Past Events

April 7, 2014: Tamasha Politics: Journalism, Democracy and Illusory Dissent in Pakistani Media

A talk by Ali Nobil Ahmad, Madeline Haas Russell Visiting Professor of South Asian Studies

3:30-5:00 pm

Hassenfeld Conference Center, Levine Ross Room


Futures Imperfect: Utopias and Dystopias in South Asiafutures imperfect conference

Friday, March 7, 2014 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm
Saturday, March 6, 2014 9:45 am to 2:30 pm
Mandel Reading Room

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds to explore how utopic and dystopic visions shape subjectivities, geographies and texts in South Asia today.

Inspired by contemporary processes in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, we conceive of utopias and dystopias not as alternative worlds but as, in the words of Gordin, Tilley and Prakash, "conditions of historical possibility" which allow for the articulation of a diversity of experiences in the present.

We seek to shift attention from celebratory narratives such as "shining India" and the transnational novel, as well as from dystopic visions such as the "planet of slums" or Pakistan as a "failed state," to look at how futurity animates the contemporary - in life and in text.

The Female and Her Body in Pakistani Artkhwaja poster
A Lecture by Sophiya Khwaja
Monday, November 4, 2013 at 2:00pm
Shiffman 219

In a social context in which women’s visibility has been culturally and historically undesirable, and, when visible, is considered a sexual invitation, the depiction of the female body assumes potent socio-political meaning, especially when enunciated by women themselves. This lecture will focus on the depiction of the female form in Pakistani art. Special emphasis will be given to work produced by contemporary women artists of the past decade living and working in Pakistan. The owning and celebration of the female body, the connotation to rebellion through its use in art along with the challenging of the “male gaze” are amongst the main concerns of the lecture. Also under consideration will be the development of the role of women in the arts, mainly through their use of the female form in their own work and the staggering influence this work has had on that produced by their male contemporaries. Sponsored by the Programs in South Asian Studies and the History of Ideas.

Screening and Discussion with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Paromita Vohravohra poster
Friday, October 11, 2013 at 3:00pm
Mandel G03

Is piracy organized crime or class struggle? Is the fine line between plagiarism
and inspiration a copout or a whole other way of looking at the fluid nature of
authorship? Who owns a song—the person who made it or the person who paid
for it? Partners in Crime (2011), by Paromita Vohra, one of India’s most
acclaimed documentary filmmakers, tackles these questions and more.
Sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program and the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University.

phadke poster

May 1, 2013: "Unfriendly Bodies, Hostile Cities: Reflections on Loitering in Urban India,"
Speaker Dr. Shilpa Phadke (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai). Prof. Phadke discussed her research on gender and public space in relation to the recent nation-wide debates around sexual violence in India.

rademacherApril 29, 2013: "Soldiering Sustainability: Urban Ecologies and Political Imaginaries in Kathmandu and Mumbai," Speaker: Dr. Anne Rademacher (NYU). In this talk, Dr. Rademacher drew from long-term ethnographic engagement with the biophysical, cultural, and political dynamics of urban river degradation in Nepal’s capital city to show how discussions of urban ecology in Kathmandu are at the center of competing political imaginaries. An open lecture to Anth151 "Nature, Culture, Power: Anthropology of the Environment." Co-sponsored with the Anthropology Department.

April 22, 2013: "Dhan Te Nan! Onomatopoeia and Other Deployments of Film Sound inContemporary Multiplex Cinema," Speaker: Dr. Sudhir Mahadevan (University of Washington). This presentation offered a preliminary survey of the formal functions of film sound in contemporary multiplex cinema, as a potential gateway into reflections on South Asia’s cinematic imaginary. This event was associated with Eng20a "Bollywood: Popular Film, Genre & Society."

Jai Bhim Poster

October 4, 2012: Renowned Indian filmmaker Anand Patwardhan '72 joined the Brandeis community for a screening of his film "Jai Bhim Comrade." President Lawrence welcomed Mr. Patwardhan to campus, describing his films as an invaluable contribution to social justice efforts across the globe and an inspiration to the Brandeis community.


March 23, 2011: Dr. Maina Chawla Singh (American University / New Delhi University) presented a lecture titled "Being Israeli: Migration, Ethnicity and Gender in the Jewish Homeland" based upon her scholarship "Writing Our Lives: Migration Narratives of Indian-Jewish Women".

April 13, 2011: Brandeis hosted a screening of the documentary "Made In India" about the made in indiahuman experiences behind the phenomena of "outsourcing" surrogate mothers to India.