YCAR hosts two events, two guest speakers this week

York’s Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) presents two guest speakers this week who will deliver talks on different topics related to Asian research during two different events.

south-asian-smlfb-340x440On Nov. 16, Prema Kurien, professor of sociology and Robert McClure Faculty Scholar at Syracuse University, will discuss the aftermath of the U.S. election.

“The Incorporation of South Asian Minorities in Canada and the United States” will take place at noon in room 303, Third Floor, Founders College.

Canada and its southern neighbour appear to be on divergent paths in terms of immigration policy, integration/settlement programs and attitudes towards ethnic and religious diversity.

Kurien will consider the divergent activist profiles of two minority religious groups of South Asian origin, Hindus and Sikhs, who have broadly similar patterns of migration to Canada and the U.S. and have close ties with their compatriots across the border, but yet manifest divergent activist profiles around North American as well as homeland issues.

Her presentation will examine how different opportunity structures (both national and local), and differences in the characteristics of the groups, shape how they frame their grievances and mobilize. It also aims to uncover the factors that influence the form that their mobilization takes, specifically, whether it is “ethnic,” “racial” or “religious”. Her research focuses on Hindu and Sikh communities and advocacy organizations serving these groups in Toronto, Vancouver, New York/New Jersey and northern California.

Kurien was the founding director of the Asian/Asian American Studies program at Syracuse University. She is the author of two award-winning books, Kaleidoscopic Ethnicity: International Migration and the Reconstruction of Community Identities in India, and A Place at the Multicultural Table: The Development of an American Hinduism and over 40 articles and book chapters. Her third book, Ethnic Church Meets Mega Church: Indian American Christianity in Motion is forthcoming in 2017. She is currently working on her next book, Race, Religion, and Citizenship: Indian American Political Advocacy, and on a research project, “The Political Incorporation of Religious Minorities in Canada and the United States”.

politics-of-casteOn Nov. 18, Anand Teltumbde, a well-known human rights activist, writer and analyst of the contemporary Dalit and Left movements in India, will present a talk titled “Politics of Caste in Contemporary India: A Discussion with Dr. Anand Teltumbde“.

Teltumbde has engaged with B.R. Ambedkar’s writings and has authored 18 books and many papers and pamphlets on contemporary issues, including Anti-Imperialism and Annihilation of Caste.

As a public intellectual, he has widely lectured within India and abroad. He is a member of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai. He writes a monthly column, “Margin Speak” for the Economic and Political Weekly.

Teltumbde’s influential 2010 book The Persistence of Caste: The Khairlanji Murders and India’s Hidden Apartheid focuses on the murder of four members of a Dalit (formerly an untouchable) family and argues that despite the popular claim, that caste will no longer matter in the context of neoliberal economic reform, caste has persisted stubbornly. Documenting the amazing resilience of caste, Teltumbde shows how caste politics has become entangled with new material and symbolic relations that are taking shape in the contemporary political economic milieu.

In his recent book, Mahad: The Making of the First Dalit Revolt, Teltumbde tracks the history of first Dalit struggle as it was taking shape in 1927 under the leadership of Babasaheb Ambedkar.

He will speak at 12:30pm in Room 280N on the second floor of York Lanes on Keele campus. All are welcome.

This event is co-presented at York by the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Department of Anthropology, the Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies program and the York Centre for Asian Research. His Canadian visit is also supported by the Indo-Canadian Workers’ Association and the People’s Voice newspaper.