On behalf of the White Rose South Asia Network (comprising the Universities of York, Leeds & Sheffield), we invite abstracts for our upcoming Fifth Annual Conference on the theme 'Borders, Connections, and Transgressions', to be held at the University of Sheffield on 1 July 2022.
The history of South Asia is a history of borders, drawn and redrawn across a contiguous landmass. It is littered with stories of violence as well as a rich tradition of cultural exchange. Both physical and metaphorical borders feature prominently in any discussion of South Asia.
Borders always have two sides, but many implications. As a noun, the word “border” denotes an exclusionary entity, a frontier, partition, perimeter, boundary, or dividing line. As a verb, it can surround and enclose, but also join, and create connections. A border also implies the violence of its maintenance: where borders are drawn, we require passports, defences, trenches; but also social norms, community identities, and religious injunctions. Borders can also clarify and demarcate aesthetic categories.
“Borders are where wars start,” wrote Primo Levi. As we write this abstract, tanks roll into Ukraine from Russia across its eastern border as strollers wait at the train station on its western border with Poland, revealing at once, transgression but also connection. Concurrently, protracted conflicts over borders and identity abound across the world from Yemen to Palestine. In South Asia itself, such conflicts have shaped identities in Kashmir, Balochistan, Afghanistan, the Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka, and northeast India, among others.
2022 marks 75 years since the Radcliffe line drew borders that shaped the geopolitical identities of three out of eight South Asian countries. With thousands of miles of frontiers between and within them, borders are a topic that South Asians encounter on a daily basis. This conference will help us critically engage with and think through borders, both as lines and liminal spaces, and in the connections and transgressions that they enable.
It is in this context that the White Rose South Asia Network presents its Fifth Annual Conference on the theme of ‘Borders, Connections, and Transgressions’. This one-day hybrid event will bring together postgraduate students from across the arts, humanities, and social sciences to consider various aspects of South Asia. We encourage submissions from research students at any stage of their degrees across a variety of disciplines.
We will accept both academic paper presentations (20 minutes long) or non-traditional interactive and/or multimedia presentations involving visual art, audio-video tools, poetry, cinema, posters, audience participation, etc. Themes may include, but are not restricted to:
- The nation state and national boundaries
- Law, development and governance
- Political movements, democracy, and authoritarianism
- Pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial histories
- Cartography and geography
- War, migration, mobility, partition, diaspora
- Normativity, liminality, and transgressions
- Bodies, gender, and sexuality
- Marginalised and Othered communities
- Caste and race
- Trade routes and shared infrastructures
- Culinary cultures and food histories
- Urban and architectural planning
- Environment and ecology
- Human and animal interfaces
- Religion and secularism
- Cultural studies
- Media and technology
- Performing art including music, theatre, dance
- Genealogy, kinship, marriage
- Literatures and translation
- Art history and interpretation
- Heritage conservation, management and curation
- Medical humanities and Science & Technology Studies
- Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary methodologies
The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Mahvish Ahmad, Assistant Professor in Human Rights & Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The event will conclude with a workshop for PGRs titled ‘Writing South Asia: Publishing Your Research’, led by Dr Radha Kapuria (History, University of Sheffield) and author of Music in Colonial Punjab: Courtesans, Bards, and Connoisseurs, due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2022. The workshop will be open to attend for anyone participating in the conference.
Limited travel funding may be available for those presenting papers, particularly for scholars travelling from further afield. Details regarding this will be announced in due course.
Please fill the Google Form below which includes space for an abstract of 250-300 words, a short 100-word biography, and indication of funding requirements.(https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSePxJHcbHqb1UT6La8WeCJ3nZ-igCexsjxZh1O4O1lTodLKuA/viewform)
Any questions can be sent to Parshati Dutta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 15 May 2022.
University of York; University of Leeds; University of Sheffield; White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities.