Upcoming Events at the Asian Institute

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April 2014

  • Monday, April 21st Delhi and Capitalism: What an Emerging-World Megalopolis Can Teach Us about the Future of the World

    DateTimeLocation
    Monday, April 21, 201412:00PM - 2:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
    1 Devonshire Place
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    Description

    RANA DASGUPTA studied at the universities of Oxford and Wisconsin. He is the author of the highly praised linked short story collection, Tokyo Cancelled, which was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (U.K.) and the Hutch Crossword Book Award (India); and Solo, which won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Book. Most recently, he is the author of Capital: A Portrait of Twenty-First Century Delhi, which will be released in North America by Harper Collins in May 2014. Dasgupta is currently Distinguished Visiting Lecturer & Writer-in-Residence in Modern Culture and Media, Brown University. He lives in Delhi.

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    416-946-8996


    Speakers

    Rana Dasgupta
    Author; and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer & Writer-in-Residence in Modern Culture and Media, Brown University


    Main Sponsor

    Centre for South Asian Studies

    Co-Sponsors

    Department of Comparative Literature

    Asian Institute

    Department of Anthropology


    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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  • Wednesday, April 23rd Does the European Welfare State have a future?

    DateTimeLocation
    Wednesday, April 23, 20142:00PM - 4:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
    1 Devonshire Place
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    Description

    The European welfare state is under siege from demographic, labor market and family change, and from European legal and economic integration, particularly in the context of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). European welfare states would need to shift from risk compensation to risk prevention in order to remain viable in the medium term. However, implementing what has been called a “social investment strategy” is extremely costly, and thus increasingly unlikely in those European countries most hit by the sovereign debt crisis and ridden with austerity policies that depress growth and thus hinder fiscal consolidation. An unanticipated consequence of the failure to recognize systemic interdependencies in the EMU, welfare state divergence in the Eurozone can be already observed and is likely to increase. Without real social convergence, however, the EMU is unsustainable, therefore arrangements must be devised to address the consequences of such interdependencies.

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    416-946-8996


    Speakers

    Stefano Sacchi
    Assistant Professor of Political Science, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan


    Co-Sponsors

    Centre for Global Social Policy, Department of Sociology

    School of Public Policy and Governance

    Department of Political Science

    Asian Institute


    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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  • Thursday, April 24th Perception, Experience, and Imagining of Sacred Landscapes: A Spatial Analysis of the Pilgrimage Routes of Medieval Vijayanagara

    DateTimeLocation
    Thursday, April 24, 201412:00PM - 2:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
    1 Devonshire Place
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    Series

    Asian Institute PhD Seminar Series

    Description

    The inherent difficulties faced by archaeologists and contemporary geographers in mapping symbolically defined sacred space have led to the design of my package of thirdspace-inspired (Soja 1996) theoretical and methodological approaches for the analysis of the Vijayanagara pilgrimage landscape (AD 1336 to 1565) that I am using in my PhD dissertation. In my paper I will be discussing my approach to the sacred landscape and the obstacles encountered with data. In the methodology employed, the sacred landscape is treated as a tool for personal, social, and political transformation. An environment charged with political machinations, ritual actions, mnemonic devices, and mythological moments, infused into architectural and natural features along and visible from pilgrimage trails, made the environs of the capital city of the largest Hindu empire an excellent candidate for exploring how movement, imagination, and experience inform each other within the institution of Hindu pilgrimage. Configurational spatial analysis adopted from Hillier and Hanson’s work (1996) such as integration and connectivity, as well as isovist, network and cost path analyses, will be implemented using ArcScene (ESRI) 3D analyst and space syntax software. The spatial data generated in these programs will be queried based on parameters that can be selected from a wide range of data stored in the project’s geodatabase. The geodatabase will have two distinct models, or feature datasets, to address the biases inherent in interpreting either the archaeological data or the written data: a ‘general’ textual-image dataset informed by literature (religious and secular), iconography, and epigraphical evidence; and a ‘specific’ physical or material dataset informed by archaeological, architectural, and natural landscape features. Both datasets are grounded in the historical context so that a historical phenomenology can be developed from analyses set upon the data. To overcome the theoretical shortcomings of phenomenology (Brück 1998, 2001; Swenson 2011:3) and to transcend the binary opposition that will exist in the geodatabase organized by ‘general’/textual-image and ‘specific’/material datasets, at the time of interpretation Soja’s thirdspace model will inform the approach taken.

    In part, my research program will address the journey/pilgrimage half of the tirtha-yatra by devising a meaningful historical phenomenological methodology that blends the cognitive geographic archaeological work of Darling (2009) in an examination of landscape, movement and space; exploring the application of various types of spatial syntax studies and line-of-sight studies that can be found in Fogelin’s work (2006); and the isovist landscape research done by Shaw (2009).

    CANDIS HAAK is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and her research interests focus on issues of space and ritual practice which has led her to explore interpretive uses of GIS for landscape analysis, cognitive geography, and space syntax built on material culture, historical, religious, mytho-religious and philosophical data. Principally, her research addresses how perceptions and experiences shape and become reflected in sacred geography engendered through the institution of pilgrimage of the medieval Hindu empire of Vijayanagara.

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    416-946-8996


    Speakers

    Candis Haak
    PhD candidate in Anthropology, University of Toronto


    Main Sponsor

    Asian Institute


    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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  • Monday, April 28th "Gandhi before India": Ramachandra Guha Book Launch

    DateTimeLocation
    Monday, April 28, 20145:00PM - 6:30PMThe Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Munk School of Global Affairs - 1 Devonshire Place
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    Description

    Gandhi Before India:
    The first volume of a magisterial biography: the definitive portrait of the life and work of one of the most abidingly influential–and controversial–men in modern history.

    Here is a revelatory work of biography that takes us from Gandhi’s birth in 1869 through his upbringing in Gujarat, his 2 years as a student in London, and his 2 decades as a lawyer and community organizer in South Africa. Ramachandra Guha has uncovered a myriad of previously untapped documents, including: private papers of Gandhi’s contemporaries and co-workers; contemporary newspapers and court documents; the writings of Gandhi’s children; secret files kept by British Empire functionaries. Using this wealth of material in a brilliantly nuanced narrative, Guha describes the social, political and personal worlds in which Gandhi began his journey to become the modern era’s most important and influential political actor. And Guha makes clear that Gandhi’s work in South Africa–far from being a mere prelude to his accomplishments in India–was profoundly influential on his evolution as a political thinker, social reformer and beloved leader.

    Ramachandra Guha has previously taught at the universities of Yale and Stanford, the University of Oslo, the Indian Institute of Science and the London School of Economics. His books include a pioneering environmental history, an award-winning social history of cricket, and the award-winning India After Gandhi. He writes regularly on social and political issues for the British and Indian press, including columns in the Telegraph and the Hindustan Times and has also appeared in the New York Times. The author lives in Bangalore, India.

    http://www.bookclubs.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307357922

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    (416) 946-8996


    Speakers

    Ramachandra Guha
    Author


    Main Sponsor

    Centre for South Asian Studies

    Co-Sponsors

    Asian Institute

    Munk School of Global Affairs


    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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  • Wednesday, April 30th Rethinking “the Confucian Transformation” Thesis: Household Registration and Women Householders in the Late Chosŏn Period

    DateTimeLocation
    Wednesday, April 30, 201412:00PM - 2:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
    1 Devonshire Place
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    Description

    It is widely accepted that a “Confucian transformation” occurred in the late Chosŏn period, rather than the first part of the dynasty. Even though we accept the argument that, by the late Chosŏn, Korea had undergone “Confucianization”, it is not immediately clear how, through what processes, and to what extent this transformation occurred. It is not enough to explain that the culture and ideas of the Yangban elite were diffused over time. In this presentation I would like to suggest that it is necessary to rethink the Confucian transformation in the late Chosŏn period in relation to the role of the government policies and people’s multilayered and unpredictable reactions to them. Focusing on the differences manifested in each social standing – of yangban, commoner, and low class– this presentation analyzes the household registration policy of the state, the composition of a household, the changes in the ways of the succession of householder, and the position of widows. Based on an analysis of household registries between 1678 and 1789, I argue that the process in which the Confucian order of society became the major aspect of postwar Chosŏn was neither linear nor obvious. Rather, it witnessed rifts and produced unevenness. Critical to my argument is a deeper understanding of the ways in which modern knowledge uses the imagined ‘family’, ‘women’, ‘Confucian practice’ of the Chosŏn period related to the modernist traditionalism and how the ‘state of Chosŏn’ did not become a major subject of historical research while ‘Confucianism’ in terms of tradition was emphasized.

    JI YOUNG JUNG is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at Ewha Womans University, Korea. She received degrees in history from Sogang University, Korea (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.). Her areas of research expertise is gender history, with a focus on the construction of gender and marginal women -widows, concubines, remarried women, single women in late Chosŏn, Korea. Recently her research focuses on the process of knowledge construction and consumption in the modern Korea regarding “women in Chosŏn”. She is the co-author of Women and Confucianism in Chosŏn Korea (SUNY Press, 2011). Buddhist Nuns and Laywomen: Hidden Histories, Enduring Vitality (SUNY Press, 2011). She has also published widely on the gender studies, cultural history, and memory in East Asia.

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    416-946-8996


    Speakers

    Ji Young Jung
    Associate Professor of Department of Women’s Studies, Ewha Womans University, Korea


    Co-Sponsors

    Dr. David Chu Program in Asia Pacific Studies

    Centre for the Study of Korea

    Asian Institute


    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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May 2014

  • Thursday, May 1st The Past Before Us: The Past Before Us : Historical Traditions and Practices in Early Times

    DateTimeLocation
    Thursday, May 1, 201411:00AM - 1:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
    1 Devonshire Place
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    Description

    How might early societies express history differently from present times? According to distinguished historian, Romila Thapar, India is a particularly significant site through which to pose this question. For this celebrated scholar of ancient India, the claim that ancient Indian civilization lacked a sense of history opens a broader, and more pertinent question: how to recognize the historical sense of societies whose past is recorded in ways very different from European conventions. Elaborating on her recent book, The Past Before Us, Professor Thapar will address the many genres of writing in early India that bear evidence of a historical tradition and later of historical writing. Interested in the practices as well as narratives of recording time and social change, Professor Thapar delves into Vedic corpus, the epics, the Buddhist canon and monastic chronicles, inscriptions, regional accounts, and royal biographies and dramas afresh—not as sources to be mined for factual data but as genres that disclose how Indians of ancient times represented their own past to themselves.

    ROMILA THAPAR is the pre-eminent historian of ancient India. A prominent public intellectual and voice on the politics and mechanics of historical interpretation and writing, she held the Chair in Ancient Indian History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where she is now Emeritus Professor in History. She has been Visiting Professor at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania as well as the Collège de France. In 1983 she was elected General President of the Indian History Congress and in 1999 a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. Professor Thapar is an Honorary Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Chicago, the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, the University of Oxford, the University of Edinburgh (2004) the University of Calcutta (2002) and recently (in 2009) from the University of Hyderabad. In 2004 the U.S. Library of Congress appointed her as the first holder of the Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South in 2008 she received the prestigious Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity. She was Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. Among her extensive publications are Ashoka and the Decline of the Mauryas (Oxford 1961, 1988); The History of India volume 1 (Penguin 1966); Ancient Indian Social History: Some Interpretations (Orient Longman 1978), From Lineage to State: Social Formations in the First Millenium BC (Oxford 1985); Early India (Penguin 2002); Somnath: The Many Voices of History (Verso 2005), andIndia: Historical Beginnings and the Concept of the Aryan (National Book Trust 2006).

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    416-946-8996


    Speakers

    Romila Thapar
    Speaker
    Professor Emeritus in History, Jawaharlal Nehru University

    Stella Sandahl
    Moderator
    Professor Emeritus in Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto

    Christoph Emmrich
    Chair
    Associate Professor in Department of Religion, University of Toronto


    Main Sponsor

    Centre for South Asian Studies

    Co-Sponsors

    Asian Institute

    The Department of History


    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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  • Friday, May 16th – Saturday, May 17th 8th Tamil Studies Conference / In Many Worlds: Kudi/Kudiyurimai, Belonging, and Citizenship in the Tamil Imaginary

    DateTimeLocation
    Friday, May 16, 20149:00AM - 6:00PMUniversity of Toronto
    Saturday, May 17, 20149:00AM - 6:00PMUniversity of Toronto
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    Description

    In Many Worlds: Kudi/Kudiyurimai, Belonging, and Citizenship in the Tamil Imaginary

    The objective of the conference is to explore how the notion of belonging (together with entitlement, empowerment, dispossession) has functioned in the past and the present. While papers that deal specifically with the etymology of “Kudi/Kudiyurimai” are welcome, the larger concern is with how belonging has been defined, upheld, or questioned. From the relatively circumscribed spatial units of the Sangam Period, to the reframing of Kudi/Kudiyurimai as republican citizenship, and on to more porous classifications of the diasporic and global present, Kudi/Kudiyurimai and belonging have contained shifting and multiple meanings. Whereas citizenship is often contrasted to the state of slavery, the genealogies of Kudimai in Tamil offer a perspective from which to think beyond these binaries.

    We invite papers from diverse disciplines about the many ways in which belonging has been conceptualized, practiced, or reconfigured. What does it mean to belong to a country, a community, a region, or the world? What does it mean to inhabit, dwell, or reside in a place? How has the tension between an existential belonging measured as restraint or duty to kin and claims to citizenship constituted practices of democracy? How can alternative concepts of belonging be used to challenge dominant definitions of the citizen? Potential submissions might chart the connections between citizenship and belonging, activism, community, family, sexuality and intimacy, feminism, ethnicity, migration and labour, literary and cultural texts, religion, caste, memory, nationalist movements, movements for social reform and change, the law, and military power.

    We welcome individual or panel proposals from all disciplines and from scholars, students, artists, writers, and activists. Papers can range beyond the theme of the conference, though preference will be given to those that do engage the theme more directly.

    Submission Deadline: August 31, 2013

    More information about the conference can be found here: www.tamilstudiesconference.ca/index.html

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    416-946-8996

    Co-Sponsors

    Asian Institute

    Centre for South Asian Studies


    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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  • Wednesday, May 21st Of Unknown Histories and Small Archives: The Fragility of Women's Lives & Screening - "A Quiet Little Entry"

    DateTimeLocation
    Wednesday, May 21, 20144:00PM - 6:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
    1 Devonshire Place
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    Series

    B.N. Pandey Memorial Lecture 2013/2014

    Description

    Professor Uma Chakravarti explores questions about individual lives and dramatic historical events, the ‘small’ personal archive, and women’s quests for freedom through a poignant filmic journey. The protagonist in her film ‘A Quiet Little Entry’ is Subbalakshmi who lived out her life on the fringes of history on the salt pans of the Cholamandalam coast of South India. She was and remains an ‘unknown’ woman except perhaps for a brief period of association with the illustrious and scholarly Chattopadhyaya family –Mrinalini, Harindranath, and his wife Kamaladevi. A quirk of fate in early childhood gave her the written word which became her window into the wider world when social and domestic imperatives cut off her participation in the national movement. For the rest of her life, Subbalakshmi continued to mark her resistance in small ways and left behind fragments of paper as her archive.

    BIO:
    Uma Chakravarti is a feminist historian, teacher, democratic rights’ activist, and theorist of caste. She taught history at Miranda House, University of Delhi from 1966-1998. She has written widely on ancient India, women in the 19th century, and on contemporary issues specially caste, gender and democratic rights. Prof Chakravarti has published 7 books and more than 50 papers including Gendering Caste: Through a Feminist Lens and Rewriting History: The Life and Times of Pandita Ramabai in which she contextualised gender issues within the larger framework of caste contestations, class formation and legal changes. She has been involved in the Indian women’s movement for more than 40 years. As an activist, Prof. Chakravarti has also been part of collaborative academic and democratic interventions on community strife and the complicity of the state in violence against particular segments of society. She is also a filmmaker; her first film was ‘A Quiet Little Entry.

    Contact

    Lisa Qiu
    416-946-8996


    Speakers

    Uma Chakravarti
    Filmmaker and Feminist Historian



    Disclaimer:

    Please note that events posted on this website are considered to be public events – unless otherwise stated – and you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured as part of event proceedings that may be made public as part of a broadcast, webcast, or publication (online and in print). We make every effort to ensure your personal information is kept and used in compliance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). If you have any questions please get in touch with our office at munkschool@utoronto.ca or 416-946-8900.


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