20 September 2012
Keynote by Visiting Professor Akeel Bilgrami from Columbia University, US:
Secularism: Genealogical and Definitional Issues
The lecture will characterize secularism after some historical observations, with a focus on Islam and on India.
31 July 2012
Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago, US)
Faith and Bad Faith in Public Life: Some Thoughts from India
Abstract: Faith, variously understood, occupied a large space in Indian public life in the colonial period while post-colonial India has been marked increasingly by secular and calculative use of religion in the interest of partisan electoral politics. The lecture examines the contrast to see if the Indian experience with faith in public life holds any global relevance today.
16 August 2011
Misunderstanding and Cosmopolitanism
Can unintended or strategic misunderstanding enable cosmopolitan practices? This lecture will speculate on this question using some examples from colonial India.
2 August 2011
Professor David Hardiman (University of Warwick):
‘On writing a global history of nonviolent resistance’
‘People power’ that involves predominantly nonviolent protest against authoritarian regimes has become a major force in the modern world. Political theorists such as John Rawls have seen it as a major force for democracy in our times. It asserts the moral right of the unarmed masses to self-determination against the violence of the elite few who wield power. This nonviolence was not always the case in mass protest, for in the past the so-called ‘mob’ was seen generally as an unruly, violent, and backward-looking force. My project seeks to understand how this very important change has come about.
In this paper, I shall say something about how this history has been written in recent years – largely by political strategists and theorists whose grasp on historical method is often poor. I look at the way that such a form of protest emerged historically from dialogues between Christian pacifists and radical politicians, as well as nationalists, in the nineteenth century, and the emergence of the notion of ‘passive resistance’. I shall then see how Gandhi transformed this into his own ‘satyagraha’, which he came to translate for a global audience as ‘nonviolent resistance’ (a new concept in the English language), and to see how Gandhi created a particular form for this which involved not only protest, but training and social construction. After Gandhi, the method was taken up by civil rights campaigners in the USA and in time modified into what became known as ‘strategic nonviolence’. This lacked the moralistic dimension found with Gandhi and many Christian pacifists. Finally, I shall say something about the feminist critique of such resistance, and the forging of a method based on ‘the ethic of care’.
9 June 2011
Anatol Lieven (King’s College London):
‘How Pakistan works’
Professor Lieven will discuss some of the theses of his new book ‘Pakistan: A Hard Country’
His presentation will be followed by responses from Ian Bedford (Macquarie University) and Adeel Khan (University of New England). There will also be time for extended discussion accompanied by lunch.
Professor Anatol Lieven is Chair of international relations and terrorism studies in the War Studies Department at King’s College London., and a senior fellow of the New America Foundation in Washington DC. His areas of expertise include Islamist terrorism and insurgency; contemporary warfare; US and Western strategy; the countries of the former Soviet Union; and the Greater Middle East, especially Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. His latest book, Pakistan: A Hard Country was published in April 2011.
28 March 2011
Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
‘The secret and the transparent digital media and everyday life in India’
Abstract: Recent technological interventions in India like the biometric ID schemes have little parallel in any postcolonial society, dwarfing many such schemes worldwide in their ambition. The new technological initiatives in the city have tapped into an information populism that cuts across activists, judges, elite managers and liberal modernizers. Transparency, once associated in urban debates with modernist discussions on surface (glass, steel), has now emerged in public discourse ethical filter through which infrastructure is made visible. At the same time, information seeks to leak constantly, from states, corporations, and everyday life, as if without limits.
This presentation uses infrastructure as a site to reflect on the relationship between fuzzy boundaries between ‘media’ and ‘life’, where transparency through media technologies seems to vitalize both modernizing schemes as well as new stories of empowerment.
7 September 2010
‘Stinking Hot: Technoscience, Development, Postcolonialism’
Abstract: The revolution in information and communications technologies appears to have rendered obsolete many fundamental assumptions in Development Studies, Modernization theory, and various modes of “Third World” studies. But is the new world really a rupture with the old, in terms of social science and humanities heuristics? This paper explores continuities and ruptures in theories of development and culture, using examples from contemporary India.
Kavita Philip is author of Civilizing Natures (2003 and 2004), and co-editor of the volumes Constructing Human Rights in the Age of Globalization (with Monshipouri, Englehart, and Nathan, 2003), Multiple Contentions (with Skotnes, 2003), Homeland Securities (with Reilly and Serlin, 2005), and Tactical Biopolitics (with da Costa, 2008). Her research interests are in transnational histories of science and technology; feminist technocultures; gender, race, globalization and postcolonialism; environmental history; and new media theory. Her work in progress includes a monograph entitled Proper Knowledge, and a co-authored book with Terry Harpold entitled Going Native: Cyberculture and Postcolonialism.
18 August 2010
Prof Dipesh Chakrabarty
University of Chicago/ANU
Can Global Climate Change Change History?
This lecture will use as its point of departure the different and often opposed views of the human that lie embedded in the literature on globalization and global warming. It will also review some aspects of contemporary debates around climate-change policy and climate justice to explore how this human-induced crisis of planetary proportions challenges our conceptions of human agency in history and how it requires us to revise our strategies for telling the story of human civilization.
9 June 2010
Prof Natalie Stoianoff
Director of the Master of Industrial Property Program, Faculty of Law, UTS
Traditional Knowledge Protection in India:
The Significance of Intellectual Property Laws andThe Biological Diversity Act 2002.
Click here for the lecture abstract and Professor Stoianoff’s biographical details.
24 February 2010
Visiting Professor at the University of Melbourne
“Islam and Gender Reform”
Please click here for the lecture abstract and biographical information on Amina Wadud.
1 September 2009
Novelist from Pakistan
“The Fictions of History”
Lecture followed by a reading.
Please click here for the lecture abstract and biographical information on Kamila.
18 August 2009
Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago/ANU
“Once Colonial, Now Global: India’s Engagement with the West”
Click here for more information on Dipesh Chakrabarty and on his lecture.