2014-15 South Asia Institute Colloquium Series

Except as noted, the default time and location for all events:
Time:               4:00-5:30pm
Location:         Knox Hall, Room 208
606 West 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont.
Monday, February 2, 2015
A talk by Tariq Thachil (Yale)
"Elite Parties, Poor Voters: How Social Services Win Votes in India"
Tariq Thachil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Yale University, and a Research Fellow at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. His research focuses on political parties and political behavior, social movements, and ethnic politics. His forthcoming book examines how elite parties can use social services to win mass support, through a study of Hindu nationalism in India.   He earned a PhD at Cornell University, and his doctoral dissertation was awarded the 2010 Gabriel A. Almond Award for best dissertation in comparative politics by the American Political Science Association, and the 2010 Sardar Patel Prize for best dissertation on modern India in the humanities and social sciences.
Monday, February 16, 2015
A talk by Davesh Soneji (McGill)
"Tukaram in the Tamil Country: Marathi Kirtan, Multilingualism,
and the Making of South Indian Musical Tradition"
Davesh Soneji is Associate Professor of South Asian Religions in the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, where he earned his PhD. He is Associate Director of the Centre for Research on Religion (CREOR), and a member of the Women's Studies Advisory Committee at McGill's Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies (IGSF). His research interests lie at the intersections of social and cultural history, religion, and anthropology.  Soneji is author of Unfinished Gestures: Devadāsīs, Memory, and Modernity in South India (2012), a social history of women in devadasi communities over the past two hundred years, which was awarded the 2013 Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize from The Association for Asian Studies. He edited Bharatanatyam: A Reader (2010) and co-edited, with Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Performing Pasts: Reinventing the Arts in Modern South India (2008 ). Prof. Soneji is the co-founder and director of The Mangala Initiative, a non-profit organization centred on social justice issues for hereditary performing artists in South India.
Monday, February 23, 2015
A talk by Gyan Prakash (Princeton)
"Between Politics and Law: Emergency in India, 1975-77"
Gyan Prakash is Dayton-Stockton Professor in the History Department at Princeton University.  Educated in India and the United States, Prakash specializes in the history of modern India. His general field of research and teaching interests concerns urban modernity, the colonial genealogies of modernity, and problems of postcolonial thought and politics. His recent publications, Mumbai Fables, and an edited volume, Noir Urbanisms: Dystopic Images of the Modern City, and a co-edited volume, Utopia/Dystopia: Historical Conditions of Possibility, were published in 2010.
Monday, March 9, 2015
Mary Keatinge Das Lecture
A talk by David Shulman (Hebrew University)
"The Serpent's Ecstasy: Deep Seeing in the Sanskrit Theater of Kerala"
David Shulman is the Renee Lang Professor of Humanistic Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  He earned his PhD at the University of London, and has been a Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin-Madison.   His research interests include the history of religion in South India; Poetry and poetics in Tamil, Telugu, and Sanskrit; Tamil Islam; Dravidian linguistics; and Carnatic music.  His recent publications include More than Real: A History of the Imagination in South India (2012); The Sound of the Kiss, or The Story That Must Never Be Told, translations, with Pingali Suranna and Velcheru Narayana Rao (2012); Textures of Time: Writing History in South India 1600-1800, with Sanjay Subrahmanyam and Velcheru Narayana Rao (2013).
Monday, April 6, 2015
A talk by Joyce Flueckiger (Emory)
"Performativity and Agency of the Material Guise (Vesam) in a South Indian Goddess Tradition"
Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger is a Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University.  She earned her Ph.D. in South Asian Language and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has carried out extensive fieldwork in central and south India, working with both Hindu and Muslim traditions.  Her research projects focus on indigenous categories and in everyday, vernacular religion, to bring unwritten traditions into the mainstream of the study and teaching of religion, with an emphasis on gendered performance and experience.  Flueckiger’s latest publication is When the World Becomes Female: Possibilities of a South Indian Goddess (2013).  She has received a John Simon Guggenheim and Summer NEH fellowships for 2014-2015 to support her new project titled Material Acts: The Agency of Materiality in India.
Monday, April 13, 2015
A talk by Munis Faruqui
"Princes of the Mughal Empire, 1504-1719"
Moderated by Allison Busch 
Co-sponsored by the Departments of MESAAS and History
Abstract  For almost 200 years, the Mughal emperors ruled supreme in northern India. How was it possible that a Muslim, ethnically Turkish, Persian-speaking dynasty established itself in the Indian subcontinent to become one of the largest and most dynamic empires in the early-modern period? Using the figure of the Mughal prince, Munis D. Faruqui offers a new interpretive lens through which to comprehend Mughal state formation. In a challenge to previous scholarship, Prof. Faruqui’s work suggests that far from undermining the foundations of empire, the court intrigues and political backbiting that were features of Mughal political life – and that frequently resulted in rebellions and wars of succession – actually helped spread, deepen, and mobilize Mughal power through an empire-wide network of friends and allies. Ultimately, however, because Mughal imperial and princely success were interlinked when both experienced political stress in the late 1600s and early 1700s, they atrophied together with negative results for the empire.
Munis D. Faruqui is an historian and Associate Professor in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He focuses on the Muslim experience in South Asia, especially during the Mughal period. His books include Princes of the Mughal Empire, 1504-1719 (2012) and Expanding Frontiers in South Asian and World History, co-edited with Richard Eaton, David Gilmartin and Sunil Kumar (2013). Another co-edited volume (with Vasudha Dalmia) is forthcoming later this year: Religious Interactions in Mughal India.  He is currently working on a book about the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
Monday, April 20, 2015
A talk by Atul Kohli (Princeton)
"Corporate Imperialism:  East India Company Revisited"

Moderated by Partha Chatterjee, Departments of Anthropology and MESAAS

Atul Kohli is the David K.E. Bruce Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. His principal research interests are in the areas of comparative political economy with a focus on the developing countries. He is the author of Poverty amid Plenty in the New India (2012) (a Foreign Affairs Best Book of 2012 on Asia and the Pacific); State-Directed Development: Political Power and Industrialization in the Global Periphery (winner of the Charles Levine Award (2005) of the International Political Science Association); Democracy and Discontent: India's Growing Crisis of Governability (1991); and The State and Poverty in India (1987).