Punjab Research Group

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

Submissions:

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.

Roots of Love

Posted in Film, News/Information by harjant on January 28, 2012

Told through the stories of six different men ranging in age from fourteen to eighty-six, Roots of Love documents the changing significance of hair and the turban among Sikhs in India. We see younger Sikh men abandoning their hair and turban to follow the current fashion trends, while the older generation struggles to retain the visible symbols of their religious and cultural identity.

“Beautifully conceived and shot…Pleasure to watch… A compassionate portrait of a community in transition…”
— Safina Uberoi, filmmaker and director of My Mother India and A Good Man

Awards:  “Best Student Film” – 2011 Society for Visual Anthropology

ORDER NOW! for your university and academic institutions.

More Info: www.TilotamaProductions.com

Disclaimer: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.

Diasporizing Punjab, Disorienting Bhangra

Posted in Diaspora, Film, Music by harjant on April 23, 2010

Diasporizing Punjab, Disorienting Bhangra

From May 5 to 8, VIBC, UBC and UFV present Diasporizing Punjab, Disorienting Bhangra, a joint conference bringing together academics and performers from around the world to talk about Punjabi pop culture, history and of course, Bhangra. The conference is part of the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration (VIBC) Society’s 6th Annual City of Bhangra Festival, presented by Rogers from April 29 to May 8, 2010.

Two evenings of public paper presentations, themed Diasporizing Punjab, are scheduled for May 5 & 6 at UFV. On Wednesday May 5, Satwinder Kaur Bains (University of the Fraser Valley), Verne Dusenbery (Hamline University), and Margaret Walton-Roberts (Wilfrid Laurier University) will present. On Thursday May 6, Inderpal Grewal (Yale University), Doris Jakobsh (University of Waterloo), and Michael Nijhawan (York University) will present. Further public paper presentations, themed Disorienting Bhangra, are to be held at the University of British Columbia on May 7 & 8, where speakers include Rajinder Dudrah (University of Manchester), Harjant Gill (American University), Nicola Mooney (University of the Fraser Valley), Anjali Gera Roy (Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur), Gibb Schreffler (University of California at Santa Barbara). There will also be an undergraduate student roundtable, and a panel of graduate student papers, where speakers include Manjot Bains (York University), Naveen Girn (York University), and Ashveer Pal Singh (University of California at Berkeley).

More Information: http://www.ufv.ca/CICS/Events/DPDB.htm

Journal of South Asian Popular Culture 4th International Conference – Call for Papers

Posted in Conferences, Diaspora, News/Information by Pippa on January 22, 2009

The University of Manchester, UK, Mon 6 – Tues 7 July 2009 

Keynote Speakers
Purnima Mankekar, UCLA (USA)
Rosie Thomas, University of Westminster (UK)

SAPC’s 4th meeting invites interdisciplinary contributions from across subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences to engage with notions of popular culture. ‘South Asian popular culture’ is defined in a broad and inclusive way to incorporate lived and textual cultures, the mass and new media, different ways of life, and discursive modes of representation. Central to the formation of popular cultures are articulations of the economic, social and political spheres and the conference especially welcomes papers that will highlight these issues. Full details: 4th-conf-cfp

For further information and to send your paper or panel abstracts please contact:
Dr Rajinder Dudrah, Drama,
Martin Harris Building, University of 

Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13-9PL, UK.

Email: rajinder.dudrah@manchester.ac.uk

Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 23 February 2009

 

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