12 May

Professor Sanjay Sethm Distinguished Visiting Scholar from Goldsmith College, London
States of Emergency: colonialism and post-colonialism

When: 9:00-5:00 pm, Monday 12th May
Where: Room 201, Level 14, Building 10 (235 Jones Street), University of Technology, Sydney
RSVP: Jo.Bu@uts.edu.au

The pressures under colonial regimes often generate ‘crises’ which in the British Empire were dealt with through a series of ‘Emergency’ regulations. This was demonstrated during the decolonization struggles with the strategies used in Kenya to meet the ‘emergency’ seen to arise from the challenge of Mau Mau. Yet these same regulations have been used by post-colonial, independent governments to manage unruly and confrontational citizen demands.

This workshop will explore the meanings and uses of ‘emergency’ declarations and landscapes of resistance in four locations – although the states of ‘emergency’ have continued – or have been met in the same way – both before and after independence:

(a) Kenya with ‘Mau Mau’ and decolonisation. 1950s

(b) in India (generally: 1975; Kashmir, cont; NE States – ‘Naxalites etc – cont)

(c) in Palestine (continuing),

(d) The Intervention in NT and Bankstown, (continuing)

About Professor Sanjay Seth
Sanjay Seth is Professor of Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London. He has published in the fields of modern Indian history, political and social theory, postcolonial theory and international relations. He’s particularly interested in how modern European ideologies, and modern Western knowledge more generally, ‘travelled’ to the non-Western world- and what effects this had both on the non-Western world, and on modern, Western knowledge. He’s current work is focused on whether the presumptions that inform our modern knowledge are ‘universal’, meaning adequate to all times and places- as is usually supposed- or whether they are in fact parochial, presumptions that are specifically modern and Western but that illegitimately pass themselves off as universal.

Organisers: include: PhD graduate Annie Pfingst; Heather Goodall

28 November 2013

Rivers, Coastlines, Communities and Sustainability: Community conservation of the aquatic resources

Aquatic species have many different meanings around the Indian and Pacific Oceans, in Australia, South Asia and South East Asia.

  • From the eels of Victoria to the oysters and seagrass beds of the Sydney estuaries,
  • from the tuna of the Pacific and Indian Oceans to the albatrosses that wheel above the sea, to the turtles of the Andamans, Tamil Nadu and Australian coastlines,
  • from the migrating whales from the southern oceans to the barramundi swimming in Shark Bay, WA – or on the menu at The Boatshed
    or – as pla kapong – in the restaurants of Bangkok

Whether as foods, commodities and trophies or as the embodiment of the spiritual world, the more-than-human life of rivers, estuaries and coastlines is central to many human societies and economies. Yet these animal and plant species have often been depleted to the point of extinction by over-harvesting or environmental damage, intended or unintended.

Two active researchers from South Asia, A/Prof Kartik Shanker and Dr Naveen Namboothri are at UTS to talk about their work exploring the social, cultural and ecological relations between aquatic species and the coastal communities in South India, from Lakshadweep off the coast of Kerala around the coast to Tamil Nadu and the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal.

  • Some of their South Asian work has direct relevance to Australian Indigenous communities on the coast or inland, who are demanding control over fish, fishing and other harvesting.
  • Other aspects of this work relate to the many coastal fishing-dependent communities of Australasia and the Pacific who feel marginalized by both corporate commercial fishing or by efforts to set up conservation zones.
  • Other parallels can be drawn with the ‘green marketing’ strategies to advertise sustainably-caught fish in seafood restaurants to foster consumer-led conservation.

Our goal in this workshop is to explore the possibilities of future collaborations in comparative research into the social, cultural and ecological dimensions of aquatic conservation in India, Australia, SE Asia and the Pacific.


13 and 14 August 2013

“Whose Energy Future?” Developmentalism, climate change and energy policy in India and Australia

University of Technology, Sydney

About the workshop

In 2010 the governments of India and Australia declared a joint partnership for ‘securing our energy futures’. With India’s ‘inclusive growth’ and Australia’s ‘sustainable mining’, we would all benefit. Or would we? This seminar investigates whose future is served by energy policy under climate change in India’s ’emerging economy’ and in Australia’s extractive economy. We wish to question claims about the developmental benefits of current energy policies, such as those expressed in India’s ‘Integrated Energy Future’ and by Australia’s ‘Clean Energy Future’. Energy is at the centre of developmentalism, both for post-colonial statehood in India and settler statehood in Australia.  In this 2 day workshop we will be bringing together academics, policy makers and activists to explore the following questions together:

  • How is energy now being re-modeled and re-packaged for the climate change era?
  • What possibilities emerge, beyond the elite vision for ‘our energy futures’?

Workshop Organisers

Devleena Ghosh, Heather Goodall, James Goodman, Jonathan Marshall

This workshop is hosted by the Indian Ocean and South Asia Research Network and the Cosmopolitan and Civil Societies Research Centre at UTS.

May 24 2013

Eastern Indian Ocean circulations: people, politics, cultures, representations, trade – and tensions

Coffee on bilumSpicesRiceWood carvingMore spicesNoodles on sarong

About the workshop:
This workshop focuses on circulations and communication around the eastern Indian Ocean from the mid 20th century to the present. Much of the ‘Indian Ocean’ literature actually concentrates on the western areas – Africa and Western Peninsula India – rather than considering the Oceans eastern shores which cover many different countries. Yet in those eastern areas, it is usually regions which are studied alone: South Asia or Southeast Asia or Melanesia – while Australia is not considered at all, or lumped into the Pacific arena.
In this workshop we are instead asking participants to consider the connections between the various places around the eastern rim of the Indian Ocean – whether those connections be through the movement of people, of ideas including the representations of peoples or genders or histories, of trade goods,  of living environments and of politics – but also through conflicts and tensions. In all cases, the connections have flowed in many directions which changed over time.  Participants will be discussing the links – backwards and forwards – between India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and the Straits, Thailand, Indonesia, Timor L’este, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Download the workshop program here and workshop flyer here.

29 March 2012

Perceptions of 2009: Looking back at the Indian students’ crisis

About the workshop
2009 was a period of crisis for many Indian students in Melbourne and Sydney. This crisis and its representation in the media of both India and Australia led to such strong tensions in the bilateral relationship that formal delegations were sent to India to provide reassurance. Perceptions of both countries were affected and Indian student numbers in Australia dropped. This workshop will examine the 2009 crisis; reflecting on lessons learnt and future strategies to strengthen relations between communities inAustralia.


Heather Goodall (UTS): Looking back, looking laterally; university responses

Matt Wade (Fairfax Correspondent in India): Reporting from India in 2009

Rory Medcalfe (Lowy Institute): Implications of the 2009 student crisis on the bilateral relationship between India and Australia

Devaki Monani (Research Scholar UTS): Human Rights missing in Action: state wide approaches in Victoria

Professor Amitabh Mattoo (Australia-India Institute, University of Melbourne)

Amit Dasgupta (Consul General of India): Perception and reality: thinking about Harris Park

Robert Redfern (NSW Police): Managing Harris Park: what worked and what didn’t

Stepan Kerkyasharian (Community Relations Commission): Lessons learnt from the crisis

Christopher Kremmer: Reflections

10 February 2011

Post-colonialism, Religion, Gender and Ethics: Rethinking paradigms and boundaries

The papers presented in this seminar come from eminent scholars working across the boundaries of religion, gender and postcolonial frameworks. They will consider the ways in which women negotiate discourses of religion and politics via case studies of Islamic veiling, and Islamic law in Canada, Hinduism as a world religion, and marriage in Bangladesh. The case studies raise important questions about the ways in which post-colonialism produces a particular paradigm of ethical thinking, and how gender is situated within such paradigms by post-colonial theorists. Religion as a category of western knowledge is explored via post-colonial insights, demonstrating gaps and inconsistencies in how theorists write gender and religion in post-colonial theory.

About the speakers:

Morny Joy is University Research Professor in the Dept. of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada. She works and has published in the area of philosophy and religion, postcolonialism and intercultural studies in South and Sout-East Asia, as well as the all important area of women and religion. During the last two years she has co-edited two posthumous volumes of the work of Grace Jantzen. In addition, she has recently published a volume on Continental Philosophy and Philosophy of Religion (Springer). Another edited volume is forthcoming in early 2011, entitled After Appropriation: Explorations in Intercultural Philosophy and Religion.

Naomi Goldenberg is professor of religious studies at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada.  She writes and teaches about topics pertaining to religion, gender, psychoanalysis and popular culture.  She is currently at work on interrogating the category of religion in reference to politics and the technology of statecraft.

Santi Rozario is a Reader in School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University and Associate Director of the Body, Health and Religion (BAHAR) Research Group. Her academic background is in sociology and social anthropology. Her PhD (University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1989) was on women and the relations between religious communities in a Bangladeshi village. Her doctoral thesis was subsequently published as Purity and Communal Boundaries: Women and Social Change in a Bangladeshi Village. She has continued to carry out research in Bangladesh, in areas including development studies, health (including childbirth and reproductive health), microfinance, and religion. A major recent project was on Religious Nationalism and Sustainability in the Asia Pacific Region. In recent years she has also carried out research with British Bangladeshis in the UK, including a project on genetics, religion and identity (2005-7). Her current ESRC-funded project (2008 onwards) is on Islam, young Bangladeshis, marriage and the family in the UK and Bangladesh.

About the Chair:

Kathleen McPhillips is lecturer in Sociology at the University of Newcastle, NSW. She has written extensively on religion and gender and particularly questions of sainthood and the life of Mary MacKillop. Her most recent publication was in Eremos.

18 August 2010

Postgraduate Workshop with Professor Sugata Bose
Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs (Modern South Asian History; Indian Ocean History)

‘A Hundred Horizons: Colonialism, Globalization and Oceans’

Please click here to download the call for participation with information on how to apply [PDF].

26 November 2009

Postgraduate Workshop with Prof. Gyanendra Pandey (Emory University, Atlanta, US)

Download the Call for EOI’s here.

28/29 October 2009

Joint workshop with the China Research Centre:
Health and Borders in China, India and the Indian Ocean Region

Please click here for more information on the workshop and for the two day programme.

Inquiries: Beatriz Carrillo, China Research Centre

27 October 2009

Island Connections:
Networks, labour & cultures across Oceans & Empires.
mauritius – reunion – australia – fiji – noumea

Click here for more information.

20 August 2009

Postgraduate Workshop with Dipesh Chakrabarty

14 May 2009

Research and Communities Workshop:

Strategies for research for trade, industry & social justice in Asia, Australasia and the Pacific
For more information, please click here.

With visiting researcher Kanchi Kohli, Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, Delhi, India.

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