2019-20 Events Calendar

Except as noted, the default time and location for all events:
Time:  4:15-5:45pm
Location:   Knox Hall, Room 208
Street Address:  606 West 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont
Tuesday, October 15, 2019
A talk by Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell University)
“Situating Contemporary Art and the Secular”

Time:  4:10pm - 6:00pm
Location:  Knox Hall, Room 208
This lecture is organized by the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life, and co-sponsored by the South Asia Institute, as part of the project "Rethinking Public Religion in Africa and South Asia." The project is a collaboration with the South Asia Institute and the Institute for African Studies. Register here.

Abstract:  This lecture will look at two frameworks for situating the question of the secular in Pakistan and its diaspora. The first is exemplified by Rasheed Araeen, who has deployed “Islamicate” forms in his practice, along with his criticism of valorizing exoticized subjectivity and cultural difference. Araeen brings to the idea of “modern Islamic art” a persistent practice of self-critique and social engagement. By contrast, another framework has emerged in Pakistan during the recent decades, in which social concerns are seemingly peripheral to emphasis on repetitive practice. What are possible terms for evaluating these intensive formalist procedures? This paper will offer tentative lines of inquiry into these developments, informed by recent theoretical debates on secularism.
Iftikhar Dadi is Associate Professor, Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University.  He is co-director of Cornell's Institute for Comparative Modernities, and served as Chair of Cornell's Department of Art (2010-14) and Director of Cornell's South Asia Program (2015-16).  Prof. Dadi teaches and researches modern and contemporary art from a global and transnational perspective, with emphasis on questions of methodology and intellectual history. 
His writings have focused on modernism and contemporary practice of Asia, the Middle East and their diasporas.  Another research interest examines the film, media, and popular cultures of South Asia, seeking to understand how emergent publics forge new avenues for civic participation.  Publications include Modernism and the Art of Muslim South Asia (2010), which received the 2010 Book Prize from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies.  Other publications include the edited monograph Anwar Jalal Shemza (2015), the co-edited catalog Lines of Control (2012), and the co-edited reader Unpacking Europe (2001).
As an artist, Iftikhar Dadi works collaboratively with Elizabeth Dadi.  Their work investigates the salience of popular media in the construction of memory, borders, and identity in contemporary globalization, and the potential of creative resilience in urban informalities.  Their work is frequently realized in large-scale installations and has been exhibited and published internationally.
Monday, October 21
A talk by Nabanjan Maitra (University of Chicago)
“The Double Life of Doxography”
in conversation with Andrew Nicholson (Stony Brook)
Time:  4:15pm – 5:45pm
Location:  Room 208 Knox Hall
606 West 122nd Street, between Broadway and Claremont
Moderated by Jack Hawley (Religion)
Abstract:  This paper follows the social life of the doxographic genre by examining its use in two texts composed in the same institutional context: the Advaita Vedānta monastery at Śṛṅgeri. I argue that the use of the genre had two rhetorical goals; the formulation of a unified Vedic canon, and the concomitant marginalization of a pair of Vedānta schools. In the competitive religious politics of 14th – 17th century Karnataka, doxography was a versatile vehicle for the advancement of the religious supremacy of the Śṛṅgeri monastery.
Friday, November 8
Suraj Yengde in conversation with 
Prof. Anupama Rao (History and MESAAS)
on his recent publication
Caste Matters
Time:  6:30pm – 8:00pm
Location:  Common Room, Heyman Center, Upper Morningside Campus
IDs will need to be presented at the door
Organized by the Abedkar Initiative at the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
Co-sponsored by the South Asia Institute and the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies