UCI South Asia Graduate Student Conference (October 10-12, 2019)

Interrogating “South Asia”

What does it mean to be working on South Asia or South Asian studies today, a field that has its origins in the U.S. military and foreign policy decision-making in the Cold War era? What kinds of relationalities – regional, national or transnational – does it proffer or obscure? What are some of the tensions/conflicts/contradictions that emerge from within the discipline, particularly since the field by definition involves a process of exclusion? For instance, the hegemonic status of India within South Asian studies obscures scholarship on other nation-states existing outside its geographical boundaries. In the same vein, it is also important to ask: how contemporary forms of global capital both dissolve and consolidate these boundaries? Additionally, given the existence of such a field, is it possible to posit “South-Asia” as an epistemology which can contest or challenge other ways of knowing?

The 2019 South Asia graduate conference at UCI, therefore, focuses on understanding and unpacking “South Asia” both as a geographically delimited territory and an epistemological framework. Proposed topics of the conference include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • “South Asia”: Area, Region, Diaspora
  • Colonialism and Empires
  • Nation, Nationalism and Postcolonial Moorings 
  • South Asia : economies, political economy and neo-liberalism
  • Representations: literature, philosophy, popular media, visual media and performance
  • “What is South Asia”: Pedagogical approaches.

Inaugural Performance by Shyamala Moorty of Post-Natyam Collective! Check out the details here.

Final Conference schedule

Please RSVP here.



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