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: Technology and Religion in Historical and Contemporary South Asia: Spaces, Practices and Authorities

Posted in Conferences, Events, News/Information by Pippa on August 19, 2014


We are hereby inviting you to a planned panel on “Technology and Religion in Historical and Contemporary South Asia: Spaces, Practices and Authorities” at the XXI World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions on August 23 to 29, 2015, in Erfurt, Germany. Please find attached the tentative abstract for the panel.

For more information about the conference, please follow this link: http://www.iahr2015.org/iahr/index.html. Please note that all panel and paper proposals will be evaluated by the Academic Program Committee of IAHR and unfortunately the chair persons of this panel cannot assist you with funding for travel expenses.


Provided that the panel is accepted for the IAHR conference, the papers presented will be considered for publication in a volume on Technology and Religion in South Asia edited by Kristina Myrvold and Knut A. Jacobsen. The deadline for submitting abstracts (max. 150 words) is September 1.


Further details: Panel proposal IAHR 2015

Dr. Kristina Myrvold and Prof. Knut A. Jacobsen


cfp: International Conference at Department of Political Science, GC University, Lahore, Pakistan. November 12–14, 2014

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on July 30, 2014


The Department of Political Science, GC University, Lahore, is organizing a Three-Day International Conference on Local Representation of Power in South Asia to be held on November 12–14, 2014. Scholarly traditions often associate improved governance outcomes with the devolution of fiscal, political, and administrative responsibilities to lower tiers of government (Laerhoven, 2008; Ostrom, 2001). Theoretical and empirical studies hypothesize that decentralization of power is expected to be directly proportionate to increased public sector efficiency and local development through strengthened local governance. It is supposedly done through citizens’ direct participation in governance, public delivery, dispute resolution, revenue generation, and spending functions by bringing legitimate power of the state ‘closer to the people’. It is therefore, important to explore who gets to represent whom at local level in ‘developing’ countries of world’s most populous region – South Asia – with comparatively less stratified governmental structures.

Devolution of power – primarily that of administration and finance – to local level helps orderly provision of goods and services at grass root level. Most of public issues that local governments aim to address are manageable within their particular jurisdiction; and benefits from their actions and delivery of services or safety is limited to a specific area and confined to the populous of that area. However, many public issues at local level do not fall so easily into geographic jurisdictional limits. They are either impossible to tackle or are severely limited or degraded by the presence of geographic jurisdictions. Hence defining this ‘localness’ of issues and that of geographic area is of crucial importance and varies from country to country (Perlman & Jimenez, 2010).

Local self government units fulfill their existence with providing participation, autonomy and efficiency as three main principles of local democracy (Rozen, 2013). Research now focuses local governance and representation of power in terms of “diverse and varied set of institutions and processes” (Stoker, 2004). South Asia exhibits a variegated spectrum of forms of local representation of power ranging from colonial legacies and traditional/indigenous power structures to borrowed and innovative systems of local self governments with varying degree of success, public delivery, and local acceptance. These structures are shaped and in turn shape social structures.

The conference seeks to explore various forms of local representation of power in South Asia, their degree of success in providing public services and safety, their role in arbitration and adjudication, and the issues like electoral process, administrative capacity, financial autonomy, and accountability of local governments.

For submission, kindly send a short CV and an abstract of 250­–400 words, clearly indicating objectives, methodology, results, and conclusions to Mr. M. Usman A. Siddiqi (Email: write2siddiqi@live.com) on any of the following themes:

Theory of Local Representation of Power

Concepts and Theories of Power and Local Government

Theories of Devolution, Decentralization, and Delegation

Devolution and Governance

Federalism and Intergovernmental Relation

Governing Spaces and Populations

Urban versus Rural Governed Spaces

Citizenship and Urban and Rural Politics

Leadership and Political Will

Gap between Theory and Practice

Traditional Power Structures and Local Governments

Indigenous/Traditional Local Power Structures

Informal Power Structures and Local Politics

Who Gets to Represent Whom in Local Governments

Conflict and Conflict Resolution at Local Level

Criminality and Local Politics

Local Governance and Social Capital

Comparing Local Governments in South Asia

Local Government Systems in Countries of South Asia

Realities, Successful Models and Best Practices

Local Representation of Power: Democratic versus Authoritarian Regimes

Intervention of Central and State Governments in Local Bodies

Single versus Multi Member Ward Systems

Participative Democracy, Representation, Elections, Politics and Local Governments

Democratic Process and Politics at Local Level

Local government electoral system

Issues in Local Bodies Elections

Party Basis versus Non Party Basis Elections at Local Level

Legal and Constitutional Matters related to Local Bodies Elections

Maximizing People Participation in Local Affairs

Provision of Services: Management and Performance

Localness of Issues and Geographic Area (Jurisdiction of Local Governments)

Local versus Regional Problems

Areas of Public Delivery at Local Level

Administrative and Management Capacity of Local Governments

Governance Challenges at Local Level

Health, Education, Solid Waste Management, Energy Development etc.

Security, Conflict Resolution, Arbitration and Adjudication

Finance and Accountability

Revenue Generation and Spending Functions of Local Governments

Issues related to Financial Autonomy

Development and Implementation of Accountability Mechanisms at Local Level

Political Accountability

Administrative Accountability

Capacity Building, Development, and Reforms

Deepening Democracy: Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance

Building Constructive Relationships among Central, State, and Local Governments for Creating and Maintaining High Standard of Services

Promoting Social and Economic Development at the Local Level

The Challenges of the Future: Change, Transformation, and Sustainability

Best Practice and Lessons: Proposing New Structures and Better Governance

Framework for Administrative and Regulatory Reforms

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

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

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Call for Papers: Special issue on Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi Diaspora

Posted in Academic Journals, Diaspora by santhyb on February 17, 2012

A Special Issue of South Asian Diaspora will be published in 2014 on: ‘Imagining Punjab and the Punjabi Diaspora’

Guest Editor: Anjali Gera Roy

South Asian Diaspora invites contributions to this Special Issue that will foreground the region within diaspora studies through focusing on Punjab, a land-locked region divided between India and Pakistan in 1947. The special issue will explore the importance of the home village/town/city, language and culture rather than the nation for many Punjabis living in the diasporas as well as for those displaced by the 1947 Partition, and will contribute to broader debates on transnationalism, postnationalism, micronationalism, and
new identity narratives emerging in the twenty first century. Papers will focus on Punjab as an ethno-spatial complex, a social form and a type of consciousness, and will address the ways in which multiple imaginings of Punjab as a site of diasporic nostalgia and longing produce inclusive as well as exclusionary narratives of self, home and community. Drawing on historical and post-colonial understandings of the region across a wide range of locations and disciplines, the papers will explore the importance of Punjab, Punjabi language and Punjabi culture in diasporic imagination, memory, identity, and everyday practices. By investigating the meanings of Punjab and Punjabiyat in the past and the present, the special issue will contribute to understandings of postnational formations within a South Asian context.

All invited and contributed manuscripts to this special issue will be peer reviewed. For guidelines of how to prepare the manuscript, please visit the journal website: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rsad
Manuscripts for the Special Issue should be submitted no later than 31 March 2013. Submission of manuscripts through electronic mail (preferably as MS Word attachment) to Anjali Gera Roy (anjali@hss.iitkgp.ernet.in) is especially encouraged. Alternatively,
please submit three printed copies and an electronic version (MS Word format on a floppydisk or a CD) of the manuscript to:

Professor Anjali Gera Roy
Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur – 721 302
Phone : +91 3222 283616       (O);  +91 3222 283617       (R)

Fax : +91 3222 282270 (O)


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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.

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PhD studentships

Posted in PhD Studentship by Pippa on May 8, 2010

A number of masters and PhD studentships available at Northumbria University, UK across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and some with a specific focus upon Punjab and South Asia. Masters studentships pay fees only while PhD studentships provide a bursary of £13,500 and pay full time UK fees in full.
Full details can be viewed at http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/researchandconsultancy/graduateschool/prospectivepgrs/studentships/sass/.
For details of those that relate to Punjab and South Asia, please contact Dr Steve Taylor: stephen.a.taylor@northumbria.ac.uk

Full Professorship in State and Democracy in Modern India

Posted in Vacancies by Pippa on February 28, 2010

The Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) at the Georg-August-University Gottingen /Germany invites applications for the position of a Full Professorship (salary scale W3) in State and Democracy in Modern India

The position is available for immediate appointment.
Applications are invited from internationally recognized candidates working in any field of political science or political sociology who have a demonstrated regional specialization in India or South Asia. This includes particularly candidates working on state formation, democratization and the political system in India in comparative perspective, with a view to broader questions of modern constitutional theory and reality. Candidates must have an interest in, and strong commitment to, inter-disciplinary research cooperation with the other departments of the newly created Centre for Modern Indian Studies (www.uni-goettingen.de/cemis).

Applications, including pertinent documentation (CV, list of publications, teaching and research track records etc.) are requested by 18 March 2010 and should be sent to the Dekanin der Sozialwissenschaftlichen Fakultt der Georg-August-Universitet Gottingen, Platz der Gttinger Sieben 3, D-37073 Gttingen, Germany), email: dekanat@sowi.uni-goettingen.de. For further information, please contact Prof. Matthias Koenig at mkoenig@gwdg.de.

Website: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/cemis

SOAS Digital Archives and Special Collections

Posted in Digital resources by Pippa on February 16, 2010

 The Library, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, London, UK


“SOAS is a leader in the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and our library with its Archives & Special Collections is the HEFCE-designated National Research Library for these regions of the world. We are in the process of putting our collections of rare manuscripts, books, photographs, audio and film material on-line, to be freely available for everyone. The first collection to be made available is the photographic archive of Christoph von Fuerer-Haimendorf (1909-1995). This collection is widely recognised as the world’s most comprehensive visual documentation of tribal cultures in South Asia and the Himalayas. […] This Web site is under continual development, so please check back frequently for new features.”

URL http://digital.info.soas.ac.uk/

CFP: South Asia and the West: Entwined, Entangled and Engaged

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on December 28, 2009

Los Angeles, CA, April 10-11, 2010

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the two shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.

The popular mind tends to focus on the differences between South Asia and the West, yet throughout history there has been constant interchange, with each side learning from and impacting the other. In 2010 SASA wishes to examine the intertwined nature of East and West, beginning with Alexander the Great’s conquests in Northwest India and continuing through the first use of a decimal zero in the Lokavibhâga, Columbus’ search for a sea route to the Indies, Thoreau’s impact on Gandhi/Gandhi’s on M.L. King, and concluding with today’s bidirectional globalization and the explosive South Asian diaspora.

We particularly invite papers which explore cultural and religious interchanges, entertainment cross-fertilization, economic globalization, and the diaspora experience. Regardless of the theme, however, we welcome papers from all academic disciplines and all periods of time that address the rich tapestry that is South Asia’s past, present and future.

Further details: http://www.sasia2.org/index.html

Assistant Professorship – University of Delaware

Posted in Vacancies by Pippa on November 7, 2009

History of South Asia/India. University of Delaware – Department of History

The Department of History at the University of Delaware (USA) invites applications for a full-time assistant professor, tenure track, in the history of South Asia, with a preference for the history of India.

The appointment will begin on September 1, 2010; the Ph.D. is required. The appointee’s courses will include courses in the field of specialization and a survey in world history.

Please send a letter of application, c.v., and three letters of recommendation, postmarked by December 15, 2009, to Professor Rudi Matthee, Chair, Search Committee, Department of History, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716.  All materials will be shared with department faculty.

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