit is implicated in dispossession in rural Bangladesh, the case study sheds light on neoliberal capital accumulation, NGO developmentalism, and the ways in which they are coconstituted. Saikat Maitra, University of Texas, Austin From Production to Self-Production: Contemporary Immaterial Capital and Retail Work in Kolkata Through ethnographic fieldwork conducted as a salesperson in a shopping mall in Kolkata, my paper inquires into the emergence of a new worker-subjectivity allied with low-level retail employment. I argue that valuation of such work is linked to the workers affective arousal and communication of a desire for consumption in customers. By focusing on quotidian forms of retail labor, I narrate how within this affective-labor regime, production and work become inseparable from the selfproduction of a cosmopolitan subjectivity. Finally, the paper addresses the persisting tension between the urbane subjectivity embodied during work and broader realities of social marginalization experienced by many of these workers. Panel #5 Pakistan, Justice, and the Rule of Law Panel Organizer: Sangeeta Mediratta, Stanford University Panel Discussant: David Gilmartin, North Carolina State University This panel will have four papers on Pakistan and issues of rights, justice, and democracy. Ayesha Mullas paper focuses on the ways in which popular media shapes public debate; Ghazal Asif looks at the depolyment of controversial (and widely banned) book Rangila Rasul by the Pakistani state to construct a narrative of popular legitimacy. Maira Hayats paper looks the connections between colonial law and the 7

postcolonial Pakistani state with reference to the recent Swat conflict. Mubbashir Rizvi concludes the panel with a paper on land rights in rural Pakistan with an emphasis on rural local-global connections, regional environmental histories and politics of placemaking. Ayesha Mulla, University of Chicago Imagining the Public Sphere in Pakistan This paper is an effort to detail the current tensions infused in the imaginary of the media in Pakistan, i.e., an imaginary that locates the recently privatized electronic media as both, constituting the platform on which public debate takes place, and indicative of the agency ascribed to civil discourse that is deeply critical of the state. My aim is to provide a framework for situating the visual emergence of a public sphere that stakes its rights to a freedom of expression under a democratic government. In a nation where the historical state monopoly of television has consistently stifled dissenting voices, what now are the implications of critical public debate? This paper thus has two broad objectives: first, to question the implications for the media having arrived in Pakistan, specifically in relation to the state and as a crucial watchdog of democracy. And second, to analyze the type of cultural publics formed in relation to the media, i.e., a sense of community within commentators who take it upon themselves to watch the watchdog. Ghazal Asif, University of Chicago Rangila Rasul and the Law This paper will aim to examine the 1927 Lahore trial of Rajpal, publisher of the controversial book Rangila Rasul, and his subsequent assassination, for committing blasphemy by publishing the book. In doing so, I aim to come to an understanding of how the Pakistani state has attempted to employ its colonial past to shape a particular form of popular legitimacy. The first of these concerns is the framing of the blasphemy laws, first introduced in the Indian Penal Code, and the role played by the Rangila Rasul trial in introduction. The second major concern, following on from the first, is the close connection between blasphemy, as a concept, and the modern nation-state, a modern judiciary, and the rise of modern politics, (Asad 2009, 39). This project aims to examine the interlinking of state legitimacy with a widespread popular narrative within the ersatz modern nation-state. Mubbashir Rizvi, University of Texas Austin From "Village Republics" to 'Worlding' of Politics. The politics of land rights in rural Pakistan. This paper will examine a contemporary land struggle in Pakistan to challenge the atomistic understanding of rural South Asia as village republics, while calling for greater attention to the intersection of rural local-global connections, regional environmental histories and politics of place-making through the infrastructure of

canals, trains and roads. This paper speculates on how a relational perspective changes models of rural politics and contemporary social movements in Pakistan. Maira Hayat, University of Chicago Pakistan and Colonial Laws To what extent can present-day realities be seen as the rubble of colonial laws? To assert that postcolonial actors are acting out a colonial script is overly simplistic. Did the colonial distinction between settled and tribal areas, critical to determining the ambit of Indirect Rule, have a real basis grounded in local political/social realities, or was it purely an administrative fiction? What is the significance of the morass of administrative divisions in Pakistans northwest other than its utility for bureaucratic purposes (also dubious)? That Swatis today proudly distinguish themselves from other Pakhtuns, as Swatis, not just Pukhtuns, suggests that these divisions are not merely anachronistic administrative impositions. How did this colonially acquired territory take on a life of its own to become home? This paper, then, through a historical and ethnographic inquiry into the life of politics in Swat, Pakistan, examines how empire as trope, memory, category/ies and law continues to be a presence in the post-colony. Panel #6 Converts, Criminals, and the Occult Panel Organizer: Neel Amin, University of California, Davis Panel Discussant, TBD Whether saving souls, building roads, or tasting new religions, many Europeans built attitudes towards the Indians they encountered. These attitudes reflected the contemporary intellectual trends of Britain and Europe but the experience of the encounter itself often bore the largest imprint upon such views. Encounters often threatened European definitions of what it meant to be Indian and consequently threatened their entire worldview. Diverse reactions to these threats then provide fertile ground for studying the making of colonial India as well as the effect of colonial attitudes on a broader British public. Laura Tavolacci, University of California, Davis The Evolution of Conversion: Serampores Civilizing Mission in an Early Colonial Context The Baptist mission at Serampore (1799) worked more closely with local Indians than many other European organizations in early colonial Bengal. They not only used munshis and Hindu pandits to help with translations and other scholarly projects, but also became intimately involved with many different local Indian communities in the quest for conversions. However, these interactions did not breed equality. This paper examines the civilizing mission of the Serampore missionaries who consistently sought to educate, change political economy, and bring Western science to the people of Bengal. While the objective remained conversion, their experiences in India moved their focus to extra-religious affairs resulting ultimately 9

in alliances with upper caste Hindus and the colonial state in order to bring what we would now call secular change. Neel Amin, University of California, Davis The Road Not Taken: The Criminalization of the Banjaras in the Nineteenth Century In July of 1833, the East India Company (EIC) searched for a man named Hoer Singh. According to them, Singh had kidnapped two children from across the Sutlej River in the Punjab and had sold them in the EIC's territory. Unfortunately for the EIC, Singh had escaped capture. This, the EIC thought, was because Singh had belonged to a large nomadic group known as the Banjaras. Desperate to arrest him, they turned to their political agent in the Punjab to help. In a surprising twist, however, the political agent, C.M. Wade, told the EIC to strongly reconsider their decision, claiming that Singh had merely provided a service that the Banjaras had provided for centuries. In the past, Wade explained, the Banjaras had voluntarily relocated numerous Indians and sold many children as slaves in order to save them from starvation during famines. In Wade's view, Singh had simply rescued these children from an extremely difficult situation. While the EIC had seen Singh's actions as a crime, Wade had seen them as a social service. Why had the EIC and Wade interpreted Hoer Singh's actions so differently? This difference, I argue, can be attributed to the EICs increasing association of movement with criminality during the nineteenth century. Since Hoer Singh and the Banjaras had moved in mysterious places and over roads looked down upon by the EIC, it was impossible for the EIC to perceive them as anything but criminals. Rajbir Judge, University of California, Davis Adventures In The Forests Of Fontainebleau: Mohini Chatterji And The Theosophical Society In 1885, Miss Leonard, a member of the Theosophical Society in Paris, threatened to publish love letters that she claimed, an Indian member of the Theosophical Society, Mohini Chatterji sent. Madame Blavatsky, one of the founders of the Theosophical Society, defended Chatterji against the accusations. According to Blavatsky, several Parisian women burn[ed] with a scandalous ferocious passion for the poor Hindu boy who was too pure and determined to preserve his chela-purity and chastity to even consider the possibility of such a liaison. Yet, Chatterji was not a passive Hindu boy and, in the forests of Fontainebleau, he and Miss Leonard commenced their tryst. As the affair came to light, Mohini Chatterji quickly exited the Society and found himself back in India. Chatterjis experiences, I argue, show how Indians who entered Britain, like Chatterji, challenged the created division of the world as real and represented as they could not remain represented in a world that was not an exhibit to the Europeans. If Chatterji remained a reflection of the Brahmins the Theosophical Society constructed, then he was allowed into the fold. With his sexual transgressions, however, Chatterji, became, as the New York Times reported, a black man who abused his lady- killing powers.


Panel #7 Urban Life and Urban Process Panel Organizer: Maura Finkelstein, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University The cities of South Asia are currently experiencing dramatic increases in population. Such urban growth brings with it the tensions of economic prosperity and increased inequality; development of civil society and deterioration of urban infrastructure; technological innovation and the decline of environmental resources. In light of such conundrums, this panel considers new ways of thinking about the city in South Asia. Sanaa Alimia, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies Self Sustaining Urban Peripheries and the Shared Realities Between Afghan Refugees and Devalued Pakistani Citizens In this study based on extensive oral narratives and ethnography in urban Peshawar and Karachi it is evident that the refugee and the citizen are akin to each other. This similarity highlights two things: a devalued reality of Pakistani citizenship and the agency of non-citizens in Pakistan. In this study these similarities are visible in shared processes and structures of dehumanization and re-humanization. Everyday dignities are denied and refugees and citizens are left alone in urban peripheries and shadowy neighborhoods. However, these dehumanizing processes are, to a degree, reversed via informal activity. These informal activities are based on organic networks of solidarity and strategies of negotiation, which are steeped in the language of insaaniyat (humanity) and izaat (respect) and zimadari (responsibility). They emerge passively at local levels and provide a forum for rehumanization to occur in and are geared towards a material and non-material redistribution of goods. Critically, these local informal organisms also show how neglected urban areas self function and self regulate. The networks of solidarity and strategies of negotiation serve a functional purpose. They fill in where officialdom cannot and in the short term they are inadvertently helping the state. However, at the same time they point to alternative sources of power which are held in greater trust than state laws and institutions. Even as they help the state, they are also chipping away at its legitimacy. Nethra Samarawickrema, Dalhousie University Walls, Street Grids, Boundaries: Relations of Difference in Postcolonial Space in a Fort City in Southern Sri Lanka This paper explores the relationship between urban space and inter-ethnic relations, drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Galle Fort, a former colonial walled 11

city in southern Sri Lanka. It considers how Muslim, Sinhalese and Tamil residents reinvent the citys colonial built environment for their religious and social needs and adapt the Forts spatial layout to imagine, spatialize, and negotiate social differences. It explores these socio-spatial linkages by mapping community relations across linguistic, ritual, gastronomical divergences in three spaces of the city--walls, street grids, and thresholds. By showing how restrictions of space and community interdependencies at once foster conviviality and heighten discomforts that people have to address, it makes an argument for attending to spatial dynamics and neighborhood histories to better understand how Sri Lankas politics of difference operates at an urban scale. Tina Shrestha, Cornell University Nepali Queens: Interpreting an urban, migrant community in New York City In this paper I explore the possibilities for and, more importantly, the obstacles to the formation of an urban, working-class, and multi-lingual Nepali samudaya (community) in New York City. My data comes from two interconnected ethnographic contexts. One is based on my role as a participant-interpreter for political asylum cases, providing Nepali-English legal interpretation for asylum claimants and their legal representatives in Manhattan. The other is based on my participation in a Nepali grassroots, community-based, workers rights organization in Queens. Drawing on my asylum-interpretation experience, I offer ethnographic (re)interpretation of one of the asylum-interviews where misinterpretation, rather than being an exception, was key to initiating and sustaining cross-cultural dialogue. In the context of Nepali grassroots organization, I locate centrality of interpretive silences among participants in a theater performance Journey to the Ocean: Yatra Samudra Samma. I interpret moments of misunderstandingwhether as misinterpretation during an asylum-interview or miscommunication during a performanceas analytical junctures illuminating separate, but parallel, lives of Nepali New Yorkers. Further, misunderstanding is central to forging an urban Nepali samudaya. Rather than considering 'misinterpretation' and 'silences' as obstacles to overcome, I argue that they become the sources for analyzing the very condition to and efficacy for meaningful 'communication.' Maura Finklestein, Stanford University Sons of the Soil, Children of the Mills: Maharashtrian and North Indian Identity in a Mumbai Textile Mill The rise of the Shiv Sena, the Hindu-Muslim riots of 1992-1993, and the renaming of the city in 1995 marked Mumbai (once Bombay) as an often violent and xenophobic city. As migrants from Northern and Southern India moved to Indias bustling port city, the rhetoric of regional chauvinism took a toll on a city already struggling with limited economic resources. While issues of labor became central in debates over the right to the city, the textile industry once the largest in the world - has remained a seemingly cohesive site of Maharashtrian working class culture and identity. Through two charismatic Maharashtrian leaders Shiv Sena patriarch Bal 12

Thackeray and union leader Datta Samant I reveal how the mythologies of both men connect current mill workers to a legacy of political ownership and regional struggles in Mumbai. In doing so, I show how questions of identity and belonging are inextricably linked to mythmaking and urban anxieties surrounding access to labor and housing in the city. Through such anxieties, I reveal how these conversations speak to larger questions surrounding urban citizenship, legitimacy, and recognition by and on behalf of the city.

Panel #8 Politics and Recognition in Northeast India Panel Organizer: Dolly Kikon, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Triloki Pandey and Megan Moodie, University of California, Davis This panel examines the politics of manufacturing minorities and Indigeneity in South Asia. The papers illustrate how communities from Northeast India and Bangladesh have negotiated power by appropriating a political vocabulary that is informed in equal measure by constitutional provisions and invoking kin ties. Alex Dodson, University of Texas, Austin Localizing Indigeneity: Indigenous Peoples Organizations in Modhupur, Tangail I introduced a locally-based Indigenous Peoples organization working in the Modhupur Forest Area, and detail the way the organization serves the community, primarily as a de facto leadership for the sizable number of Mandi living in the Modhupur area and as producing and reproducing a particular brand of representation to the outside community. I focus on their positioning within the fields of transnational indigeneity as a form and local and regional politics of adivasiness. How this functions at the local level through fairs and festivals, as well as resistance to the Forest Department, exemplifies many familiar themes of indigeneity. However, I try to answer the call of Ghosh (2010) and others to interrogate the constant teleological references in understanding indigeneity (as he points out, even implicit in the formulation indigenous but modern) and point to an example of how narratives of modernity and progress, even when caged as environmental preservation, run up against a still-not-fully-recognized subversive potential engendered by adivasi politics. Dolly Kikon, Stanford University Ethnography of Friendship and Labor in the Foothills of Northeast India In my paper I examine how groups who are considered to be minorities, interact with one another in the disputed foothill borders between Assam and Nagaland in Northeast India. I highlight how these groups use the language of friendship and familial ties to negotiate daily lives in a violent militarized frontier zone like 13

Northeast India. I explain how labor and friendship ties sustain social networks and relations among these minority groups and illustrate how these bonding and networks are fraught with tensions and anxieties. Swargajyoti Gohain, Emory University Narratives of Origin and the Politics of Recognition The legend of Kala Wangpo is popular among Tibetan Buddhist populations in Tibet and surrounding regions. The Monpas, an ethnic minority in the Northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, are one such group, having a three hundred year old history of Tibetan rule, trade and cultural connection. Divided from other Tibetan Buddhist areas by a boundary drawn in 1914, the Monpas continued their crossborder interactions until after Indias independence in 1947. However, following the India-China boundary war in 1962, border passages were closed and the Monpas were absorbed into the Indian polity as a scheduled tribe with affirmative action benefits. The past decade has seen a growing discourse of origins among the Monpas, especially among monks, which attempts to negotiate between national and transnational identifications. My paper locates retellings of the story of Kala Wangpo within this fractured discourse by examining how certain Monpa sections employ the legend to articulate indigeneity, including the attempt to project the king as an indigenous figure. But the legend, enjoying cross-border popularity, does not allow neat geographical containment. I argue that strategic narrations of this legend are an attempt to demand social, opposed here to legal (which already exists), recognition by a border people inhabiting a nebulous national space. Vasundhara Sirnate, University of California, Berkeley Demonstrating State Memory: The Politics of Tribe and India's Counterinsurgency Campaigns In this paper I argue that the political treatment of tribal groups located in central and northeast India is conditioned by the states memory of geographically bounded tribes and the strategic location of that region. I look at the variation in institutional treatment of northeastern and central Indian tribes in the Indian constitution. I also assess counterinsurgency campaigns in Mizoram, Nagaland and Chattisgarh to tease out differential political treatment of these two tribal regions, based on how the state remembers or even constructs tribal groups in both regions. I find that in northeast India the provision for Autonomous District Councils in the Sixth Schedule allows for some expression of tribal sovereignty, where as the same provision does not exist for central Indian tribes. I also find that the Indian state is more likely to pact with insurgent groups in the northeast than elsewhere. Sanjay Barbora Minor Irritants, Major Policies: Subsistence farmers, Militarization and Statesponsored development in Northeast India, the Mizo Story 14

The Northeast Indian state of Mizoram has been an experimental ground for political, social and economic engineering since the 1960s. Predisposed to carry on with light-touch, surveillance heavy colonial policies of administration along the Indo-Burmese border, the post-colonial Indian state was forced to reconsider its relationship with the Mizo people in the 1960s. A guerrilla insurgency led by the Mizo National Front (MNF), led to strategic hamletting of more than 80% of Mizo territory and population in the 1960s. Since then, the Indian government has experimented with different policies to contain and control dissent in the state. From a unique power-transfer to former insurgent leaders in 1986, it has now begun to encourage an ambitious agrarian transformation that targets subsistence farmers in the Mizo hills and expects them to change their practices, in order to bring about market-friendly development in the state. This paper explores the underlying logic of such efforts at nationalising politics and society Mizoram, by critically analysing secondary literature on militarization and pairing it to primary data related to the state governments New Land Use Policy (NLUP). Panel 9 Gender and Sexuality Panel Organizer: Swethaa Ballakrishnen, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Anjali Arondekar, University of California, Santa Cruz Bharat Ranganathan, University of Indiana Sex selective abortion in India Sex selective abortion refers to instances in which a woman avails herself of prenatal screenings and, based on the fetuss sex, aborts her fetus. Despite the passing of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of India in the last decade, which prohibits fetal sex screening and makes violators subject to fines or imprisonment, women continue to make use of such screenings to determine whether they should abort their fetuses. I will offer here a liberal egalitarian criticism of sex selective abortion. I will first appreciate the problems raised by sex selective abortion, identifying the relevant moral and political stakes. I will then rehearse two approaches, viz., autonomist and prohibitionist approaches, to this issue. I will then stake out a liberal egalitarian position. I will try to identify the socially inculcated false beliefs that lead to sex selective abortion. I will also argue that Indias social and political institutions, i.e., its basic structure, needs to no longer countenance (and must actively train people against) the beliefs and practices that lead to sex selective abortion. In sum, I hope to sharpen the relevant moral and political stakes and also to offer an account that will serve as a platform for future conversation. Padma Govindan, University of California, Irvine Raids Help Rip You Open Again: The Making of an American Abolitionist in India Through the Management of Collective Affect


In this paper I analyze the politics and methods of American anti-trafficking organizations operating in India, in particular International Justice Mission (IJM). This paper considers the processes of self-legitimation and self-making that underpin the philosophy, and program strategies of IJM, an American Christian nonprofit organization that has pioneered the use of the raid and rescue (partnering with law enforcement to raid places of work) as a strategy for addressing trafficking in the global South. In this paper, I draw on preliminary ethnographic fieldwork in Chennai, India to examine the day-to-day experiences of American volunteers with IJM, young post-college graduates who commit themselves to a year of residence in Chennai in order to work as abolitionists. I argue that these volunteers view their work as necessitating deep and ongoing emotion management, a continual process that involves modulating their feelings in order to be repeatedly devastated by the exploitation they see while also cultivating periods of self-care in which they consciously seek out cosmopolitan and Westernized spaces in India as a way of preventing emotional burnout. Madeleine Novich, Rutgers University The Policing of Sri Lankas Commercial Sex Industry and Womens Human Rights This study examines how public order policing affects women who work in Sri Lankas commercial sex industry. While I draw a comparison between different types of sex workers, I primarily focus on street-level workers in the countrys capital of Colombo. The dataset is derived from in-depth interviews with a range of industry participants and criminal justice personnel (N=120). The study revealed that street-level workers in Colombo face disproportionately more challenges from police interventions, including high rates of arrest, physical and verbal abuse, and routine solicitation for bribes and sexual services. When arrested, they have fewer networks to draw on for assistance, resulting in greater residual harm. In contrast, when brothel workers are arrested, though they typically plead guilty to vagrancy (based on a malleable interpretation of the ordinance), their networks more frequently enable them to secure expeditious release. Kiran Keshavamurthy, University of California, Berkeley On the Transformative Potentials of Desire: Sexual Abjection and Authenticity in Tanjai Prakash's Novels In this essay, I explore the representation of sexual desire as a catalyst for personal transformation and historical development in the works of a contemporary Tamil novelist Tanjai Prakash. The following texts enact the repeated failure of desire to achieve recognition and identitya failure that is productive in its revelation of the structural lack that collapses and reconfigures subjectivity. I engage with the seductive appeal of the body whose repeated evocations and disappointments of desire reveal the abjection that structures and perpetuates desire, which in retrospect is not directed to the body but to the others desire and recognition. 16

Panel 10 Cinema and Capital Panel Organizer: Sangeeta Mediratta, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Sangeeta Mediratta, Stanford University Bernadette White, Stanford/Syracuse University From Mother India to Peepli Live: Cinematic Representations of Rural India and New Urban Audiences Cinema in India has experienced significant shifts in its target audience, particularly after the liberalization of the economy in 1991, which resulted in the subsequent growth of the middle class. Also, as a part of the larger move towards privatization, state policies facilitated media deregulation (Viswanath 2007, 3289). Together, these two factors have created the demand for new leisure forms; glittering multiplexes have quickly sprung up inside malls with luxury shopping, fostering the creation of exclusive spaces for Indias burgeoning middle classes that seem to revel in the sheer availability of clean and safe spaces to spend their money in (Viswanath 2007, 3289). This paper seeks to discuss the change from the all India film screened in a cinema hall to fare targeted for middle class, urban audiences with a global outlook, as economic factors make it necessary for each film to not only capture the imagination of the spectator but also address him/her in a pertinent way so that popular cinema must therefore be attentive to dominant discourses in the public space (Raghavendra 2006, 1503). Additionally, this paper discusses the implications this shift in audience and movie attendance has for films that depict rural India. There have been recent cinematic efforts to engage urban, multiplex audiences in depictions of rural India. For example, Peepli Live, a satirical film in Hindi, borrows from dominant narratives about farmers suicide or Gabhrischa Paus, a Marathi film that shows the daily struggles of a famer in the suicide-prone area of Vidarbha, in eastern Maharashtra. Lauhona Ganguly, American University Re-Producing Reality: Cultural Adaptation of Reality TV Formats and the Cultural Sway of the Market in India As thousands crowd at audition sites and millions watch and vote, reality TV shows in India offer dramatic tales of transformation for those willing to take a chance, be ambitious, compete and (possibly) win. This paper focuses on the re-production of globally circulated formats of reality TV shows in India and asks: what are the narratives of reality, participation and change embedded in the global formats and what are the terms of cultural translation? Research involves production ethnography, including embedded, non-participant observations of reality TV format re-production practices in Mumbais television studios and in-depth interviews with national and transnational industry professionals. In particular, observations from the making of Indian Idol season 5 (in 2010) informs analysis; 17

along with empirical material gathered through interviews and secondary data on previous seasons (2004 to 2010). It is argued that reality TV formats offer new ideas, values, orientations and practices rooted in neo-liberal social thought. Analysis reveals how the cultural logic of the market is rendered meaningful in everyday life as reality TV shows unleash new social imaginations and redefine the norms of participation. The thematic emphasis on competition, individualism, ambition and self-management skills that frame textual production on Indian Idol popularize a new sense of what is possible to do, necessary to achieve and claim as rewarding and signals the cultural sway of the market in post-liberalized India. Gaurav Pai, University of Washington Finding Gandhi : Early Bombay & Soviet Cinema - Continuities or Disjunctures? In this paper, I explore the seeming continuities and the obvious ruptures between the Golden Era Bombay Cinema and post-revolutionary Soviet Cinema of the 1920s. I do this through an analysis of the three Hindi films, Mother India (1957), Neecha Nagar (1946) and Naya Daur (1957) and three other canonized Soviet films Mother (1926), Earth (1930) and The Old and the New (1929). Using classic tenets of the genre theory of film studies, and the six films, I seek to prove there is continuity in the establishing iconography and premise employed in each of the films, but an obvious divergence or disjuncture in their denouement. I try to do this mainly through the celebrated film scholar Rick Altmans semantic and syntactic approach to film/ genre. I try to show how the semiotics of the six films bears a curious similarity, while their syntactics diverge into a new interpretation. (In his important work on studying film genre, Altman deploys vocabulary and modes of inquiry from linguistics and philosophy, to ask fundamental questions about genre as a category of film making, film analysis and audience comprehension. In linguistics, semantics refers to the meaning and syntax refers to the rules governing the sentence construction.) I do this by identifying three tropes used in the films, which I employ to set off one film against the other. I also seek to show that the three Hindi films I examine situate their discourse in Gandhian spiritualism. Mother India seeks to incorporate women in the development discourse much as Gandhi did with them in the nationalist movement. Neecha Nagar has a village community fight against an evil landlord through techniques of passive resistance while Naya Daur seeks to suggest a Gandhian self-sufficiency approach to development. I start off with a historical premise to my argument history of the Leftist Progressive Writers movement and Indian Peoples Theatre Association. I do a brief review of intellectuals in either movements, and show how the Soviet thought spread travelled across decades to the Golden Era Bombay Cinema of 40s and 50s. Panel 11 Claiming South Asia in Diaspora Panel Organizer: Rajbir Hazelwood, Washington University, St. Louis Panel Discussant: Vilashini Cooppan, University of California, Santa Cruz


This panel concentrates on documenting the ways in which South Asians have settled, claimed belonging, and negotiated identity in diaspora. Papers that examine the South Asian diaspora from the indentured to the postcolonial, spanning across Australia, North America, Britain, and Trinidad, are brought together to demonstrate ways in which the transnational turn has inflected area studies approaches in South Asian Studies. Moreover, the papers together argue that staking diaspora studies within the terrain of cultural studies provides rich interdisciplinary methods for examining questions of belonging and identity. From the study of media in Britain and music in Trinidad, to labor in Australia and fiction in North America, these papers raise important questions about nationalism, cultural identity, and citizenship from the nineteenth to the twenty- first century. More broadly, the panel will engage with conversations at the conference around the relationship between the global and the local. Rajbir Hazelwood, Washington University, St. Louis Goodness Gracious Me: Media and the Politics of Punjabi Diasporic Idnentity in Postwar Britain Today there are nearly a million people of Punjabi origin in Britain. The focus of my larger project is on the material and cultural practices by which this diverse and disperse group of Punjabi migrants, from voluntary or forced to legal or illegal, has historically constituted a sense of belonging, identity, and community in postwar Britain. I am concerned in the dissertation with unraveling the ways in which Punjabi migrants have imagined, practiced, and claimed stakes to multiple nodes of belonging. I trace ways in which these media spaces were productive of a Punjabi diasporic identity, and how they acted to create and sustain community while negotiating a national majority culture. Examination of Punjabi language newspapers, such as Des Pardes (home and away), community radio projects, from Sunrise to Desi Radio, and the genre of ethnic sitcoms, with the BBCs Goodness Gracious Me, will also raise broader questions regarding the ways in which the South Asian diaspora produces and consumes cultural forms that help make home across transnational spaces. Darrell Baksh, The University of the West Indies, Trinidad 'Re-cycling' Tradition, Negotiating Change: Locating South Asia in the Carribean Through Chutney Music For South Asian diasporic communities, music remains a vital medium through which fragments of South Asianness can be accessed in order to reproduce, reconstruct and reconnect with South Asian culture that consequently establishes dynamic cultural manifestations in those new environments. In Trinidad, where thereexists a large South Asian community descended from nineteenth and twentieth century indentured sugarcane labourers, a musical style known as chutney has popularly emerged out of private South Asian folk practices and evolved into a commercial form. While its various developments in sound, sight and style have continuously challenged and contested delineations of cultural spaces in 19

the island, chutney at its core represents a Caribbean re-cycling of South Asian traditions. By demonstrating how chutney acts as a fluid site for conceiving the constant grappling over identity and representation among Trinidadians of South Asian descent, this paper also investigates issues of negotiation and transformation in chutney to better understand the concept of belonging in the South Asian diaspora and the interrelationship between Trinidad, as a microcosm of the Caribbean, and South Asia. Richard Forster, University of Hawaii, Manoa 'Afghan Cameleers,' 'Indian Hawkers,' and the Settlement of Australia: Race, Gender and the South Asian Colonial Diaspora South Asian migration to the Australian colonies in the nineteenth century, while small in overall size, constituted several important strands in the imperial webs of connection produced by the British Empire. In providing a closer look at the diverse experiences of South Asian migrants to Australia before the imposition of the White Australia policy in 1901, this paper demonstrates how intersecting conceptions of race and gender fueled the emergence of a xenophobic Australian nationalism by the end of the century. A consideration of the early South Asian diaspora in Atreyee Gohain, Ohio University Marginal Mothers and 'Children of America': Jhumpa Lahiri and the Costs of Immigration The word transnational is a fraught term, bearing the paradoxical burden of pain and gain, agency and disenfranchisement. Fiction writers from the diaspora have been especially invested in exploring the costs and privileges that describe the immigrant experience. The subjects of South Asian American writer Jhumpa Lahiris fiction are privileged legal aliens ---well-heeled Bengali immigrants to the U.S with papers that grant them access to economic resources and professional opportunities that are denied to their undocumented counterparts. Though Charles Simic, the Yugoslavia-born poet, insists that its hard for people who have never experienced it to truly grasp what it means to lack proper documents, are the documented workers privileged in the true sense of the word? The present paper argues that Lahiri complicates the idea of privilege for the documented immigrant, showing how this privilege is almost always haunted by cost notably the shadowy maternal figures, who languish in the closed spaces of their houses, while their husbands move up and out in the world, and their children who are more children of America. Ariela Schachter, Stanford University Are Indians Asian? Exploring the Ethnoracial Identification of Indian Immigrants in the U.S. While the U.S. Census categorizes immigrants from India and their descendents as Asian, both Indians and other pan-ethnic Asians dispute the inclusion of Indians in 20

the Asian category. Utilizing data from the 2008 National Asian American Survey, I examine the degree to which foreign-born Indian immigrants to the United States racially identify themselves as Indian rather than Asian. My findings indicate that being the victim of racial discrimination, together with the size of the local panethnic Asian population, is strongly associated with identifying as Indian v. Asian. In particular, in areas with larger pan-Asian populations, I find that racial discrimination against Indians serves to push them away from the panethnic Asian community, while in places with small pan-Asian populations, racial discrimination has no effect on self-identification. Panel 12 Religious Life and Ritual Process Panel Organizer: Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Thomas Blom Hansen, Stanford University Studies of religious life rely on the Durkheiminan distinction between ritual forms and other more ordinary social forms, between the ritual and the profane, and between ritual space and more generalized space. None of these distinctions have ever been particularly effective in South Asia where religious practices, markers, images and boundaries inform and suffuse ordinary lived life in multiple and ever changing ways. Moreover, throughout the twentieth century religious markers have increasingly coincided with community identities, perceived community spaces, and indeed the actual bodies and totality of life of those who are thought to belong to, or identify with, particular religious groupings. This has meant that religious markers and practices have been increasingly disentangled from what in any meaningful way can be described as a sacred domain or ritual practices set aside from the profane flow of life. Instead, the impact of modernist ethno-religious ideologies and deeply segmented forms of community life have made religious identities into total identities comprehensively informing and marking a whole host of practices, discourses and aspirations that at best have only tangential or metonymical relationships with practical ritual and religious life. Tanzeen Doha, University of California, Davis Re-Conceptualizing Heideggerian-Marxism to Read Islam In contemporary anthropology Islam has been conceptualized as a discursive tradition of embodied practices on its foundational texts (Asad, 1986). While this provided for an important conceptual framework for the analysis of Islam, a foundationalist reading fails to discuss the political ontology of Islam. In this paper I will discuss how a radical intellectual movement in Bangladesh is coming at the question of Islam not from the supposed beginning, with a clear reference to the origin that assumes a hermeneutic stability, but from the present, by exposing the gaps, ruptures and contradictions, and allowing for an orientation that necessarily is a political description. I argue for the return of a dialectical conception of universality. Without considering universality it becomes impossible to discuss the ontological understanding of the politicality of Islam. Marcuses interest in reading 21

Heideggers ontology through Marxs historicity becomes fundamentally important for this task. In this paper, I discuss the relevance of Marcuses early thought to contemporary questions about Islam within the discipline of anthropology. Rupa Pillai, University of Oregon Whose Right? Whos Right? The quiet of a neighborhood in Queens, New York was interrupted last summer by the parading of Indo-Guyanese women. Accompanied by the loud drumming of a tassa group, these women danced in the street as part of the matikor ritual that prepares the bride for marriage. While most neighbors observed the spectacle of their singing and dancing with fascination, the women did encounter one resident who disapproved of their use of the public space. Emerging from his house when the women were invoking Mothers Ganga and Mati on the curb, this resident, an elderly white man, yelled at the women for disturbing the peace and threatened to call the police. The resulting altercation poses interesting questions of belonging and the use/ownership of space in the US. Andrea Wright, University of Michigan Absconding Qazis and Lascivious Arabs: Transnational Marriage and Indian Muslim Communities. I will use ethnographic and archival data to consider two cases of Muslim marriage in which an Indian Muslim woman married an Arab man. One case will be the marriage of a woman from Bombay to a Bahraini man in the mid-1960s. The second case will be the marriage of a woman from Delhi to an Omani man in the early 2000s. These marriages were sites of debate concerning the meaning of marriage and its impact on community and national identity. In these debates, individuals and communities understandings of religion and the significance of marriage came to the fore. Through community, national, and individual responses to these marriages, the terms and meanings of marriage were debated and reformatted. Considering these debates in their own terms opens space for the meanings and consequences of marriage to be considered as dialogues in national, community, and family spheres. The result is that marriage, as a ritual, may be situated in neither the sacred nor the quotidian. Rather, it becomes a practice that has aspects of both, but also additional meanings for participants. Nadia Loan, Columbia University Hand-writing the Quran: Inscribing Devotion in Contemporary Pakistan Over the last two decades, the growing salience of being able to understand the meaning of the Quranic word as part of ones engagement in ritual acts of worship has redefined the domain of religious knowledge and its relationship to ritual practice in urban centers of Pakistan. As such, new forms of religious learning emphasizing comprehension of the Quranic word over previously dominant 22

reciational modalities have become immensely popular particularly among literate women in the urban setting. This paper ethnographically explores how inscriptional practices that record the translation and interpretation of the Quran are discursively framed as the means through which the true meaning of the Quran is revealed. In particular, it examines how inscribing ones understanding of the text is framed as essential to generating a reading of the Quran that is im-mediate and therefore more authentic. Such graphic ideologies (Hull, 2003), I suggest, not only perceive of writing as a functional enterprise that preserves meaning on paper but also imbue it with a potentiality for actualizing appropriate desires and habits of reflection on the written word that are seen as integral to virtuous conduct. Leilah Vevaina, New School Renegade Priests, Intermarried Women, and the Locations of Practice The Parsis of India, like many other religious groups, manage their ritual spaces and properties within charitable trusts. Indeed, the Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP), now the apex body of the community, was inaugurated by a trust deed that endowed a jungle plot on Malabar Hill, in south Bombay as a Tower of Silence complex (Zoroastrian funerary space) in the 17th Century. Through two key pieces of litigation, this paper will show how access to this funerary ground by intermarried women and so-called renegade priests who perform rituals for them, is furiously debated and negotiated by the trusts through the Indian judiciary. The cases not only reveal the new cleavages over proper religious practices in the face of a perceived crisis in demography and ecological possibility, but also the multiple authority structures and negotiations between the trustees, the courts, lay Parsis, and priests. From defining the religious and secular aspects of the workings of religious trusts, to the rights of access by beneficiaries, the cases reevaluate the locations of the sacred and profane in contemporary religious life. and sojourners in Australia, and the broader tendency for opposition to the pernicious effects of globalization to be expressed via a parochial, racist opposition to multiculturalism. Panel 13 Education and Development: Moving Beyond the Millennium Development Goals Panel Organizer: Kathryn Zyskowski, Univeristy of Washington Panel Discussant: Raka Ray, University of California Berkeley This panel aims to be an interdisciplinary conversation on issues of education in South Asia. This panel views education in a broad sense, inviting papers focusing on all stages of schooling as well as educational projects outside of school and study abroad programs. The panel is particularly interested in a conversation on recent educational endeavors from the ground across South Asia, with an aim to broaden the conversation on education in South Asia beyond the UN Millennium Development Goals and the recent Right to Education Bill in India. The panel especially welcomes 23

papers that highlight innovative organizations, a focus on the creative, and the experience of the everyday. What are the epistemological roots behind various educational projects, and how does that affect their goals? How does the Diaspora partake in educational development? How are NGOs shaping the discourse on education? How is the internationalization of higher education affecting South Asia? How is resilience evident in underserved communities? How are technologies being appropriated for education projects, both in rural and urban areas? How are experiential and environmental education programs addressing a gap in knowledge production, or producing new models of educational development? Are traditional schooling spaces shifting? Kathryn Zyskowski, University of Washington Becoming family? Global Service-learning in India In this paper I reflect on my experiences as a leader for American service-learning trips for high school students in rural northern India. I use this experience in order to think through the lived realities of the development discourse on multiple levels through anecdotes from village community members, NGO urban elites, and American students. How does an international service-learning trip complicate notions of development on both the local and global levels? How do the different actors view both service and development differently? Who benefits, in what ways, from this educational endeavor? Looking at the narrative of cultural transformation, I use theories of a multiplicitous self to elucidate the changes of worldview both students and community members express (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987). I contend, though, that the idealized image of cultural exchange obfuscates unequal exchanges of time, emotions, and money on an international service-learning trip (Mauss, 1990). Following, I look at the narratives from village women about their new rainwater tanks, and the subsequent shift in the mode of production. Lastly, I turn to the NGO leaders, looking at how their education, social class, and experience shapes how their view on Indias development. Looking at the American high school students, the urban elite leaders, and community members exposes how the worldviews of the development projectboth internationally and locallyis layered in a way that is often left out of a simple development narrative. Ethiraj Dattatreyan, University of Pennsylvania Located in Bharat/India: Diaspora, Research, and Educational Reform Scholars of the South Asian diaspora have asserted that immigrants situated in two national spheres create narratives that transcend national boundaries and change the notion of what it means to be Indian and what it means to be a citizen of a new nation (Shankar, 2008; Shukla, 2003; Kaur, 2005). This paper explores how my diasporic 'returnee status positions me with the participants in my research endeavors that focus on education reform in and around Bangalore, India. I specifically focus on how the India/Bharat imaginary, a binary deployed in nationalist, regional, class and religious discourses of belonging in India since at least the post-liberalization moment (Gupta, 1998; Hansen, 1999), is deployed in a 24

domestic education reform NGO to signal the tensions between field staff, located in the rural, peri-urban districts just outside of Bangalore, and management staff, located in the city. Matthew Witenstein, Claremont Graduate University Examining the Challenges Towards Reaching Universal Compulsory Education in Sri Lanka Educational indicators for Sri Lanka generally rank at or near the top in South Asia. Sri Lanka meets Universal Primary Education goals because their Net Enrollment Ratio was 99.9% in 2001-2002 (Arunatilake, 2007). Most children complete fifth grade and there is gender parity throughout the educational sector. In order to examine this issue, a sector-study type approach was used to: 1) Address the inequities poor and rural children have in completing compulsory education; and 2) Offer recommendations for policy and practice related to poor and rural children in order to reach UCE. Recommendations explored include: 1) Using formula-based funding; 2) Using English medium instruction balanced with native tongue instruction; and, 3) Working toward overall quality education. In conclusion, schoollevel and educational system infrastructures are in place for this next step to be taken toward achieving UCE. Lily Shapiro, University of Washington Transnational Media Education in India My paper focuses on the institution of medical research in India. By exploring the history and briefly the contemporary practices and formulations of medical education, I ask how the discourse of knowledge production about bodies and health is situated transnationally. Panel 14 Performance and Circulation Panel Organizer: Sangeeta Mediratta, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Vasudha Dalmia, University of California, Berkeley and Anna Schultz, Stanford University Sumitra Ranganathan, University of California, Berkeley Born in Berlin, Thriving in Bhopal: The Exclusionary Politics of Dhrupad Aesthetics Dhrupad, a medieval genre of North Indian classical music, has seen a selective resurgence in popularity in the twentieth century, accompanied by a rhetoric of ancientness and purity. Beginning with the efforts of Indologist Alain Danielou and a 1950s tour of the West by the famous Dagar brothers I show how one particular tradition of Dhrupad came to re-define the sounds of the genre in the 20th century to align with a theory of Vedic origins. Drawing on Dhrupad performances, music journalism, audience responses, Dhrupad tourism, cultural institutions and cross25

cultural networks for Dhrupad pedagogy and performance, artist rhetoric, and modern scholarship, I show how the dominant ideologies of the genre have been generated, maintained and circulated. I demonstrate how through particular sonic and rhetorical moves, Dhrupad has come to stand for pure sound echoing Vedic origins, in the process erasing its own etymology of textual bases (Dhruva pada = fixed or eternal text) and causing a majority of traditional Dhrupad musicians to become unintelligible to modern ears. I argue that modern Dhrupad exhibits what Jacques Ranciere terms a politics of aesthetics with tangible effects for its practitioners. Andrew Snynder, University of California, Berkeley Ideologies of Listening: A Reception Study of Ali Akbar Khan from 1963 to 1973 The Ali Akbar College of Music, in the Bay Area since 1967, has been a major center for the transmission of Hindustani music in the United States. Based on original research in the colleges archives of reviews of Khansahibs early US performances, I have captured a picture of an American concert-going public grappling with a foreign sound, searching for effective modes of description, and unconsciously caught in an orientalist web. Building on Saids Orientalism, I show how the discourse of cultural difference was manifested through dichotomies that pit East and West as irreconcilable entities. While some used the discourse of orientalism in order to dismiss Khansahib or to portray him as a quaint curiosity, the romantics of that generation used it to exalt him and the Oriental mythology they believed he embodied, as well as to disinherit what they believed to be the rationalism and materialism of western society. The reception of Hindustani music, therefore, proved to be contentious ground on which many Westerners of that generation were able to imagine alternative modes of experience and existence, and it played a part in an American culture war between the left and the right that continues to this day. Indian music was a sound of the radicalism of the 1960s and 70s, and interaction with it provided a space of articulation for the new American left and was part of larger disinheriting of Christianity and opting out of the consumer capitalist society of the 1950s. Ashveer Singh, University of Chicago Consuming Memory, Producing Nostalgia: Reflections on Bhangra Scholarship and North American Bhangra Circuit Much of the previous scholarship on the Punjabi folk dance and music genre bhangra has examined its performance and production from a cultural studies perspective. Such work treats Bhangra as a transnational phenomenon, describes its history as a musical movement in the United Kingdom, and charts various narratives of identity and multiculturalism in the US and the UK. In this paper I review the literature on bhangra from an anthropological approach. What is absent from scholarly work on bhangra is sustained ethnographic analysis in any time or place, which I argue has concealed the strong Punjabi nationalism and identity politics evinced by North American bhangra circuit, vis--vis other forms of cultural 26

solidarity that scholars have attended to. I submit that this circuit is the dominant producer of bhangra performances and by its transnational electronic viewership is shaping the global imaginary of bhangra. Benjamin Krakauer, University of Texas, Austin Negotiations of Professional and Personal Identities of Baul Musicians in West Bengal. Since the 19th century, educated urban Bengalis have been interested in the songs of the Bauls, a group of religious mendicants known for their adamant rejection of caste, class, and religious discrimination. In recent decades, thanks to the patronage of the cultural elite, many Baul musicians have found professional opportunities in Indian cities and abroad, earning a living through contractual arrangements instead of the traditional practice of begging for alms. Whereas Bauls were once viewed as a marginal group and were looked down upon by religious conservatives in village settings, today being a Baul can be a source of social status and upward mobility. Due to these changes in the social position and popular reception of Bauls, many performers and patrons of Baul music have conflicted views regarding the identity of the modern Baul, and whether such a person exists. To some a true Baul is a renunciant who wouldnt use a cell phone or preoccupy him/herself with the pragmatics musical professionalism; to others a Baul is an entertainer whose music provides a link to a pre-modern Bengal and to older systems of indigenous spiritual knowledge and practice. Throughout my research in West Bengal, these issues have manifest in unexpected ways during music lessons and interviews with Bauls, and during casual conversations with Bengali urbanites who patronize Baul music and musicians. I consider how discourses surrounding Bauls and modernity impact the lives and marketing strategies of professional Baul musicians, and how audiences of Baul music choose to relate to or ignore these issues.

Panel 15 Origins and Legacies: History and the Present Panel Organizer: Peter Samuels, Stanford University Panel Discussant: Sudipta Sen, University of California, Davis The continuity of concepts and practices across pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial South Asia remains a salient feature of institutional life in the region. Postcolonial South Asian states and their legal systems continue to be fundamentally shaped by formal practices originating in preceding eras, especially at the local level. As official archives, such as the National Archives of India, have grown to accommodate new material from the post-colonial era, so has interest in tracing the genealogies of contemporary state practices. This panel draws connections between the past and the present, especially with regards to state practices and legal forms.


Ajay Verghese, George Washington University Colonial Legacies and Patterns of Ethnic Violence This project examines this question by investigating India, one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Specifically, I examine two neighboring districts in the northern state of Rajasthan Jaipur and Ajmer in which the ethnic cleavages in society are exactly the same. Yet conflict in Jaipur revolves around religion whereas conflict in Ajmer revolves around caste. I argue that the variation is caused by the inherited legacy of colonial rule: Jaipur was a princely state, governed by a native king during the colonial period, whereas Ajmer was governed directly by British administrators. I show that the Hindu rulers of Jaipur enacted discriminatory policies against the Muslim minority but were progressive toward low castes. In Ajmer, British administrators discriminated primarily against low castes but were protective of the Muslim minority. I finally show that the post-colonial government has not reformed ethnic power distributions. This project, based on 4 months of fieldwork in the region, offers a new theory of ethnic salience and the enduring power of colonialism. Cristin McKnight Sethi, University of California Berkeley The Origins and Legacies of Kalamkari Textiles in Contemporary Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh This paper examines the changing patterns of patronage and production of contemporary kalamkari textiles from Sri Kalahasti, a town in southern Andhra Pradesh known for its large community of kalamkari artists. Translating loosely as penwork, kalamkari is a tradition of hand-painting natural dyes onto cotton fabric with a bamboo kalam or pen. Originally taking the form of large religious wall hangings, kalamkari from Sri Kalahasti has evolved over the last few decades to include everything from saris and salwaar suit material to t-shirts and gift bags. Through close consideration of recent examples of kalamkari, its intricate and timeconsuming process, the diverse community of craftspeople involved in its making, and the circulation of these textiles in exhibitions and through online media, this paper seeks to understand the many variables that define and shape kalamkari in Sri Kalahasti today. Does artistic agency rest with the craftspeople or with the market? In what ways do new forms of kalamkari incorporate historically popular motifs and aesthetic content, and what value does the past have on kalamkaris present? How is meaning made (and remade) for wearable crafts like kalamkari? Ali Altaf Mian, Duke University Speculum of a Different Aurat: South Asian Muslim Traditionalism Meets Irigaray What does woman (aurat) signify in the social imaginary of South Asian Islam? Where do Muslim theologians place the materiality of the feminine within their phallologocentric discourses? How could we reclaim the ontological possibilities of sexual difference from the archival sites where the feminine is disavowed? In this paper, I explore these questions with reference to Ashraf Ali Thanvis Urdu manual 28

Bihishti zewar (translated by Barbara Metcalf as Perfecting Women). By invoking the philosophy of Luce Irigaray, I argue that woman is assumed as a repressed externality that gives order and coherence to the symbolic of Thanvis Muslim traditionalism. My argument implies that any invocation of difference that does not take sexual difference seriously fails to unsettle the present crisis of Muslim identity. Peter Samuels, Stanford University Out of Howrah, Before the Storm: Early Indian Railways and the Origins of the Land Acquisition Act The Land Acquisition Act 1894, India's eminent domain statute, is a controversial law at the heart of contemporary political and economic contestations. This paper examines the mid-nineteenth century origins of the practice of eminent domain in modern India. In particular, it analyzes the role of railway construction in Bengal Presidency in the creation of the first Land Acquisition Act, passed in 1857, shortly before the rebellion. The paper focuses on the complex interactions between colonial land revenue policy and railway capitalism, as engineers, contractors, landlords, and cultivators were drawn into the forging a new kind of colonial infrastructure state. Nikhil Menon, Princeton University Battling the Bottle Set in colonial Madras of the early twentieth century, this essay treats urban leisure practices as a field in which competing visions of a laboring life were negotiated. Tracing the discourses deployed and means employed to regulate workers' drinking habits, it looks at (a) the framing of drinking as a 'problem', (b) the temperance strategies implemented, and (c) the manner in which these policies dovetailed with the creation of a mass market for hitherto niche commodities - tea and coffee. The essay proceeds to look at the coercive and coaxing policies used by different bodies in an attempt to rid people of this 'evil' thirst. Employers petitioned the Government to introduce a temperance perimeter around mills and restrict the hours of operation of liquor stores. Another method involved borrowing from the British experiment with Workmen's Clubs. These clubs were designed as recreational alternatives, offering a panoply counter-inducements to the bottle. Here tea, coffee, cheap food, sport, music and movies provided amusements of a healthy kind. The concerted promotion of tea and coffee in temperance strategies played a role in refashioning practices of mass consumption, embedding these beverages in popular taste. Panel 16 Democracy & Technology Panel Organizer: Rachel Brule and Vivek Srinivasan, Stanford University Panel Discussant, Priti Ramamurthy, University of Washington


Around the world, support for technology as a means of promoting and expanding democracy appears to be growing past imagined limits of geography, class, and society. The pace of technology's integration into governance has also been much faster than the pace of critical inquiry into the consequences of these new means of governance. In the wake of technology-facilitated critiques of governance, as well as an ever-growing host of government attempts at electronic transparency, monitoring, and service provision that span continents, what have we learned about the perils and promise of partnerships between democracy and technology? Arzak Khan, PhD, University of Waikato, New Zealand The Role of Technology in Pakistans Black Movement and Things to Come! The aim of this proposed empirical policy research paper is to for the first time present the theoretical and practical implications for social movements in context of Southern movements. The policy research paper will present the practices of new Information communication technologies used for brokerage, mobilization of masses and collective action during the black revolution in Pakistan. It will also highlight the impact new information communication technologies had on the success of lawyers movement of Pakistan and contribute to the debates surrounding the political and economic utility of ICTs in seeking to determine systematically how information communication technologies matter with regard to social mobilization, and how the role of ICTs varies across different contexts. Nidhi Vij, Syracuse University Two to Tango: Monitoring Mechanisms in Practice: Impediments and IT-Initiatives in Social Audits under MGNREGA in India This paper looks at the social audits model outlined in MGNREGA and its various manifestations across the States from theoretical perspective of accountability, transparency and citizen participation to understand the complexities and challenges that the design faces as a democratic institution and in its implemented as a democratic practice. Many of these challenges are now being addressed through use of Information Technology (IT). The analysis attempts to also highlight some of the IT innovations that have been initiated within the program to facilitate the audit process and assess their potential to empower the beneficiaries to claim their rights, reap benefits of growth and seek social justice. Rachel Brul, Stanford University Democratic Reform & Information Technology: Catalyst for Progress or Backlash? Evidence on Gender-Equalizing Inheritance Reforms Impact in Rural India This paper tests four popular hypotheses about when the law empowers women: (1) directly, via voluntary compliance and legal implementation in courts and public administration, (2) via education, which empowers women to understand and demand legal rights, (3) via political empowerment: local reservations for female political leaders (pradhans), (4) via strengthening norms about womens economic 30

participation based on womens historical role in agricultural production. Evidence shows that the National Amendment had a marginal negative impact on womens inheritance following legislation. These findings suggest that widespread information about reform generated a backlash against reforms intended beneficiaries in the first states to reform inheritance law. Later states avoided a significant backlash by their reluctance to conduct awareness campaigns. Overall, information technology is not a uniformly positive instrument for implementation of socially-radical democratic reforms. Sreela Sarkar University of Massachusetts, Amherst Rethinking Technology, Governance & Modernity at the Boundaries of Delhi I highlight the everyday experiences of the computer girls in Seelampur to understand how minority Muslim women, living in a deeply unequal urban context, understand the ICT-enabled new governance program. I argue that their narratives disrupt policy discourse about Islam, gender and technology. Despite the claims about ICT as a leveling force, the ICTD initiative in Seelampur attracts relatively upper-class and upper-caste participants. However, these young women occupy a contested and precarious position within Indias rising middle-class, thus inviting questions on the political, economic, cultural and spatial consequences of uneven globalization in South Asia. Further, such participants continue to hold the state responsible for their welfare even as the state curtails its social service activities through its e-governance program. I argue that understanding such lived experiences critically advances debates on the promise of technology for democracy and modernity in South Asia.