Past Events

Spring 2023

Spring 2023 Madeleine Haas Lecture by Nida Kirmani, Visiting Associate Professor of South Asian Studies

April 20, 2023

Nida Kirmani Event Flyer

Nida Kirmani argues that Baloch women in particular are using social media to resist state violence. This can be contextualised within the wider social media landscape in Pakistan and connected with how other movements are using social media as a resource in the face of media censorship and increasing state repression.

Fall 2022

A. Revathi - Vellai Mozhi (Frankly Speaking)

November 30, 2022

Revathi event poster

Frankly Speaking is a powerful first-person account of a hijra-thirunangai-transfeminine life in Southern India. A. Revathi enacts her life as a Tamil trans woman, stringing together stories about finding community, navigating family relationships, encountering violence, building solidarities, finding and losing love, and discovering the joys of writing and performing. The performance will be in Tamil with English subtitles and live commentary.

Director: A. Mangai | Music: S. Sham | Poem: Kalki Subramaniam

Fall 2022 Mandel Lectures in the Humanities - Kareem Khubchandani

Khubchandani events poster

Oct. 27 – Nov. 1, 2022

Kareem Khubchandani is an associate professor of theater, dance, and performance studies at Tufts University whose research and creative work centers on queer, feminist, and trans aesthetics, namely in South Asia and its diasporas. Performing under the name LaWhore Vagistan, Kareem utilizes drag performance as a pedagogical tool. He is the author of Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2020), which won the 2021 Association for Theatre in Higher Education Outstanding Book award, 2021 Dance Studies Association de la Torre Bueno book award, and the 2019 CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies Fellowship. He is also co-editor of Queer Nightlife (University of Michigan Press, 2021) and curator of

Spring 2022

Gowri Vijayakumar Book Launch

At Risk: Indian Sexual Politics and the Global AIDS Crisis At Risk Book Cover

3:30-5:30 p.m. Jan. 28, 2022Discussants: Sarah Lamb, Brandeis University, Jyoti Puri, Simmons University, Smitha Radhakrishnan, Wellesley College

Gowri Vijayakumar is an assistant professor of sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University and also an affiliated faculty member in South Asian Studies. She specializes in the sociology of gender and sexuality, globalization, and social movements. Please join us to celebrate the launch of her first book "At Risk: Indian Sexual Politics and the Global AIDS Crisis" (Stanford UP, 2021). Moving between India and Kenya, "At Risk: traces the politics of the global AIDS crisis and the relationships among activists, donors, and state officials that made up the AIDS response.

his event is sponsored by the Department for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the South Asian Studies Program, and the Soli Sorabjee Lectureship Series.

Spring 2019

Parmesh Shahani

April 11, 2019

Parmesh Shahani, director of Godrej India Culture Lab, Mumbai

Through his work with the Godrej IndiaCulture Lab, Parmesh will chronicle what it means to be modern and Indian, while also helping archive a very rapidly changing Indian society. Through his writing and LGBTQ activism, he is inspiring his own as well as other Indian corporations to be LGBTQ inclusive. In both of these he is using jugaad — extreme resourcefulness — reframing paradigms and empowering new ways of seeing and being.

Namita Dharia

February 11, 2019

Namita Dharia, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Rhode Island School of Design.

Talk title: "Unruly Urbanism: Gods, Guns and and Real Estate at the Edge of India's Capital"

Meet the SAS alumni

February 2, 2019

Meet the SAS alumni. William Lodge II, Naman Patel, Aziz Sohail.

Spring 2018

Group of women in India sitting by water joined by pigeons
Hyperbolic Heist: The Contemporary Discourse of Gendered Public Safety in India

February 8, 2018

A lecture by Shilpa Phadke, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and Madeleine Haas Russell Visiting Professor, Brandeis University.

Download the event flyer (pdf)
Balls of food and sauce on a table
We are Enjoying Only: Food and Fun in Liberalizing India

March 22, 2018

Professor Amita Baviskar, Institute for Economic Growth, Delhi
Soli Sorabjee Lecture

Download the event flyer (pdf)
Man upside-down mid-jump on a beach
Interdisciplinary Conference, Mazaa: Theorizing Fun, Pleasure and Play in India

March 23, 2018

10 a.m. Introduction

  • Ulka Anjaria (Brandeis)
  • Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria (Brandeis)

10:15 a.m.-12 p.m. Panel 1

  • Krishnendu Ray (NYU), Suffering and Social Theory: Limits of Current Critiques of Food Cultures
  • James Mchugh (USC), The Varieties of Drunk Experience In Early Medieval South Asia
  • Abhay Sardesai (Art India), The Fine Art of Having Fun
  • Discussant: Amita Baviskar (IEG, Delhi)

12:30-2:15 p.m. Panel 2

  • Shilpa Phadke (TISS, Mumbai), Dull Jills: Women, Work and Fun on the Streets of Mumbai
  • Brian Horton (Brown), The Police and the Policed: Queer Crossings in a Bombay Bathroom
  • Kareem Khubchandani (Tufts), Dancing Against The Law: Critical Moves in Bangalore’s Queer Nightlife
  • Discussant: Pascal Menoret (Brandeis)

2:30-4:15 p.m. Panel 3

  • Arti Sandhu (U of Cincinnati), The Guilty Pleasures of Saas-Bahu Style
  • Camille Frazier (UCLA), “Money Doesn’t Fascinate Anymore”: Food Cultivation as Productive Leisure Among Bangalore’s Middle Class
  • Ajay Gehlawat (Sonoma State), It’s All About Loving Yourself: The Difficult, Carefree Pleasures of Popular Hindi Cinema
  • Discussant: Gowri Vijayakumar (Brandeis)

4:15-4:45 p.m. Closing Discussion

Download the event flyer (pdf)
Harjant Gill

April 24, 2018

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