Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop 2015

February 26, 2015 @ 10:00 am – February 27, 2015 @ 9:00 pm
519 Kaneff Tower

The CASAS workshop is free and open to all. Please register by emailing your full name, institutional affiliation (optional), any dietary restrictions, and accessibility requests by February 25th, 2015 to The workshop program will be posted shortly.

Keynote Address

Love and Hate in South Asia: Rethinking humanity after 1971
Keynote address by Yasmin Saikia

Critical Approaches to South Asian Studies Workshop 2015 event posterRemembered experiences of violence, humiliation, and loss suffered in the 1971 war of Bangladesh provide potent materials for rethinking a new narrative bonding victim and perpetrator communities in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Using the war as my entry point, I explore survivors oral narratives to understand how love for nation and hate toward their perceived enemies created and revealed the distances with others to violate them. More than four decades later, survivors – men and women from Bangladesh and Pakistan – search for a human identity beyond national labels for imagining history in the subcontinent that is discontinuous but interconnected. The “narrative hospitality” (Ricoeur, 1992) of victims and perpetrators exchanging memories for self-recognition and intersubjective relationship with others suggests a possibility of recognizing and coexisting with a variety of others in memory. The quest of survivors is not to find identity, but to create a common ground signaling an awareness of human connections for achieving true human freedom in the sub-continent.

Professor Yasmin Saikia is the Hardt-Nickachos Chair in Peace Studies at the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and a Professor of History in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. Her research and teaching interests invoke a dynamic transnational and interdisciplinary dialogue situated at the intersection of history, culture, and religion. With a specific focus on contestations and accommodations in South Asia between local, national, and religious identities, she examines the Muslim experience in India, Pakistan, and Bangaldesh, and the discourse of nonviolence alongside the practice of violence against women and vulnerable groups.

Feb 26 - Thursday (519 Kaneff Tower)

10:00 - 10:30 am, Welcome
Light breakfast, registration, and introductory remarks

10:30 - 12:00 pm, Panel: Religion and Method

Considering forms of ‘marked’ citizenship: Muslim women’s groups in India
Harshita Sai Yalamarty, Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University

Tina Virmani, University of Toronto-Mississauga and Humber College

Contesting Heteropatriarchal Religio-Nationalism: Gendering the Muslim Citizen-Subject in Light of the Akhira (Hereafter)
Nadia Z. Hasan, Political Science, York University

Discussant: Kabita Chakraborty, Department of Humanities, York University

12:00 - 1:00 pm, Lunch (provided)

1:00 - 2:30 pm, Undergraduate Research in South Asian Studies

Organized in collaboration with United South Asians at York

Necessary Fraud: The Story of Two Cunning Eurasian Brothers and Breaking Racial Hierarchy
Saadia Pervaiz, Case Western Reserve University

A Qualitative Investigation of Cultural Conflict in Second Generation South Asian Females in Post-Secondary Education
Antu Hossain, University of Toronto Scarborough

Labour and worker exploitation that have taken place in South Asia
Sinthujha Kumarasamy, York University

Sana Saleem, Samay Arcentales, Luwam Tekeste and Nima Tabatabae, York University
Discussant: Nedra Rodrigo, Humanities, York University

2:30 - 2:45 pm, Coffee/Tea Break

2:45 - 4:15 pm, Roundtable: Race and Pedagogy

Cyndy Baskin, Social Work, Ryerson University
Pablo Idahosa, African Studies, York University
Aaliya Khan, Communication Studies and Political Science, York University
Nishant Upadhyay, Social and Political Thought, York University

Chair: Omme-Salma Rahemtullah, York University

4:15 - 4:30 pm, Coffee/Tea Break

4:30 - 6:00 pm, Keynote Address

Love and Hate in South Asia: Rethinking Humanity After 1971
Yasmin Saikia, Arizona State University

Feb 27 - Friday (280N York Lanes)

9:00 - 9:30 am, Light Breakfast (provided)

9:30 - 11:00 am, Narrative Interventions: Between State and Subject

Conflicting Narratives: On Reading Text and Image in a Hindi Literary Periodical of the mid-Twentieth Century
Shobna Nijhawan, Languages Literatures and Linguistics, York University

Narratives of Incorporation?: Rethinking Subaltern Representation Under Neoliberalism
Chinmayi Sirsi, English, University of Southern California

Resolution of Canadian Multiculturalism through Affective Storytelling
Sanchari Sur, English, Wilfred Laurier University

Discussant: Anindo Hazra, English, York University

11:00 - 11:15 am, Coffee/Tea Break

11:15 - 12:45 pm, Marginality and Method

Race, Indenture and ‘intimacy’: Reading Indo and Sino-Caribbean literature
Najnin Islam, English, University of Pennsylvania

Interrogating the methodologies of contemporary Dalit Studies Women’s Studies
Drishadwati Bargi, Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University

“We were being treated as second-rate citizens of Canada”, Rethinking Diasporic Grief in the Wake of the Air India Bombing
Alia Somani, English, University of Western Ontario

Discussant: Arun Mukherjee, English, York University

12:45 - 2:00 pm, Lunch

Screening: Illegal(ized)
Produced by York undergraduates: Sana Saleem, Samay Arcentales, Luwam Tekeste and Nima Tabatabae
For more details:

2:00 - 3:30 pm, Interdisciplinary Boundaries: Performance and Visuality in the Study of South Asia

Regional Nationalism: Reconsidering the Narrative of Classical Indian Dance History Paromita Kar, Dance, York University

‘Visualizing’ Democracy: mapping ‘Babasaheb’ in everyday lives of Dalits Politics and International Studies
Sruthi Muraleedharan, SOAS, University of London

South Asians on exhibit in German and Austro-Hungarian Empire
Vasuki Shanmuganathan, German and Women and Gender Studies, University of Toronto

Discussant: Sailaja Krishnamurti, Humanities, York University

3:30 - 3:45 pm, Coffee/Tea Break

3:45 - 5:15 pm, Roundtable: Masala Militia Friday: An Exploratory Panel Exploring Issues in South Asian Activism

Asam Ahmad, writer, poet, scholar and community organizer, It Gets Fatter Project
Krittika Ghosh, Shakti Peer Group
Shaunga Tagore, interdisciplinary performance artist, community organizer and astrologer
Tara Atluri, Ontario College of Art and Design

Organized by Masala Militia

7:00 pm, Social Event (location TBD)