SAI_Title

Past Events of Spring 2007

Workshop
URDU WORKSHOP:
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"Insha and Rani Ketaki ki Kahani"
Date: Saturday, April 21st, 2007
Time: 10:30am-3:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134
Link: Insha and 'Rani Ketaki ki kahani, Urdu/Hindi workshop 2007

Register: (site)
SAI Film Series
SAI Spring Film Series
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Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2002)
Directed by Aparna Sen
Mr. and Mrs. Iyer Photo
Date: Friday, April 20, 2007
Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

The story revolves around a bus journey during Hindu/Muslim riots and explores the issues of cultural identity and religion.

SAI/MEALAC Event
Southern Asian Institute and
The Department of Middle Eastern and Asian Languages & Culture present:
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"Bhakti Movements and Dalit Protests" with Gail Omvedt
Date: Wednesday, April 18th, 2007
Time: 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

A fresh look at the devotional movement in India as representing the voice of men and women of the oppressed castes; challenging priestly ritualism and caste inequalities at around the same time as similar movements can be seen in Europe in the "early modern" period (15th to 17th enturies). The talk will also look at the methods of its Brahmanic co-optation. The focus will be on the Varkari movement in Maharashtra with a new thesis about the "goddess" origins of the cult.

With an MA and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, Gail Omvedt has been a citizen of India since 1982, and a scholar-activist, working with new social movements, in particular women's groups and farmer's organizations.

Besides many research projects and journalism, she has been a consultant for FAO, UNDP and NOVIB, and has served as a Dr. Ambedkar Chair Professor at NISWASS in Orissa, a Professor of Sociology at the University of Pune, and an Asian Guest Professor at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Copenhagen. She has been a Senior Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and is currently coordinator of the School of Social Justice and Visiting Professor at the University of Pune.

Her academic writing includes numerous books and articles on class, caste and gender issues, most notably: Ambedkar: Toward an Enlightened India (2004), Buddhism in India: Challenging Brahmanism and Caste (2003), We Shall Smash This Prison: Indian Women in Struggle (1979), Reinventing Revolution: New Social Movements in India (1993), Gender and Technology: Emerging Asian Visions (1994), Dalits and the Democratic Revolution (1994), Dalit Visions: the Anticaste Movement and Indian Culutural Identity (1994).


SAI/MEALAC Event
"Shadows: Remarks on Shri Harsha's Naishadhacarita"
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Professor Charles Malamoud
Date: Thursday, April 12th, 2007
Time: 12-2 pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

*co-sponsored by SAI and MEALAC

Charles Malamoud Flyer Link
(click image for flyer)

Brown Bag Event
Southern Asian Institute Brown Bag
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"Ambiguous Lives: Violence Against Dalit Women in Tamilnadu, India"
Speaker: Dr. Jebaroja Singh
Date: Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
Time: 12:30pm Ė 2:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

The presentation will primarily discuss violence through the experiences of young Dalit girls in small villages belonging to the Pudukkottai district in rural Tamilnadu, a state in South India, based on recent visits in August 2006. Dr. Singh will present ambiguities and differences vested in women, where resistance reveals agency even in situations of victimization.

Jebaroja Singh is Assistant Professor in Women Studies at William Paterson University, NJ and specializes in gender and caste issues in South Asia. She recently completed her PhD dissertation titled, The Spotted Goddess: The Dalit Woman in Classical Brahminical Literature, and in Modern Fiction, Memoirs and Songs from Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh.


SAI Film Series
SAI Spring Film Series
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Hamara Shaher (Bombay, Our City)
Director: Anand Patwardhan
Hamara Shaher Photo
Date: Friday, April 6th, 2007
Time: 3:00-4:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

BOMBAY: OUR CITY tells the story of the daily battle for survival of the 4 million slum dwellers of Bombay who make up half the city's population. Although they are Bombay's workforce - industrial laborers, construction workers, domestic servants - they are denied city utilities like electricity, sanitation, and water. Many slumdwellers must also face the constant threat of eviction as city authorities carry out campaigns to "beautify" Bombay.


Brown Bag Event
Playing Lions and Tigers
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An epic tale of Sri Lanka
with Rohini Hensman
Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
Time: 12:30pm-2:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134 (420 West 118th Street)

Rohini Hensman will be reading from her novel, "Playing Lions and Tigers", which tells the interlocking stories of fourteen characters from different parts of Sri Lanka, different ethnic and religious communities, different social backgrounds and different generations. As they confront political authoritarianism and violence from various quarters, these characters are linked together by their striving to create an alternative community based on equality and solidarity, and their determination to keep alive the values of love and compassion.

Rohini Hensman is a researcher and writer active in the women's liberation, trade union, human rights and anti-war movements in India and Sri Lanka. She has written extensively on all these issues, and is currently working on a book on globalization and labour in India.


Japan Society Event
The Japan Society Presents
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Ambassadorial Dialogue: The Future of Indo-Japan Economic Relations
Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
Time: 6pm-8pm
Place: Japan Society, Inc. 333 East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017

This free event will feature Ambassador Neelam Deo, Ambassador and Consul General at the Consulate of India in New York, and Ambassador Motoatsu Sakurai, Ambassador and Consul General at the Consulate of Japan in New York. They are to discuss the recent warming of ties and increase in trade and economic cooperation between India and Japan, and the future of Indo-Japan business relations. There will be a reception after the event and it is free of charge, although registration online or by telephone is highly encouraged as there are limited seats.

More Details


Urban Policy/SAI Event
SAI and Urban Policy present a Documentary Screening and
Conversations with the Directors:
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Saacha (The Loom)
Date: Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
Time: 12:30pm-2:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134 (420 West 118th Street)

Directed by K.P. Jayasankarand Anjali Monteiro Saachais about a poet, a painter and a city. The poet is NarayanSurve, and the painter SudhirPatwardhan. The city is Mumbai, the birth place of the Indian textile industry and the industrial working class. Both protagonists have been a part of the left cultural movement in the city. Weaving together poetry and paintings with accounts of the artists and memories of the city, the film explores the modes and politics of representation, the relevance of art in the contemporary social milieu, the decline of the urban working class in an age of structural adjustment, the dilemmas of the trade union movement and the changing face of a huge metropolis.

Sacha Flyer Link(click image for flyer)

SAI Film Series
SAI Film Series
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"Jang Aur Aman" War and Peace (2002)
Directed by Anand Patwardhan
Gandhi Image
Date: Friday, March 30, 2007
Time: 3-5:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Description:
The film records peace activism in a time of global militarism and war.
Triggered by scenes of jubilation that greeted nuclear testing in the sub-continent, this contentious film is framed by the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.


SAI/MEALAC Event
"Recovering a Missing Voice from Mughal India:
The Imperial Discourse of Jahangir (1605-1627)."
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Professor Corinne LEF»VRE-AGRATI
Date: Monday, March 26, 2007
Time: 4-6pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

*co-sponsored by SAI and MEALAC

Jahangir Flyer Link
(click image for flyer)

SAI Film Series
SAI Film Series
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Garam Hawa (1973)
Garam Hawa
Date: Friday, March 23, 2007
Time: 3-5:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Description:
Based on an unpublished short story by Urdu author Ismat Chughtai, Garam Hawa was directed by M.S. Sathyu and written by Kaifi Azmi. This film was the recipient of India's National Award for its contribution to National Integration, and remains one of the most poignant films ever made on India's partition.


Brown Bag Event
SAI Brown Bag:
"Afghanistan's Poppy Problem: Seeking Economic Solutions"
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Speaker: Mariam Nawabi, Esq.
Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Time: 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134
Contact: Batool Hassan at bsh2107@columbia.edu

Currently, Afghanistan's illegal economy has surpassed its legal economy and the threat of narcotics to stability is on the rise. The country is producing 90% of the world's heroin supply, increasing in overall production in the last two years. In order to prevent a narco-mafia state, international economic engagement is necessary. Join SAI for a conversation on Afghanistan's National Drug Control Strategy, international engagement, what the concept of "alternative livelihoods" means on the ground, and the challenges to building the legal economy in Afghanistan.

Mariam Nawabi, Esq. is a renowned attorney, diplomat, and activist who currently serves as Strategic & Business Development Director for Afghanistan Market Development International and Senior Advisor to the Afghanistan International Chamber of Commerce.


SAI Film Series
SAI Film Series
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Maachis
Maachis
Date: Friday, March 9, 2007
Time: 3-5:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Director: Gulzar
Producer: RV Pandit
Music: Vishal
Starring: Om Puri and Tabu

Description:
Following the assassination of Indira Gandhi at the hands of her Sikh bodyguards, a wave of violence broke out against innocent Sikhs and their families. Pressure was also brought on the police to bring the assassins and their allies to justice. The police, with their limited resources, and the lack of witnesses, brought in innocent Sikh men and women, and aggressively interrogated them using third degree methods. This created a wave of sympathy for extremist elements, and more people started joining them to revolt against an oppressive regime. Maachis takes a close look at one family's journey in the tumult and trauma following Operation Blue Star.


SAI Film Series
SAI Spring Film Series
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Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi (Thousands of Desires)
Hazaaron Khwahishen Aisi
Date: Friday, March 2, 2007
Time: 3-5:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Directed by Sudhir Mishra

*Set against the backdrop of the Indian Emergency, the movie tells the story of three people through massive social and political changes.


SAI Film Series
SAI Spring Film Series
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My Migrant Soul (2001) & other short films
My Migrant Soul
Date: Friday, February 23, 2007
Time: 3-5:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Directed by Yasmine Kabir

Directed by Yasmine Kabir *A young Bangladeshi man, Babu, is exploited as a migrant worker in Malaysia and dies there.


Brown Bag Lecture
Three Women's Texts and a Critique of Reproductive Heteronormativity"
Speaker: Gayatri C. Spivak
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Time: 12:30pm 2:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Professor Spivak will be reading Ama Ata Aidoo's Our Sister Killjoy, Mahasweta Devi's "Statue," which can be found in Old Women. She will also refer to Toni Morrison's Beloved.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Center for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University. Professor Spivak is a prominent literary theorist and is widely known for her sophisticated deconstructive approach to questions of feminism, North-South relations, and the politics of subaltern studies. Among her many influential writings is the 1988 article "Can the Subaltern Speak?" Her notable books include: Of Grammatology (translation with critical introduction of Jacques Derrida), In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics, Selected Subaltern Studies (ed.), The Post-Colonial Critic, The Spivak Reader, Old Women, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, Other Asias. Significant articles include: "Subaltern Studies: Deconstructing Historiography".


SAI Film Series
SAI Spring Film Series
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Kaagaz ke Phool Paper Flowers
Kaagaz ke Phool
Date: Friday, February 16, 2007
Time: 3-5:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Directed by Guru Dutt

This film looks at the film industry and the people within it.


Heyman Center Event
"An Emergent India: Prospect and Problems"
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Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate
and
Prabhat Patnaik, one of India's most distinguished economists
Heyman Center Event
Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Time: 6:15pm
Place: Faculty Room, Low Library

Interviewed by Akbar Noman

Seating is first come first served.
No tickets or reservations.


SAI Film Series
SAI Spring Film Series
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"1947/Earth"
Date: Friday, February 9, 2007
Time: 3:00pm - 5:30pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Please join SAI for the 2nd in its Film Series - "1947/Earth", a film by Deepa Mehta, based on the novel by Bapsi Sidhwa. The film portrays the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition through the eyes of a young Parsi girl, set in Lahore.


Brown Bag Lecture
"The Gujarat Pogrom: Sacrifice, Anger and Vegetarianism"
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with Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi, post-doctoral fellow at NYU
Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Time: 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134
Contact: Batool Hassan at bsh2107@columbia.edu

Central Gujarat is often called the "laboratory of Hindutva." This talk will examine the mimesis of violence in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogroms in Ahmedabad and central Gujarat. Unlike other parts of India, in Gujarat, the consolidation of high caste political dominance has made ahimsa (non-violence), cow- and animal protection, as well as the complicated array of vegetarianisms, hardly distinguishable conceptually. The larger project out of which the talk derives, attempts to understand how a doctrine of nonviolence can become implicated in the production of the very violence it claims to have renounced.

Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi is post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Religion and Media at NYU. He received a Magister in Ethnologie from the Freie Universitšt Berlin in 1998, received his Ph.D. at Cornell University in January 2006, and taught as Lecturer at Princeton University in Spring 2006. He has completed field research on ethnicity, religion, and violence in Gibraltar, the United States, and in Gujarat, India.


Chai & Chat
Southern Asian Institutes presents
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Chai and Chat
Chai and Chat Poster
Date: Monday, February 5, 2007
Time: 6:10pm-8:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134

Graduate students and faculty members interested in South Asia: please join us for an informal gathering and a chance to mingle with fellow faculty and students.

*Chaat and pakoras will be served along with chai, wine, and beer.


Brown Bag Event
Living Proof: Testimony and Circuits of Subjectivity
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with Dr. Ethel Brooks
Assistant Professor, Rutgers University
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Time: 12:30pm-02:00pm
Place: International Affairs Building, Room 1134
Contact: Batool Hassan at bsh2107@columbia.edu

Can living proof be the basis upon which we claim transnational subjectivity? If a person provides living proof of her existence, can she then claim citizenship? Dr. Brooks will explore questions of subjectivity and agency by focusing on the living proof provided by women's everyday experiences as garment workers through Bangladesh, El Salvador, and New York City. "Living proof," in this instance refers to the offering of life stories, subjectivities, bodily materialities and practices by women.

Dr. Ethel Brooks is Assistant Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University . She is the author of Unraveling the Garment Industry: Transnational Organizing and Women's Work. She is currently working on a research project which explores political economy, racialization and post-September 11 Pakistani communities in the US and Pakistan.


SAI Film Series
The Southern Asian Institute presents:
Spring 2007 Film Series
with
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Shatranj Ke Khiladi (The Chess Players)
Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Time: 4-6:30 pm
Place: International Affairs Building, Room 1134

Wazed Ali Shah is the ruler of one of the last independent kingdoms of India. The British, intent on controlling this rich country, have sent general Outram on a secret mission to clear the way for an annexation. While pressure is mounting amidst intrigue and political manoeuvres, the nobles Mir and Mirza, ignoring the situation of their country and all their duties towards their families, spend their days playing endless parties of chess.

Director: Satyajit Ray, Cast: Sanjeev Kumar, Saeed Jaffrey, Shabana Azmi, Farida Jalal

SAI Film Flyer



Distinguished Lecture
David Shulman and V. Narayana Rao
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"All the God's Women: Venkateswara's love life at the Tirupati in the songs of Annamayya."
Date: Monday, January 29, 2007
Time: 4-6 pm
Place: Room 1512, International Affairs (SIPA) Building (420 W 118th St. , corner of Amsterdam)

The lecture will present the biography and poetry of Annamayya, a Telugu poet of the 15th century. V. Narayana Rao and David Shulman will speak about and read poetry from their recently published God on the Hill.

V. Narayana Rao is Krishnadevaraya Professor of the Languages and Cultures of Asia at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and leading scholar of Telugu studies. He is considered by many to be the single most important force in bringing Telugu studies to their current moment of global efflorescence, a task in which he has often cooperated very closely with David Shulman. He is also known for his expertise in Indian history, Sanskrit literature, and Indian folklore. Recent and forthcoming books include Twentieth Century Telugu Poetry: An Anthology, Hibiscus from the Lake: Twentieth Century Telugu Poetry from India, and a number co-authored with David Shulman, among them Sound of the Kiss, Lover's Guide to Warangal , and their well-known Textures of Time (with Sanjay Subrahmanyam). Earlier collaborative studies such as When God is a Customer and A Poem at the Right Moment have become classics.

David Shulman is Professor of Indian Studies and Comparative Religion at Hebrew University. Professor Shulman is visiting at University of Chicago, South Asian Languages and Civilizations and is a specialist in south Indian languages and cultures, particularly in Tamil and Telugu. He is published widely on the history of religion in south India and on Tamil and Telugu literatures and poetics; also on Tamil Islam and on Sanskrit kavya.


Symposium
Circulatory Processes between North and South India
in the Early Modern Period
Date: Sunday, January 28th, 2007
Time: 3:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. (see detailed schedule below)
Place: International Affairs Building, Lindsey Rogers Room, 7th Floor
Summary: rtf

The Southern Asian Institute invites you to participate in an afternoon symposium devoted to exploring a range of circulations between North and South India in the Early Modern period. Specialists from different fields will gather to explore a range of religious and cultural currents that were transmitted across regional boundaries. We aim to better understand what enabled such transmission by keying cultural innovation to larger political and historical processes. In this informal symposium we invite participants to pose their own questions, and to contribute to the larger collective discussion. The goal is to identify patterns of circulationat present imperfectly understood, perhaps even quite unexpectedthat would complicate existing notions about the lineage of particular genres and cultural forms.

Schedule:

  • 3:30 Introductions
  • 4:00 David Shulman (University of Chicago/Hebrew University) & Velcheru Narayana Rao (University of Wisconsin), The Pada in South India
  • 4:30 Ajay Rao (University of Toronto), Shrivaishnavas at Vijayanagara
  • 5:00 Sumit Guha (Rutgers University), Northerners in the Bharuds of Ekanatha
  • 5:30 Gary Tubb (Columbia University), Why Chaitanya Traveled South
  • 6:00 Wrap-up discussion

Brown Bag Event
Anti-Corruption Activism in India: Politics of Civic Engagement
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with Rob Jenkins, Visiting Senior Fellow at CUNY Graduate Center
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Time: 12:30pm-02:00pm
Place: IAB, Room 1134
Contact: Batool Hassan at bsh2107@columbia.edu

In recent years, a great deal of civic activism in India has addressed the problem of corruption. This talk will assess the significance of efforts by ordinary people to expose corruption, rather than simply to change the policy environment within which corruption flourishes.

Rob Jenkins is Professor of Political Science at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of Democratic Politics and Economic Reform in India (Cambridge). He is currently Visiting Senior Fellow at Ralph Bunch Institute for International Studies at CUNY Graduate Center, where he is researching the new UN Peacebuilding Commission.


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