The University of Oslo’s 5th Annual Contemporary India Seminar - 12 September 2013.
Once a staple of Indian sociological and political analysis, caste has been curiously marginal in recent academic discourses on India. The contemporary marginality of caste owes undoubtedly to the opening up of new areas of study concerning gender, neoliberalism, conflict, development and more. Yet caste continues to be a significant force in Indian society and politics, taking on new guises even as older pervasive hierarchies continue to seep into the present. To interrogate caste in contemporary India in its many forms and aspects, this seminar invites papers from scholars working on this subject across disciplines. We encourage our participants to address the contemporary workings of caste, and the practices and ideas associated with it, from an empirical point of departure. Representations of caste as ‘a system’, we believe, are partial and subjected to the positioned gaze of the beholder, and as such grounded in time and space. Moving beyond holistic theory, we invite participants to interrogate the specificities of caste empirically and as embedded in particular local and / or regional contexts.
We particularly welcome contributions from younger scholars. We are also interested in papers that deal with the significance of caste in parts of India such as West Bengal, where caste hierarchies are generally seen as ‘weak’; or among social strata were the influence of caste is believed to be on the wane or subject to important transformations.
This year’s seminar is organised by Geir Heierstad, Kenneth Bo Nielsen and Uday Chandra with support from the Department for Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS) at the University of Oslo; the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM); the Network for Asian Studies; and the Nordic Forum for South Asia (NoFSA).
Time and place: 12 September 2013 – University of Oslo
Please send your abstract no later than 1 May 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Full papers are due 1 September 2013