Soli Sorabjee Lectures in South Asian Studies

About the Soli Sorabjee Lecture Series

This lecture series engages with themes of "justice" -- broadly defined to include the interrogation of human rights, historical narratives, literary and political representations, gender and social justice, citizenship and democracy, and cross-border connections between the nations of South Asia. Our goal is to expose students at Brandeis (and the larger public) to the scholarship being conducted in the multidisciplinary fields of South Asian Studies, both in the United States and in South Asia itself, as well as to the vast range of South Asian intellectual and artistic traditions. The series is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program. It was named after the honorable Soli J. Sorabjee, former attorney general of India and a friend of Brandeis University.

Spring 2017 Lecture (1 of 2)

"Aspiring Femininity and Precarious Masculinity: Gender and Risk in India's New Economy"

Featuring Raka Ray, Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
11:00 a.m.
Mandel G03
Mandel Center for the Humanities

Rural to urban migrants and other non-elite seeking to be upwardly mobile are caught between two dominant narratives: that of the celebration of aspiration and entrepreneurship, on the one hand, and of women's empowerment, on the other. Women and girls have become discursively the preferred subjects within global discourses of development and neoliberalism. In the meantime, young men who do not have class advantage are increasingly seen as the losers in the new global order. Through this study of lower-middle-class young men and women in urban India, Professor Raka Ray will explore the gendered subjects caught between these two global narratives as they seek to take their place in an increasingly privatized, unorganized sector in a precarious, global, neoliberal economy.

Spring 2017 Event (2 of 2)

"New Pakistani Cinema"

Featuring Meenu Gaur, Co-Writer and Director of Zinda Bhaag

Monday, April 24, 2017
11:00 a.m. - Q&A with Meenu Gaur and Ulka Anjaria
3:30 p.m. - Zinda Bhaag Film Screening

All events held in Mandel G03 in the Mandel Center for the Humanities.

Zinda Bhaag

Meenu Gaur is the co-writer and director of the critically acclaimed film Zinda Bhaag (Run for your Life, 2013). The film was Pakistan's entry to the Oscars for the first time in fifty years and has to date won 14 national and international awards. Meenu completed her PhD in Film and Media Studies from the University of London in 2010 and is the co-editor of the book Indian Mass Media and the Politics of Change, published by Routledge 2011 and also distributed by OUP Pakistan.

Fall 2016 Lecture

Fall 2016 Soli Sorabjee Lecture

"Journalism flows from the barrel of a typewriter: How computers changed the Indian newsroom"

Featuring Naresh Fernandes, founder and editor of

Tuesday, September 13, 2016
4:00 p.m.
Mandel Reading Room
Mandel Center for the Humanities, Rm. 303

In the early 1990s, Indian newsrooms were abuzz with speculation about how exactly the introduction of computers would impact the way journalism was conducted. As it turns out, the new technology became commonplace exactly at the time India embarked upon its economic reform process. The shift from the typewriter to the computer mirrored the changing ideological climate, transforming the news into just another commodity. In his talk, Naresh Fernandes will take stock of how Indian journalism has changed over the past two decades.

For more past events, click on each speaker's name on the upper right.