Fwd: CFP: Graduate Student Conference on South Asia

From: Daniel Morgan (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 18 2006 - 07:51:19 PDT

Please forward widely

Inside Outside: Between Text and the World

Call for Participants

Submission deadline: November 3, 2006

4th Annual Graduate Student Conference on South Asia
April 6-7, 2007
University of Chicago

The fourth annual South Asian Graduate Student Conference at the
University of Chicago will be held on April 6th and 7th, 2007. It
will be in two sessions.

        Session One will be open to any and all outstanding scholarly
work on South Asia. This portion of the conference welcomes
traditional panels from all disciplines, such as Literature, History,
Philology, Anthropology, History of Religions, Film Studies and so
on. Submissions to this session do not have to follow any thematic
limits-besides that of presenting perceptive scholarship on South

        Session Two will focus on the conference theme, "Inside
Outside: Between Text and the World" and aims to cast off the
strictures of specialized academic scholarship in favor of an
oscillating dance of "the world, the text, and its critic"-as Edward
Said put it. The goal of this session is to analyze the myriad
strategies, and media, through which a scholar of South Asia (or
indeed an historical figure of South Asia) might articulate her place
betwixt the objects of her study (texts), and the world at large. Of
course, texts themselves are worldly-events with sensuous
particularity, as well as historical contingency.

        Recent scholarship has convincingly demonstrated that the
marriage between self and knowledge, or scholar and state power,
inside and outside, or knowledge and power is neither new nor
particularly blissful in South Asia-which boasts of various such
historical unions. Whether one considers the binding of caste and
knowledge, or empire and knowledge, it is clear that knowledge
production and ownership in South Asia (as elsewhere) is rarely
either neutral or egalitarian. At the same time, there are many South
Asians who broke (ultimately to redraw) such formulations, from
Chanakya, to Akbar, to Tagore. What can these, and other, South
Asians teach us about a scholar's journey from the acquisition of
knowledge to the application of knowledge? What are the various forms
this journey from inside to outside can take? Does one put on a mask,
or shed one? Does one switch languages? Does an engagement with a
larger world and context necessarily compromise or taint a scholar's
work? Or does it in fact enrich it? How does the binary of inside/
outside manifest itself in South Asian texts and scholarship?

        The broader aim of session two is to create a forum for an
emerging generation of scholars to participate in a day of
self-examination, about our responsibility to engage with, and speak
to, the world beyond the ivory tower (whether through political
activism, digital media, print journalism, film, theatre, or other
genres of non-academic writings). This session seeks to examine the
intersection and overlap between the "perceived" insular world of
academic work on South Asia and the worlds of artists, activists, and
other "public" intellectuals. The goal is to explore (and explode)
some of the tacitly accepted boundaries between these two
worlds--between "serious" and "popular" history, "art" and critique,
home and away, politician and philosopher, "history" and "memory",
and finally between critical distance and the desire for engagement
with the world at large.

        With such concerns paramount, the goal of this conference is
to initiate a dialogue across disciplines, historical periods,
language specializations and even media, in order to extend our
understanding of the relationship between a text, the world and its
critic in South Asia. We therefore strongly encourage graduate
students working in various South Asian fields to consider how their
work might, should, or shouldn't, relate to the world beyond
academia. We invite papers, short films and posters from various
disciplinary perspectives and according to various temporal logics.
Our two invited speakers vividly embody this conference's spirit of
engaging 'new' models. William Dalrymple, author of 'City of Djinns'
and 'The Last Mughal', will be the first distinguished
speaker-speaking from outside the academy. Prof. Sudipto Chatterjee,
dramatist, filmmaker and teacher at the University of Berkeley, will
be the second distinguished speaker.

Submission guidelines:

--Individual 20 minute paper proposals should consist of (i) contact
information and (ii) an abstract (250 words).

--Individual poster proposals should consist of (i) contact
information and (ii) an abstract (250 words).

--Individual video/ film proposals should consist of (i) contact
information, (ii) an abstract (250 words) and if possible (iii) a
link to a clip/ stills of the work.

-- Guidelines and information about the poster and video sessions is
available at the SAGCS website

Submission deadline: November 3, 2006

Proposals for either the general session, or the themed session
"Inside Outside", or questions should be sent to Bulbul Tiwari at
email suppressed

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.