Exploring the aesthetics and meanings of contemporary Indian fashion: from craft to the catwalk

Tereza Kuldova, University of Oslo (tereza.kuldova@iakh.uio.no)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Convention Centre Auditorium I

The panel explores the realm of relationships between the social and the material through the focus on Indian fashion, zooming on contemporary Indian society through the lens of its manifold relationships with fashion, from craftsmen to designers, production to consumption, tradition to modernity.

Modernity, Fashion and Style as Cultural Constructs in India

Nita Mathur, Indira Gandhi National Open University (nitamathur@ignou.ac.in)

This paper addresses three critical issues: how does tradition juxtapose with modernity; how are fashion and style negotiated in the new middle class which constituted the largest section of the population India; and how are modernity, fashion and style imagined and locally constructed by the people at the grass-roots.

"Haute Couture:" the making of an aesthetic category through Indian fashion

Meher Varma, UCLA (meherv@gmail.com)

This paper explores how the category of “haute couture” is established and maintained through examining various production and consumption practices in Indian fashion. It will thus show how the construction of this aesthetic establishes boundaries of socioeconomic class in contemporary India.

Textile Crafts and their contribution in Indian Fashion

Toolika Gupta (toolika25473@yahoo.com)

This paper explores how the crafts that were being lost to time were revived with the help of leading design institutes and design studios and are a major contributing factor in contemporary Indian Fashion.

Crafting textile and cultural narratives: The Sari as a garment and a fashion construct

Janaki Turaga, Jawaharlal Nehru University (janakituraga@gmail.com)

This paper explores the Sari as a tapestry of textile and cultural narratives on the female body.

Doing 'Something Indian' : Designer strategies betwixt and between

Janne Meier, Copenhagen Business school (jme.ikl@cbs.dk)

This article maps out the field of designer fashion in India. It examines and explores how ideas and ideals of national identity shape and link commercial industry practices and strategies to moral and national developmental discourses precariously balancing 'tradition' and 'modernity'.

India in the World Fashion Fair

Nilanjana Mukherjee, Shaheed bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi (nilanjana.mukherjee@gmail.com)

The fashion industry in India thrives in a crucible which amalgamates tradition and modernity. A new debate is opened up when Indian fashion is studied through the analytic aperture of ‘Museology’ which can lead us back to India under British rule and early post-Independence imagination of the nation.

From social status to ethnic identity: The ethnic fashion scene in Nagaland

Marion Wettstein, University of Vienna (marion.wettstein@gmail.com)

This paper examines the shift that ethnic dress among the Nagas of Northeast India underwent within the last hundred years: from precisely encoding the individual social status of its wearer to a general statement of ethnic and Naga national pride.

Effect of Fashion and Media on Beauty Notions in Society

Sanjana Sharma, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sanjanadse@gmail.com)

The present paper attempts to analyze the relationship between fashion industry and trends spread by the media and the notion of beauty in society. It aims to bring forth the manner in which the notion of beauty and physical appearance for both women and men changes with the changing fashion.

Embroidered Seduction, Embroidered Modesty: On Luxury Garments and Femininity in Contemporary India

Tereza Kuldova, University of Oslo (tereza.kuldova@iakh.uio.no)

The paper focuses on the interrelations between luxury embroidery, phantasms produced by designers and the meanings of femininity in contemporary India.

Dressing up for consumption: or how sex workers project themselves for the public gaze

Kalyan Shankar V, Symbiosis School of Economics (vkalyanshankar@yahoo.co.in)
Rohini Sahni, University of Pune (rohinisahni2000@yahoo.com)

This paper uses data from the First Pan India Survey of Sex Workers to reflect upon what sex workers perceive of themselves and their bodies. It probes into their understanding of attractiveness through material display (appearance), and display of intent/availability (body language) as they solicit for clients.


World art and critical pedagogy

Parul Dave Mukherji, School of Arts and Aesthetics (parul.dm@hotmail.com)

4th April 2012, 15:00

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 003, SAA-II

Intercultural engagements with world art studies and global art practices.

Haida goes pop! Transpacific graphics and indigenous narratives

Nicola Levell, University of British Columbia (nicola.levell@ubc.ca)

This paper examines the political and pedagogic agency of Haida-manga--a transpacific artform originated by the Haida artist and activist, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. Fusing traditional Haida aesthetics with Japanese-inspired manga, Haida-manga is a dynamic graphic idiom that circulates local indigenous epistemologies and parables to a global public.

This is not a portrait: the problem of representation and a global history of art

Sria Chatterjee, Oxford University (sria.chatterjee@hmc.ox.ac.uk)

This paper explores the problem of representation in nineteenth century maritime India. It questions the category of portraiture as a universal, as understood by the traditional art historical canon, further pointing to a rethinking of a global art history as a multi-sited historiography of art.


Exploring aesthetic experiences and practices

Andrew Whitehouse, University of Aberdeen (a.whitehouse@abdn.ac.uk)
Sara Asu Schroer, University of Aberdeen (sara.asu.schroer@gmail.com)

5th April 2012, 15:00

Room: Convention Centre Lecture Hall-II

This panel explores the aesthetics of experience and the activities through which these are created, enhanced and revealed. How are direct engagements with the world idealised and how does this influence the meaning and affects of experience?

'Flights like poetry': Exploring aesthetic experiences in the practice of hunting with birds of prey.

Sara Asu Schroer, University of Aberdeen (sara.asu.schroer@gmail.com)

In falconry the hunting process in general and the flights of the birds in particular are highly appreciated and create moments of aesthetic intensity. This paper explores aesthetic experiences of falconry practitioners through focussing on the creative and performative aspects of the practice.

The river echoes with laughter: exploring Matses children's aesthetic experiences in Peruvian Amazonia

Camilla Morelli, University of Bristol (camillamorelliperu@gmail.com)

This paper explores Matses children’s multi-sensorial, emotional and affective engagements with the river environment in Amazonia. By looking at their daily encounters with the river, it emphasises the aesthetics of children’s experiences and how these are enhanced through shared activities of play.

A Retro Affair: silver emulsion in the age of digital

Anuradha Chandra (anuradhachandra.23@gmail.com)

This paper locates the special experiences inherent in the fast disappearing world of emulsion cinema with its essentially organic engagement with the world and its chimerical image-making; a world highlighted by its inaccessibility to the superhighway of digital cinema.

Narrating Familiarity: Frederick Growse and the Architectural Experience of Colonial Bulandshahr: 1878-1886.

Venugopal Maddipati, CSDS (maddi004@umn.edu)

I consider how F.S. Growse, the collector of Bulandshahr (1878-1884), recounted the depth of his experiences by emphasizing his knowledge of the architectural particulars of a town square. I compare Growse's texts with the accompanying photographs, and explore an aesthetics of translation.

Home and University: The Aesthetics of Making Two Ends Meet

Shabnam Khan, National College of Arts (ShabnamKhan@post.harvard.edu)

Taking my cues from the types of ideal Muslim womanhood, I examine the aesthetics--and the unaesthetics--of the experiences that educated middleclass Pakistani women encounter as they mediate the competing cultural demands of the traditional-Muslim home and the secular-modern university.

Loudly sing, cuckoo! Bird song, resonance and an aesthetics of seasonality

Andrew Whitehouse, University of Aberdeen (a.whitehouse@abdn.ac.uk)

This paper explores the relations between seasonality and bird song, primarily within a British context. More broadly it is an investigation of how seasons and times are sensed and experienced, and how people idealise and aestheticise these experiences.


Beyond the Arab Spring: the aesthetics and poetics of popular revolt and protest

Pnina Werbner, Keele University (p.werbner@keele.ac.uk)
Martin Webb, Goldsmiths, University of London (m.webb@gold.ac.uk)
Dimitris Dalakoglou, Vrije University Amsterdam (purityanddanger@gmail.com)

5th April 2012, 15:00

Room: Convention Centre Lecture Hall-I

The list of countries seeing major protest movements and revolts in 2011 is long: Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Libya, India, Botswana, Greece, Spain, the UK, Israel, Wisconsin or Chile are just a few. This panel is concerned with the aesthetics and poetics of those current movements and events.

'The Mother of all Strikes: Popular Protest Culture and Vernacular Cosmopolitanism in the Botswana Public Service Unions' Strike, 2011

Pnina Werbner, Keele University (p.werbner@keele.ac.uk)

My paper explores the emergence of working class oppositional popular culture among members of five public service unions in Botswana, whose joint, two months’ long strike challenged the country’s establishment and the perceived authoritarianism of government in creative and imaginative ways. Inspired in this respect by the events of the Arab Spring, strikers also drew on cosmopolitan themes of labour rights, dignity and social justice while deploying resistive popular-cultural traditional styles of song and dance to mock and ‘insult’ politicians and celebrate worker solidarity.

Aesthetics of Revolt in Tahrir Square

Dalia Wahdan, Foundation for Liberal and Management Education (dewahdan@gmail.com)

The eighteen days spent in Tahrir Square at the heart of Cairo, Egypt that started on January 25 have been exceptional to the minds and lives of most Egyptians. While indiscriminate violence and brutalities by the deposed regime’s security forces glued protesters together, singing, stand up comedies, chanting slogans and designing and circulating illustrative pamphlets have harnessed their energies and sustained their defiant spirits. As confrontations with security forces continued and intimidations from state-run radio and television increased, artistic forms in Tahrir Square have transcended their functionality and emerged from being the expressions of emotions into acts of revolt. This paper registers the versatile forms of expression improvised by the protestors in Tahrir Square and on social media sites during and after deposing Mubarak’s regime and argues that unlike the pre-uprising expressions of resentment and acts of resistance, Tahrir Square artistic expressions constitute an aesthetics of revolt the interpretation of which can forge an understanding of popular mass movements.

Reclaiming the Political from Aesthetics: Exploring the Arab Spring and Aftermath

Premjish Achari, Jawaharlal Nehru University (premjish@gmail.com)

This paper argues that the cutting edge technologies (internet, social networking sites, applications, encrypted Blackberry Messengers) facilitate both aesthetic and political revolution by looking at Arab Spring, UK riots, and Occupy Wall Street movement.

Subversion through performance: Performative activism in London (2010-2011)

Paula Serafini (paulaserafini@gmail.com)

The focus of this paper will be the staging of performance-like actions by activist groups in the context of the demonstrations against austerity cuts in London from November 2010 to the present.

Supercharging Satyagraha? Saintly politics and media in the struggle for a Jan Lokpal Bill

Martin Webb, Goldsmiths, University of London (m.webb@gold.ac.uk)

This paper will explore the use of media and social media in the development of the India Against Corruption Movement in 2011. During the protests an idealised poetics and aesthetics of satyagraha, fasting, simplicity and non-violent resistance by leading activists became the focus of mainstream and social media attention. This paper will ask: Why did a long ignored issue such as the Lokpal bill suddenly become newsworthy? How did the aesthetics of the protests help this process? How were the aesthetics of the protests presented in different media? And, in what ways did activists and media actors collaborate to produce particular rhetorical narratives and imagery?

The Changing Contours of the Politics in Kashmiri Movement:Ideas, Practices & Responses

Sarbani Sharma, Delhi School of Economics, DU (sarbanisharma@gmail.com)

How can we reflect on the nuances on the modes of resistance by the Kashmiris for a sovereign state through an analysis of the aesthetics of politics in contemporary times?

Building Protesting Publics: Local Trade in New 'world-class' Delhi

Diya Mehra, Centre de Sciences Humaines (diyamehra@gmail.com)

This paper examines the mobilizing of a political community in New Delhi in opposition to a Supreme Court ruling ordering the shutting down of hundreds of local businesses. The paper focuses on how a citywide protesting public was mobilized discursively, metaphorically and practically, as well as through the local media, most critically by deploying the imagery of anti-colonial struggles, local understandings of ethical governance, and violent street based disruptions.

Corrupt Movements, the Anti-Corruption Movement, and the Movement of Knowledge in Indian Political Practice

Anand Vaidya, Harvard University (avaidya@fas.harvard.edu)

This paper considers both India's 2011 anti-corruption movement and failed attempts at corruption in proposing a theory of political practice driven by the movement and sedimentation of knowledge.


Aesthetics of conversion

Vibha Joshi, Tuebingen University/University of Oxford (vibhajoshi@hotmail.com)
James Staples, Brunel University (james.staples@brunel.ac.uk)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Class Room No.103, First Floor, SSS-II

Paper presenters are invited to consider play surrounding the idea of 'conversion'. What kind of aesthetics accompanies, or is thought to accompany such change?

Demonstrating Christian aesthetics in a South Indian leprosy community

James Staples, Brunel University (james.staples@brunel.ac.uk)

When the leprosy-affected people I worked with in South India converted from Hinduism or Islam to Christianity at the same time as being treated for their disease, they underwent a whole series of changes to their lives that went beyond the spiritual and which incorporated the aesthetic and the material. A change of religion not only meant a change of identity that enabled those I worked with to renegotiate how their disease status identified them, but it also had implications for how they dressed, what they consumed, how they decorated and occupied their houses and communities, and how they moved and presented themselves to the wider public. With conversion, in short, came a new Christian aesthetic that differentiated my informants from the Hindus and Muslims they lived in close proximity to. This paper sets out to document the aesthetics of conversion in this case and to explore what an analysis of these aesthetics might tell us.

Aesthetics of Community: Ritual and identity in Brazilian Pentecostalism

George St. Clair, London School of Economics (g.st.clair@lse.ac.uk)

The development of religious subjectivities through structured ritual action is often described as an individual process of becoming. In this paper, however, I show how the distinctive aesthetic environment of an avowedly anti-materialist church leads intstead to a developing sense of group complicity.

Designing a play for 'conversion': learning to perceive Krishna

Marje Ermel, Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University (marje.ermel@gmail.com)

This paper will explore the layered meaning of sound and body in the play of 'conversion' among the Krishna devotees in Estonia. The paper will argue that both bodily practices and sound play an insightful role in constituting the aesthetics accompanying the change in perception of self and place.

Different aesthethics for different religions: the case of the Afro-Brazilian religions in Portugal

Clara Saraiva, FLUL-University of Lisbon (clarasaraiva@fcsh.unl.pt)

Afro-Brazilian religions are expanding in Portugal. One of the factors that attracts the Portuguese is the aesthetics of such religions: the idea of incorporating an orixá and dress in the orixá´s beautiful clothes is something everyone longs for. How and why does this happen?

Motifs and aesthetics of Christian conversion among the Naga of northeast India

Vibha Joshi, Tuebingen University/University of Oxford (vibhajoshi@hotmail.com)

Taking into account that the Naga peoples of northeast India are now predominantly Christian, the paper will explore what conversion to another religion entails in terms of material cultural aesthetics.

Warli Paintings: Tradition and Change

Ashwini Shelke (shelkeashwini@gmail.com)

Warli Painting is an integral part of the wedding ceremony among the Warli Tribe’s located in Northern Maharashtra and Southern Gujarat. This paper attempts to understand the impact of changing religious practices on the art form.

The aesthetics of conversion to school education in rural Chhattisgarh

Peggy Froerer, Brunel University (peggy.froerer@brunel.ac.uk)

This paper is about this process of ‘conversion’ to a pro-schooling perspective, the aesthetics that have accompanied this process, and the significance that this phenomenon has had for both those who have converted (Christians and Hindus alike) and those who have not.

Aberration as the Norm: Conversion and issues of Representation in Nineteenth Century Bengal

Dhrupadi Chattopadhyay, Heidelberg University (chattopadhyay@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de)

This paper attempts to show how the biographies and autobiographies of first generation converts in nineteenth century Bengal in effect came

to create normative individuals in a climate of 'representational excess' where they were often viewed

as 'aberrations'.

The aesthetics of superiority : Conversion narratives as performative acts in a climate of religious competition

Tabea Scharrer, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (scharrer@eth.mpg.de)

On the basis of Islamic conversion narratives it will be shown that in the Eastern African climate of religious competition between Christianity and Islam conversion narratives not only serve as an enactment of a truthful conversion but also as the very means in this competition.


Moral economy of agriculture in the global era

Susan Visvanathan, Jawaharlal Nehru University (susanvisvanathan@gmail.com)
Mysore Narasimhan Panini, Jawaharlal Nehru University (panini.mn@gmail.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Convention Centre Lecture Hall-I

New cultural innovations that have proved to be profitable even as they go against the grain of globalisation induced inequalities are explored in this panel.

Documenting Rural Arts and Crafts Through Photography

Susan Visvanathan, Jawaharlal Nehru University (susanvisvanathan@gmail.com)

Keywords:Crafts, markets, tourism, working traditions, division of labour, oikos.

Photographing craftspeople in Kerala, when they work in small courtyards, “under acres of sky” as Cat Stevens would say.

'Ginger is a Gamble': On the moral economy of agrarian crisis and the neoliberalisation of agriculture in Wayanad (Kerala)

Daniel Münster, Heidelberg University (daniel.muenster@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de)

Responding to agrarian crisis, cultivators in Wayanad increasingly engage in the risky cultivation of ginger in other states of India. This paper engages the practices of and moral talk about ginger cultivation and argues that it is manifestation of post-agrarian, neoliberal agriculture.

Valentine's Day and Floriculture in Bengaluru

Smriti Mehra, Shrishti School of Art and Design (allstirfry@gmail.com)

We highlight how Velentine's day is getting embedded in the culture of agriculture.

The moral/aesthetic economy/ecology of agriculture in Bali

Graeme MacRae, Massey University Auckland (G.S.Macrae@massey.ac.nz)

Agriculture is a technological, ecological, economic, social, moral and aesthetic process. This paper summarises recent transformations of the aesthetic/moral economy/ecology of rice growing in Bali and discusses projects which may be understood in terms of redressing moral/aesthetic imbalances.

Domestic reflections of sustenance strategies in northern Nepal.

Ben Campbell, Durham University (Ben.Campbell@durham.ac.uk)

Food values and viable subsistence in northern Nepal show Tamang idioms and aesthetics of domestic aspiration and insufficiency engaging effects of labour migration in aesthetic and rhetorical transformations fashioned as fullnesses, depletions, and suitabilities.

Globalisation and Corporitisation of Indian Agriculture: A Review of Food Insecurity in India

Vikrant Kumar, Jawaharlal Nehru University (vikrantjnu@gmail.com)

This paper proposes to analyse the role of globalization and corporatisation in food insecurity in India.


VCD visions: the fabulous aesthetics and new industries of VCD cinema and television across South Asia

Madhuja Mukherjee, Jadavpur University (madhuja_m@yahoo.co.in)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Auditorium

This panel explores the histories and current forms of VCD aesthetics and industry in old and new South Asian cinema and television. The omnipresence of the VCD in South Asia posits serious conceptual challenges and research opportunities for the anthropology and history of the media in South Asia.

The Mujra Dance Video Cds: Its Production, Content and Masculine Desire in Present Day Pakistani Popular Culture

Farida Batool Syeda, National College of Arts, Lahore (farida.b@gmail.com)

The rise of popular home made semi-professional videos of women dancing mujra, is a result of emergence of digital media, enabling laypersons to make such video in Pakistan. The content of these videos both from the visual to the lyrical reflects the masculine expressions of fantasy and desire.

love, films and chewing-tobacco - an exploration of the "cultural margin" of a VideoCD circulation by an ethnography of a village video night in India

Markus Schleiter, University of Münster (mschleiter@posteo.de)

The paper explores in which ways a collective video night in an Indian village is embedded and signified within everyday culture. It is outlined then in how far a “cultural margin” in form of a net of cultural practices is part of letting Santali Video-CD films to travel into the village.

Otherness of Cinema: Video Technologies, Marginal Cultures, Economy of New Industries

Madhuja Mukherjee, Jadavpur University (madhuja_m@yahoo.co.in)

This paper presents an overview of digital practices, its aesthetic meanings, and economic ramifications in larger historical contexts. In addition, it focuses on contemporary video and digital cultures popular in the linguistically, politically, and economically marginalized areas of Bengal.


The aesthetics of craft: explorations in the anthropology of craft production

Stephanie Bunn, University of St Andrews (sjb20@st-andrews.ac.uk)
Ravi Shankar Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (ravishmi.ravishankar@gmail.com)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: SSS-I Committee Room, Ground Floor

"Do craft have aesthetics?" This panel examines the relationship between the body, material, idea and object in the production of craft and domestic artefacts. Anthropological insights will help us to know the aesthetics of craft that emerge from peoples' engagement with these agencies.

Making Aesthetics: the hand-made perspective

Stephanie Bunn, University of St Andrews (sjb20@st-andrews.ac.uk)

This paper addresses the way anthropology has used the term ‘aesthetics’ to define art as opposed to craft and from the point of view of the observer rather than the maker. It explores this question through the transition from Kyrgyz hand-made felt craft production to textile art and fashion.

Anthropology and aesthetics in production of Phulkari

Anu H Gupta, Panjab University (guptaanupu@gmail.com)

Phulkari, a traditional craft of Punjab has undergone a great change in its social and emotional value, usage , production and design. It is also been produced for commercial reasons by women artisans of local community. Many organizations who are working in order to keep this craft alive feel a requirement of continuous flow of designs in terms of motifs,colour pallete,placement etc.

The aesthetics of (the) hand-i(n)-crafts

Anna Gustafsson, Stockholm University (anna.gustafsson@socant.su.se)

This paper examines motivations and skills of Lulesámi women’s everyday crafts production as dialogues between multiple forms of relations such as the body, morality, and material. These relations will be of anthropological interests embodying particular values and actions interpreted as a form of aesthetic system.

Where Craft and Aesthetics have no distinction: Discussing some Japanese contributions to the Global Arena

Joy Hendry, Oxford Brookes University (jhendry@brookes.ac.uk)

The distinction between craft and aesthetics is alien to Japanese artists/ans who have reacted by producing some extraordinary exhibition pieces within the global community. This paper will discuss Japanese ideas that underpin the care and beauty passed on through generations of skilled craftspeople, sometimes designated as ´living national treasures´, and attempt to assess them in a global context.

Tisien eni atan: writing in the ground

Craig Lind, University of St Andrews (ctl3@st-andrews.ac.uk)

Sand-drawing is an evanescent art-form composed by the movement of a finger through sand. The most enduring qualities of this craft are the persons who recall them in moments of revelation, that evoke the lives of their ancestors while weaving their own existence inextricably into these designs.

The Politics of Handloom as a Craft: Exploring the Dynamics of Cloth, Society and Social Change in Manipur

Otojit Kshetrimayum, V.V. Giri National Labour Institute (otojit@gmail.com)

Highlighting the significance of culture of cloth in Manipuri society, this paper critically examines: i) the gender construction of weaving, ii) transition of handloom industry from a lineage based activity to the growth of women entrepreneurship and iii) the politics of dress highlighting how traditional costumes are used as a means for propagating the ideology of self reliance and cultural identity.

Anthropological specificities in the study of the aesthetics of an artistic object: the problem of movement

Viviana Lebedinsky, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) Paris, France (vivianleb@yahoo.com)

What would the anthropological specificity be in the study of the aesthetics of an artistic object? We examine the insignia, later called emblem, of the General Federation of Italian Industry, an artistic object conceptualized as a sign of social relationships considering Alfred Gell’s proposals.

Gods for tourists: stone carving and tourist arts in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu

Sanni Sivonen, University of Eastern Finland (sansivo@uef.fi)

Explorations of the stone carving and religious sculpture tradition in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, and its current engagement with the international tourist market.

On dialectics between art and craft: the case of taxidermy

Petra Tjitske Kalshoven, University of Manchester (petratjitske.kalshoven@manchester.ac.uk)

In taxidermy, boundaries between art and craft are explored and challenged as skill and expertise meet with creative tension. Triumph of craft or appropriation by art, taxidermy’s recent revival calls for an ethnographic inquiry into an imitative skill and its relation to aesthetics and creativity.

Jadupatias in the aesthetics of craft of jewellery making

Ravi Shankar Mishra, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (ravishmi.ravishankar@gmail.com)

The aesthetics of brass jewellery of Jadupatias of Jharkhand are not just about 'charm' but about the agencies that construct in the making of it and the community. The various agencies and cultural elements that construct the aesthetics of this craft have multiple relationships with art.


The artistic imagination in ruptured landscapes

Jonathan Miles-Watson, Durham University (jonathan.miles-watson@durham.ac.uk)
Manpreet Kaur, Columbia University (sepiaverse@gmail.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 003, SAA-II

The panel explores the way that landscape ruptures (caused by global flows of people, products and ideas) are healed through the performative outpourings of the artistic imagination.

Writing of Home: the retrospective gaze of Attia Hosain and Imtiaz Dharker

Arjun Rajkhowa, University of Delhi (arjun.rajkhowa@gmail.com)

This paper will focus on two South Asian writers, Attia Hosain and Imtiaz Dharker. Hosain wrote her novel about India after her expatriation to England in 1947, and Dharker, a Pakistani Muslim brought up in Scotland, wrote most of her poems, after moving to Bombay in later life.

"O brother, Jugni speaks": Listening the text and context of Jugni

Manpreet Kaur, Columbia University (sepiaverse@gmail.com)

I propose to look at the ways in which Jugni asserts, reinvents, or alternately struggles, given its ‘glocal’, post-colonial residence in exile.

Jugni may loosely be called a kind of Punjabi qissa (folk-tale tradition), with its history and origins numerous and speculative. Each of these speculations, however, emanate from varying degrees of authority and ownership. These multiple ‘definitions’ may even be daringly read as the many Punjabs singing it from its various ruptures.

Babel: Violence and Humanism

Sayan Chaudhuri (sayanc1@gmail.com)

This paper will explore the ethical dimensions of Babel (2006), the third and final film of the Death trilogy, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu.


Consuming culture: the politics and aesthetics of cultural tourism in different national traditions

Soumendra Patnaik, University of Delhi (smp_du@yahoo.com)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Class Room No.103, First Floor, SSS-II

Influence of globalization on local culture and economy through tourism has implications for community identity. The panel would debate on the way cultural representation is monopolized in the hands of powerful having more of economic and political concerns than aesthetics ones.

Consuming 'Nature': Cultural Tourism in the Mountains of Central Spain.

William Kavanagh, CEU San Pablo University, Madrid (williamkavanagh@hotmail.com)

The commoditisation of 'nature' as a cultural object has implications for community identity. Declaring the Gredos Mountains in Spain a 'park' has brought a sharp increase in a market-oriented tourism which has altered the relation of the villagers to their physical place and cultural space.

The Symbolic Appropriation of Privately owned Nature Landscapes

Hogne Øian, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (hogne.oian@nina.no)

The paper explores how inhabitants of some rural communities of Norway, as a response to recent developments within angling and hunting tourism, engage in efforts of symbolic appropriation of privately and collectively owned nature landscapes.

Culture as Tourism Product : State Policy and Identity Politics in Nagaland of North East India

Soumendra Patnaik, University of Delhi (smp_du@yahoo.com)

The paper explores the making of state policy on Tourism and its implications for new identity construction in Nagaland.

A Sensual Delight in Eating: Exploring the Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics of Culinary Tourism in Assam

Mini Bhattacharyya Thakur, Gauhati University (mini_bthakur@yahoo.co.in)

Food and cuisine are important ingredients of a society's cultural heritage and a valuable identity marker. Culinary tourism, which is a recent phenomenon in Assam has promoted a sense of unity among the diverse ethnic people of Assam leading to a transition of Assamese culinary ethics and values.

Rural Artists' Encounter with Anthropologists and Corporate Professionals

Avijit Chakravarti, Niilm Centre for Management Studies (avijitchakravarti@gmail.com)
Tamsin Bradley, University of Portsmouth (Tamsin.bradley@port.ac.uk)
Jane Rowan, London Metropolitan University (rowanjane@hotmail.com)

The paper explores the relationship between those involved in art livelihood projects, business professionals and anthropologists . It contextualises 'art as livelihood' within the tourism industry and development process for social upliftment.

The Aesthetics and Politics of Cultural Tourism in Iran

Ladan Ghahramani (kalout.ghahramani@yahoo.com)

This paper argues that the manner in which cultural tourism is being promoted by identifying market for the artifacts, heritage monuments, prehistoric sites and the local festivals is rooted in the distinction between 'domestic' and 'external' tourists.

This Curio called Indian Miniature circa 2000

Varunika Saraf, Jawaharlal Nehru University (varunika.saraf@gmail.com)

The mass-produced copies of Indian court paintings now exclusively painted for the tourist market, seem as escapees from the realm of Indian art history. This paper examines the ways in which patrons got reconfigured as consumers and artists as producers.

Ritual, tourism and sensorial dimension among the Catholic Gaudde in Goa, India

Cláudia Pereira, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon (claudia.pereira@iscte-iul.pt)

Dances and songs with Hindu and Catholic references are performed by the Catholic Gaudde, a caste from Goa, in their religious rituals, transformed, nowadays, into an object of folklore to be consumed by tourists. The aesthetical dimension of their sound and visual performances is still to be explored.

The role of improvisation in the success of a textile based public engagement project

Lynn Setterington, Manchester Metropolitan University (L.setterington@mmu.ac.uk)

Based on a public engagement project to create a wedding quilt for Prince William and Kate Middleton in the spring of 2011; this study looks at the way implicit improvisation was employed in this artist led initiative.


Publishing, prestige, and money in global anthropology (WCAA)

Thomas Reuter, University of Melbourne (thor2525@gmail.com)
Gordon Mathews, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (cmgordon@cuhk.edu.hk)

4th April 2012, 15:00

Room: SIS Appadurai Committee Room

This WCAA-sponsored panel explores issues of justice in publishing from different national perspectives. Why are the most widely cited books and journals those published in the US and Europe? If this is an actively maintained hegemony, how is it produced and how can we counter it?

Contesting Anglo-American Anthropological Hegemony in Publication

Gordon Mathews, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (cmgordon@cuhk.edu.hk)

Anthropologists across the globe are being penalized for not publishing in ISI top-ranked journals, which are usually American or British. This paper explores different ways in which international anthropologists may attempt to break this Anglo-American stranglehold.

New Hegemonic Strategies in Publication: Research Quality Evaluation and Corporate Journals

Thomas Reuter, University of Melbourne (thor2525@gmail.com)

Many government have established systems for ranking journals in terms of their "impact on the field". We need to expose how such ranking systems increase hierarchy in an international publishing world that is already full of disparities, between the core and periphery of power/knowledge.

Combating "hegemony" or leveling "hierarchy" in the production of anthropological journals worldwide

Vesna Vucinic-Neskovic, University of Belgrade (vvucinic@f.bg.ac.rs)

Starting from the assumption that each journal serves to the needs of a particular scholarly community, the anthropology journals at three levels of generality and status are considered. The question of the ways the articles are solicited, reviewed, edited, and published, are discussed in light of the targeted authors and dynamics of their professional advancement on the national, regional, and international level.

Solving the Anthropological Double-standard: The Role of Technology in Overcoming the Euro-American Hegemony over Knowledge

Gaurav Murgai, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (jgmurgai@gmail.com)

This paper discusses how technology, such as the Internet, may be used to overcome the Euro-American hegemony over what is published and read by anthropologists.

Linkage between polyglot anthropology and publishing in India: step towards a solution

Ravindra Jain, Jawaharlal Nehru University (ravij1937@gmail.com)

It is well known that there is both hegemony and dominance in the publication of anthropological works in the globalized world of today. I shall not repeat the many significant and relevant observations by my co-panelists. Rather I suggest a small step towards a possible and feasible concrete way out of this impasse based on my knowledge of and participation in an enterprise based in India.


The aesthetics of suicide

Tom Widger, Durham University (tom.widger@durham.ac.uk)

5th April 2012, 15:00

Room: CSLG Conference Room

This panel explores the aesthetics of suicide, from its status as a body performance through artistic representations to depictions by the modern news media, social media, and scientific charts and graphs. Papers are invited that consider the aesthetics of suicide around the world

Farmer suicides: state narratives and representation in popular culture

Nanda Kishore Kannuri, Public Health Foundation of India (nandu.k@iiphh.org)
Sushrut Jadhav, University College London (s.jadhav@ucl.ac.uk)

This paper problematizes the State’s position on farmer suicides. State narratives most often conflate the phenomenon to statistics through creation of categories like “genuine” farmer suicides. State categorization operates through various criteria of exclusion. Apart from analyzing the State’s framework for classification of farmers’ death as suicides, we explore the aesthetics of representations of farmers’ suicides in popular culture.

Administrating Death: Changing meaning(s) of suicide at the intersection of Law, Medicine and Development discourse in India

Meghana Rao, University of Toronto (raomegh@gmail.com)

Attempt to suicide is a criminal offense in India (Sec 309 IPC). There have been several efforts among experts from law and medicine to decriminalize suicide and address it as a medical problem. The question of affect, which is integral to the act of suicide is absent from these discussions. My paper will study the implications of these changes and the role of affect in challenging the prominent medical discourse around suicide in India.

Passing the buck: Suicide, Shame and the shifting of status in southern Sri Lanka

Maurice Said, University of Bath (maurice.said@durham.ac.uk)

This paper looks at the effects of youth suicides on kin networks and shows how youth suicides act as a form of symbolic violence, playing an integral role in local definitions of shame and moral integrity, as well as acting as a tool for the shifting of status.

Colonial encounters with the 'suicidal other': the British in Ceylon

Tom Widger, Durham University (tom.widger@durham.ac.uk)

This paper explores British encounters with the Ceylonese 'suicidal other,' and discusses how colonial representations of suicide came to shape understandings and practices of suicidal behaviour in the local population.


Arts of memory: skilful practices of living history

Safet HadziMuhamedovic, University of Bristol (safet.hadzi@bristol.ac.uk)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Committee Room No.013, Ground Floor, SSS-II

Processes of memory survive through a myriad of artful skills. Their perduring performance adapts to specific contexts in order to communicate knowledge across time and space. This panel discusses imaginative solutions to remembrance, generally avoided by historiographies of art.

Discussants: Vanja Hamzic (King's College London)

Folk Performances and Forms of Public Memory

Indira Chowdhury, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology (indira@srishti.ac.in)

Taking as a starting point a folk song by a Patachitrakar (a folk singer and scroll-painter who performs the story by singing and pointing to the scroll), this paper will look at the ways in which historical memory is represented in such traditional and "timeless forms. I argue that we can only understand these forms of memory if we recognize the active and living intersection between ancient and modern worlds.

Weaving the threat of memory: war rugs and the memorialisation of war in Afghanistan

Sophia Milosevic Bijleveld, Independant (smb@alumni.lse.ac.uk)

This study seeks to understand the articulation of war rugs as a production of memory in Afghanistan. This traditional craft has been re-interpreted by women, to include powerful imagery of war, thus conveying the interpretation of the past by a subaltern group, marginalised in the memory creation process.

Remembering the Unseen: Images of Heaven and Earth in the Bosnian Mosque

Amra Hadzimuhamedovic, International University of Sarajevo (amra.hadzimuhamedovic@gmail.com)

This paper relates some representations of God, Heaven, holy places and prophets in Bosnian mosques to their potential reading as iconoclastic mnemonic devices. They depict the origins of reconstructive human nature: a need to establish the image of the inwardly perceived spiritual homeland as the authenticity criterion.

Telling Lives: the framing and reception of narratives in Yugoslav refugee families

Spela Drnovsek Zorko, University of Warwick (s.drnovsek-zorko@warwick.ac.uk)

The transmission of memory in families implies a certain intimacy that can be juxtaposed on the wide brush strokes of grand narrative. But how can we approach the issue of creativity in these stories? I ask how children of refugees receive, interpret, and discuss parental narratives of Yugoslavia.

Mapping Berlin: Memories in the Present Moment

Holly Gilbert, The British Library (hollymgilbert@gmail.com)

Photography is inextricably linked with loss and memory. The moment captured in a photograph is over as soon as the shutter closes and the enduring picture reminds us of this. My visual project uses photography to investigate how memories of the past can impact on our experience of the present.

cartographical spaces of memory - between arts and lived experience

Kathleen Coessens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (kcoessen@vub.ac.be)

Humans link experience and space, memory and maps, identity and place. Cartographical expressions, both in life and art, create lines of remembrance and become part of identity and the own narrative of life. At the same time cartographies of power also erase remembrance and rewrite history.

Production of social memories in the making of present and interpreting the past: Narratives of an 'abolished' labour institution in a highland region of Kerala, India

Vinod C.P., Indira Gandi National Open University (vinod.vel@gmail.com)

Social memories are products of present while interpreting the past. Individuals use social memories in the reflexive moments of their everyday living according to the structural demands stemming out of their multilevel social positioning and identities. This paper looks into the art of social memories around an `abolished’ labour institution called "vallippani” in a multiethnic village of highland Kerala region.

Hierarchy, History andPerformance: Critical Comments on a Non-Brahminical Ritual

Cybil K V (cybilkv@yahoo.co.uk)

This paper explores how in the historiography of Kerala the performance of a particular ritual excludes itself from historiography of certain forms while remaining open to certain others


Annika Capelán, Lund University (annika.capelan@gmail.com)

This paper explores ethnograhpically how wollen fiber figures and reconfigures modes of rememberance. It suggests that fiber, as it is skillfully worked and transformed, points in different directions of memory, and that this in turn affects emergent values in 'art' and 'science'.

In and out of time: Skilled memory, narratives performances and the construction of value among artisans in Old Delhi

Mira Mohsini (mjmohsini@gmail.com)

In this paper I discuss the use of different temporal frameworks in which narrative performances are enacted by artisans. I argue that these instances of “skilled memory” serve to define meanings of value in artisans’ conceptions work and craftsmanship.


Social sense and embodied sensibility at the cinema: towards an aesthetics of film-going

Stephen Hughes, SOAS (sh37@soas.ac.uk)

5th April 2012, 15:00

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Auditorium

This panel invites participants to consider the shared material spaces and embodied practices of film viewing. Based on ethnographic research at sites of film exhibition invited panellists will cover institutions, practices and material spaces that articulate sensual and social experience of film.

Watching Bhojpuri Cinema with the 'Indecent Crowds' in Decrepit Single-Screen Theatres: Ethics of Space, Image and Spectatorship versus Aesthetics of Homosocial Masculinity

Akshaya Kumar (akshaya.kumar@gmail.com)

This presentation tries to comprehend the aesthetics of film-going in watching Bhojpuri cinema at the intersection of vulgarily and masculinity, in an abandoned space that is rejected as much as it rejects through its performative embodiment of a sensibility in tension with popular notions of cinema spectatorship.

at a tent theatre near you: exploring shared ritualistic viewing practices during the annual visits of traveling cinemas in Maharashtra

Shirley Abraham (abraham.shirley@gmail.com)

This paper explores the material, institutional and social dynamics in the annual settlement of cinema created in rural Maharashtra,and the tensions that shape these encounters. It will also examine how shared audience practices have constructed a distinct way of viewing and visualising films here.

Automobility: Architecture and Cosmopolitanism in Chanakya

Ipsita Sahu (ipssahu18@gmail.com)

The paper examines the auratic presence of the Chanakya theatre in the city of New Delhi.The paper will particularly focus on the architectural aspect of the experience of film- going and look at how it provided a cosmopolitan identity to the audience of Chanakya.

What might we learn from a historical phenomenology of film going in colonial south India?

Stephen Hughes, SOAS (sh37@soas.ac.uk)

This paper considers a possible outline for a historical phenomenology of film going in the cinema halls of Madras during the early decades of the 20th century. The paper re-evaluate historical materials about the early institutions, practices and material spaces of film exhibition as a way of contemplating the embodied sensual and social experience of film going.

Film as infrastructure: information, circulation and exhibition practices in colonial and independent India: 1920s-1950s

Ravi Vasudevan (vasudevan.rs@gmail.com)

This paper is part of a project to explore the truly remarkable elaboration of film as an infrastructure of information, communication and exhibition in India in the first half of the twentieth century. The aim is to research the policies, technologies, patterns of consumption, and the geographies of circulation and exhibition through which film acquired this presence.


In-between fiction and non-fiction: reflections on the poetics of ethnography in film and literature

Michelangelo Paganopoulos, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (paganopoulos@hotmail.com)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 102, SAA-I

This panel aims to take on the challenge of expanding the field of anthropology towards fictional novels and films, and the question to be raised is: if we accept ethnography as a semi-fictional genre, the ethnographer as an auteur, and the monograph as a chronotope, what can the anthropological thought gain by a turn towards fiction?

Discussants: Michelangelo Paganopoulos

Robert Gardner's "Forrest of bliss". Potentials of ethnographic film beyond objectivism and deconstruction

Norbert Schmitz, Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design (NMSchmitz@t-online.de)

The lecture is about Robert Gardner’s „Forrest of bliss". The film focuses on the problems of the relation between classical ethnografic objectivism and the potential of experimental artificial documentary film strategies in the perspective of an critical postmodern epistemology.

Reflecting on poetics of ethnography in literature

Prarthana Saikia, University of Delhi (prarthana_saikia@ymail.com)

Anthropological methods have been used by many fiction writers to get a detailed account of their literary theme. Present focus in the field of anthropological methodology is the way new anthropology is coming up reflexively. We have anthropologists presenting their field data in a fictional form. The representation of the data changes as the practices change accordingly with the position of the narrator. The paper tries to reflect upon these issues and to bring out subjective understanding of this theme.

Understanding Multinational Corporate Culture in India through Fiction: An Anthropological Study

Geetika Ranjan, North Eastern Hill University (geetikaranjan@yahoo.co.in)

Anthropological analysis of two works of fiction on corporate culture in India argues the fictional representation of a culture built on the pedestal of macro economic growth but influencing other integrated , non separable dimensions of life.

The Construction of Disability in Popular Hindi Cinema:An Exploration of Select Films

Shubhangi Vaidya, Indira Gandhi National Open University (svaidya2404@gmail.com)

The paper explores the construction of the disability experience in mainstream Hindi cinema through an examination of three films, ;Black' (2005),'Taare Zameen Par'(2007) and 'My name is Khan'(2010)and attempts to show how global discourses of disablity intersect with local understandings,thus recasting the subject in new and interesting ways.These films shape and are shaped by changing understandings of disability and personhood in contemporary Indian society.

Archiving a cultural idiom: film, fiction, biography, art and document

Surbhi Goel, Panjab University (surbhi.x@gmail.com)

The blurring of lines between fiction, personal and artistic responses, Mani Kaul's SIDDHESHWARI defied any genre, which is at once a monograph, a document as well as poetic articulation, almost a painting. Yet, it involves archiving of a cultural idiom that is an ongoing gesture - rather than a framed text.

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea: Mapping the rise of subversive slave consciousnesses in his film The last Supper (1976)

Ira Vangipurapu, English and Foreign Languages University (irulata@gmail.com)

Tomás Gutiérrez Alea: Mapping of the rise of the slave consciousness in Cuba from the time of the historic sugar plantations to the Great Sugar Harvest of Cuba in 1970 in his film The last Supper (1976)

The fiction of anthropology: content without audience

Filippo Spreafico, UCL (filsproduction18@gmail.com)

Anthropology’s unsuccessful performance in delivering social messages beyond the academic walls is due the rejection of its own literary character. Subjectivity, imagination and narrative are overlooked due to the retention of an obsolete notion of social science, as today’s anthropology denies its artistry and stages its rigour.

Fiction: a cultural mirror

Manisha Sharma, Virginia Tech (manisha.ju@gmail.com)

The proposed paper will analyze the relationship between ethnography and fiction from the point of view of a creative writer.

The Changing World of Satyajit Ray: Anthropological Reflections on Authorship and History

Michelangelo Paganopoulos, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (paganopoulos@hotmail.com)

This paper investigates the complementary relationship between the charismatic auteur and the role of the anthropologist in an ever-changing world, through the realist cinema and world vision of Satyajit Ray.


Field and film aesthetics: sensory anthropology and the texture of documentary filmmakers' practice

Cathy Greenhalgh, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (cathygreenhalghcinema@gmail.com)
Nina Sabnani, IIT Bombay (nina.sabnani@gmail.com)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 101, SAA-I

Filmmaker/participant performative encounters suggest aesthetics of organization, affective relations and creativity combine, pointing to how dimensions of collaborative, reflexive filming and fieldwork could influence a broader research ethics in sensory ethnography.

Chairs: Steve Hughes

Discussants: Steve Hughes and Convenors

Colonial India: why does it matter to contemporary aesthetics of (documentary) film practice in India?

Giulia Battaglia, EHESS/Paris 3 (giu_bat@hotmail.com)

This paper investigates how and why colonial films matter to examine sensorial aspects of filmmaking in contemporary documentary practices in India. Drawing on concepts of ‘cultural performance’ (Singer 1972) and ‘film event’ (Hughes 2010), I investigate the performative way in which ‘factual’ films entered colonial India. In doing this, I will connect the colonial film experience to the way contemporary filmmakers are (re)thinking of the sensorial aspects of filmmaking and the way this ‘rethinking’ is overlapping with emerging debate in anthropology about art and film.

Frenzy of Bandwidths: Documenting Technology

Pallavi Paul, Jawaharlal Nehru University (paul.pallavi@gmail.com)

This paper seeks to map the technological moment of 1970s in India. Located in a politically volatile decade, I will try and infer the range of experiences that the arrival of analog video technology brought to documentary practice and the formative tensions it unleashed within it.

We found love in a hopeless place: aesthetics, technology, body in amateur production

Namita A. Malhotra, Alternative Law Forum (namita@altlawforum.org)

This paper maps the range of production and aesthetics in amateur video and film production that is brought to the surface by new modes of production and transmission. My interest is in a phenomenological and philosophical exploration (relying on works of Massumi, L.Marks, L.Williams, Deleuze)

"Going Through the Mill"- Filming a Sensory Historiography of the Cotton Industry.

Cathy Greenhalgh, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (cathygreenhalghcinema@gmail.com)

This paper explores the dynamics of a sensory historiography material culture ethnography expressed through making the film Cottonopolis (2012). It addresses questions and ethics of sensory representation, consequences of affect, mobility and performativity in the field, and reflexivity in research.

Animated Ethnography

Nina Sabnani, IIT Bombay (nina.sabnani@gmail.com)

In this paper we examine the potential of animation film as a way of representing and interpreting non verbal (sensorial) texts produced by participants, from within their aesthetic space. Using excerpts from The Stitches Speak (2009) we discuss how the collaboration between the film maker and participants leads to the production of tactile experience.

Sensorial resonance as a key reading tool into migrants' experiences

Monica Heintz, University of Paris Nanterre (monica.heintz@parisnanterre.fr)

This paper asks whether and why experiences of absence and presence of temporary migrants living between two worlds is best rendered through visual media rather than through written texts.


Jewellery as property, jewellery as aesthetics

Nilika Mehrotra, UC Berkeley, USA (nilikam@gmail.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 102, SAA-I

This panel aims to explore material, cultural and symbolic dimensions of jewellery.

Jewellery and Techno Aesthetic Revolution

Veena Yadava, Govt College, Nahar (veenayadava@gmail.com)

Jewellery today has witnessed unconventional experimentation blending conservatism with modernity leading to emergence of universalised tastes rooted in individuality and human experience.

The Jewellery trail: Interface between the old and the new tradition

Imtirenla Longkumer, Jawaharlal Nehru University (imtirenlalongkumer@gmail.com)

Jewellery has moved beyond bones and feathers to gold and diamonds among the Aos of Nagaland. However, when occasion demands the traditional prevails.

Gendered Prestations and Property: Gold, Aesthetics and Social Identity in India

Nilika Mehrotra, UC Berkeley, USA (nilikam@gmail.com)

This paper examines the cultural and economic aspects of gold jewellery in relation to gender, aesthetics and social identity construction in India


Framing the northeast: visual practices in Northeast India in the 19th and 20th centuries

Joy L.K. Pachuau, Jawaharlal Nehru University (joy.pachuau@gmail.com)
Debojyoti Das, Bristol University (ukdebodas@yahoo.com)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 002, SAA-II

The panel will bring together a set of innovative papers that will try to unpack visual politics through photography, museum displays, new media technologies and digital dissemination in the context of Northeast India in the 19th and 20th centuries

Framing the Colonial Encounter?: A discussion of Non-British pictorial sources of the Naga created during colonial times

Alban von Stockhausen, University of Vienna (alban.stockhausen@univie.ac.at)

The paper examines visual sources on the Naga created by non-British travellers during colonial times. It discusses how these collections differ from the materials collected by British Administrators, and introduces the contexts in which they were created.

Visual Anthropology and the Knowledge of the 'Other': Representing Colonial Subjects through Photography in Naga Hills

Debojyoti Das, Bristol University (ukdebodas@yahoo.com)

The paper focuses on visual representation of the Nagas sourcing from the colonial archives, popular newspapers and illustrated dailies of the late 19th and early 20 century.

The Search for 'Idyllic Places' and 'Wild People': Visualizing Nagas Through the Prism of Colonial Photography

A.S. Shimreiwung (shimreiwung@gmail.com)

This paper interrogates the politics of gaze in the photographic recording of the Nagas by colonial ethnographers during the early part of 20th Century.

Folk-Knowledge, Sacred Landscape and Visual anthropology

Nava Kishor Das, Anthropological Survey of India (nkdas49@gmail.com)

Here, we intend to project, through visual projections, the indigenous perspectives of Naga –Apatani tribes as spread in folk-oral worldview, sacred beliefs, folk knowledge of agriculture, and resulting symbiotic relationships, which proved an impartial picture. Author’s presentation includes depiction of still photos from black and white era and a ten-minute ethnographic film. Film depicts insiders’ perspective on agriculture system, sacred landscape and indigenous knowledge, and people’s agenda of protection of their culture and language.

Capturing the 'savage' and the 'civilized': Seeing through the lens of the American Baptist Mission

Suryasikha Pathak, Assam University, Diphu Campus (sikhapathak@gmail.com)

Missionary images of the 'native' as 'primitive' and 'savage' was constructed earlier in their writings and later through photographs. These photographs were sent home with letters, shown around and also published in missionary magazines and journals. They were evidence of the struggles of the mission and also results of such efforts. But they were also means to construct a dichotomy between the 'convert' and the 'heathen' and hence between the 'civilized' and the 'savage'.

Framing indigeneity and environmentalism among the Lepchas of Sikkim, India

Vibha Arora, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (vibhaaurora@yahoo.com)

This paper relates the photographs taken by some British Political Officers of Sikkim and travellers in the 19th and 20th century with the contemporary visual representations of the Lepcha tribe residing in Himalayan Sikkim. An analysis of these visual representations traces the continuities and discontinuities in the imaging and imagining of the Lepchas.

Displayed Carcasses: A Visual Impact of Shillong's Butchery Stalls

Quinbala Marak, North-Eastern Hill University (qmarak@gmail.com)

Shillong the capital of the state of Meghalaya welcomes visitors into the city with butchery stalls that display carcasses of butchered animals. The first reaction of any foreigner is one of revulsion. What is the idea behind such a show? Is it for reasons of aesthetics and functionality? Or, is it for more? This paper will look into the politics behind such an exhibit.

Representations of biodiversity in North East India

Ambika Aiyadurai, National University of Singapore (a0082719@nus.edu.sg)

This paper discusses how conservationists engage with visual representations to produce specific forms of knowledge. I argue that these representations not only produce new meanings of the northeast but are also problematic as an approach to conservation.

Imagining the nation in Assamese cinema (1930s-1970s)

Anirban Baishya (megakapz@gmail.com)

This paper examines the relationship of Assamese cinema from the 1930s to the 1970s with the role of the middle class. Through this it seeks to explore the articulation of an “idea” of the nation—both actively through cinematic practice, and retroactively, through the writing about Assamese cinema.


Anthropology in the contemporary artworld

Clare Harris, University of Oxford (clare.harris@prm.ox.ac.uk)
Kavita Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University (kavising@gmail.com)
Christiane Brosius, Heidelberg University (brosius@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 102, SAA-I

The contemporary artworld is spoken of as a transnational and transcultural space populated by nomadic figures. It can also be said to have fostered the production of art made anywhere, so long as it conforms to 'global' tastes. How should this complex domain be analyzed anthropologically?

Ephemeral but eternal traces of Asia in the artworld

Fuyubi Nakamura, University of British Columbia (fuyubi.nakamura@ubc.ca)

This paper focuses on artists born in Asia who have moved between different countries and/or traditions. It explores how their fluency as 'cultural translators' in the global artworld is influenced by interactions between the dynamics of local and global, and of traditional and modern.

Crossing the borders: Issues and input of a sociology of art perspective for a better understanding of artworks' transcultural circulation

Leïla Baracchini, University of Basel (leila.baracchini@unine.ch)

One of the main issues regarding an anthropology of contemporary art productions concerns the ability to take into account the intercultural viewpoints that are crossing it. Using the example of contemporary San art, this paper offers to study what heuristic contributions can bring the use of sociology of art.

Modes of Marketing and Commercialisation in Contemporary Tibetan Art

Regina Hoefer, Bonn University (regina.hoefer@uni-bonn.de)

The lecture analyses how contemporary Tibetan art is marketed and which aspects constitute its success or failure. Examples of galleries and artists come from China, Tibet and the Western diaspora.

Articulating contemporary art in Iran: A view from two places

Leili Sreberny-Mohammadi, NYU (lsm343@nyu.edu)

In this paper I outline some preliminary themes explored through discussion with two contemporary art spaces inside Iran.

Trouble in Shangri-La: Tibetan Artists' Travels in the Global Contemporary Artworld

Clare Harris, University of Oxford (clare.harris@prm.ox.ac.uk)

This paper addresses the panel theme by examining a recent entry in the international artworld: ‘Tibetan Contemporary Art’. It questions the rhetoric of ‘global’ contemporary art and investigates how the logic of particular artworld locations can be negotiated – or not.

Anish Kapoor and his interpreters

Denis Vidal, IRD/Paris Diderot/EHESS (dvidal@ehess.fr)

taking as a case study Anish Kapoor and his work, I will show how the figure of the 'great artist' and of the 'universal artist', may-be redefined and sustained in the contemporary world, sometimes with the help of the very people that one rather associates with the critique of such categories.

India's contemporary art on global highways

Cathrine Bublatzky, Heidelberg University (bublatzky@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de)

International survey exhibitions on contemporary art from India importantly shape the global mobility of agents and art objects in the international art world. With a focus on the ‘Indian Highway exhibition’, this paper will discuss the symbolic dimension of this mobility and asks how Anthropologists can approach the field of contemporary art and the museum as a space of transcultural encounter.

Translocal art worlds in times of medialisation: India's contemporary art world in transition.

Jamila Adeli, Humboldt-University Berlin (adeli.jamila@gmail.com)

To empirically study and theorize the deterritorialization and decentralization of the contemporary global art world, the recent changes have to be tackled from a local perspective. The contemporary Indian art world has become translocal and thus apt to investigate the impacts of globalization, liberalization and medialisation, and vice versa.

Art's Global Stage: Critical Paradigms

Saloni Mathur, UCLA (mathur@ucla.edu)

This paper considers the intellectual challenges of the turn towards "the global" in contemporary art for the interdisciplinary practices of art history and anthropology.

Art Festivals as Laboratories of the Postcolonial Predicament in Africa

Tobias Wendl, Free University Berlin (tobias.wendl@fu-berlin.de)

As part and parcel of a transnationally connected postcolonial culture industry, art festivals have played a crucial role in shaping identities in the fabric of local and global cultural flows and in negotiating the contradictions of colonial pasts and a postcolonial present. The festivals under study in my paper include FESMAN (Dakar 1966), PANAF (Algiers 1969) FESTAC (Lagos 1977) the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale (1997) and the 1st Luanda Trienal (2006).


Screening India through digital image-making

Giulia Battaglia, EHESS/Paris 3 (giu_bat@hotmail.com)
Paolo S. H. Favero, University of Antwerp (paolo.favero@uantwerpen.be)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 101, SAA-I

This panel explores the role of digital image-making in contemporary India. Bringing recent debates in visual anthropology, in touch with the Indian boom in digital experimentations, it will enquire the extent to which such practices are offering new forms of representing India.

Chairs: Giulia Battaglia and Paolo Favero

Discussants: Giulia Battaglia and Paolo Favero

Reflecting upon the predicament of digital image-making in South Asia

Paolo S. H. Favero, University of Antwerp (paolo.favero@uantwerpen.be)
Giulia Battaglia, EHESS/Paris 3 (giu_bat@hotmail.com)

This paper aims to set the field for a number of theoretical reflections regarding the intersection between digital image-making and film in the South Asian context. To what extent can the essence of digital images influence the practices of filming and image-making at large? What are the politics of this process? How do such aspects reflect themselves upon the specificities of the South Asian context?

Interruptions in Culture and History: Media Based Art of(f) India

Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi, Jawaharlal Nehru University (adetya369@gmail.com)

By thinking through the concept of media interruption into the field of culture and its history this paper shall broadly focus on institutions such as Sarai and KHOJ (International Artist’s Association) in New Delhi looking at them as active laboratories of artistic intervention. It further looks at its associated networks such as Raqs Media Collective (Sarai) based in Delhi and CAMP (KHOJ) based in Mumbai. The central focus of the paper would be specifically highlighting the conceptual methodologies of these institutions and collectives. Further, the paper speaks of the directions in which these technologically driven interruptions pushed the horizons of cultural practice in India.

Regeneration and Multiplicity

Soudhamini Venkatnarayanan (quicksilverfilm@gmail.com)

If Benjamin bemoaned the loss of ‘aura’ and the original with mechanical reproduction, with the digital the copy too is dead, giving way to a slew of originals and even a new Originary.

Querying the popular: digital photographic practices and trick photography of seventies

Sameena Siddiqui, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sameena42@hotmail.com)

Theory w/Out Words

Matti Pohjonen, Dublin City University (DCU) (matti.pohjonen@voxpol.eu)
Soumyadeep Paul, Breach Candy Group (soum.paul@gmail.com)

Drawing on recent experiences in digital guerilla film making and documentary film, the paper looks at the challenges and promises 'creative experimentation' and practice-based research holds for visual anthropological work interested in challenging classical modes of representation in India.

101 circles and 2 straight lines

Andy Lawrence, University of Manchester (andy.lawrence@manchester.ac.uk)

How have ethnographic film-makers contributed to anthropological knowledge and what methods do they use? I will look specifically at digital image-making and ask how much the use of this new technology represents a change in ethnographic film-making practice and the knowledge it produces.

Seeing Double: Is Old Delhi Modern?

Karl Mendonca, University of California, Santa Cruz (kjmendon@ucsc.edu)

Scenes from Old Delhi is a short experimental film that re-presents Old Delhi through a series of encounters. This paper uses the film as a topic and resource to discuss the ethics of producing work for a transnational audience and the concept of alternative modernities.

Weaving Films, Shooting Cotton:The Cinema Making Fabric of Malegaon

Subhashim Goswami, Delhi School of Economics (subhashimgoswami@gmail.com)

This paper in talking about the cinema making impetus of a working class town would like to argue how local working class cinema is as much a question of work as a film making aesthetic and one cannot separate the two.

Citizen Video Producers Changing Indian Media

Paromita Pain, University of Southern California (paromita_pain@yahoo.com)

Hundreds of citizens from disadvantaged communities are now using video cameras to report on issues that affect them and their neighbors. With training from the Video Volunteers, local video producers are changing the dominant model of media in the country to make it more democratic and diverse.“IndiaUnheard” is one of several citizen journalism projects in the country established by Video Volunteers, a U.S.-based international organization that trains people from disadvantaged communities to create their own locally relevant and locally produced media. In India, Video Volunteers operates an intensive training in all aspects of video production for aspiring correspondents for the “IndiaUnheard” program and others interested in video journalism. Through its training efforts in India, Video Volunteers has created “the largest, most diverse network” of community video producers anywhere in the world.

The fluid identity of the Other: Italian documentaries on India

Maysa Gabrielli (maysamg@hotmail.com)

The paper will discuss and analyse a given corpus of films, from the point of view of the encounter between the Italian artist and the people of India.


Music, digital media, and ontological politics: from 'piracy' to intellectual property

Aditi Deo, University of Oxford (deo.adi@gmail.com)
Georgina Born, University of Oxford (georgina.born@music.ox.ac.uk)

5th April 2012, 15:00

Room: SIS Appadurai Committee Room

In light of debates over the limitations of the paradigm of 'piracy' (Hayden, Larkin, Liang, Sundaram), this panel examines how notions of music as intellectual property are being mediated by digital technologies in a range of locales.

Discussants: Ravi Sundarum, Lawrence Liang

M-commerce and the (re)making of the music industry in Kenya

Andrew Eisenberg, University of Oxford (andrew.eisenberg@music.ox.ac.uk)

This paper explores emerging m-commerce business models in the Kenyan music industry, how they are being developed and implemented, and the responses they are engendering from those involved in reforming Kenya’s music copyright law and royalty collection protocols.

Mobile Media and Piracy in India

Neha Kumar, UC Berkeley (neha@ischool.berkeley.edu)

Our paper discusses the consumption of digital music on the increasingly ubiquitous multimedia-enabled mobile phone platform, largely enabled by a rich infrastructure of media piracy. The users we focus on come from low-income households in three sites located in rural, semi-urban, and urban India.

The 'Pirate' DJ

Vebhuti Duggal, Jawaharlal Nehru University (vebhuti@gmail.com)

This paper shall attempt to look at the figure of the neighbourhood DJs of Delhi. This figure is one that is embedded within the structures of aspiration that 'pirate culture' participates in.

Pirate State: Music circulation in late socialist Cuba

Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, University of Victoria (alexbf@uvic.ca)

This paper proposes an original understanding of digital music “piracy” when the state is complicit in practices understood, outside Cuba, as legally problematic.

What is music? Ontological politics of experimental digital music in the UK

Georgina Born, University of Oxford (georgina.born@music.ox.ac.uk)

With reference to fieldwork on experimental digital music scenes in Britain, and following Humphrey and Verdery (2004), I address how intellectual property norms are reconceptualized in novel practices across a spate of genres, noting the diverse ontological politics that they entail.

Folk Music in the Digital Realm: Shared Commons or Cultural Property

Aditi Deo, University of Oxford (deo.adi@gmail.com)

Drawing upon ethnographic research of audio-visual archiving and commercial publication of folk music in India, this paper explores how digital technologies are mediating the ontology of "folk music" as part of public commons, and as cultural commodity.

Music in protest, music as property

Arjun Ghosh, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (arjunghosh@hss.iitd.ac.in)

Music for protest is often collectively created and shared and reused freely. This paper studies the implications of the cultures of protest music for the practice of intellectual property.



Will Tuladhar-Douglas, University of Aberdeen (will@tending.to)

4th April 2012, 17:00

Room: Sankskrit Conference Room

The cultivation of the sense of taste underpins the aesthetics of ingestion, its economies and privileges.

The cosmopolitan and the regional: understanding Bengali cuisine

Utsa Ray (rayutsa@gmail.com)

Making a claim to a Bengali cuisine was integral to the project of self-fashioning of the middle-class in colonial Bengal. This paper argues that the lack of commercialization of ‘Bengali’ cuisine actually became a marker of its cultural capital that went into the making of the Bengali middle-class.

Remember the old masters: the musical and social practices of memory in Hindustani music milieu

Ingrid Le Gargasson, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (ingridlegargasson@hotmail.com)

Focusing on the context of Hindustani music tradition and its transmission, I propose to examine the relationship of music, memory and history.

Translating substances: brokering sensory agreement across boundaries.

Will Tuladhar-Douglas, University of Aberdeen (will@tending.to)

The Bania of Kathmandu are expert wholesalers of materia medica whose real skill is negotiating sensory agreement across cultural boundaries.


Elite art in an age of populism: sowing monocultures?

Emilia Terracciano, Courtauld Institute of Art (Emilia.Terracciano@courtauld.ac.uk)
Deborah Swallow, Courtauld Institute of Art (deborah.swallow@courtauld.ac.uk)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Auditorium

We welcome papers exploring the fading of national and local traditions in a new global mega-culture built in part on social networking sites.

Taking art back: select artistic offensives, tactics and strategies

Annie Paul, University of the West Indies (anniepaulose@gmail.com)

The paper will discuss the rise of new forms of artistic practice as exemplified by Alice Yard and Australian artist Hazel Dooney, who sideline the traditional Gallery-Dealer art circuit by using social media and blogging platforms.

Exhibiting India: The Opportunity Cost of a 'Global art history'

Rattanamol Singh Johal (rattanamol@gmail.com)

The paper examines recent exhibitions of contemporary art from the Indian subcontinent on the global stage and suggests that the resulting democratisation and homogenisation of works is the price paid for the blurring of borders in configuring a 'Global art' history through exhibitions.

Bordering on blank: the calligraphic modernism of Nasreen Mohamedi (1937-1990)

Emilia Terracciano, Courtauld Institute of Art (Emilia.Terracciano@courtauld.ac.uk)

to follow

Being Glocal? Art In The Age Of The Survey.

Zehra Jumabhoy, Courtauld Institute of Art, London (zehra_jumabhoy@yahoo.co.uk)

The paper will analyze four concepts which swim below the surface of the 'contemporary Indian art survey': the national, international, global and local. Do the terms complement or compete with each other?

All that Is Solid Melts into Air: Indian Contemporary Art in Global Times

Arshiya Lokhandwala, Lakeeren Art Gallery (lakeeren@hotmail.com)

This paper draws and expands on the key issues explored in the exhibition of the same title 'All That Is Solid Melts into Air: Indian Contemporary Art in Global Times' held in Mumbai in December 2010.

The Red and the Grey: On Ai Weiwei's Social (Media) Sculptures

Wenny Teo, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK (wenny.teo@courtauld.ac.uk)

This paper examines the instrumental role of social media in the work of the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and focuses on the geo-political anxieties shorn up by such artistic practice in an age of populism.


Accommodating the primordial: the function of myth in a globalising world

Leon Burnett, University of Essex (burne@essex.ac.uk)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Committee Room No.013, Ground Floor, SSS-II

The efficacy of myth in engaging with global concerns depends upon our recognition of the vitality and continuing presence - or timelessness - of the primordial. This panel will explore how and why we 'accommodate the primordial' in our aesthetic appreciation of myth.

'Aimer et mourir/ Au pays qui te ressemble': Representations of Love and Death in Poetry and Myth

Leon Burnett, University of Essex (burne@essex.ac.uk)

Nothing is more central to the meaning of human existence than love and death, but just as fundamental is the urge to give artistic expression to these two primordial preoccupations. This paper considers how love and death have been represented across the ages as inter-related topoi.

Deconstructing the Rama Consciousness: Appropriation of the Ramayana and its variations across India

Rohit Dutta Roy, Jadavpur University (rohitduttaroy@gmail.com)

This paper sees Rama consciousness and multiplicity of versions as inseparable, critiques political attempts at homogenization; analyzes changes in story and structure. It traces Buddhist and Jain versions, eulogizing Ravana, Rama's journey from Purushottama to divinity, Sita's characterizations.

Accommodation of the primordial in Ra.One

Kopal Gautam, University of Essex (kgauta@essex.ac.uk)

The repetition of the primordial theme of the defeat of evil by good in Hindi cinema indicates that mythical themes have the ability to hark back to the past to redefine the present. This paper will analyse the significance of the retrieval and representation of the myth of the defeat of Ravana by Rama in the film Ra.One.

Creating a new 'real-topia' from the teachings of the ancient Maya: Mayanism and the reappropriation of myth

Suzanne Nolan (smnola@essex.ac.uk)

This paper will explore how the myths of the Maya, of the creation of the world and the Gods, have been manipulated by the Mayanism community in order to react both against and with the modern, globalising world.


Transformations in contemporary South Asian ritual: From sacred action to public performance

Geoffrey Samuel, University of Sydney (SamuelG@cardiff.ac.uk)
Santi Rozario, University of Tasmania (Santi.Rozario@utas.edu.au)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Class Room No.104, First Floor, SSS-II

The panel will examine recent transformations in large-scale public ritual performances in Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the Nepali diaspora in Europe.

Tibetan ritual dance as public performance and state ceremony: the evolution of the Tshe bcu in Bhutan and the 2011 Dochu La festival

Geoffrey Samuel, University of Sydney (SamuelG@cardiff.ac.uk)

The paper examines recent transformations of Tibetan ritual dance (’cham) and attempts to assess its meaning in contemporary Bhutan. It also discusses a recent attempt to update and further transform the ’cham tradition in the context of the commemoration of a complex and problematic episode in modern Bhutanese history, the 2003 campaign of the Royal Bhutanese Army to drive out several Indian separatist groups which had set up encampments in southern Bhutan.

Dance, ritual and thunder dragons: exploring cultural politics and national identities

Ann R. David, University of Roehampton (a.david@roehampton.ac.uk)

This paper compares elements of embodied Hindu ritual and Bhutanese Buddhist danced ritual in today’s globalised conditions, questioning their place in public performance and asking whether they are still able to speak to today’s cosmopolitan audiences in periods of rapid social, political and economic change.

Benefits and Blessings: perceptions of Tibetan ritual dances ('cham) in modern Bhutan

Dawn Collins (collinsd4@cardiff.ac.uk)

The paper explores contemporary perceptions of historically attested benefits and blessings accorded Tibetan ritual dances (’cham) as they are currently experienced in Bhutan. It does so in terms of aesthetic choices, intent and appreciation, both in the context of a modern state commissioned ’cham, and of more traditional Bhutanese Tse bcu.

On sacred ground: Constructing an ancient tradition for 'Tibetan' Buddhism in Spiti

Latika Gupta, Jawaharlal Nehru University (latikagupta@gmail.com)

The paper explores the complex relationship between the Tashilhunpo monastery in Tibet and the Kye monastery in Spiti through the Chham, an annual performative Buddhist ritual.It studies the transformations that occur when the Chham is performed in non-sacral spaces and contexts.

The state of theatre in Bhutan and the role of Happy Valley Theatre as an Advocate of Change

Tshering Dorji (happyvalley.btn@gmail.com)

This presentation tells about the state of theatre in Bhutan. After giving an overview on the history of theater in Bhutan it will present the view of a theater company's struggles with contemporary modernization and development processes while trying to keep a balance between theatre as a creative art form for sustaining local traditions and as a means of advocacy for social change.

Transformation of the cult of St Anthony of Padua in a popular centre of Pilgrimage in rural Bangladesh

Santi Rozario, University of Tasmania (Santi.Rozario@utas.edu.au)

The paper examines the transformation of the cult of St Anthony in a popular centre of pilgrimage in rural Bangladesh. Christian and non-Christian devotees both make manots (vows) to St Anthony and take part in the annual festival. The paper discusses the rapid growth and transformation of the cult of St Anthony which has similarities to that of Muslim saints and Hindu deities in the region.

Attukal Pongala: conflation of sacred and secular in popular imagination and public culture

Darshana Sreedhar, Jawaharlal Nehru University (darshanatvm@gmail.com)

Attukal Bhagwati temple, renowned as ‘Sabarimala of women’ is home to a special temple practice prevalent in Kerala. Thiruvananthapuram, abode of Anantha (serpent God) witnesses this fascinating ritualistic practice as a part of its annual ten day celebration. Pongala typifies an instance in the broad based religious articulations, where there is simultaneous expression of the religion as place, process and symbol. My study here would an attempt to ethnographically place the practice of Attukal pongala and the related rituals within the framework of popular participation and map out how the practice which was initially an intrinsic religious practice located inside the temple premises has now transcended spatially and in popular imagination the religiosity and emerged within a community- participatory mode of discourse.


Cultural dimensions of ecology

Hoineilhing Sitlhou, Hyderabad Central University (hoilhing@gmail.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Convention Centre Auditorium I

The panel will discuss the cultural dimensions of ecology through the shared experiences of different agricultural societies across the world.

Chairs: Dr. Savyasaachi, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

Cultures and Communities: The Distinct life-worlds of Peasants and Forest-dwellers in Andhra Pradesh

Neredimalli Annavaram, University of Hyderabad (annavaram.n@gmail.com)

The Present paper proposes to examine the life-worlds of peasants and forest-dwellers – the communities who purely dependent upon, and are completely immersed themselves with, ecological sphere in which they work and sustain upon.

Of Guns, Fences, and Wire: Experiencing forest governance in Wayanad, Kerala, South India

Ursula Muenster, Ludwig Maximilians University Munich and University and Rachel Carson Center (Ursula.muenster@rcc.lmu.de)
Suma Vishnudas (sumavishnudas@yahoo.co.uk)

This paper explores the ways in which indigenous communities in Wayanad, Kerala, South India, have experienced state control, law and forest governance over time. It shows how in this process human-forest relationships have been co-produced.

Politics of Ecology with relation to Caste and Community in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand

Shruti Joshi (shrutijoshi.lfc@gmail.com)

An inquiry into the manifestation of caste inequalities and hierarchies through multiple spaces of ecology–the everyday ecological spaces and the more universal forest spaces of the Kumaon region. The colonial aspects of the region’s ecology will be juxtaposed against the ecology of the everyday.

Political ecology of transhumance and change among the Bhotias of Kumaon, Uttarakhand.

Nisthasri Awasthi, Jawaharlal Nehru University (nisthasri@gmail.com)

The paper aims to comprehend and explore the practice of transhumance as it exists among the Bhotias of the Himalayas, with respect to present state policies and the attitude of the community.

Culture and Ecology in the Hills of North East India

Hoineilhing Sitlhou, Hyderabad Central University (hoilhing@gmail.com)
Shruti Joshi (shrutijoshi.lfc@gmail.com)

The paper studies the social discourse between spirits and human as portrayed in the land rituals to understand the interdependence between humans and nature, and subsequently land and identity relationship in the Kuki Society. It will contribute to the study of culture ecology.

Jhumming as defining feature of Kuki Identity in Northeast India

Vibha Arora, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (vibhaaurora@yahoo.com)
Ngamjahao Kipgen, IIT Guwahati (nkipgen@gmail.com)

Jhumming has traditionally been the basis of subsistence and practiced among the Kukis for the past few hundred years. Is it a form of sustainable land-use? We document and trace the continuities and discontinuities in jhumming practices in the contemporary period.


Cinema matters: the changing film object in a globalizing world

Kuhu Tanvir (kuhutanvir@gmail.com)
Debjani Dutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University (debjanidutta86@gmail.com)
Ramna Walia, Jawaharlal Nehru University (ramna.walia@gmail.com)
Shaunak Sen, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sen.shaunak@gmail.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 101, SAA-I

This panel proposes to map the changes in the cinematic object at a moment of flux when digital technologies and the experience of globalization are threatening to replace celluloid as the material of cinema.

Chairs: Ranjani Mazumdar

Techno-materiality in Cinema: The Skin of the Televisual

Shaunak Sen, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sen.shaunak@gmail.com)

This paper attempts to chase the techno-material culture primarily in its movement through the cinematic. For this it focuses exclusively on the object of the Television and a larger predicative idea of televisuality.

Screen Substances: The Mediatized Object of the Korean Wave

Debjani Dutta, Jawaharlal Nehru University (debjanidutta86@gmail.com)

This paper charts the circulation of Korean Wave merchandise as it moves from the textual world of films, TV and pop music to virtual and offline networks.

The new Marathi film

Aarti Wani, Symbiosis College of Arts & Commerce (aartiwani@gmail.com)

As the global traffic of ideas, images and objects filters into the Marathi sensorium, the new Marathi film is the surface that registers, absorbs and reflects its effects. This paper examines some of the textual strategies and tropes of this cinematic moment in Maharashtra.

The Materiality of Memory: Digital dispersion and the Bombay film remake

Ramna Walia, Jawaharlal Nehru University (ramna.walia@gmail.com)

This paper will trace the material displacement and virtual dispersion of the past object through the category of a remake in order to map the complexities of Bombay cinema’s tryst with the technological transition from celluloid to the digital.

Digital Days: The Unstable Archive of Cinema

Kuhu Tanvir (kuhutanvir@gmail.com)

This paper will argue that the shift from celluloid to digital changes the access and the archive of cinema. Unlike the traditional archive, this non-material archive is mobile as the film-object and its paraphernalia move between users resulting in the creation of a network of archives.

Re-thinking Film Curatorial Practice in India: A Few Examples

Ananya Parikh, Jawaharlal Nehru University (ananya.parikh@gmail.com)

This paper seeks to explore the shifting trends in film curatorial projects vis-à-vis the changing nature of film cultural and archival practices in India.


The aesthetics of governance

Maya Dodd (maya@flame.edu.in)
Dalia Wahdan, Foundation for Liberal and Management Education (dewahdan@gmail.com)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: SIS Appadurai Committee Room

This panel will discuss the emerging aesthetics of democracy as (dis)played through spectacular narrations of corruption, the decentralization of opinions and the outbreak of popular mass movements aided and shaped by the advent of new media.

Chairs: Maya Dodd

Discussants: Dalia Wahdan

Commemorating the Bhadralok: A Study of Culture as Governance in the Context of West Bengal

Diksha Dhar (diksha.dhar87@gmail.com)

How has the Kolkata Book Fair achieved an aura of pilgrimage among the people of Bengal? Can this be seen to reinstate the image of the bhadralok on citizens? I want to read such spaces of commemoration that generate within the domain of governance higher overtones of political subject formation.

Picturing the Environment: Mapping Technologies in the Coastal Regulatory Zone in India

Chitra Venkataramani, Johns Hopkins University (chitra@jhu.edu)

This paper examines how globally available mapping technologies and satellite imagery are used as representations of our environment and as a means of promoting different claims by both state agencies and other organizations.

Curatorial Governmentality: Discourses on Air-Conditioning in Contemporary India

Anirban Gupta-Nigam, Jawaharlal Nehru University (revdwickscherrycoke@gmail.com)

This paper will map discourses on the idea of 'air' prevalent in India. By the term ‘curatorial governmentality’ I designate the process whereby the atmosphere has become and increasingly important on the part of the state, beginning with attempts to control rain and drought patterns and coming down to the installation of air-purifiers in Delhi during the Commonwealth Games 2010. Parallel to these developments are the more literal instances of ‘air-conditioning’ in malls which are sprouting up all around the national capital region, offering not simply a consumer-haven but also an ecosystem where ‘community life’ can blossom in isolation from the messy terrain of the actual city. In both cases, discourses of life develop around the central principle of design, where aesthetics becomes central to the comprehension of the contemporary.

Designing (counter) culture: Politics, CARIFESTA, and self-making in the Caribbean

Nicolette Bethel, College of The Bahamas (nbethel@gmail.com)

This paper examines the response of the Bahamian cultural community to their government's cancellations of the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA). It considers the resilience of their initiatives in a world where citizens' manipulations of new media undermine politicians' mastery of the old.


Art & religion: beyond-representation in the representation of the beyond

Douglas Farrer, University of Guam (d.s.farrer@gmail.com)
John Whalen-Bridge, National University of Singapore (ellwbj@nus.edu.sg)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Sankskrit Conference Room

This panel discusses art, performance, & enchantment vis-à-vis theories of agency & skill applied to artworlds & artworks however defined. Interrogating representation & the beyond facilitates the study of mystical power & numinous experience, whether in spiritual resistance or spiritual domination.

Aesthetics of space: Delhi and the sufi view

Sameena Siddiqui, Jamia Millia Islamia (azhar_anwar_2@hotmail.com)

The paper aims to examine the concept of ‘space’ and ethical experience from a sufi perspective and analyze its impact on Delhi as an urban landscape.It seeks to discover the dynamics of this legacy in the spiritual as well as the temporal sphere. The paper examines the impact of Sufi ethical experience in redefining aesthetically conceived territoriality and in reinventing collective identities of pre-colonial and colonial Delhi .

"Mary at the Ethnic Frontier": Marianism Among Vietnamese in Vietnam, the U.S., and Cambodia

Thien-Huong Ninh (ninh@usc.edu)

This paper traces the dissemination of various forms of Marianism (in terms of beliefs, practices, and visualization) and how it has mediated ethnic collectivity among Vietnamese living in Vietnam, the U.S., and Cambodia. It argues that Marianism was not synonymous with ethnic identity until re-connections among Vietnamese Catholics in these countries within the past 15 years. The paper reveals that the trajectory of this shift was uneven across the three places because of local ethnic reception and global economic forces.

"Empty Your Cup: Anti-Colonial Humor in Khyentse Norbu's The Cup"

John Whalen-Bridge, National University of Singapore (ellwbj@nus.edu.sg)

This presentation looks at the orchestration of only apparently disjunctive topics—religious devotion, comic materialism, and political activism—to show how Khyentse Norbu's The Cup combines them into satisfying whole.

Under the Light of the Imperial Parasol. Politics and Religion in Mughal Imperial Portraits

Nicoletta Fazio, University of Heidelberg (fazio@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de)

This paper analyses in what ways artists working in the Mughal kitabkhana and their royal patrons 'collaborated' to create powerful images of the power embodied (the emperor's body) via the integration of religious symbols within the secular aesthetics of politics.

"Representation to 'Re-Presentation' : A Sociological Analysis of the Santhal Scroll Paintings and Performance, and their Relation to the World of Magic and Religion"

Urmi Bhattacharyya, Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi (urmi.jnu@gmail.com)

This paper explores the depiction of religious and supernatural themes as found in the picture-storytelling tradition of the Santhals, in parts of West bengal and Jharkhand, and the power of this art form to define religious beliefs and practices in the tribal society.

Religious devotion and the political: the honour dispute revisited

Aya Ikegame (ayaikegame@mac.com)

This paper examines the possibilities for re-valuating certain devotional expressions as political. By investigating several cases of honour disputes amongst Hindu mathas in Mysore princely state in the early 20th century, it will question the construction of community and democratic representation.

Reading and writing in absence : The donors' plaques

Baishali Ghosh, University of Hyderabad (baishali_5@hotmail.com)

The donors’ plaque in the religious architecture is the sign whose visit is present in absence. The writings on the stone slab, as visual provoke a dialogue that allow the dead (in whose name donation is made) and the donor to be launched into a discourse. The paper discusses the ethnography of memory in relation to the researcher, the donor, the dead person, viewers and so on.


Insideout: art crafting substance, (bio)graphy and circulation

Manuela Ciotti, Aarhus University (manuela.ciotti@gmail.com)
Mani Shekhar Singh (shekharmani@yahoo.com)
Aditya Bharadwaj, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (aditya.bharadwaj@graduateinstitute.ch)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Sankskrit Conference Room

This panel explores emerging artistic constellations crafting new tropes of being and belonging through an array of aesthetic expressions ranging from representations of biogenetic substance, territorialised ritual painting, to objects circulated within the realm of auction houses and art fairs.

Chairs: Roma Chatterji

Discussants: Roma Chatterji

Visible Disappearances: Aesthetics of Anatomical Erasure and Biogenetic Representation

Aditya Bharadwaj, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva (aditya.bharadwaj@graduateinstitute.ch)

The paper takes as its point of departure erasure of the anatomical form from the cohabiting domains of the artistic and bioscientific. Drawing on feminist technoscience, spearheaded by Donna Haraway, the paper explores the artistic and tropic representations of biogenetic substance such as DNA and embryos. The paper argues that aesthetic and epistemic expressions are as much about visible disappearances and erasures as they are about (re)creation and expression. The paper describes ‘aesthetics of erasure’ as ‘multivariate’ and explores a constellation of conceptual interpolations ranging from life and death, movement and stasis, space and temporality, form and content.

Making Claims to Tradition: Poetics and Politics in the Works of Young Maithil Painters

Mani Shekhar Singh (shekharmani@yahoo.com)

Departing from the representation of Maithil painting as a “folk” art form, I explore how young Maithil artists engage with tradition and find their own voice within that tradition. Thereby demonstrating their awareness of aesthetic choices in positing their work as art and not as craft.

Slaps, beatings, laughter, adda, puppet shows: Naxal women prisoners in Calcutta and the art of happiness in captivity

Atreyee Sen, University of Copenhagen (attcat_98@hotmail.com)

This paper will explore the ways in which Naxal women political detainees in 1970s Calcutta gathered objects within prison compounds (buttons, sari borders, pieces of paper, needle and thread, shards of glass and pieces of wood) to craft together items for entertainment and secret communications. I argue that the performance of collective happiness related the creation and circulation of these objects resisted ‘the smell of death, desolation and despair’ in incarceration.

A postcolonial renaissance: 'Indianness', contemporary art, and the market in the age of neoliberal capital

Manuela Ciotti, Aarhus University (manuela.ciotti@gmail.com)

This paper analyses the exhibition ‘The empire strikes back: Indian art today’ held in 2010 at the Saatchi Gallery in London as an entry-point into the analysis of how neoliberal capital produces ‘culture’ in a postcolonial setting.

Adda at Davos: aesthetics and art of exchange in a global market place

Ravinder Kaur, University of Copenhagen (Rkaur@hum.ku.dk)

The notion of 'adda' is etched within the 20th C nationalist imaginary as a marker of quintessential India. While its gradual disapperance is yet a subject of constant nostalgia and melancholia, it has recently begun reappearing in new forms and new locations. The most prominent adda, sponsored and celebrated by the Indian state, is now held at the annual gathering of big businesses and governments. This paper explores the new formations of global Indian adda woven in the logic of free market and cultural commodification.


Healing arts? The arts and aesthetics of medical display

Helen Lambert, Bristol University (h.lambert@bristol.ac.uk)
Harish Naraindas, Jawaharlal Nehru University (harish.naraindas@gmail.com)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Convention Centre Lecture Hall-II

This panel invites contributors to reflect on the complex and changing relations between the artistic and aesthetic dimensions of healing therapies. It will explore the popular and professional 'arts' of medical practice, performance, technologies and advertising at local and global levels.

Waiting for the Womb: Representing Reproduction in the Infertility Clinic Waiting Room

Anindita Majumdar, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (andymajumdar@gmail.com)

This paper analyses the infertility treatment clinic waiting room in terms of the projection of varied cultural notions regarding reproduction. The waiting room comes to be projected as the ‘face’ of the infertility clinic, and is actively used to market it. I wish to look at this space in terms of how the personnel, patients and visitors ‘perform’ within it, including acts of trespassing and subversion.

Art of creating designer babies through ART

Sunita Reddy, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sunitareddyjnu@gmail.com)

Looking at Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) in Hyderabad, this paper addresses, how surrogacy, through the innovations in genomic knowledge and techno-science is countering gender stereotypes, patriarchy, contesting traditional family structures, forming newer forms of relationships and yet having serious implications of possible incestuous marriages.

Of Medical Specialities and Spaces: The Therapeutic Aesthetics of Renal Transplantation

Sinjini Mukherjee, Heidelberg University (sinjini.m@gmail.com)

In this paper, I will present a description of the different medical spaces involved in renal (kidney) therapy and how they combine to provide relief to patients by specifically situating the analysis within a framework of the aesthetics of location, therapy and the body.

The sybaritic as therapeutic: The therapeutic pleasures of art and architecture in German rehabilitative medicine

Harish Naraindas, Jawaharlal Nehru University (harish.naraindas@gmail.com)

This paper questions the tacit assumption that healing and pleasure are invariably opposed categories by examining the central place that art, aesthetics and architecture occupy in German Rehabilitative Medicine.

Exploring self-healing process through expressive art work in children with brain tumor: An ethnography method

Pei-Fan Mu, National Yang-Ming University (peifan@ym.edu.tw)

The purpose of this study was using ethnography method to explore the mechanism of self healing process throughout the expressive art work. Six school-age children with malignant brain tumor were participated into this study. Throughout the motor intentionality process, children transfer self into object, they aware and understand their own feeling, as well as continuously explore their new self. The essence of self is the fundamental base of self healing. During the expressive art work, motor intentionality lead children to aware their internal experience toward integrating their self healing. By participant observation and pathography, the data were collected. The interpretive ethnography analysis method was used to explore the self-healing process. As a result of the research, four phases emerged: activate self awareness of illness, find a self healing direction in chaos, knowing self body and notice Being, and actualization of Being. This finding explores a self-healing process by using expressive art work, as well as provides an example by using ethnography method to explore a art healing process.

Using the Therapeutic Arts in Research

Susan Hogan, University of Derby (s.hogan@derby.ac.uk)

The Representing Self - Representing Ageing initiative has been funded by the ESRC as part of the New Dynamics of Ageing cross-council research programme. It has consisted of four projects with older women using visual research methods, and participatory approaches, to enable women to articulate their experiences of ageing, and to create alternative images of ageing. Complex research processes are interrogated. Innovative methods have included the use of art elicitation, photo-diaries, film-booths, and phototherapy.

Therapeutic iconography: Visual imagery in a marginal medical tradition

Helen Lambert, Bristol University (h.lambert@bristol.ac.uk)

This paper analyses the medical iconography used by north Indian ‘bone doctors’ (haad vaidya) to represent and advertise their work.

Shrubs, Seeds and Foxskulls: The art of Narikuravar folk healing

Gabriele Alex, University of Tuebingen (gabriele.alex@uni-tuebingen.de)

This paper deals with the healing practice of a formerly peripatetic South Indian community, called Narikuravar. It describes and illustrates the modes and contents of the healers’ performance and marketing and investigates how these different aesthetic and artistic elements are linked to the therapeutic dialogue.


The ethnographic framing of the migrant subject

Anita Bressan, University of Sydney (anitabressan@inwind.it)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Class Room No.104, First Floor, SSS-II

Can the migrant speak? Inclusion and exclusion in the subjectivization of migrant identities

Chairs: Anita Bressan, Ghassan Hage, Meenakshi Thapan

Indian Migrants in Australia: Beyond the Middle Class Framing

Sukhmani Khorana, University of Queensland (s.khorana@uq.edu.au)

In Indian and Australian television news accounts of the allegedly racist student attacks in Melbourne and Sydney during 2009-2010, the figure of the migrant was constructed as that of one hailing from the nation's assertive (yet homogeneous) middle class. I made a documentary in early 2009, just before the attacks, that challenges the homogeneity of such framings by mainstream media across the world.

Understanding constructions of 'otherness' in migration: the case of northern Italy

Meenakshi Thapan, Delhi School of Economics (citizencivic.09@gmail.com)

Framing cultures: the multicultural and ethnographic hijacking of the voice of the (1950s Italian women) migrants (to Australia)

Anita Bressan, University of Sydney (anitabressan@inwind.it)

Migrant cultures are rendered (un)intelligible through the framing imposed on them by the hegemonic subjectivity, which they hence start to reflect. Can the moulding gaze of the dominant voice ever be done away with?

Finding space for the migrant voice: A Ladakhi migrant's short story and its awkward reception

Elizabeth Williams-Oerberg, Aarhus University (etnoew@hum.au.dk)
Mohd Shabbir, Jawaharlal Nehru University (ali.ladakh@gmail.com)

A collaborative attempt between an ethnographer and a migrant to tell a story that necessitates telling; and their cumulative reflections on the difficulties faced regarding dispersion, framing and authority in finding space for this story.

Life Historical Narrations and the Framing of the Subjectivity and Identity of the Rural Immigrants in East Guizhou (1930-2010)

Mei-Ling Chien, National Chiao Tung University (mlchien@faculty.nctu.edu.tw)

This paper aims to describe and discuss how the different generations of Hmub migrants in eastern Guizhou, Southwest China frame their subjectivity and identity through speaking their life histories.

Narratives of Migrant Women Agricultural Labourers in Rural Punjab: Mapping the experiences of female migrants' work, well-being and changes in migrant-native relationship

Sabina Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sabina.jnu@gmail.com)

The present paper is based on an ongoing ethnographic research in Punjab. The narratives of migrant women agricultural labourers in Punjab are used to deal with the holistic understanding of factors related to work, well-being and migrant-native relationship. The narratives are being used so as to corroborate the lived experiences of migrant women agricultural labourers in an ethnographic study.


The art of improvisation

Amanda Ravetz, Manchester Metropolitan University (a.ravetz@mmu.ac.uk)
Kathleen Coessens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (kcoessen@vub.ac.be)
Anne Douglas, Robert Gordon University (a.douglas@rgu.ac.uk)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: SSS-I Committee Room, Ground Floor

This panel explores embodied, experiential knowledge through the lens of experimental arts practice using an expanded notion of improvisation. How do new understandings of embodied knowledge within and beyond artistic practice sit beside anthropological formulations of improvisation and creativity?

Improvisation in anthropology and art - habitus and movement

Amanda Ravetz, Manchester Metropolitan University (a.ravetz@mmu.ac.uk)

Anthropology often allies improvisation with agency and change; musicians have challenged this. Cage found it too predictable, favouring chance instead. The paper takes an ethnographic approach to improvisation through a drawing experiment exploring the relationship between habitus and movement.

Thinking freedom: the balance between autonomy and care

Gaelyn Aguilar, University of Maine Farmington (gaelyn.aguilar@maine.edu)

Our presentation will aim to share the conceptual and practical grounding of our latest work, and how improvisation has presented itself as a kind of purposeful, social practice in which there is no “spectatorial distance” and no “antagonistic imperative” other than to create what Gomez-Peña would characterize as “free zones for intercultural dialogue.”

Art Tactics and Indeterminacy

Mick O'Kelly, National College of Art and Design (okelly.mick@gmail.com)

Short Abstract

Nomadic Kitchen as a transversal field of operation invests in a desiring production that is flexible, fluid, nomadic and adaptable to different occasions and contexts of informal urban practices. Subjectivity and agency is produced as a spatial encounter to how we create and occupy cultural complexity and an aesthetic-spatial–politics.

Altering a fixed identity: Thinking through improvisation

Anne Douglas, Robert Gordon University (a.douglas@rgu.ac.uk)

Improvisation can be a self-conscious handling of the conditions of choice. Improvisation can also be an unselfconscious process of being inside the duration of an experience. In what sense can this apparent contradiction provoke a state of creative mobility or play that counters a fixed identity?

improvisation through collaboration - two photographic projects: Pictures of Linda and Country Girls

Anna Fox, University For The Creative Arts (afox@ucreative.ac.uk)

This paper examines the role of the author/s through collaborative experimental photographic practice. The two portrait projects, Pictures of Linda and Country Girls examine and question authorship in documentary photography by subverting the power relation between photographer and subject, giving power to the subject through co-authorship.

Where you end and I begin: cognition and culture in experimental improvised music and dance

Christopher Williams, University of Leiden (christopherisnow@gmail.com)
Martin Sonderkamp, University of Music and Dance Cologne (sonderkamp@berlin.com)

In improvised music, dance, and life, one's thoughts, perceptions, and actions are dynamically coupled to “external” actors and environments. Borrowing from embodied and situated cognition, we explore this phenomenon in our own work, and invite the audience to “perform” these connections themselves.

Certainty, Contingency and Improvisation

Gary Peters, York St John University (g.peters@yorksj.ac.uk)

Drawing upon Kant and Hegel’s aesthetics, as well as the latter’s Phenomenology as starting points, an attempt will be made to articulate the improvisatory not in terms of the new, unforeseen or unexpected but, rather, in relation to the contingency ‘emancipated’ (Luhmann) by art practice and the felt certitude of aesthetic judgement, both put to work by improvisation.

Creating Freedom : The Story of Healing Through Dance in Kolkata

Nayanee Basu, Jawaharlal Nehru University (nayaneebasu@gmail.com)

This paper explores how healing is being carried out through the medium of dance in Kolkata.Every level of such healing endeavor is marked by creative improvisation--on the part of artist-healers,beneficiaries and by facilitating bureaucrats.

Panel discussion for all presenters "Improvisation as art: (re)creating the unexpected situation"

Kathleen Coessens, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (kcoessen@vub.ac.be)

The last presentation session will involve all presenters for a deep discussion on the different lines which where drawn in the individual sessions.

Improvisatory acts in everyday life are the result of unexpected situations. In artistic improvisation, the unexpected situation is (re)created.


Aesthetics, politics, conflict

Nayanika Mookherjee, Durham University (nayanika.mookherjee@durham.ac.uk)
Tariq Jazeel, University of Sheffield (t.jazeel@shef.ac.uk)
Malathi de Alwis (mndealwi@yahoo.com)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Committee Room No.013, Ground Floor, SSS-II

This panel seeks papers that engage the relationships between aesthetics, politics and conflict. We explore the potential of aesthetics to make hegemony visible via its emphasis on a certain 'distribution of the sensible' (Ranciere 2009), as well as the co-constitution of art and violent events.

Chairs: Dr Nayanika Mookherjee

Discussants: Prof. Christopher Pinney, UCL; Prof. Ghassan Hage, Melbourne University

"A Country of Hearsay and Rumor": The Aesthetic Politics of Rumor Publics in Urban Nepal

Sepideh Bajracharya, University of Michigan (sbajrach@umich.edu)

The historical and anthropological literature tends to posit rumor as a sociological phenomenon effective of predicated acts of popular violence—the unconscious medium for violence already enacted. In this article, I discuss a case where rumor becomes “the referent of its own expression”: the thing people heed, discuss, and trace as capable of inciting violence as an imminent, but as-yet unformed condition of rumor’s possibility. I argue that this way of engaging rumor and violence leads to a realm and method of public interaction where events of political consequence are anticipated beyond, despite, and in excess of the publics associated with political events “proper.”

The Ayodhya Dispute: Demolition, Damage and the Emergency Imaginary

Deepak Mehta, Delhi School Of Economics (deepak.em@gmail.com)

The paper examines the legal judgments that deal with the demolition of the Babri mosque in December 1992. It shows that the demolition is informed by a circuitry of damage that is at once part of the imagination of emergency and part of a political ethic that constitutes notions of friend and foe.

Memorizing Home: Art as Place Making

Thamotharampillai Sanathanan, University of Jaffna (tsanathanan@gmail.com)

In social calamities aesthetic gain a new political and functional meaning. Based on my three art projects; ‘History of Histories’, ‘Imag(e)in home’ and ‘The incomplete Thombu’, this paper foreground the changing role of an art as an eye witness and facilitator. It also talks about how the anthropological tools and museum techniques are employed in making individual pain aesthetically appealing.

Intense Proximity: The Spatial Grammar of Social Conflict

Chris Barry, University of Melbourne (chrisbarryau@yahoo.com.au)

In the township of Alice Springs (Central Australia) the 'intense proximity' of Aboriginal residents and their counter-hegemonic cultural life-worlds, creates spaces of contestation and social conflict. This paper will posit an everyday visual ethnography of how and where Aboriginal life ways are conducted, embodied, and brokered, in everyday exchanges and in public utilities - in spite of on-going hegemonic structures to remove this Aboriginal 'presence'.

Embodied Aesthetics: Sung Protest in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Omotayo Jolaosho, University of South Florida (jolaosho@usf.edu)

This paper examines how political identification and collective solidarity are cultivated through the embodied aesthetics of song. I elaborate activists’ attempts to adapt the singing legacy of anti-apartheid struggles to changing political challenges of the post-apartheid neo-liberal dispensation.

'Event, Image, Memory: Speculations on Politics and Visuality in India

Arunima G, JNU (arunima.gopinath@gmail.com)

This paper is a preliminary attempt to engage the question of violence and visuality through the domain of photojournalistic practice in modern India. By using examples from certain key moments of political violence in India (communal conflict, Operation Green Hunt, and so on) I will attempt to complicate the relationship between aesthetics and politics.

Mobilising Images, Muktir Gaan and migrants of the Bangladesh war of 1971

Nayanika Mookherjee, Durham University (nayanika.mookherjee@durham.ac.uk)

This paper seeks to explore the affective aesthetics of the fixing of the representation of the nation through mobile images. I focus on the encounter between middle class refugees, the poor and the raped migrant woman of the Bangladesh war of 1971 and the resulting displacement. In the process, the paper questions the potential of a global economy of signs.

Violence, Memory & the Politics of Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Malathi de Alwis (mndealwi@yahoo.com)

This paper will unpack the urge to remember, to commemorate and also, to forget, in Sri Lanka while also attempting to offer a framework within which an alternative politics of reconciliation could be envisioned.

Building 'Monuments' in a World Class City: Aesthetics and Politics in Contemporary Delhi

Sushmita Pati, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sushmita.pati@gmail.com)

This paper looks at two ‘monuments’- Qila Rai Pithora and 108 Foot Sankat Mochan Dham which have come up in Delhi in the last decade. It tries to understand the contemporary mode of ‘monument’ building, both by the state and the people through issues of myths, histories, sacrality and governance.

Building Distributions of the Sensible: Architecture, Modernism and the Politics of Sri Lankan Nationhood

Tariq Jazeel, University of Sheffield (t.jazeel@shef.ac.uk)

This paper explores the connections between modernist architectural productions of space in post-independent Sri Lanka and the ethnicization of everyday life in the context of the country’s civil conflict and postcolonial politics of nationhood.

De-colonial aesthetics: violence and political sensibilities in the late Portuguese Empire

Caio Araújo, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (caio.simoes@graduateinstitute.ch)

This paper interrogates the politics of violence and aesthetics in late Portuguese colonialism in Africa, particularly Mozambique. I argue that aesthetics was a privileged field in which colonial hegemony and de-colonial contestation were negotiated and political sensibilities were re-assembled.

The Poltics of Esthetics and the Esthetics of Politics in Barcelona

Roger Sansi, Universitat de Barcelona (rogersansi@ub.edu)

In the last decade, MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona) has promoted itself as a center for political activism. Rancière’s “politics of aesthetics” have been very influential. But the local art activist community has accused MACBA of reducing the politics of esthetics to the esthetics of politics.


Imagining Bangladesh and forty years of its aesthetic trajectory

Manpreet Janeja, Leiden University (wlz827@hum.ku.dk)
Lala Rukh Selim, University of Dhaka (lala_rukh_selim@yahoo.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: SSS-I Committee Room, Ground Floor

In celebrating forty years of Bangladesh the panel seeks to map its aesthetic (visual, literary, phenomenological and sensual cultures ) trajectory in an attempt to decentre the orientalising tropes of 'lack' through which Bangladesh is predominantly imagined in South Asia and in the 'West'?

Discussants: Nayanika Mookherjee

Imagining Bangladesh through the Aesthetics of Food

Manpreet Janeja, Leiden University (wlz827@hum.ku.dk)

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Dhaka and London, this paper focuses on the aesthetics of normal food as integral to Bangladeshi national and trans-national configurations of belonging and not-belonging.

Folk, food and folly: Bangladeshi 'folk' dance and the Bengal famine of 1943

Munjulika Rahman, Northwestern University (Munjuli@u.northwestern.edu)

This paper analyzes frequently performed pieces of the most common Bangladeshi dance genre, called “folk” dance by practitioners, to elaborate how and why it became a popular choice as a representation of Bangladeshi people during the Pakistan period and after independence in Bangladesh.

Moner Manush: Travelling of Faqir Lalon Shah in the wrold of Hindu saints and the imagination of Bangali nation

Abdullah Mamun, University of Rajshahi (almamun.ru@gmail.com)

This paper deals misconceptions of Faquir Lalon grounding on the politics of 'Bangali nation' through interrogating Gautam Ghosh's latest film Moner Manush (2010), which bagged the Golden Peacock award at IFFI, Goa and Best Film on 'National Integration' at the 58th Indian National Awards.

Art of Bangladesh: the changing role of tradition, search for identity and globalization.

Lala Rukh Selim, University of Dhaka (lala_rukh_selim@yahoo.com)

This paper places globalization within a continuum of historical influences that have created particular hybrid artistic forms in Bangladesh. Artistic ideals are contrasted with popular and folk art to draw out an aesthetic ideal that defies globalization and the image of Bangladesh as a country of wants.

The Future that did not Happen: Recollections of the Project

Delwar Hussain, University of Edinburgh (dhussain@exseed.ed.ac.uk)

This paper examines the programme of modernisation instigated by the post-independent East Pakistani and later Bangladeshi states, told through the aesthetics of industrial failure and decay.

The aesthetic process of imagination of Bangladesh and the politics of Bengali and indigenous Identity

Sayema Khatun, Jahangirnagar University (sayema.bd@gmail.com)

What is the aesthetic process of imagination creating collective identities in present day Bangladesh? How indigenous identity has been constructed aesthetically as the essential other of the Bengali self and how it has been contested, felt to be revealed through systematic inquiry in this paper.


The aesthetics and fictions of science

Raminder Kaur, University of Sussex (rk39@sussex.ac.uk)
Saif Eqbal, Jawaharlal Nehru University (eqbal.saif@gmail.com)

5th April 2012, 15:00

Room: Convention Centre Auditorium I

We invite panellists to explore the dynamics between science and its percolation through representations in popular culture such as science fiction/fantasy, superhero comics, media and other outlets intended for the broader public.

Discussants: Dr Hilal Ahmed

Forensic fictions: first thoughts on media representations of forensic science

Marcus Banks, University of Oxford (marcus.banks@anthro.ox.ac.uk)

Drawing upon initial findings from fieldwork in forensic science laboratories in the UK and South India, this paper examines the so-called "CSI effect" (by which trial juries are thought to be swayed by popular television representations of forensic science) as a mode by which routine science practice becomes aesthetically 'fit for purpose'.

The Fictions of Science and Cinema in India

Raminder Kaur, University of Sussex (rk39@sussex.ac.uk)

I consider the content and contours of speculative fiction that engages with the imaginative potential of science (as opposed to actual scientific developments), and that nowadays manifests itself as a distinctive form in terms of the speculative fiction masala in India.

Chronicles of a disappearance: P K Rosy and contemporary Malayalam cinema

Bindu Menon, Lady Shri Ram College (binmenen@gmail.com)

The paper tries to understand the multiple intersections of the new technology of cinema with the social and how it became crucial sites and technologies in reordering caste end gendered bodies by examining a series of violence events against the first Malayalam film Vigatakumaran and the dalit actress Rosy in 1929.

The dialectics of tradition and modernity in Indian superhero comics

Saif Eqbal, Jawaharlal Nehru University (eqbal.saif@gmail.com)

Indian superhero comics had to face the challenge of engaging with both the modern and tradition. The paper seeks to study the nature and extent of this engagement and the treatment of superheroes/heroines, their powers and geographical spaces.

Media of desire? Olfactory aesthetics and olfactory agency in an exhibit on human sexuality

Susanne Schmitt (susanne-b-schmitt@web.de)

This contribution focuses on the representation of sexual attraction in a Science and Medical History Museum in Germany. Based on ethnographic fieldwork it interrogates the conflicting meanings, agencies and aesthetics of odors that are (or have once been) considered to be aphrodisiatic within a western-European context.


Art worlds and the city: perspectives from India and beyond

Amit Desai, The Queen's University of Belfast (amit.desai2@gmail.com)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 003, SAA-II

The growth of contemporary art institutions and markets in a number of cities all over the world has had the effect of reshaping city space. This panel considers how the development of art worlds has transformed artists' and others' understandings and experiences of the cities in which they live.

The cultivation of creativity and the management of chaos at an artists' village in Chennai

Amit Desai, The Queen's University of Belfast (amit.desai2@gmail.com)

Reflecting on the status of chaos and civilization in the cultivation of creativity among contemporary artists in Chennai, India, I explore the ways these ideas are expressed through the establishment of the Cholamandal Artists’ Village, located on the outskirts of the city.

Resisting being uber-cool: an artist's encounter with Bengaluru

Rashmi Munikempanna (rashmi@rashmimunikempanna.com)

This paper explores the active creation of Bengaluru as a cultural hub and the possibilities for an arts practice to negotiate these terms of access to the city.

Populating architecture with community: the symbolic integration of stark concrete with everyday life in Chandigarh, India

Abhik Ghosh, Panjab University (abhikg@rediffmail.com)

Chandigarh has been seen as a modernist architecture which may also translate as an art form. When it began to create homes within, the people began to modify this art to suit individual requirements, an issue which is illustrated, discussed and theorised in this paper.

Atlantic movement in art of the Indo-Caribbean: casting shadows and throwing light in Surinam and the Netherlands

Leon Wainwright, The Open University (L.R.Wainwright@open.ac.uk)

This presentation will explore patterns of art patronage, curating and reception that recently ensued in two urban contexts, in Suriname and the Netherlands, throwing light on the intersections between art discourse and 'a right to the city'.


Art and activism in contemporary Dalit and Adivasi movements

Alice Tilche, London School of Economics (a.tilche@lse.ac.uk)
David Mosse, SOAS (dm21@soas.ac.uk)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 002, SAA-II

Adivasi and Dalit struggle for dignity and recognition has been accompanied by an effervescence of cultural production. This panel explores 'art' as a semiotic and political intervention that refigures existing relations of exploitation generating new meanings, political identities and connections.

Dalit performance art, cultural politics and the renegotiation of identity

David Mosse, SOAS (dm21@soas.ac.uk)

This paper examines the social and semiotic processes involved in producing and performing Dalit art, especially dance-drumming. New meanings and modes of signification indicate changed social relationships, but ethnographic work reveals the relationship between Dalits and their 'art' as ambivalent.

Everyday Aesthetics and Refashioning of Selves

Rajan Krishnan, Loyala College (rajankurai@gmail.com)

The paper explores how the capacity of Dalit communities to undertake assertive political action rests not only on their becoming conscious of their social situation but also their potential to effect changes in their life with creative refashioning of selves through every day aesthetic practices.

Dancing Across the Thresholds of Caste: Enacting Transcendence and 'Egalitarianism' in the Western Himalaya

Lokesh Ohri, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg (lokesh_ohri@yahoo.com)

Caste, generally bracketed under the umbrella of exclusion, is enacted in remote Himalayan regions through forced inclusion. Efforts of a group of performing folk artistes from the Kolta community and their attempt to break barriers of caste, while media and communication flows emerge as the non-intentional actors, are analyzed here.

Pithora and the making of Tribal art.

Alice Tilche, London School of Economics (a.tilche@lse.ac.uk)

This paper focuses on the re-evaluation of Pithora paintings, from a divinity with the power to cure, to a form of 'Tribal art' with representative and symbolic function. It interrogates the ethical and political consequences of this shift for Adivasis' struggles for equality and recognition.

'Feeling of loss': ethnicity, ethnographic imagination and identity work of Mandi youth in Dhaka

Mahmudul Hasan Sumon, Jahangirnagar University (sumonmahmud@hotmail.com)

The paper explores the festivity of wanna, its revival in newer settings of Dhaka and its import among the urban Mandi youth of Dhaka. It focuses on how such organizing is bringing about a “consciousness” of identity among the Mandis. The case presents us with the opportunity to explore theories of ethnicity, ethnographic imagination and identity in the wake of transnational discourses of indigenous rights in Bangladesh.

Between the market and Comrade Mao: Newar cultural activism and ethnic/political movements

Ingemar Grandin, Linköping University (ingemar.grandin@liu.se)

Based on ethnographic research from the 1980s into the present, this is a study of cultural activism among the Newars of Nepal – as an artistic, aesthetic practice that works from song texts, musical resources and non-verbal statements in dress and dance to voice both political and ethnic concerns.

Kamlari voices and movements: repositioning Tharu indigenous artistic knowledge into global activism

Monica Mottin, London Metropolitan University (m.mottin@londonmet.ac.uk)

The paper explores how drama, songs and dances objectify Tharu ethnic cultural identity and how it is synthesized in kachahari natak (forum theatre) to raise awareness against the kamlari pratha (child-labour) among diverse audiences.


Shards of memory: memorials, commemorations, remembrance

Radhika Chopra, University of Delhi (radhika.chopra@gmail.com)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Convention Centre Lecture Hall-I

Memorials, commemorations, and remembrance about dark histories are riddled with politics in a social present. The visual becomes a critical field in organising memories of turmoil, in and through rituals of remembrance that surround physical objects like monuments, museums, shrines and cenotaphs.

Mahteen Mai Ka Mandir: Gender, Caste and Contested History in Rural Bihar

Sumit Srivastava, University of Allahabad (sumit.manjula@gmail.com)

The present paper locates Mahteen Mai ka Mandir, a temple in rural Bihar as a case of reclaiming the past taking caste and gender as important factors. How do the people who are associated with it in the present times analyse and debunk 'other's history is the essence of this paper.

The Widow of the Martyr

Soibam Haripriya, Delhi School of Economics (priya.soibam@gmail.com)

This paper explores the ways of memorialising by entering into/acquiring pre-existing meanings as well as resisting and creating news ones. Through two figures -the 'martyr' and his 'widow' I look at ways of remembering the 'martyr' and the present self of the subject as a witness

Displacing Commemoration: memory work and spatial and performative politics among Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir

Ankur Datta, South Asian University (ankurdatta@soc.sau.ac.in)

This paper explores commemoration in the case of displaced Kashmiri Hindus who recreate the past by constructing replicas of Hindu shrines from Kashmir. Through an ethnographic engagement with these replicas I argue that such projects are symbols of the future related to a new political community.

Heroic Memories:the inscription of power and gender into social memory through virakals

Malavika Binny, Jawaharlal Nehru University (jesus_sets_u_free@yahoo.co.in)

This paper seeks to explore the complex intersticing of power, memory and gender through an analysis of the virakals (hero-stones) which are found along the western coast of India and also in Tamil Nadu. . It will be argued that the hero stones were not merely sepulchral in character, but were nodes in a larger network of ritual and societal practices using literary evidence as well as ethno-archaeological and historical evidence.

Composing the memory: N T Rama Rao and Performing Identity

Santhosh Kumar Sakhinala (santusakhi@gmail.com)

Focusing on the statues installed by the founder of Telugu Desam Party N T Rama Rao in Hyderabad, this paper engages with how memory and past is configured in the present, for the contemporary politics, through monuments and particularly statues.

'It's not my story to tell': violence, memory and story-telling in Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique

Ana Margarida Sousa Santos, Durham University (ana.santos@durham.ac.uk)

This paper explores memories and counter-memories of the liberation struggle (1964-1974) in northern Mozambique, and the ways in which these are brought to the forefront at times of political and social tension.

(Un)witnessing the Event: Testimony as Poesis

Debaditya Bhattacharya, Jawaharlal Nehru University (devbhatt01@gmail.com)

Taking the Holocaust as a symptom-event of traumatic-testimony, this paper seeks to explore ways in which the witness-account can no longer be considered an act of mimetic historiography but of active poesis.


Ethnic by design: creative agency, aesthetics, and community in the global marketplace

Nicolette Makovicky, University of Oxford (nicolette.makovicky@area.ox.ac.uk)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: SIS Appadurai Committee Room

This panel invites scholars to reflect critically on the growing interface between 'ethnic' arts and design, and its place in the geopolitics of the global marketplace.

Discussants: Prof Marcus Banks

Worldmaking in an ethnic corner: designing a distinctively Malay space

Ivan Kwek, National University of Singapore (ivankwek@nus.edu.sg)

This paper explores the politics and poetics of designing a public space with a 'distinctive cultural identity'. This space is to be a civic centre that 'reflects' the Malay community in Singapore, to be used for Malay arts, heritage, performances, businesses and events.

"Tie and Dye" - Production, Consumption and Circulation of Sungudi Textiles

Kala Shreen, Centre for Creativity Heritage and Development (kalaroja@gmail.com)

This paper critically analyzes the "Sungudi" project of World Crafts Council in the context of the dynamics of production, consumption and circulation of the ethnic crafts of Tamilnadu.


(Dis-)Locating the political: the aesthetics of self-making in postcolonial India

Uday Chandra, Georgetown University, Qatar (udaychandra84@gmail.com)
Atreyee Majumder, Yale University (atreyee.majumder@yale.edu)

4th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Sankskrit Conference Room

How do we negotiate competing representations of the political vis-a-vis the everyday practices of postcolonial self-making?

Chairs: Devika Bordia

Discussants: Lawrence Liang

Being Human in Howrah: Life of Voluntarism on the Peri-urban

Atreyee Majumder, Yale University (atreyee.majumder@yale.edu)

This paper narrates the life of voluntarism of the citizens of a small town Howrah, in eastern India, where engagement with politics is co-terminous with participation in the arts, philanthropy and various community activities.

Bad Atmosphere? Negotiating politics, personhood and place in a low-income Delhi neighbourhood.

Cressida Jervis Read, University of Oxford (cressida.jervisread@wuhmo.ox.ac.uk)

A 'resettlement colony' (slum clearance neighbourhood) is a site suffused with politics. This paper examines the politics and 'non-politics' of personhood and place through the everyday spatial practices of residents, as they have rebuilt their lives in a Delhi neighbourhood settled 35 years ago.

The Ethics of Duty: Visions of Community and Political Action in Rajasthan

Devika Bordia, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (devikabordia@gmail.com)

This paper examines how a Gandhian ethics of duty and conceptions of a non-centralized polity governed by panchayats inform the styles, sensibilities and dispositions of political leaders in the tribal regions of Southern Rajasthan.

The making of the 'self' in the conflicted border zones: a study of the enclave zones of Bengal

Sanghita Datta, Jawaharlal Nehru University (sanghitadatta@gmail.com)

How do people living on the disputed margins of the Bengal borderland negotiate with their ‘self’?

Remnants of Revolution: Naxalbari Movement, Revolutionary Subjectivity and the Cultural Legacies of Middle-Classes in Bengal

Samrat Sengupta, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (samrat19802003@yahoo.co.in)

In this paper I would talk about the very notion of the ethics of resistance looking into the construction and conceptualization of a revolutionary subjectivity in cultural representation of Naxalbari Movement in Bengal which I would illustrate through a few examples of some cultural productions of the contemporary period.

Negotiating the class subject: Marxist-Leninist politics and the iconization of the rural poor in Bihar

Nicolas Jaoul, CNRS (jaoul.nicolas@gmail.com)

to follow

Revolutions within revolutions: women in extreme left movements

Lipika Kamra, Georgetown University Qatar (lipikakamra@gmail.com)

This paper examines the ethics and aesthetics of self-making among female insurgents in the Naxalite and Maoist movements, and its dialogic relationship with elite and popular representations of these extreme left movements in postcolonial India.

Beyond Subalternity: The Political Aesthetics and Ethics of Adivasi Resistance in Contemporary Jharkhand

Uday Chandra, Georgetown University, Qatar (udaychandra84@gmail.com)

This paper probes into the tropes and strategies by which the modes, mechanisms, and meanings of modern state power have been reworked and resisted in two apparently opposed moments of resistance: the "peaceful" Koel-Karo anti-dam movement of the 1980s and the ongoing "violent" Maoist movement.


Aestheticisation: artefacts and emotions in diasporic contexts

Anne Sigfrid Grønseth, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer (anne.gronseth@inn.no)
Maruska Svasek, Queen's University Belfast (m.svasek@qub.ac.uk)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Class Room No.104, First Floor, SSS-II

This panel calls for papers that explore how migrants and their offspring value objects and images through intensified affective, multi-sensorial engagement and hypercognition. Taking a view that forms and imageries are experienced in themselves, we explore how aestheticisation shapes life itself.

Discussants: Amit Desai

A hope for change: Ritual artefacts as agents of transgression

Anne Sigfrid Grønseth, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Lillehammer (anne.gronseth@inn.no)

This paper explores how Tamil refugees and their offspring engage with Tamil ritual objects and imagery in Norway. It addresses the ways in which objects in diaspora can take on new and shifting values and meanings that create new senses of identity, expressing and generating hopes for the future.

Refraining and Longing: Ambiguous Relationships to Kolam in the Tamil Diaspora

Anna Laine, Swedish National Heritage Board (anna.s.laine@icloud.com)

This paper explores how the kolam practice, a central phenomenon of popular visual culture among Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, mediates identity and belonging within the Tamil diaspora in the UK. It discusses aesthetic effects in the homelands and their transformations in diasporic existence.

Aestheticisation and Improvisation: Encountering 'Absence' in Indian Diasporic Settings

Maruska Svasek, Queen's University Belfast (m.svasek@qub.ac.uk)

The paper will use the concepts of improvisation and aestheticisation to explore how Northern Irish Indian families mediate relationships with absent people, places and the Divine.

Threads of Diasporic Attachment and Ambivalence - Visibly Muslim dress in Britain

Emma Tarlo, Goldsmiths (E.Tarlo@gold.ac.uk)

This paper explores the role of cloth and clothes as retainers and expressions of ambivalence and attachment in the case of visibly Muslim women in Britain who trace diasporic relationships both to their countries of origin and to the imagined community of the global Islamic uma.

Aestheticisation of artefacts in the lives of western lifestyle migrant children in Goa, India

Mari Korpela, University of Tampere (mari.korpela@uta.fi)

The paper discusses how certain artefacts become aestheticised in the mobile lives of lifestyle migrant children in Goa. Toys and clothes gain particular meanings when they travel back and forth between India and the West and children have vital affective, bodily and sensory engagements with them.


Cosmopolitanism, politics, and the (performing) arts

Georgiana Gore, University of Clermont Auvergne (georgiana.wierre-gore@uca.fr)
Andree Grau, University of Roehampton (none)

4th April 2012, 15:00

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Auditorium

This panel explores aesthetic cosmopolitanism. It questions whether intercultural appreciation and circulation of artistic practice are the product of western hegemonic canons (perspective, the proscenium stage, disciplinary bodily techniques...) and their rapid spread through globalisation.

Flash mob dance: Embodied cosmopolitanism in the age of digital communication networking

Georgiana Gore, University of Clermont Auvergne (georgiana.wierre-gore@uca.fr)

In this paper, I shall explore, through mainly online ethnography, how flash mob dancing constitutes a form of embodied cosmopolitanism since performance enables participants to be involved in a singular event and simultaneously to connect to the global through online broadcasting on You Tube and identification with an international genre.

The popular meets the classical: New cosmopolitanism in Hip-hop's dialogue with Kathak

Stacey Prickett, University of Roehampton (s.prickett@roehampton.ac.uk)

New conceptualisations of cosmopolitanism are explored in Kathakbox by Birmingham’s Sonia Sabri Company, moving beyond a performative ‘otherness’ through use of popular (hip-hop) and classical (kathak) dance styles to challenge hegemonic representations of race, religion and nationality.

Cosmopolitanism and hegemony: the forging of new tastes in India

Kalpana Ram, Macquarie University (kalpana.ram@mq.edu.au)

This paper seeks to argue for a version of caste and class formation which is consonant with cosmopolitanism.

Mrinali Sarabhai, nationalism, and cosmopolitan aesthetic

Andree Grau, University of Roehampton (none)

The paper examines the artistic cosmopolitanism of dancer-choreographer Mrinalini Sarabhai and her engagement with social movements in India prior to and after independence. It shows how with her husband the scientist Vikram Sarabhai they promoted a new India marrying modernity and tradition.


Interdisciplinary approaches to wellbeing and anthropological perspectives

Sarah White, University of Bath (S.C.White@bath.ac.uk)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSLG Conference Room

The panel will discuss how wellbeing is understood in different cultural and community contexts and suggest how this may challenge universalist approaches. It will consider the contribution of anthropology to cross- and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Wellbeing in India: Should Anthropologists Be Part of the Debate?

Sarah White, University of Bath (S.C.White@bath.ac.uk)
Shreya Jha, University of Bath (s.jha@bath.ac.uk)

This paper argues that anthropologists should engage with the burgeoning debates on wellbeing. It uses mixed method research in Adivasi villages in India to describe how universalist approaches to wellbeing are challenged by local ways of understanding and narrating the self.

Inventing boundary of wellbeing and development:a response to Integrating Action Plan for the Naxal affected tribal districts in India

Govinda Chandra Rath, G.B.Pant Social science Institute, Allahabad (govindarath@yahoo.com)

The concept of wellbing is very much close to Escoberian view on anthropology of development, which deconstructs the centralizing planning process. Individual choice is gaining ground in its place. the Integrated Action Plan, which the Government of India has recently introduced to check the Naxal radicalism needs to be modeled with such perspectives.

Belief systems: Forgotten Component in well being

Mahima Nayar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (mahimanayar@gmail.com)

Explanations of well-being either come from individual approaches or are related to the social structures. Religious or spiritual beliefs are often left out; this paper emphasizes the importance of these beliefs in determining the well being of women living in a slum community in Delhi, India.

On the "logico-poetics" of Francis Zimmerman

Roshni Babu, IIT (roshnib1@rediffmail.com)

This paper analyses how Francis Zimmerman invalidates the concept/precept binary, in the context of its consequences for the definition of wellbeing and illness, and philosophy as a system of thought.

Wellbeing in polluted conditions: anthropology in an industrialised Chinese village

Anna Lora-Wainwright, University of Oxford (anna.lora-wainwright@ouce.ox.ac.uk)

What is wellbeing for those who live with the constant threat of industrial pollution? Drawing from anthropological research in an industrialised Chinese village, I trace the rise of subjects for whom industry is as much part of wellbeing as it is an obstacle to it, against universalist definitions.

The aesthetics of rural life or manifestations of wellbeing in Latvia's small-holder economies.

Agnese Cimdina, University of Latvia (agnese.cimdina@lu.lv)

The aim of this paper is to examine manifestations of wellbeing in the lives of Latvian farmers under the conditions of growing economic recession and disquiet in Latvia’s rural areas. It also aims to challenge the understanding of economic activity as based on economic efficiency.

'Belonging to one's place' as condition of a good life: understandings of well-being in rural Latvia

Ieva Raubisko, University of Latvia (ieva.raubisko@gmail.com)

The proposed paper discusses how the concept of well-being is applied in the research project on changing development strategies and cultural spaces of Latvia’s rural inhabitants,* focusing on the ideas of ‘belonging to one’s place’ as an important aspect of well-being among rural people.

*This paper complements the presentation proposed for this panel by Agnese Cimdina, another researcher of the mentioned EU-funded interdisciplinary project.


Aesthetics of healing and the body in a globalising world

Alison Macdonald, UCL (alison.macdonald@ucl.ac.uk)
Serena Bindi, Sorbonne University, Paris Descartes (bindiserena@hotmail.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 002, SAA-II

How do the aesthetic dimensions of different healing systems intersect and/or relate to the aesthetics of embodied experiences of health and illness? We seek to explore how aesthetics associated with different healing treatments contribute to the healing process as well as consider how certain aesthetics of the body might also intersect with these wider systems of healing including biomedical 'technologies'.

Chairs: James Staples

Aesthetics, Healing and Embodied Experience in Dehradun: a comparative approach to healing and aesthetics in a north Indian urban context.

Serena Bindi, Sorbonne University, Paris Descartes (bindiserena@hotmail.com)

This contribution adopts a comparative approach to healing and aesthetics in different healing systemsin Dehradun (Uttarakhand). The aim of this paper is to explore the complex ways in which ritual healing and biomedicine in two different settings engage the senses and aesthetics of the patient and its family in order to affect their embodied experience.

Understanding the notion of social body: A critical study of scientific medicine and religious healing in Mizoram

Lalhmangaihi Chhakchhuak, University of Hyderabad (hmangaihchk@gmail.com)

The concept “body” of the indigenous tribe in Mizoram, North East India eventually acknowledges a new dimension with the entry of western rule and Christian missionaries. The eradication of traditional ritual healing, introduction of scientific medicine and Christian divine healing by western culture in Mizoram will be discussed in this paper.

"Seeing as surviving": the aesthetics of visibility in experiencing breast cancer in Mumbai, India.

Alison Macdonald, UCL (alison.macdonald@ucl.ac.uk)

This paper considers the ambiguities of the 'aesthetics' of visibility in breast cancer in Mumbai, exploring how patient's and their families pragmatically manage cancer's "visibility", whilst simultaneously locating hope in the very act of 'seeing' other survivors.

Scepticism as healing art

Helen Macdonald, University of Cape Town (helen.macdonald@uct.ac.za)

Drawing on Taussig (2003) this paper argues that a self-conscious performativity is an expected part of local healing practices in Chhattisgarh. Techniques often rely on the aesthetics of sight and touch, thereby provoking skeptical responses. This paper calls for an analysis of the sceptical style that allows for the immersion of modernist criticisms of healers, healing systems and interventionist strategies.

The arts and aesthetics of popular healing among the Santals of rural West Bengal, India

Kamminthang Mantuong, Jawaharlal Nehru University (kamminthang@gmail.com)

This paper examines the aesthetics of popular healing as performed by the Deyashis of Santal 'tribal' village.

Rwanda: Healing and the aesthetic of poetry

Andrea Grieder, University of Zurich & EHESS Paris (andrea.grieder@uzh.ch)

My presentation explores the aesthetic of poetic writing/speaking in Rwanda as a way of dealing with Genocide destruction.


Traditional and modern art forms in protests and movements

Srinivas Gurram, Jawaharlal Nehru University (gsrinivas@mail.jnu.ac.in)

5th April 2012, 15:00

Room: Arts and Aesthetics Lecture Hall No. 003, SAA-II

This panel analyzes varied usages of traditional and modern art forms and community specific repertoirs, and or modern cultural symbols in contemporary social and political movements to understand the process and consequences of approapriation of such traditional art forms of marginal communities by social and political movements.

Who Were the 'People' in IPTA?: Revisiting the History of Marxist Cultural Movement in India

Binayak Bhattacharya, Amity University (binayak.eflu@gmail.com)

This paper tries to interrogate the historical tendency of the Marxist Cultural Movement in India, especially IPTA tradition in Bengal in 1940-50s to ideate the congenital contradiction between the middle class and the folk and traditional cultural practices within its organizational paradigm.

Jana Natya Mandali's Gaddarian Approach to Theatre and Performance: The Development of a Revolutionary Aesthetic

Brahma Prakash, Royal Holloway, University of London (brahma.prakash@hotmail.com)

The paper will attempt to understand why the performance of Gaddar and Jana Natya Mandali of Andhra Pradesh made thousands of people to join the movement and participate in armed struggle, a phenomenon which does not see a parallel in the history of theatre and cultural movements across the world?

Invoking Caste and Occupation in a Political Movement: The Case of Separate Telangana State Movement

Srinivas Gurram, Jawaharlal Nehru University (gsrinivas@mail.jnu.ac.in)

The present phase of Telangana movement has helped revive various art forms conventionally associated with castes and traditional occupations and display the same and it has been interpreted variedly as identity assertion; aspiration; backwardness, etc.

Rethinking Satyagraha in the context of Environmental movement in India: a Study of Kashipur block of Orissa

Iswar Chandra Naik, KIIT University (iswar.jnu@gmail.com)

The purpose of the this paper is to study the Gandhian way of non-violent environmental movement in India for protecting natural resources against big dams and mining industry and their major concerns about the land, water, and forests (Jal, Jamin, Jangal) and all the natural resources of the locality, which are the only sources of their livelihood. It examines poor people’s dependence on limited forest products and to what extent people are losing their basic rights on sources of traditional livelihood due to the process of industrialization and developmental projects.

Political socialization through graffiti

Krishnakali Majumdar, Ferris State University (kali@ferris.edu)
Roma Dey, Jawaharlal Nehru University (romadey83@gmail.com)

We propose to explore ethnographically how graffiti on college campuses around the cities of Kolkata and Delhi, India, make visible the spaces of hegemony and conflict. This paper asks how graffiti on college campuses socialize students to a particular political ideology.

Drawing, painting and writing resistance: texts of Eduardo Galeano and graffiti in JNU

Pathak Kumar Mangalam, Jawaharlal Nehru University (pkmangalam@gmail.com)

This paper dwells on two texts, graffiti in JNU and selected texts of Eduardo Galeano which use the graffiti form of narrative. Anecdotes, popular beliefs along with poetic and visual languages inform these texts. It attempts to understand possible overlapping between the two. This overlapping can be seen both in their forms and issues they highlight. Graffiti in JNU contain revealing phrases and slogans much like the texts of Galeano with both working to bring forth voices of differences and contestations unsettling fixed narratives of discourses of power.

Grassroot movements and mobilisation for protecting natural resources: some reflections from Rajasthan

Vikas Saharan, JNU (vikassaharan27@Gmail.com)

Successful conservation of natural resources with formation & strengthening of local-level institutions through a mobilisation & participatory approach in rural Rajasthan and multiplier effects in social mobilisation, women empowerment, good governance, community development and livelihood improvement has been witnessed at local level.


Weddings: identity and aesthetics in a globalising consumer world

Gabriele Shenar (gshenaruk@yahoo.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: CSSS Class Room No.103, First Floor, SSS-II

The panel explores identity as taste and imagery in relation to weddings as sites where individuals and groups reflect on aesthetic sensibilities which in significant ways are linked to differing conceptions of modernity and visuality or more broadly 'sensoriality'.

Chairs: Dr Tiplut Nongbri

Between the couple and the videographer: Ritual, identity and aesthetics in marriage videos in North Kerala, India

Janaki Abraham, University of Delhi (janaki.abraham@gmail.com)

In focusing on weddings and wedding videos in North Kerala, India, this paper explores the newness brought in with the presence of the photographer and videographer? How do wedding videos bring together the cultures of aesthetics of both the couple getting married and the videographer?

From Ballroom Dancing to the Ghoonghat: Indian Weddings and the Aesthetics of Negotiating Identities

Parul Bhandari, Centre de Sciences Humaines (bhandariparul@gmail.com)

From "youngster's night" to western dress codes for engagement ceremonies and "traditional" dress and music at weddings; the aesthetics of wedding celebrations in India are undergoing significant changes and in turn reflect on changing identities. The paper analyses these negotiations.

For Love's Sake? Sonic and visual aesthetics of weddings in contemporary Nepal

Christiane Brosius, Heidelberg University (brosius@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de)

This presentation explores Hindu wedding rituals in contemporary Nepal by analysing sonic and ethnographic data from marriage processions accompanied by wedding bands and by studying wedding photography and videography from the perspective of their producers.

Umabo in contemporary Kwazulu-Natal: art, grace and skill in performing a Zulu wedding

Antonadia Borges, University of Brasília (antonadia@uol.com.br)

Umabo is the closing ceremony of traditional Zulu weddings. Focusing on an Umabo performed for a living man by his late wife's relatives, the paper discusses how weddings become sites in which aesthetics, dispersion, social ties and cosmological location conflate into a mutually shared concern.

Identity and Aesthetics of Food Culture: The Dogra Weddings of Jammu, J & K (India)

Abha Chauhan, University of Jammu (abha1chauhan@yahoo.co.in)

Food builds the identity and culture of individuals, communities and nations that is best reflected during wedding occasions. This paper explores how the Dogras of Jammu region in northwest India maintain their identity in the changing globalised world through food culture at their weddings.

Re-scripting Ahom identity: The politics and aesthetics of Chaklong marriage

Mehzabeen Hussain, Jawaharlal Nehru University (mehzabeenhussain@gmail.com)

Chaklong is the traditional Ahom marriage ceremony. This paper focuses on the aesthetics and politics of performing Chaklong marriage rites as part of a wider process of revitalizing and asserting Ahom identity within contemporary Assamese society.

The aesthetics of weddings and the consumerist 'craze' among the Sumi tribe

Lovitoli Jimo, Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD) (lovitoli@aud.ac.in)

Since colonial times the Sumi tribe of Nagaland has been known for its lavish weddings. This paper looks at the different aspects of wedding practices, rituals and celebrations; the socio-cultural, economic and the political impact they have on the individual and Sumi society at large.


Aesthetics of ritual performance

Sumbul Farah, University of Delhi (sumbulfarah@gmail.com)

5th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Convention Centre Lecture Hall-II

Devotional practices are, of necessity, rooted in an aesthetic that draws upon a religious tradition to validate and legitimize itself. The explicit form of ritual performance makes manifest the aesthetic that informs it and renders it meaningful.

Aesthetics of devotion: Barelwi practice in the everyday

Sumbul Farah, University of Delhi (sumbulfarah@gmail.com)

Barelwi belief must be embodied, enacted and put forth in the form of explicit performance in everyday life. This practice draws on the aesthetics underlying Barelwiyat in order to express itself and in the process, reifies these aesthetics as Barelwi practice itself.

Art, agency and performativity: the aesthetics of Ashura processions in Hyderabad

Fiza Ishaq, Heidelberg University (ishaq@asia-europe.uni-heidelberg.de)

The paper will document and analyze the performance of rituals and the role of Karbala imagery in the context of ashura processions in Hyderabad.

Aesthetics and rhetoric in religious therapeutic agencying by a holy man in Bahia, Brazil

Fátima Tavares, Universidade Federal da Bahia (fattavares@ufba.br)
Carlos Caroso, Universidade Federal da Bahia (caroso@ufba.br)

This paper accounts for the presence of religious healing agencies and agents in the State of Bahia, Brazil, and explores how their reputation is constructed through agencying processes constituted by mediators from various religious and healing traditions.


Narratives of coping with marginalization: impact of state policies on natural resources and tribal lives

Eswarappa Kasi, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (kasie@igntu.ac.in)
Smita Yadav, University of Sussex (s.yadav@sussex.ac.uk)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: Convention Centre Lecture Hall-II

Narratives and the experiences of tribes for compensation, resettlement, and livelihoods reveal insurmountable neglect and ignorance of tribal lives and their constant marginalization.

Narratives of marginalization of dalit and tribal women in Bengal and Jharkhand: a study of the fictions of Anil Gharai

Indranil Acharya, Vidyasagar University (acharya.indranil@gmail.com)
Bibhas Chand, Raja N. L. Khan Women's College (bibhas_bankura07@rediffmail.com)

The fictional world of Anil Gharai speaks of the struggle for existence of the downtrodden dalit and tribal women. These women suffer tremendous ignominy in their attempt to protect nature and protest against the misconduct of the police and administration.Supreme courage in acute crisis is their hallmark.

Tribes after three displacements: a challenge to survival in Sonebhadra district Uttar Pradesh

Prema Tiwari, G B Pant Social Science Institue Allahabad (prematwr6@gmail.com)
Vinay Tiwari, G.B.Pant Social Science Institute Allahabad (vinaygbpi@gmail.com)

The development programme made the tribal people of Sonebhadra district of Uttar Pradesh displaced three times in a row. Adjustment becomes troubles some in the new resettled areas. The paper will highlight the details of this adjustment process.

Governing the conflicted commons: Democracy in the Indian tribal belt

Siddharth Sareen, University of Copenhagen (sid@ifro.ku.dk)

How can democracy be inclusive of concerns of indigenes and the environment in resource-rich but poverty-stricken central eastern India? Impacts of resource expropriation and processes of exclusion on tribes, and institutional changes required for democratic resource governance, are addressed.

Natural resources versus tribal lives: State policies and their impact

Vincent Ekka, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (vincentekka@gmail.com)

The natural resources meant for progress and development of a nation and people have proved to be a curse for tribal lives regulated by the defective policies of the states. In the name of development and national interest the tribals suffer from untold misery of marginalization, displacement and thereby become victims of the lack of political will power, lack of compensation and settlement.


Art workshops for children with autism

Arun Mehta (arun.mehta@gmail.com)
Manasi Dash, Bidirectional Access Promotion Society (manasidash4@gmail.com)

6th April 2012, 08:30

Room: SIS Appadurai Committee Room

Most of us associate art with stress reduction and individual interest. But, for children with intellectual challenges, art could be a method to learn social skills, communicate, develop speech, language, integration of senses, locomotor coordination and a way to respectable place in the society.

Art therapy and autism

Shaloo Sharma, Pallavanjali (shaloovision@gmail.com)

When working with persons with ASD , Art Therapy and its entire process – the art materials, the therapeutic relationship between the student and mediator and the end product, can provide a visual, concrete format which develops abstract thinking skills, expresses creativity, increases flexibility, helps develop social-relationships and provide a novel way or sensory integration therapy.

Reading Poetry: Suzuki Method for Autistic Children

Arpeata Sharma, English and Foreign Language University (arpeata_sharma@yahoo.co.in)

Audio-visual attracts the child. Repetition helps a child to memorize. Rhythm makes the reading enjoyable. The combination of these three for a young autistic child helps him to learn poetry effectively. Suzuki method is about maximum exposure of a child to the area of learning.

Online Singing Training for Persons with Autism and their Caregivers

Arun Mehta (arun.mehta@gmail.com)

Internet telephony lets music instructors offer their services internationally. This is particularly useful for persons with autism, who find it difficult to travel and take time getting accustomed to new locations. This paper discusses the benefits of this approach for them.

One sense at a time workshops for children with Autism

Manasi Dash, Bidirectional Access Promotion Society (manasidash4@gmail.com)
Arun Mehta (arun.mehta@gmail.com)

Children find it harder to learn when multiple senses are involved. For persons with communication or social challenges, this is a bigger problem. One sense at a time approach, focuses on technologies and tools related to one sense at a time to reduce sensory overload.

Drama for Autism

Ramamoorthi Parasuram, MKUniversity (parasuram.ramamoorthi@gmail.com)

Drama can be of help in three areas of concern for Autism.

1. Improve the eye contact and personal bonding.

2. Social Skills by group work and peer interaction.

3. Communication skills by soundscape method.


Vernacular perspectives on arts and aesthetics

Sanjukta Sunderason, Leiden University (sanjukta.sunderason@gmail.com)

4th April 2012, 15:00

Room: CSLG Conference Room

A new panel

Making 'un-reformed': family, gender and class in Islamic charity images in South India

Manaf KK, Jawaharlal Nehru University (manafthechy@gmail.com)

This paper will look at the charity photographs that appear in the vernacular newspapers in Kerala. Black & White Images of Mappila Muslim families seeking help appears mainly in those news paper run by Muslim organizations. It can be seen that the representational modes of charity images throughout the globe travel to local newspapers. These photographs mediate between the realm of art, and family photographs. These images help us to understand the ways in which Muslims of Kerala demarcate their distinct identities vis-a-vis Islamic practices and debates on ‘correct’ Islamic practices in their daily life since Muslims in Kerala divide themselves into various religious sects. They also divide them as ‘traditionalists’ and ‘reformers’. The photographs of charity can be used as a prism to locate the ways in which charity images create distinct identities for the giver and the receiver of charity; they inform the normative form of family, and gendering; and they also converse with the family photographs, journalistic photographs and Mappila Muslim women’s art works.

The Good Man of Shanxi : the post socialist aesthetics of Jia Zhangke

Ishita Tiwary, Jawaharlal Nehru University (ishtiwary26888@gmail.com)

This paper will examine the ethics and aesthetics of documentation and memory in Postsocialist China through the works of the film maker Jia Zhangke.

The Socialist vision and the photographic eye in the 1940s

Sonam Joshi (sonam.joshi7@gmail.com)

The paper looks at the intersection of of politics and aesthetics in colonial India during the 1940s through a close reading of the photographs which were published in the newspapers of the Communist Party of India (CPI). Taking a historical approach, it argues that the images of the time were framed and presented through several visual tropes that drew from a international socialist aesthetic. It will also suggest that as photography became a significant part of the political debates within the public sphere, there were several tensions generated in the use of photography – as a visual language to convey political messages.

Contesting Frames: Locational Ideologies and a National-Modern Aesthetic in India, 1940s-50s

Sanjukta Sunderason, Leiden University (sanjukta.sunderason@gmail.com)

My paper studies the tensions between partisan and secular art discourse in India during political transition from the mass politics of the 1940s to the ‘Nehruvian Consensus’ of the 1950s, while probing the new nation-state’s articulation of a de-radicalised ‘national-popular’ aesthetic.


Plenary 1


4th April 2012, 11:00

Room: Convention Centre Auditorium I

The first plenary

Art Under Siege: Perils and Possibilities of Aesthetic Forms in a Globalizing World

Patricia Spyer, Leiden University (spyer@fsw.leidenuniv.nl)

This paper explores two instances of the fate of images in war, foregrounding the relationship between aesthetic transformation and sociopolitical change, the conditions under which images move, and the play of absence and presence in art under siege.

Art History and Its Discontents in Global Times

Parul Dave Mukherji, School of Arts and Aesthetics (parul.dm@hotmail.com)

What becomes of nationalist art histories when the world shrinks into a planet? The talk will explore the disciplinary crisis in the study of Indian art brought on by globalization and examine the anthropological turn that led to the formation of the discipline of visual studies in its wake.

Revisiting the post-colonial in the work of three contemporary women artists

Gayatri Sinha (gayatrisinha@gmail.com)

Gayatri Spivak’s seminal text Can the Subaltern Speak with its reflections on Sati and structures of power appeared in 1984. Since then, the post-colonial imprint has encountered and mingled with other traces, and trajectories, including gendered subjectivity and representation. This paper examines leading post colonial identity issues in the work of three women contemporary artists, within the frame of nation, body/gender and environment.

The artistic imagination in ruptured landscapes

Jyoti Sahi (jyoti.inscape@gmail.com)

Folk art has influenced modern Indian art. Modernity is global, but folk art is rooted in local culture. The elemental, links folk art to modern aesthetics. The ecological significance of tribal art gains a new currency in modern art. Connecting modern with primal art affirms the universal in art.


Plenary 2


5th April 2012, 11:00

Room: Convention Centre Auditorium I

The second plenary.

"Gandhi, Camera, Action! Anna Hazare and the 'media fold' in twenty-first century India"

Christopher Pinney, University College, London (c.pinney@ucl.ac.uk)

The paper explores the visual image of the contemporary Indian anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare as a “second Gandhi’. This idiom of iteration powerfully demonstrates the continuing vitality of figures associated with anti-colonial nationalism, not simply as empty points of visual reference but as forces that continue to animate the political landscape and the repertoire of political possibilities in India. The idea of the ‘media-fold’ attempts to explicate the layering and bricolage which characterizes much popular Indian visual culture and whose logic seems to demand that the future is always half-seen-in-advance

Retro Bombay in contemporary cinema

Ranjani Mazumdar, Jawaharlal Nehru University (ranjani.mazumdar@gmail.com)

This paper looks at a series of recent films where Bombay has been re-created as a retro city. Through an engagement with these urban ‘sets’ created by production and costume designers, the paper will explore the cultural, material and historical transactions involved in the designing of India’s best known city before the advent of globalization.

The paradox of international laws on protecting and preserving heritage

Naman Ahuja, Jawaharlal Nehru University (namanahuja@gmail.com)

There is much debate in different quarters of governments, museums, art-dealers and academia on rethinking the laws that govern the circulation of art. This paper outlines the larger social and aesthetic implications of the present laws.

Beyond denial - the ethnographic film-maker as author

Paul Henley, University of Manchester (paul.henley@manchester.ac.uk)

In the history of ethnographic film, there has been an enduring tendency to deny authorship, though for a broad variety of reasons. This presentation will trace this history before discussing the modes of authorship appropriate to contemporary ethnographic film-making practice.


Plenary 3


6th April 2012, 11:00

Room: Convention Centre Auditorium I

The third plenary,

Aesthetics and Contexts. Visual Cultures of the Muslim World

Juergen Wasim Frembgen, Munich State Museum of Ethnology (juergen.frembgen@mfv.bayern.de)

Examining the aesthetics and contexts of Muslim visual cultures in their multiplicity of perceptions, complexity and fundamental equality I call for a more inclusive understanding of their different genres. Drawing on aesthetic anthropology I argue that in various contexts objects engage multiple senses simultaneously.

The local in the times of the global: interventions of an ethnomusicology archive

Shubha Chaudhuri, American Institute of Indian Studies (shubhac@yahoo.com)

This paper will present cultural and methodological questions that arise out of a project of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology entitled Archives and Community Partnership carried out in Western Rajasthan and Goa. It will examine the attempt at evolving the archival space from academic use to focus on practitioners and tradition bearers.

The aesthetics of diaspora: sensuous milieus and literary worlds

Pnina Werbner, Keele University (p.werbner@keele.ac.uk)

to The affective power of transnational aesthetics, of the milieus imported and actively (re)created in exile through oratory, objects, foods, music, dance and drama, derives in this view not merely from a nostalgic desire to recapitulate or replicate a lost ambience. It emerges from dialogical forging, in the here and now, of shared canons of taste among diasporic producers and consumers who collectively define what makes for social distinction, who claim ownership over spaces and places, and who together recreate the pleasure of joint celebration and worship.

Art and waste management

Shiv Visvanathan, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Communication and Technology, Gandhinagar (khushboo.daiict@gmail.com)

to follow