ECMSAS Accepted Panel Suggestions 33 to 40To view panel details, please click on the title of the panel in which you are interested. For further information, please contact the panel convenors directly, using the mail address(es) listed under each panel.
Name: John Zavos
Affiliation: University of Manchester
Panel Title: The Public Representation of a religion called Hinduism: Show Temples and Publi
Abstract: This panel investigates the public representation of Hinduism as a religion, comparing such representation in India with that in diasporic contexts. In particular, it focuses on the establishment of large, 'show' temples with a national profile; for example, the temples in Neasden, north-west London, and Bartlett, Illinois, and the Akshardham temple in New Delhi - all established in recent years by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. It also seeks to investigate the development of new modes of worship, including congregational innovation in political contexts, such as the Shiv Sena's 'Maha Aarti' ceremonies, and so-called 'on-line puja' in transnational perspective. The panel is part of a broader network project examining the public representation of Hinduism. The network aims to examine the various ways in which Hinduism has asserted and maintained a public presence in a range of contemporary contexts.
Name 1: Dr. Julia A. B. Hegewald
Name 2: Prof. Dr. Subrata K. Mitra
Affiliation 1: Lecturer in South Asian History of Art and Architecture, Department of Art History and Viusal Studies, University of Manchester
Affiliation 2: Head of Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg
Panel Title: Re-use: The Art and Politics of Integration and Anxiety
Abstract: The panel invites papers that focus on specific historical or contemporary cases of conquest, conversion and 're-use'. The contributions will examine the concept of re-use - the inter-contextual transfer of knowledge, design and belief by subjects of aggression, initially for the purpose of survival but ultimately for the construction of a new identity and the transformation of victim-hood into agency - and its various art-historical and political applications in South Asia. The genealogy of religious conflict in South Asia teaches us how, under the impact of radical changes in the structure of political power, institutions, legal concepts, as well as religious images and sacred structures often become prime objects of conquest and transformation. These conflicts over different religious, political and artistic traditions form part of the residue of historical paths of invasion. Such examples constitute the main theme of this panel.
Conflicts over symbols of faith, modes of religious practice and the exclusive right to worship at some holy places continue to be at the origin of intense inter-community violence. Events, such as the desecration of the Babri Mosque at Ayodhya, are a cause of deep anxiety for the legitimacy of the state. However, such conflicts are not necessarily a prelude to total breakdown of order because, re-use - strategic incorporation of the past into the fold of modern institutions - can bring much needed legitimacy to the post-colonial state.
Possible areas to be covered by paper-givers are:
- re-use of images and buildings in South Asia
- re-use of concepts in post-colonial politics
- re-use in popular art and film
- re-use in religion and ritual
- re-use of legal concepts in South Asia
- re-use of motifs and themes in South Asian literature
Name 1: Filippo Osella
Name 2: Caroline Osella
Affiliation 1: Sussex Anthropology
Affiliation 2: SOAS anthropology
Panel Title: Lived Islam in Contemporary South Asia Abstract: This panel proposes to explore, through a historically informed study of contemporary material, how Muslims are currently shaping and re-shaping their practice and understandings of Islam, and how Islam in various sites across south Asia is articulating in the contemporary situation with wider socio-economic and political structures.
In recent studies of piety movements among Muslims in Cairo (e.g. Mahmood 2005; Hirschkind 2006) and Lebanon, (Deeb 2006), successful attempts at ethical self-fashioning are highlighted.
Given this wave of recent attention to such piety movements and questions of moral reform, there has been less attention paid to questions of the everyday ways in which Islam may be lived. At times, an overemphasis on theological debates and the religious milieu may also produce a re-exoticisation effect, whereby Muslims become described and understood solely through their relationships to Islam.
We are then here in this panel interested to explore everyday practice with its negotiations, contradictions and imperfections rather than committed activism. And we are also calling for papers which situate Islam - including projects of reform or piety - into the wider contemporary socio-economic context.
Specific questions which papers may address - through use of contemporary material - include:
- Which practices and discourses are produced, taken up or contested within specific (economic, political and social) contexts by particular actors.
- How standpoints on how to live as a Muslim may vary according to (e.g.) stage in the life-cycle; gender; class.
- How projects of change (such as piety movements) which aim to re-order Muslims' lifeworlds and institutional structures, are working in dialogue with those produced under modernity (such as the nation state).
- How wider political discourse generated by Euro-American Islamophobia directly impinges upon people's sense of being Muslim and their orientation towards practice.
- How wider political discourse from within the nation and relationships with other communities may shape attitudes and practice.
- How globalisation and neoliberal economic relationships articulate with attempts to live and practice Islam.
- An examination of popular practices, such as festivals, (understood as not at all particular to South Asian 'popular' Islam but as found in many Muslim societies) and how such practices may be shifting.
It may be most helpful to keep in mind here the idea of Islam as a discursive tradition (Asad 1986; Zaman 2002) and to be prepared to take on a wider comparative framework which does not insist upon either specificity nor the 'exotic' nature of Islam in south Asia but places it firmly within contemporary currents within the wider world.
Name 1: Prof. Richard Fox Young
Name 2: Prof Chad Mullet Baumann
Affiliation 1: Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
Affiliation 2: Dept. of Philosophy and Religion, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN 46208
Panel Title: Christians, Cultural Interactions, and South Asia's Religious TraditionsAbstract: Recognizing that South Asian Christianities are distinct forms of Christianity and that interaction with South Asia's cultures and religions are essential to any characterization of Christianity as South Asian (Indian, etc.), the panel invites exchange between intercultural studies scholars, mission studies scholars, and religious studies scholars who address any of the many phenomena associated with the historical emergence and contemporary character of South Asian Christianities.
Already, the panel we propose has a rather long history at EASAS conferences. It stands in continuity with others organized by Robert Frykenberg of Wisconsin (Madison) and Geoffrey Oddie of Sydney; panels have been held at Toulouse, Copenhagen, Prague, Edinburgh, Heidelberg, Lund, and Leiden under variants of the proposed title. Since Lund, the primary convenor has been Richard Young. With co-convenor Selva J. Raj of Albion College in the U.S.A., the Leiden panel addressed a particular theoretical issue, Syncretism, Christianity, and Indias Religious Traditions: Squaring Texts, Practices, and Rituals with Terms, Concepts, and Cases. Though highly regarded by the core group of scholars who have sustained this panel over the years, it was recommended that in alternate conference years it would be good to revert to the established pattern of being a panel open to the increasingly widespread interest in South Asian Christianities among the various academic disciplines represented at EASAS. Interest has indeed always been high, but Leiden elicited one of the best audience responses of all. Consistently, panelists have represented a good mix of European, Commonwealth, North American, and South Asian scholarship.
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Name 1: Ulla Vuorela
Name 2: Dr Keezhangatte James Joseph
Affiliation 1: University of Tampere, Finland
Affiliation 2: University of Hong Kong
Panel Title: 'South Asian Transnational Families and Negotiated Relationships'
Abstract: 'South Asian Transnational Families and Negotiated Relationships'
A panel suggested by Ulla Vuorela PhD, Prof (University of Tampere, Finland) and James Joseph Keezhangatte Dr. (University of Hong Kong)
In this panel we explore the ways in which South Asian Transnational families are anchored in space and place and the ways in which the family networks provide different kinds of (extended) sense of belonging. Being transnational does not necessarily imply de-territorialised identities; nor does it mean living without local connections, be it to a place or a community; with transnational families we speak of families whose lives extend beyond national borders, both coevally and in a historical continuity. Transnational families, then, imply multisited imaginings of family-hood, both materially and mentally. On one hand, family may be seen as a broad based set of negotiated relationships, based on familiarity through co-habitation, food-sharing or circulation of resources and kinds of bonding and; on the other hand, an emphasis on blood-based continuity may prevail.
While literature on transnational families has increased significantly, there are still lacunae in the appreciation of transnational modes of living for family continuity. Likewise, there is a need to study the significance of space and place for a sense of familyhood. Are there some peculiarities of transnational families with we think of the family connections and bonding in South Asia, herself a space with a lot of cultural diversity and a broad spectrum of livelihoods. The issues that we find important to discuss at this point in time include questions such as:
When transnational families unite in South Asia or in other destinations, what are the challenges of negotiating new roles and identities;
What is the significance of cyberspace for a sense of family hood and family practices? Transnational family in cyberspace - digitalised relationships - fake, real or what?
Rise of India and new perspectives on migration - reverse flow of migrants beginning or end to transnational family? Can one speak of reverse migration, or else, of reconnecting with an old set of family relationships? What kind of ruptures and continuity in family connections can one observe? What are the kinds of prompts that make people return to their roots in South Asia? Do we speak of a return, a reunification or new beginnings?
Comparing transnational families on an economic spectrum (domestic workers, unskilled migrant workers, highly skilled workers); how are domestic workers included in or excluded from family relationships? What is the impact of economic resources to a sense of family-hood and the possibilities of mobility? What is the significance of social and material remittances for family and kin or else, what is the role played by transnational links to upward mobility or practices of survival?
Individuals in transnational families - actors and their scripts; How do individuals negotiate between family bonds and their individual aspirations?
Email 1: Ulla.email@example.com
Email 2: firstname.lastname@example.org
Name 1: Sean McLoughlin
Name 2: William Gould, Ananya Kabir, Emma Tomalin
Affiliation 1: University of Leeds
Affiliation 2: University of Leeds
Panel Title: Writing the Cities of the South Asian Diaspora Abstract: Writing the Cities of the South Asian Diaspora Worldwide
The aim of this panel is to reflect upon the diverse and changing 'local' and 'trans-local' dynamics of particular cities in the South Asian Diaspora worldwide. With an interest in the existing and potential contributions and perspectives of both the Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences, it will examine how they have been 'written' at particular moments in time through various genres of 'writing': ethnography; local and oral history; literary and cultural production including literature, art, films, music, etc; newspapers and the media; official reports. We are especially concerned with the changing representations of a postcolonial politics of identity and the associated public constructions of ethnicity and race, multiculturalism and religion. However, we are to engage too with contributions taking account of the experiences of women and diasporic writings in South Asian vernaculars. The panel will report on the findings of an AHRC Diasporas network on the writing of British-Asian cities (April 2006 - March 2008). However, the intention of the panel is to bring together a minimum of four papers from amongst the UK cities of Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester, Manchester, and Tower Hamlets, with as many papers again on cities of the South Asian diaspora worldwide.
Drs Seán McLoughlin, William Gould, Ananya Kabir & Emma Tomalin
University of Leeds www.leeds.ac.uk/writingbritishasiancities
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Email 2: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Name 1: Professor Dr. Azhar Mansur Khan
Name 2: Mr. Raheel Bodla
Affiliation: Centre for Advanced Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan
Panel Title: Management of Development Projects in South Asian Countries
Details: Projects are the building blocks of any investment or development plan. Many South Asian countries development has been impeded by the enormous expenditure incurred on the failed projects. Projects cover both social sector as well as infrastructure sectors. There are countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which could offset their external loans, had they not wasted resources on failed projects. Many South Asian countries had been borrowing resources to undertake development projects and instead of developing they would lag behind and go further under the debt. Therefore the aspect of better project management, involvement of communities and transparency has been an important factor in the development of South Asian countries. This will indeed be an excellent topic for a panel and will attract several very interesting papers, discussions and novel ideas from the presenters as well as the audience.
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Name 1: Dr. Soumen Bagchi, USAID Fiscal Reform Management Project, Bangalore, India
Name 2: Mr. Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, Vsihva Bharati University, West Bengal, India
Panel Title: DOES DECENTRALISATION NECESSARILY IMPLY PRO-POOR SERVICE DELIVERY: ISSUES IN TH
Decentralisation, in matter of governance, has been a major concern of developing countries, the international development community and researchers for two decades. On account of many failures of the centralized state almost everywhere, decentralisation is widely believed to promise a range of benefits that include, to list a few, increased possibilities for participation as well of empowerment of people and a more efficient provision of public goods for the people in general and the poor in particular. Nevertheless, the relationship might not be so straightforward. The outcome of decentralisation depends to a large extent on the form and type of decentralisation that one looks at. In fact, the institutional context and, therefore, the structure of incentives and organizations in developing and transition economies are quite different from those in the advanced industrial economies. This, in turn, requires detailed explorations of the consequences that those institutional differences might have on decentralization policies and their implications. In other words, the necessary pre-requisites, for effective decentralisation, need to be analysed within a framework that tackles political, fiscal and administrative decentralisation simultaneously, while also taking into account country specific conditions and different types of decentralisation policies.
Despite many oft-mentioned benefits of decentralisation, the related literature in the context of development is still in its infancy, the available experiences on decentralisation reveal that many of the studies are largely descriptive, not analytical and, often, indicate correlation rather than the causal process. Mainly this has been a result of the lack of appropriate information at the sub-national level of governments in the developing countries. In recent years, things have moved for better in the developing countries as well. As a consequence, this panel aims to fill this gap. The panel would welcome papers that evaluate the impact of on-going decentralisation initiatives on service delivery; compare it with the experience with centralization or some other counterfactual; examine the conditions under which decentralisation benefits the poorest section of population. This could be done through a review of the literature on related issues or with the help of case studies analyzing the dynamics, factors and actors underlying the decentralisation process. Comparative case- studies of the decentralization process and its implications between a transition economy of the Central Asia and other developing countries from the South Asia would also be given due consideration.
Convener: Pakistan Workshop, UK
Recent developments in Pakistan have challenged the view that Pakistan is merely another authoritarian dictatorship, and have raised profound questions about the direction Pakistani society is moving towards. This session, convened by the Pakistan Workshop, will examine, first, the implications of recent and ongoing radical political and civil society challenges to military rule, and second, transformations in identity and subjectivity of Pakistani citizens in contemporary Pakistan at a time when notions of personhood, citizenship and rights are all fluid and deeply contested.
Theme 1: Black Suits, Veils and Khaki Uniforms: Citizens on the Barricades
Without doubt, the leading issue in Pakistan today is the transition or non-transition from military to civilian rule. The judiciary's unexpected assertion of its independence in what one commentator aptly called the 'black suit rebellion', brought lawyers and other pro-democracy activists on to the streets, and revealed that despite a history of successive military dictatorships, faith in secular democratic institutions and the rights of citizens in Pakistan is still a significant force beneath the surface. Countering this liberal tendency is a hardline religious one, a challenge to democracy and civil society which Benazir Bhutto has labelled the Talibanization of Pakistan. Most recently, this was signalled by the pyres of burning videos and CDs set alight by fully veiled women, in a challenge to government and the rule of law which culminated in the Red Mosque showdown, and has been followed by a campaign of suicide bombings and violent attacks on the army. We shall consider these dramatic events and their implication for the future shape of Pakistan society.
Theme 2: Identity and Subjectivity in Transformation
Within this broader highly dramatic context of citizens on the barricades set out in Theme 1, men and women are having to navigate their own sense of place, subjectivity and identity. In this part of the session we will explore the more nuanced understanding Pakistani citizens have of themselves, their society, their class, religious identity, gender and agency.
contact 1: Pnina Werbner, Keele University (P.Werbner@keele.ac.uk)
contact 2: Steven Lyon, Durham University (email@example.com)
contact 3: Muhammad Waseem, Quaid-i-Azam University (firstname.lastname@example.org)