Annual South Asian studies workshop looks at critical issues and approaches

Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop poster

The South Asia Research Group (SARG) annual workshop will explore critical issues and approaches to South Asian studies, including tackling worker exploitation, diasporic grief, race, love and hate.

The two-day workshop, “Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop 2015: Questions of Method,” will highlight undergrad and graduate research. It will take place from Feb. 26 at 519 Kaneff Tower, from 10am to 4:30pm, and Feb. 27 in 280N York Lanes from 9am to 7pm.

Yasmin Saikia

With five featured panels, two roundtables and a keynote address, the annual Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop (CASASW) will bring together scholars to share and engage with works in progress. This year, SARG will offer a forum that will explore research and methodological issues in South Asia and South Asian diaspora.

Keynote speaker Professor Yasmin Saikia, the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Arizona State University, will present, “Love and Hate in South Asia: Rethinking Humanity After 1971,” a talk that identifies the loss of many lives during the 1971 war of Bangladesh. More than four decades later, survivors – men and women from Bangladesh and Pakistan – search for a human identity beyond national labels. Saikia will explore the subject of survivor oral narratives and the quest for human freedom.

Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop poster

Panel events will cover topics such as religion and method; interdisciplinary boundaries; narrative productions; marginality and method; and undergraduate research in South Asian studies. They will be presented by guest speakers, as well as York University faculty and students. Discussants will include humanities Professor Kabita Chakraborty, humanities teacher Nedra Rodrigo, English Professor Arun Mukherjee and humanities Professor Sailaja Krishnamurti.

Harshita Sai Yalamarty, a PhD student in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York, will discuss “Considering forms of ‘marked’ citizenship: Muslim women’s groups in India,” while Nadia Z. Hasan (MA ’09), a York political science PhD student, will look at Contesting Heteropatriarchal Religio-Nationalism: Gendering the Muslim Citizen-Subject in Light of the Akhira (Hereafter)”, both as part of the Religion and Method panel.

Languages Professor Shobna Nijhawan will present, “Conflicting Narratives: On Reading Text and Image in a Hindi Literary Periodical of the mid-Twentieth Century.” There will also be a featured roundtable event on race and pedagogy; speakers will include social science Professor Pablo Idahosa, women’s studies teaching assistant Nishant Upadhyay and York University’s CHRY 105.5 FM Spoken Word Coordinator, Omme Salma Rahemtullah.

There will also be a screening of the film Illegal(ized), produced by York undergraduates Sana Saleem, Samay Arcentales, Luwam Tekeste and Nima Tabatabae, from 12:45 to 2pm. Lunch will be provided. For more information about the film, visit the YouTube website.

The South Asia Research Group is based from the York Centre for Asian Research. It aims to bring together researchers with an interest in South Asia and its diaspora and build a network for the exchange of ideas and resources.

For a full listing of the workshop sessions, visit the York Centre for Asian Research website. To register, email