Punjab Research Group

Gender Justice/Injustice in South Asia: Feminism, Protest, and the Neo-Liberal State

Posted in Events by Pippa on February 4, 2015

SOAS South Asia Institute

The SOAS South Asia Institute will be holding two gender focused events on the 12th and 13th February 2015. Please find information below and on the web.

**Registration required. Limited seats available**
Symposium : Gender Justice/Injustice in South Asia: Feminism, Protest, and the Neo-Liberal State

Image Source: ​ Source: Naz Foundation India  http://nazindia.org/
Date: 13 February 2015, 9.30am – 17.30pm

Room:  V111, Vernon Square Campus. Directions below.

Vernon Square Campus Address
SOAS, University of London


This symposium brings together leading scholars and activists addressing a number of areas, including women’s access to and safety in the public space; the politics of gender in the context of caste and communal violence; neo-liberal notions of ‘rights’; the Indian and Pakistan states’ attempts to intervene in, regulate and control sexuality; religious supremacism and cultural conservatism; and feminist mobilization and protests.
The intention of this symposium is to not once again collude in reproducing the spectacle of gender violence in South Asia, but rather to critically engage with movements, policies and processes and to further our understandings of the systemic nature of gender injustice, how it is being simultaneously deepened, transformed and extended by the interventions of the neoliberal state, and the multiple ways in which it is being resisted.

Free Registration

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.

**All successful applicants will receive an email by 11th February 2015 confirming their place. ***
Dr. Navtej Purewal, Deputy Director, SOAS South Asia Institute, University of London

Dr. Kalpana Wilson, Senior Research Fellow, Gender Institute, LSE

This event has been organised by the SOAS South Asia Institute in collaboration with the LSE Gender Justice Institute.

cfp: Relocating the Cultural linkages in South Asia: A Historical Perspective, 17-19 October 2014, Punjabi University, Patiala

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on July 30, 2014

The Department of History, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab (India) will hold its 2nd South Asian History Conference on 17-19 October 2014 at the University campus. This three day conference aims to bring together historians, academicians, research scholars working on the countries of South Asia viz. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,Afghanistan and Myanmar to cover the gap in South Asian historical studies.
South Asia includes some of the most ancient countries that have made a unique contribution to world culture. These countries have strong regional affinities in as much as they share a common cultural heritage which is not totally indigenous but a product of continuous synthesis between elements, both external and internal. Peoples of South Asia belong to different races, practise different religions, speak different languages and yet share a common civilizational heritage which Arnold Toynbee calls as ‘ Indic’, No country of South Asia can comprehend its own culture adequately without taking into congnisance the cultural traditions of the region as a whole.

The aim of the conference is to historically examine the multi-centricity of the South Asian culture and demonstrate the commonness, inner dynamics and nature and extent of interaction amongst the countries of South Asia during different phases of history. It is hoped that the deliberations of scholars at the conference will rediscover the cultural linkages to foster co-operation, harmony, peace and mutuality in contemporary South Asia.
Suggested Themes: Themes might include but need not be limited to the following:
● Language and Literature ● Art and Architecture ● Philosophy, Religious beliefs and Practices ● Socio-Cultural institutions ● Socio- Religious reform movements ● Caste, Race, Gender and cultural traditions ● Science, Technology and culture ● Climate, Ecology, Environment and culture ● Cultural Adaptation and synthesis ● Search for unity in diversity

This being the centenary year of World War I , one section will be devoted to the significance of this event in world history with special reference to South Asia.

Call for Papers
The soft copy of the abstract with a maximum of 500 words, double spaced (in Times New Roman font size 12) written in English should be sent for acceptance at sahcpta@gmail.com on or before 10 August 2014. After scrutiny of the abstracts the authors will be notified regarding the acceptance of papers on 25 August 2014. The deadline for final paper submission is 25 September 2014. The authors should limit their papers within 15-20 pages

All participations are required to register. The scholars are required to register before or on 1 October 2014. The registration fees (which includes accommodation and food for three days) for Indian scholars is rupees 1000/-, for scholars of other countries is 50 USD. The registration fees for Indian research students is rupees 750/-, for research students of other countries is 30 USD.

Mode of Payment
The details regarding mode of payment will be conveyed shortly.

The organisers will provide accommodation to the paper presenters only.

The proceedings of the conference will be duly published in the form of a book from a leading publisher.

Other Information
Further details about the programme and sessions of the conference will be duly intimated.

Contact Information Send in your queries at hist.conf2013@gmail.com or contact us at: +91-175-3046192 +91-175-3046193
1. Dr. Jaspal Kaur Dhanju Professor and Head Department of History Mob: +91-9915583843
2. Dr. Kulbir Singh Dhillon Professor and Formerly Head, Dean Students Welfare Department of History Mob: +91-9417385002

Journal of Punjab Studies Spring-Fall 2013 Volume 20, Nos. 1 & 2

Posted in Journal of Punjab Studies by Pippa on January 21, 2014

The latest issue of the Journal of Punjab Studies is now available.

Table of Contents

Indu Banga: Editorial

Chetan Singh: Geography, Religion and Hegemony: Constructing the State in the Western Himalaya

J.S. Grewal: The Char Bagh-i Panjab: Socio-Cultural Configuration

Karamjit K. Malhotra:  Issues of Gender among the Sikhs: Eighteenth-Century Literature

Mini Sandhu: A Comparative Analysis of the Panchal Pandita and the Punjabi Bhain from a Gender Perspective

Prem Chowdhry: Emerging Patterns: Property Rights of Women in Colonial and Post-Colonial South-East Punjab (Haryana)

Raj Kumar Hans: Sant Poet Wazir Singh: A Window for Reimagining Nineteenth Century Punjab

Anshu Malhotra: Living and Defining Caste: The Life and Writing of Giani Ditt Singh/Sant Ditta Ram

Sheena Pall: The Issues of Sikh Identity: Sanatanist-Sikh Debate

Sasha Tandon: Epidemics in Colonial Punjab

Sukhdev Singh Sohal: Food Crisis, Inflation and Political Control in the Punjab (1940-47)

Reeta Grewal: Urban Patterns in the Punjab Region since Protohistoric Times

Indu Banga: J.S. Grewal on Sikh History, Historiography and Recent Debates

Book Reviews

For access please visit: http://www.global.ucsb.edu/punjab/journal/v20_1_2/index.html

cfp: PAKISTAN BEYOND TREMORS AND TERROR: Critical Engagements With Political, Economic And Cultural Change

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on January 21, 2014
Conference Date: Thursday, May 29th 2014 – Friday, May 30th 2014Location: University of Toronto, Ryerson University and York University in Toronto, Canada

Deadline for Submissions: Feb 16, 2014.

Call for Papers:

As host to a daily onslaught of bomb-blasts, ‘honour killings’, and ‘mob’ violence, Pakistan regularly populates the pages of the international mainstream press. But these popular journalistic accounts often leave the impression that the country is embroiled in a spate of irrationality, violence and Islamic fundamentalism. Alternatively, liberal Pakistanis, if they make an appearance in the drama, are celebrated as carriers of the torch of progress, challenging the dominance of religious conservatism with their unrivalled ‘toleration’, their capitalist ‘development’, and their support for the Pakistani state’s military offensives and the broader ‘War on Terror’. This is the narrative typically delivered to the world.

Unfortunately, this is also a narrative which has not remained within the ambit of journalism. Much of recent scholarly work on Pakistan too has been guilty of reproducing a crude and overly-narrow analysis of the country and its people, an analysis (if one could call it that) which seems to be more committed to promoting US foreign policy objectives than to stimulating any serious academic inquiry. On the one hand, for instance, we have Anatol Lieven, in Pakistan: A Hard Country, declaring Pakistan to be “a highly conservative, archaic, even sometimes quite inert and somnolent mass of different societies” and, on the other, we have Stephen Cohen, in The Idea of Pakistan, inviting US intervention to awaken this slumbering nation. Invariably, much of this analysis re-Orientalizes Pakistan and views the country as overrun by ‘mad’ fundamentalists and militant Islamists, while prescribing a variant of imperialism, militarism and/or liberalism as an antidote to it.

This conference will challenge these views and will bring together scholars and students whose research moves beyond these prevailing ways to a more complex understanding of Pakistan and its people. We encourage contributions which critically interrogate the ‘War on Terror’ by placing it within the broader imperatives of US imperialism, and which question the assumption that liberalism is the ‘natural’ antidote to fundamentalism. We also invite papers which seek to go beyond popular analysis of religious violence – which sees its perpetrators as ‘irrational mobs’ – by probing what motivates people to commit the escalating scale of inhuman acts and violence, and whether the Pakistani state and its ruling classes can remain indifferent or, as some have argued, complicit in the perpetuation of this deathly violence. Finally, in addition to contesting popular discourses around Islamic fundamentalism and the ‘War on Terror’, this conference also intends to give attention to other topics scarcely covered in the mainstream.

In this regard, we wish to focus on a rapidly growing population undergoing immense social change. The onslaught of neoliberal globalisation poses fundamental questions for the changing nature of Pakistan’s political economy. These changes affect not only the rural space, and concomitant struggles of the peasantry, but also impact Pakistan’s burgeoning informal economy and manifest themselves through a marked ‘feminisation of poverty’ and multifarious struggles in urban (and urbanising) areas. What effects have a surging private sector (including private media, corporations and NGOs) had on the prospect of upward social mobility for women? Moreover, rapidly expanding, and often sensationalist, private media also raises questions about the role of art, cinema and cultural expression as a vehicle towards a radical and transformative praxis.

In bringing together scholars and students of a critical outlook, this conference has a three-fold purpose. Firstly, and most immediately, it hopes to provide a necessary counterpoint to the dominance of rhetorically rich but theoretically poor analysis of Pakistan. Secondly, we expect that, at the conference’s conclusion, the attendees will get a better sense of the breadth of critical scholarship on Pakistan, and be in a better position to identify sites of theoretical and political difference and agreement. Finally, it is also our desire that the conference will provide an opportunity for various critical scholars to begin to work together and co-ordinate their research on Pakistan.

Submission Topics:
We invite both panel proposals and papers on themes and topics including but not limited to:

  • Imperialism, the ‘War on Terror’, and regional geopolitics
  • The Pakistani state, military, and judiciary
  • Re-Orientalization of Pakistan
  • Interrogating modernity in Pakistan’s context
  • Fundamentalism, militant Islam  and sectarian violence
  • Agrarian economy and agrarian transitions
  • Informal economy and precarity/precarious labour
  • Patriarchy, gender and feminisms
  • Urbanization and social change
  • Social movements, peasant politics, trade unionism, and labour struggles
  • Nationalisms and regional tensions
  • Popular Culture, literature, art and the Left
  • Development, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs)
  • Mal-development, poverty and destitution
  • Diaspora: its contradictions and contributions towards and altered status quo


Please send your submissions to: submit@pakistanconference.org

Panel submissions: Please submit a working title and 250-word abstract for the panel, along with individual paper titles and their respective 250-word abstracts. Please also include the names, email addresses, and affiliated institutions or organizations of all panelists.

Individual paper submissions: Please submit a 250-word abstract that includes your name, email address,and affiliated institution or organization.

Deadline for submissions is 12:00 am, Feb 16, 2014. Accepted presenters will receive notification by email by March 1, 2014.

8:2013 South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal: Delhi’s Margins

Posted in Academic Journals by Pippa on January 3, 2014

Edited by Radhika Govinda


This thematic issue is the first in a series of issues jointly co-edited by SAMAJ and the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS).

Radhika Govinda – Introduction. Delhi’s Margins: Negotiating Changing Spaces, Identities and Governmentalities

Radhika Govinda – ‘First Our Fields, Now Our Women’: Gender Politics in Delhi’s Urban Villages in Transition

Tarangini Sriraman – Enumeration as Pedagogic Process: Gendered Encounters with Identity Documents in Delhi’s Urban Poor Spaces

Martin Webb – Meeting at the Edges: Spaces, Places and Grassroots Governance Activism in Delhi

Véronique Dupont – Which Place for the Homeless in Delhi? Scrutiny of a Mobilisation Campaign in the 2010 Commonwealth Games Context

Link to journal: http://samaj.revues.org/

cfp: Punjabi Diaspora Conference at Patiala, February 3-5, 2014

Posted in Conferences, Diaspora, News/Information by Pippa on January 2, 2014

The Punjabi University is holding a major three-day conference on the Punjabi Diaspora at its campus on February 3-5, 2014. Organised by the Punjabi Department, the main focus of the conference is an exploration of multiple connections of the Punjabi Diaspora to its land of origins, starting from the late nineteenth century to the present era.

While the new technology, especially internet has helped to make the relationship of global Diasporas and their lands of origins, lively, complex and more intense, the study of the multidimensional exchange between the Punjabi Diaspora and its homeland presents severe challenges and issues. In the case of overseas Sikhs, as several scholarly studies have underlined, there has been a close linkages from the late nineteenth century to the present; this became especially problematic in the 1980s after the traumatic events in the Indian Punjab. A fierce debate ensued on the issue of Sikh minority in India and continues to draw attention of a large part of the Sikh Diaspora – which constitutes a major section of Punjabis abroad. This immediately alerts us to the question: what about the Punjabi Hindus and other smaller sections of the Punjabi Diaspora, how they relate to the land of their origins; and what about Muslim Punjabis from West Punjab in Pakistan?

This is just one dimension of the set of questions that await thorough analysis by experts. We also know how the Punjabi Diaspora has enriched the Punjab economy [both in India and Pakistan], through remittances and contributed to social capital by several philanthropic projects.  The Punjabi Diaspora is also a major site of Punjabi creative literature –what are its salient features? How does the Punjabi Diaspora relate to host societies through its imagined word-maps? Then there is related question of Punjabi language –how does the Punjabi Diaspora maintain its home language and impart to its new generations?  How does it draw upon the land of origins in such an endeavour? Similar questions arise as far the reproduction issues of various religious traditions among the Punjabi Diaspora.

Thus, besides welcoming papers addressed to fundamental theoretical question of the idea of ‘homeland,’ among the Punjabi Diaspora, contributors are encouraged to explore multi-dimensional ways overseas Punjabi communities relate to the land of their origins; Papers on any aspect of such connections through economic, cultural, religious and political linkages are welcome as also exploration of the kind of debates among the Punjabi Diaspora through the media as it has undergone vast change from earlier newspapers exchanges to extensive discussions via websites and cyberspace.

Here is a summary of themes for papers:

A. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: Where is Home? Idea of Homeland and Problematic of Country

B. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: Creative Spaces and shared linkages through Literary Productions

C. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora:  The Economic Exchange: Philanthropy and Developmental issues

D. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: Political Linkages, Role and Tensions

E. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Gender Dimension

F. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Print Media and Radio

G. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: New Forms of communication and debates: Cyberspace and Websites

H. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: On Linguistic Exchanges: Erosion, Consolidation and Challenges

I. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Cultural Dimension

J. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Punjabi Family, Generational Conflict, Reproduction of Culture

K. Home and the Punjabi Diaspora: The Religious interconnections: The role of Pilgrimage and other forms of Exchange

The University will provide usual facilities for contributors, free board and lodging including travel assistance up to Patiala campus for all participants from other states of India, and in the case of foreign participants’ return fare for railway passage from New Delhi airport to Patiala.

Please contact with the title of your paper and an abstract by 15 January:

Prof. Lakhvir Singh, Convenor Seminar and Head, PunjabI Department, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India

Email: punjabidiasporaconference@gmail.com; Phone: 00 91 -98728-60245

CFP: 1st South Asian History Conference, Punjabi University, Patiala

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on September 18, 2013

1st South Asian History Conference


Mapping the Economic and Social Dynamics of Modern South Asia: The Colonial Context

The Department of History, Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab (India) will hold its 1st South Asian History Conference on 25- 27 October 2013 at the University campus. This three day conference aims to bring together historians, academicians, research scholars working on the countries of South Asia viz. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,Afghanistan and Myanmar to cover the gap in South Asian historical studies.

Many socio-economic historical aspects of modern South Asia are still relatively under-researched. Therefore, the theme of the conference is to analyse changes in the economy and society of South Asia in the colonial context and to renew the debate whether colonialism underdeveloped South Asia or modernised its traditional society. The conference will not only open up new aspects of scholarly inquiry but will also help us to understand contemporary South Asia better.

Suggested Themes

Themes might include, but need not be limited to the following:

  • Agrarian class structure & Economy
  • Peasant Consciousness, Behavior and Movements
  • Labour Movements
  • Industry, Trade and Commerce
  • Caste, Class Community and Gender
  • Women’s role and place in society
  • Concept of Domesticity and Midwifery
  • Colonial Perception of Tribes
  • Crime and Criminality
  • Formation of Identities and Communalism as a Social Phenomena
  • Nature of Social Change- The Role of Government Legislations, Missionary Activities and Social Reform Movements
  • Cantonment Areas as a Social Space
  • Marginalization and Social Mobility

Full details: submission of paper punjabi university

Contact Information

Send in your queries at hist.conf2013@gmail.com or contact us at: +91-175-3046192 or +91-175-3046193

1. Dr. Kulbir Singh Dhillon, Professor and Head, Department of History and Dean Students Welfare


2. Dr. Jaspal Kaur Dhanju, Professor and Formerly Head, Department of History


3. Dr. Mohd. Idris, Asst. Professor, Department of History


Call for papers: Gender and Justice in South Asia since 175

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on October 1, 2012

Wolfson College, University of Oxford, September 12-13, 2013


Recent popular campaigns in South Asia designed to highlight and root out corruption at both the local and national level show that the subject of justice, fairness and equitable treatment, remain a pressing issue. South Asian women’s social, cultural, religious and economic position has also repeatedly been identified since the eighteenth century as an area particularly deserving of attention. This has led to a thriving women’s movement, as well as problematic colonial notions of eternally oppressed South Asian women that are still used as a symbol to justify a plethora of conservative viewpoints in the West.

This international and multidisciplinary conference will explore the manifold ways in which the ideas of gender and justice have been approached in South Asia and in the South Asian Diaspora since 1757. Its aim is to foster dialogue between scholars from different fields and to provide an historical dimension to contemporary issues and debates around the broad themes of gender, sexuality and justice. Papers which have a transnational and/or comparative focus between countries in South Asia and elsewhere in the world are particularly welcome.

Keynote Address:

Dr Joanna de Groot (University of York)

Provisionally confirmed speakers include:

*Professor Clare Anderson (University of Leicester) *Professor Uma Chakravarti (Miranda House) *Dr Esme Cleall (University of Sheffield)*Dr Stephen Legg (University of Nottingham) *Dr Andrea Major (University of Leeds) *Dr Anshu Malhotra (University of Delhi) * Professor Clare Midgley (Sheffield Hallam University) *Dr Kaveri Qureshi (University of Oxford) *Professor Janaki Nair (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

*Professor Shirin Rai (University of Warwick)

It is envisaged that the conference will result in one or more publications.

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words and a one-page CV to daniel.grey@wolfson.ox.ac.uk by 31 December 2012. Notification of acceptance will be given before 31 January 2013.


Daniel Grey, Wolfson College Oxford, United Kingdom

Tagged with: , ,

Between Subaltern and Sahib: Equivocal Encounters across the British World, 5-6 July 2012 University of Leeds

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on March 1, 2012
Tagged with: , , ,

Contemporary South Asia: Call for papers

Posted in Academic Journals, News/Information by santhyb on November 29, 2011

Call for papers for a special issue of Contemporary South Asia: Gendered and social consequences of innovations in South Asia

Gender relations in South Asia are considered as a major developmental challenge of the area. Technological, social and organizational innovations have potential for improving living conditions and supporting people’s active participation but they may as well work against the better interests of the disadvantaged.

Here, we are interested in technical, social and organizational innovations that have a particular developmental role in South Asia, such as mobile phones, use of ultrasound for sex detection, micro credit, or social business strategies. Here, we will look at innovations as social phenomena: they are never merely commercial or technical ventures or products. They are necessarily socio-cultural projects, put into practice and created by socially-situated individuals and groups. Thus the interest lies more on the process than on the end result of innovation.

The idea of an innovation entails a taken-for-granted positive and useful goal – improving wellbeing by adopting something new or doing something differently than before. We would like to forward a call for papers examining whether the implementation or creation of an innovation actually manages to transform social structures of inequality, particularly gender relations, in South Asia. Or do innovations socially reinforce existing inequalities while benefitting only some particular actors?

This special issue seeks contributions that do not see innovations merely as economic or technological ventures but also as socio-cultural projects that have important gender-specific and cultural frames and consequences. In order to strengthen our understanding on how social and other innovations work in starkly hierarchical societies of South Asia, positioned, contextualized and culture-specific micro-level analyses are needed.

Guest editors: Minna Säävälä (Population Research Institute, Helsinki) & Sirpa Tenhunen (University of Helsinki)

Article manuscripts analysing primary data are sought. Please send a synopsis of maximum 500 words to the guest editors minna.saavala@vaestoliitto.fi and sirpa.tenhunen@helsinki.fi by 31th Jan 2012. The special issue is scheduled to be published in 2014.

Tagged with: , ,

cfp: Pakistan Workshop 2011: The Politics of Space

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on May 31, 2010

The Lake District, 7th-9th May 2011

Although the use of space has been implicitly a part of many academic works, it is important to question how it is defined and reproduced. As a dynamic category, it is constantly divided, regulated and negotiated. In Pakistan, the division between the spaces of the private and the public, the visible and the invisible, between the rural and the urban, the legal and illegal, have in some places blurred and in others rigidified. The concept of space allows for an understanding of these and other categories on a concrete, literal and symbolic way. Some of the categories that emerge from within this realm include (but are not limited to):

– the increasing visibility of regional demands for greater autonomy
– the different and competing expressions of religiosity as well as of politics in space
– the sites at which gender is given meaning and reproduced
– the space of the home/domestic/private as opposed to the external / world /public
– changing and overlapping patterns of spatial segregation, communication and transport in the urban areas
– changing social realities and migration networks between urban and rural areas
– overlapping spheres of control occupied by the military, bureaucracy and elite groups
– spaces of resistance and protest
– diaspora
full details: PakistanWorkshop2011_CFP

Violence Against Women in South Asian Communities: Issues for Policy and Practice

Posted in New Publications by Pippa on October 18, 2009

Edited by Ravi K Thiara and Aisha K Gill, Foreword by Professor Liz Kelly CBE

‘This book is powerful, challenging and inspirational, and is an important contribution to debates on the complex intersections between ethnicity, gender and inequality, as well as on human rights and violence against women. Thiara and Gill and the contributors to this text skillfully unpick the flawed thinking and policy initiatives directed at gender-based violence over the past 30 years and especially in the post 9/11 period community cohesion and anti-terrorism initiatives.’
– Dr Lorraine Radford, Head of Research, NSPCC

‘This is a stimulating and provocative collection which explores the difficult concepts of ‘multiculturalism’, ‘ethnic identity’ and ‘secularisation’ in relation to gendered violence. The authors challenge myths and stereotypes about the ‘Asian’ experience in relation to interpersonal violence without oversimplifying or homogenising black and minority ethnic (BME) women’s experiences. Despite cataloguing the ongoing struggles against racism and misogyny, and the intersection of both, the editors conclude the text with optimism; an additional reason to recommend this text to all policy makers, practitioners, academics and students, as well as those interested in the provenance of BME anti-violence organisations and current UK policy.’
– Dr Melanie McCarry, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol


%d bloggers like this: