CALL FOR PAPERS
The South Asia Graduate Student Conference XVI
The University of Chicago, March 8–9, 2019
The organizing committee of the South Asia Graduate Student Conference at the University of Chicago is delighted to announce its sixteenth annual conference, South Asia: The Political, the Public, the Popular, to be held on March 8–9, 2019. We invite papers from graduate students at all levels to explore these categories in contemporary and historical South Asia.
In tracing the development of the political, the public, and the popular, we wish to interrogate both their mutually constitutive character and the limitations of their intersection. As these concepts have become increasingly widespread in scholarship on South Asia, we ask whether they require a distinct theorization that accounts for their application in the region. This year’s conference will take place a month before the general election in India and in the wake of major elections in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, posing the timely question of how democratic processes engage in and shape political life, the public sphere, and popular culture. At the same time, we welcome an understanding of the political that extends beyond governance and institutions to include its construction in and through the arts, mass culture, media, and entertainment.
We invite papers that interrogate topics such as:
- Institutions, elections, and political representation
- Politics of public space in everyday life
- Censorship and regulation of popular culture
- Mass communication and political mobilization
- Religion and the politics of populism
- Mass culture and art forms in the public sphere
- Cinema, politics, and movie-going publics
- Gender, caste, minorities, and subaltern counterpublics
- Environmentalism in popular culture
- South Asia and the global public sphere
- Theorizations of “the political” in South Asia
Keynote speakers for the conference are Ayesha Jalal, Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University, and Pamela Philipose, the public editor of the Indian news website The Wire.
Graduate students at any level and any stage of research are encouraged to apply. Past conferences have accepted papers from such diverse fields as cinema and media studies, history, political science, literature, environmental studies, religious studies, art history, science studies, philosophy, anthropology, and sound and visual studies, but we welcome all disciplinary approaches and methodologies. Interested applicants should send a 250-word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 4, 2019, and should apply as individuals, not as panels. Presentations should be 15–20 minutes long. Conference organizers will assist with travel and lodging for selected participants. Please write to us at the above address with any questions.
Andrew Halladay, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations
Titas De Sarkar, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations
Zoya Sameen, Department of History
Laura Letinsky, Professor, Department of Visual Arts