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Latest episodes from New Books in South Asian Studies

Peter J. Kalliney, "The Aesthetic Cold War: Decolonization and Global Literature" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2022 52:46


How did superpower competition and the cold war affect writers in the decolonizing world? In The Aesthetic Cold War: Decolonization and Global Literature (Princeton UP, 2022), Peter Kalliney explores the various ways that rival states used cultural diplomacy and the political police to influence writers. In response, many writers from Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean—such as Chinua Achebe, Mulk Raj Anand, Eileen Chang, C.L.R. James, Alex La Guma, Doris Lessing, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and Wole Soyinka—carved out a vibrant conceptual space of aesthetic nonalignment, imagining a different and freer future for their work. Kalliney looks at how the United States and the Soviet Union, in an effort to court writers, funded international conferences, arts centers, book and magazine publishing, literary prizes, and radio programming. International spy networks, however, subjected these same writers to surveillance and intimidation by tracking their movements, tapping their phones, reading their mail, and censoring or banning their work. Writers from the global south also suffered travel restrictions, deportations, imprisonment, and even death at the hands of government agents. Although conventional wisdom suggests that cold war pressures stunted the development of postcolonial literature, Kalliney's extensive archival research shows that evenly balanced superpower competition allowed savvy writers to accept patronage without pledging loyalty to specific political blocs. Likewise, writers exploited rivalries and the emerging discourse of human rights to contest the attentions of the political police. A revisionist account of superpower involvement in literature, The Aesthetic Cold War considers how politics shaped literary production in the twentieth century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Neilesh Bose, "India After World History: Literature, Comparison, and Approaches to Globalization" (Leiden UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2022 38:48


In the twenty-first century, terms such as globalization, global, and world function as key words at the cusp of new frontiers in both historical writing and literary criticism. Practitioners of these disciplines may appear to be long time intimate lovers when seen from pre and early modern time periods, only to divorce with the coming of Anglophone world history in the twenty-first century. In recent years, works such as Martin Puchner's The Written World, Maya Jasanoff's The Dawn Watch, or the three novels that encompass Amitav Ghosh's Ibis Trilogy, have rekindled a variant of history and literature's embrace in a global register.  Neilesh Bose's India After World History: Literature, Comparison, and Approaches to Globalization (Leiden UP, 2022) probes recent scholarship concerning reflections on global history and world literature in the wake of these developments, with a primary focus on India as a site of extensive theoretical and empirical advances in both disciplinary locations. Inclusive of reflections on the meeting points of these disciplines as well as original research in areas such as Neo-Platonism in world history, histories of violence, and literary histories exploring indentured labor and capitalist transformation, the book offers reflections on conceptual advances in the study of globalization by placing global history and world literature in conversation. Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Amber Sinha, "The Networked Public: How Social Media is Changing Democracy" (Rupa Publications, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 54:26


Amber Sinha works at the intersection law, technology and society, and studies the impact of digital technologies on socio-political processes and structures. His research aims to further the discourse on regulatory practices around internet, technology, and society. He is currently a Senior Fellow-Trustworthy AI at Mozilla Foundation studying models for algorithmic transparency. Networks, whether in the form of Facebook and Twitter or WhatsApp groups, are exerting immense, unchecked power in subverting political discourse and polarizing the public in India. If people's understandings of their political reality can be so easily manipulated through misinformation, then what role can they play in fostering deliberative democracies? Amber Sinha asks this much ignored and often-misunderstood question in his book The Networked Public: How Social Media is Changing Democracy (Rupa Publications, 2019). In search for an answer, he investigates the history of misinformation and the biases that make the public susceptible to it, how digital platforms and their governance impacts the public's behaviour on them, as well as the changing face of political targeting in this data-driven world.  The book weaves sharp analysis with academic rigour to show that while the public can be irrational and gullible, their actions—be it mob violence or spreading fake news—are symptoms of deeper social malaise and products of their technological contexts.The Networked Public is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how social media and the Internet is transforming democracy not only in India, but across the world. Alok Prasanna Kumar is Co-Founder and Lead, Vidhi Karnataka. Sarayu Natarajan is the Founder of Aapti Institute. In the past, she has worked in management consulting and the venture fund industry before the plunge into researching politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Rohan J. Alva, "Liberty After Freedom: A History of Article 21, Due Process and the Constitution of India" (Harper Collins, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 58:00


Rohan J. Alva is a counsel practicing in the Supreme Court of India. He earned his LLM from Harvard Law School, where he focused on constitutional law, which he read for on numerous scholarships including as a Tata Scholar and on a Harvard Law School Scholarship. Prior to starting his counsel practice, he was a professor at Jindal Global Law School, where he was awarded the Excellence in Research Award. He has also been Visiting Faculty at NLSIU, Bengaluru. His writings have been published in internationally respected journals including Statute Law Review (Oxford University Press), and Hong Kong Law Journal. Alva's first book Liberty After Freedom: A History of Article 21, Due Process and the Constitution of India (HarperCollins India, 2022) explores the origins of what is today considered the most important fundamental right in the Indian Constitution - the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by Article 21. This is the article which in recent years made the right to privacy as well as the decriminalization of homosexuality possible. Without a doubt, Article 21 has had the most outsized influence on the progressive development of rights in India. But the story of how this important right was birthed is deeply controversial and its passage in the Constituent Assembly divided opinion like no other feature of the Constitution. Liberty After Freedom explores the intellectual beginnings of this paramount fundamental right in an attempt to decode and unravel the controversies which raged at the time the Constitution was being crafted. Written in lucid prose and drawing extensively on the Constituent Assembly debates as well as a wide array of scholarly literature, it questions long-held beliefs and sheds new and important light on the fraught history of due process and Article 21. It is an indispensable book for the legal community and for everyone interested in the genesis of the Constitution. Alok Prasanna Kumar is Co-Founder and Lead, Vidhi Karnataka. Sarayu Natarajan is the Founder of Aapti Institute. In the past, she has worked in management consulting and the venture fund industry before the plunge into researching politics. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Manuela Ciotti, "Retro-modern India: Forging the Low Caste Self" (Routledge, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 64:17


Manuela Ciotti's Retro-modern India: Forging the Low Caste Self (Routledge, 2020) is interesting engagement with Chamar identity and understanding it through the lens of modernity. Through a rich ethnographic engagement the book has looked into what Modernity meant for Chamar community and also the dialectical relationship such identity formation had with the discourse of Modernity.  Kalyani Kalyani is a sociologist and currently teaches at School of Arts and Sciences in Azim Premji University at Bengaluru. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Transcendence and Sustainability: Asian Visions with Global Promise

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 16, 2022 27:37


Can spiritually and religiously inspired environmental movements in Asia help reach the global goal of environmental sustainability? This question lies at the heart of the research project “Transcendence and Sustainability: Asian Visions with Global Promise” that we focus on in this episode. Also known as TRANSSUSTAIN, the project builds on the observation that scholars, activists, and even politicians in many Asian countries have found inspiration in traditional knowledge and in the premodern texts and practices of, for instance, Daoist, Buddhist, Hindu, and Confucian traditions to envision more ecologically sustainable futures. Exploring the mobilization and recalibration of such traditional Asian religio-philosophical ideas in response to the global environmental crisis, the project seeks to assess the potential of Asian environmental movements for helping us build sustainable global futures. Mette Halskov Hansen is professor of China Studies at the University of Oslo. Amita Baviskar is professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology and Anthropology at Ashoka University. Lu Chen is a Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Oslo. Kenneth Bo Nielsen is an Associate Professor at the dept. of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and one of the leaders of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Michael S. Allen, "The Ocean of Inquiry: Niscaldas and the Premodern Origins of Modern Hinduism" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 64:38


Michael S. Allen's book The Ocean of Inquiry: Niscaldas and the Premodern Origins of Modern Hinduism (Oxford UP, 2022) focuses on a single remarkable work and its place within that history: "The Ocean of Inquiry," a vernacular compendium of Advaita Vedåanta by the North Indian monk Niâscaldåas (ca. 1791 - 1863). Though not well known today, Niâscaldåas's work was once referred to by Vivekananda (himself a key figure in the shaping of modern Hinduism) as the most influential book in India. The present book situates "The Ocean of Inquiry" as a representative of both a neglected genre (vernacular Vedåanta) and a neglected period (ca. 17th-19th centuries) in the history of Indian philosophy. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Manoj Joshi, "Understanding the India-China Border: The Enduring Threat of War in High Himalaya" (Hurst, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2022 37:48


On June 16 2020, Indian and Chinese forces clashed high in the Himalayan mountains in Aksai Chin. Beijing and New Delhi both claim control over this remote region in a territorial dispute dating back decades. Sources differ on how many soldiers died in the skirmish, fought with fists and clubs rather than guns, with the potential dead ranging into the dozens. Looking back two years later, Galwan marked a clear turning point in relations between the two Asian countries, with India now taking a much harsher line towards China, joining the U.S., Australia and Japan in the so-called Quad Alliance, banning Chinese-affiliated apps like Alibaba and TikTok. Why has the border between China and India been disputed for so long? And what made the bloody clash at Galwan a watershed for New Delhi? Manoj Joshi in Understanding the India-China Border: The Enduring Threat of War in High Himalaya (Hurst: 2022) explains where this dispute came from, how it sometimes sparked war, and the many failed attempts to find a negotiated solution. Manoj Joshi is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation. He has been a journalist specializing on national and international politics and is a commentator and columnist on these issues. As a reporter, he has written extensively on issues relating to Siachen, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka and terrorism in Kashmir and Punjab. Today, Manoj and I talk about the border dispute, where it came from, and why both countries have been unable to reach a negotiated solution. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Understanding the India-China Border. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

R. B. More and Satyendra More, "Memoirs of a Dalit Communist: The Many Worlds of R.B. More" (Leftword Books, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 88:19


R.B. More (1903–1972) was a leader in Babasaheb Ambedkar's movement, a trade unionist and a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). More's life, narrated in his words and those of his son Satyendra More, illuminates the conflict between the promise of Marxist emancipation and the hard reality of the hierarchies of caste. His radicalism challenged both the limits of the politics of caste and the politics of the Left; his was a politics that frontally challenged the rigidities of the caste system and of the class structure. Memoirs of a Dalit Communist: The Many Worlds of R.B. More (Leftword Books, 2020), written in Marathi, is here published for the first time in English. This is a rare work that brings together family history, political thought, and the social experience of urban workers whose lives are intertwined with the city they built, Bombay. Wandana Sonalkar taught economics with a focus on feminism, caste, and development at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University in Aurangabad and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Bombay. She retired in 2017. Since then, she has been working as an independent researcher, writer ,and translator. Apart from the text that we are discussing today, she has also translated, We Also Made History which examines the role of women in the Ambedkar movement. Her other recent publication is a first-person narrative titled Why I am not a Hindu Woman: A Personal Story. At present, she is a member of the Executive Council of the Indian Association for Women's Studies (IAWS) and working as Editor of the association's newsletter. (118) Anupama Rao teaches history at Barnard College and at the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University, New York. She has a wide range of research and teaching interests—gender and sexuality studies, caste and race, historical anthropology, social theory, comparative urbanism, and human rights. In 2009, she published The Caste Question: Dalits and the Politics of Modern India. Currently, she is working on a book about the political thought of Indian social reformer and political leader B. R. Ambedkar, titled Ambedkar in America, as well as a project on Dalit Bombay, which explores the relationship between caste, political culture, and everyday life in colonial and postcolonial Bombay. She is the editor of Memoirs of A Dalit Communist which we are discussing today. Sanjukta Poddar is a postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity at the University of Chicago. Her research explores the intersection of race and caste, urban history, and print cultures of South Asia. She is also a research fellow for NPR's Peabody-award winning history podcast, Throughline for Autumn 2022. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Silvia Schwarz Linder, "Goddess Traditions in India: Theological Poems and Philosophical Tales in the Tripurarahasya" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 45:27


Silvia Schwarz Linder's Goddess Traditions in India: Theological Poems and Philosophical Tales in the Tripurarahasya (Routledge, 2022) is a study of the Śrīvidyā and Śākta traditions in the context of South Indian intellectual history in the late middle ages. Associated with the religious tradition known as Śrīvidyā and devoted to the cult of the Goddess Tripurā, the text was probably composed between the 13th and the 16th century CE. The analysis of its narrative parts addresses questions about the relationships between Tantric and Purāṇic goddesses. The discussion of its philosophical and theological teachings tackles problems related to the relationships between Sākta and Śaiva traditions. The stylistic devices adopted by the author(s) of the work deal uniquely with doctrinal and ritual elements of the Śrīvidyā through the medium of a literary and poetic language. This stylistic peculiarity distinguishes the Tripurārahasya from many other Tantric texts, characterized by a more technical language. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Sri Lanka: Meet the New Dynast, Same as the Old Dynast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 35:27


Sri Lanka has recently endured tremendous political and economic turmoil with severe shortages of goods and fuel leading to the ouster of the sitting president. After Gotabhaya Rajapaksa fled the country in disgrace, he was replaced by another dynastic heir, Ranil Wickremesinghe. While much has changed in the once war-torn island nation, much has stayed the same. In this episode, Farzana Haniffa, Professor of Sociology at University of Colombo, speaks with John Torpey, Presidential Professor of History and Sociology and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at Graduate Center, CUNY, about the events that led to massive protests and a coup d'état in Sri Lanka, including the deterioration of the economy caused by COVID and Sri Lanka's reliance on tourism and remittances and the long reign of the Rajapaksas. Haniffa also discusses how the government is prosecuting and attacking protesters and incarcerating them without trial to instill fear as they did during the Civil War, and how Sri Lankans are responding with anti-polarization protests. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Triumph for Independent Candidates? Observations on the 2022 Local Elections in Nepal

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2022 29:29


Nepal's recent local elections, held in May 2022 in 753 urban and rural municipalities, produced a number of surprises. Most prominent in national headlines was the victory of independent candidate and former rap musician Balen Shah in the race for mayor of Kathmandu, Nepal's capital. But is the success of Shah and several other independent candidates really a signal of a broader shift away from the dominance of traditional parties in Nepal, or were these just isolated events? What do the results tell us about the persistence of vote bank culture in Nepal? How did female candidates fare in the elections? And what are the political aspirations of Kathmandu's new mayor? Nayan Pokhrel, a Kathmandu-based political analyst, discusses with Hanna Geschewski the election results and how they fit into larger political transitions in the young Federal Republic. Nayan Pokhrel is an independent researcher and political analyst. His recent assignments include monitoring of the implementation of federalism in Nepal with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and political economy analysis of Nepal's elections with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD). He previously led research and observation at Democracy Resource Center Nepal which has been monitoring Nepal's political transition and settlement since the adoption of the new Constitution in 2015. Hanna Geschewski is a PhD researcher in Human Geography at the Chr. Michelsen Institute and the University of Bergen in Norway, focusing on socio-ecological adaptation processes in Tibetan refugee settlements in Karnataka, India. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Aniket De, "The Boundary of Laughter: Popular Performances Across Borders in South Asia" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 37:41


Combining archival research with ethnographic fieldwork, Aniket De's book The Boundary of Laughter: Popular Performances Across Borders in South Asia (Oxford UP, 2022) explores how spaces of popular performance have changed with the emergence of national borders in modern South Asia. The author traces the making of the popular theater form called Gambhira by Hindu and Muslim peasants and laborers in colonial Bengal, and explores the fate of the tradition after the Partition of the region in 1947. Drawing on a rich and hitherto unexplored archive of Gambhira songs and plays, this book provides a new approach for studying popular performances as shared spaces-that can accommodate peoples across national and religious boundaries. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Vinayak Chaturvedi, "Hindutva and Violence: V. D. Savarkar and the Essentials of History" (SUNY Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 90:03


Hindutva and Violence: V. D. Savarkar and the Essentials of History (SUNY Press, 2022) explores the place of history in the political thought of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (1883-1966), the most controversial Indian political thinker of the twentieth century and a key architect of Hindu nationalism. Examining his central claim that Hindutva is not a word but a history, the book argues that, for Savarkar, this history was not a total history, a complete history, or a narrative history. Rather, its purpose was to trace key historical events to a powerful source--the font of motivation for chief actors of the past who had turned to violence in a permanent war for Hindutva as the founding principle of a Hindu nation. At the center of Savarkar's writings are historical characters who not only participated in ethical warfare against invaders, imperialists, and conquerors in India, but also became Hindus in acts of violence. He argues that the discipline of history provides the only method for interpreting Hindutva. The book also shows how Savarkar developed his conceptualization of history as a way into the meaning of Hindutva. Savarkar wrote extensively, from analyses of the nineteenth century to studies of antiquity, to draw up his histories of Hindus. He also turned to a wide range of works, from the epic tradition to contemporary social theory and world history, as his way of explicating Hindutva and history. By examining Savarkar's key writings on history, historical methodology, and historiography, Vinayak Chaturvedi provides an interpretation of the philosophical underpinnings of Hindutva. Savarkar's interpretation of Hindutva, he demonstrates, requires above all grappling with his idea of history. Ujaan Ghosh is a graduate student at the Department of Art History at University of Wisconsin, Madison Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Brahma Prakash, "Cultural Labour: Conceptualizing the 'Folk Performance' in India" (Oxford UP, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 56:26


Folk performances reflect the life-worlds of a vast section of subaltern communities in India. What is the philosophy that drives these performances, the vision that enables as well as enslaves these communities to present what they feel, think, imagine, and want to see? Can such performances challenge social hierarchies and ensure justice in a caste-ridden society? In Cultural Labour: Conceptualizing the 'Folk Performance' in India (Oxford UP, 2019), Brahma Prakash studies bhuiyan puja (landworship), bidesia (theatre of migrant labourers), Reshma-Chuharmal (Dalit ballads), dugola (singing duels) from Bihar, and the songs and performances of Gaddar, who was associated with Jana Natya Mandali, Telangana: he examines various ways in which meanings and behaviour are engendered in communities through rituals, theatre, and enactments. Focusing on various motifs of landscape, materiality, and performance, the author looks at the relationship between culture and labour in its immediate contexts. Based on an extensive ethnography and the author's own life experience as a member of such a community, the book offers a new conceptual framework to understand the politics and aesthetics of folk performance in the light of contemporary theories of theatre and performance studies. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of labor, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Asad Q. Ahmed, "Palimpsests of Themselves: Logic and Commentary in Postclassical Muslim South Asia" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2022 44:55


In his dense yet delightful new book Palimpsests of Themselves: Logic and Commentary in Postclassical Muslim South Asia (University of California Press, 2022), Asad Ahmad examines in layered detail the textual and commentarial tradition on the discipline in logic in early modern and modern South Asia, while constantly connecting his study to broader Muslim intellectual currents beyond South Asia. Focused on the seventeenth century text Sullam al-‘Ulum (The Ladder of the Sciences) by Muhibullah al-Bihari, Ahmed treats his readers to a journey through the operations, ambiguities, and possibilities of the dizzyingly complex yet enormously profitable landscape of the logic tradition in South Asian Islam. Textually magisterial, historically grounded, and ferociously erudite, this book breaks new and critical ground about an extremely important topic that is yet all too infrequently studied. SherAli Tareen is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College. His research focuses on Muslim intellectual traditions and debates in early modern and modern South Asia. His book Defending Muhammad in Modernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2020) received the American Institute of Pakistan Studies 2020 Book Prize and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 American Academy of Religion Book Award. His other academic publications are available here. He can be reached at sherali.tareen@fandm.edu. Listener feedback is most welcome. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Michael J. Altman, "Hinduism in America: An Introduction" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 44:19


Hinduism in America: An Introduction (Routledge, 2022) is a concise introduction to the long history of religion in the encounter between America and India. It is not a book that will tell you what Hinduism is; rather, it is an introduction to the variety of ways in which Hinduism has been represented, constructed, and practiced in the United States. Americans have been interested in the religions of India since the colonial period, and by the late nineteenth century the first Hindu teachers arrived in the United States. Throughout the twentieth century, interest in Hinduism and yoga grew, even as anti-Asian and anti-immigrant politics and policies in America intensified. When the Cold War led to changes in U.S. immigration policy in 1965, new immigrant communities arrived in the United States and built new Hindu institutions. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Shrayana Bhattacharya, "Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh: India's Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence" (Harper Collins, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2022 53:41


In this path breaking work Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh : India's Lonely Young Women and the Search for Intimacy and Independence (Harper Collins, 2021), Shrayana Bhattacharya maps the economic and personal trajectories – the jobs, desires, prayers, love affairs and rivalries – of a diverse group of women. Divided by class but united in fandom, they remain steadfast in their search for intimacy, independence and fun. Embracing Hindi film idol Shah Rukh Khan allows them a small respite from an oppressive culture, a fillip to their fantasies of a friendlier masculinity in Indian men. Most struggle to find the freedom-or income-to follow their favourite actor. Bobbing along in this stream of multiple lives for more than a decade-from Manju's boredom in ‘rurban' Rampur and Gold's anger at having to compete with Western women for male attention in Delhi's nightclubs, to Zahira's break from domestic abuse in Ahmedabad-Bhattacharya gleans the details on what Indian women think about men, money, movies, beauty, helplessness, agency and love. A most unusual and compelling book on the female gaze, this is the story of how women have experienced post-liberalization India. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Temperatures on the Rise: Adapting to Heat Extremes in South Asia

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 28:41


Between March and May of this year, large parts of India and Pakistan were hit by a severe heat wave that claimed at least 90 lives and seriously impacted people's livelihoods and the environment. What made this heat wave so different and possibly worse than previous ones? Who was particularly at risk? And where does India stand in terms of adaptation strategies? In this episode, Hanna Geschewski talks with climate change researchers Dr. Chandi Singh and Dr. Emmanuel Raju about the recent heat wave and how to deal with increasingly frequent temperature extremes. Dr. Chandni Singh is a Senior Researcher at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements in Bangalore, India. She is also a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC where she covered topics of vulnerability and adaptation in Asia in the Assessment Report 6 published in March 2022. She works on examining what drives differential vulnerability to climate change and how and why certain people adapt while others don't or can't. Dr. Singh wrote about the 2022 heat wave in her New York Times guest essay, “Spring Never Came to India This Year.” Dr. Emmanuel Raju is an Associate Professor at the Global Health Section at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He is also currently the Director of the Copenhagen Center for Disaster Research (COPE), which provides a platform for interdisciplinary research on disaster and climate change. Dr. Raju recently co-authored a study titled "Climate Change made devastating early heat in India and Pakistan 30 times more likely," which highlighted the most severe impacts of the recent heat wave and how it can be attributed to climate change. Hanna Geschewski is a PhD researcher in Human Geography at the Chr. Michelsen Institute and the University of Bergen in Norway, focusing on socio-ecological adaptation processes in Tibetan refugee settlements in Karnataka, India. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Caleb Simmons, "Singing the Goddess Into Place: Locality, Myth, and Social Change in Chamundi of the Hill, a Kannada Folk Ballad" (SUNY Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 49:42


Singing the Goddess Into Place: Locality, Myth, and Social Change in Chamundi of the Hill, a Kannada Folk Ballad (SUNY Press, 2022) demonstrates how folk narratives reflect local context while also actively working to upend social inequities based on caste and ritual/devotional practices. By delving into this world, the book helps us understand how a landscape is transformed through people's relationship with it and how this relationship helps build meaning for the communities that call it home. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Roanne Kantor, "South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature, and the Rise of Global English" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 57:32


Ever since T. B. Macaulay leveled the accusation in 1835 that 'a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India,' South Asian literature has served as the imagined battleground between local linguistic multiplicity and a rapidly globalizing English. In response to this endless polemic, Indian and Pakistani writers set out in another direction altogether. They made an unexpected journey to Latin America. The cohort of authors that moved between these regions include Latin-American Nobel laureates Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz; Booker Prize notables Salman Rushdie, Anita Desai, Mohammed Hanif, and Mohsin Hamid.  In South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature, and the Rise of Global English (Cambridge UP, 2022), Roanne Kantor claims that they formed the vanguard of a new, multilingual world literary order. Their encounters with Latin America fundamentally shaped the way in which literature written in English from South Asia exploded into popularity from the 1980s until the mid-2000s, enabling its global visibility. Roanne L. Kantor is Assistant Professor of English at Stanford University.  Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Angela Ki Che Leung et al., "Moral Foods: The Construction of Nutrition and Health in Modern Asia" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 61:44


The twelve chapters of Moral Foods: The Construction of Nutrition and Health in Modern Asia (U Hawai'i Press, 2020) are divided into three sections: Good Foods, Bad Foods, and Moral Foods. Using case studies from nineteenth- and twentieth-century China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia, these chapters investigate the moralization of food in modern Asia. These studies on moral food regimes are highly specific, but their implications, especially about the malleability of food as an object of moralization, are far reaching. The first chapter in Good Foods, by Francesca Bray, examines the construction of rice as a symbol of self in Japan and Malaysia. Jia-Chen Fu's contribution looks at the “goodness” of soymilk in China. Izumi Nakayama's work is about the emergence of breastmilk as a “good food” in Meiji-period Japan. Finally, Michael Liu writes about Chinese experimentation with nutrition during WWII. David Arnold's chapter on moral foods―especially rice―in India during the period of British colonial rule begins the second section on “bad” and even “dangerous” foods. The other three chapters in this section address bad foods in South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong, respectively. Tae-Ho Kim looks at discourses on rice, barley, and wheat in modern South Korea. Tatsuya Mitsuda writes on the creation of badness around sweet confections in Japan. Finally, Robert Peckham examines bad foods in the context of British colonial public health programs in Hong Kong. In the final section, Lawrence Zhang shows how changing visions of the health and morality of tea track with geopolitical, cultural, and scientific developments in the modern relations between East Asia and the West. Angela Ki Che Leung's looks at the modern reinterpretation of vegetarianism in China. Volker Scheid also looks at China, specifically at the reconstitution of traditional Chinese medicinal knowledge and practice. Finally, Hilary Smith's chapter tackles the moral meanings that accrued to milk in modern China. Each of these chapters shares the volume's overall interest in both the moral regimes of food in the context of modern nation-building and the bodies and lives of consumers. Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese language and history in the University of Bergen's Department of Foreign Languages. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Anoma Van Der Veere et al., "Public Health in Asia During the Covid-19 Pandemic" (Amsterdam UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2022 58:21


Every nation in Asia has dealt with COVID-19 differently and with varying levels of success in the absence of clear and effective leadership from the WHO. As a result, the WHO's role in Asia as a global health organization is coming under increasing pressure. As its credibility is slowly being eroded by public displays of incompetence and negligence, it has also become an arena of contestation. Moreover, while the pandemic continues to undermine the future of global health governance as a whole, the highly interdependent economies in Asia have exposed the speed with which pandemics can spread, as intensive regional travel and business connections have caused every area in the region to be hit hard. The migrant labor necessary to sustain globalized economies has been strained and the security of international workers is now more precarious than ever, as millions have been left stranded, seen their entry blocked, or have limited access to health services. Public Health in Asia During the Covid-19 Pandemic (Amsterdam UP, 2022) provides an accessible framework for understanding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia, with a specific emphasis on global governance in health and labor. This is an open-access book. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Meenal Shrivastava, "Amma's Daughters: A Memoir" (Athabasca UP, 2018)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 15, 2022 59:02


Today I talked to about Amma's Daughters: A Memoir (Athabasca UP, 2018). This book is available open access here.  As a precocious young girl, Surekha knew very little about the details of her mother Amma's unusual past and that of Babu, her mysterious and sometimes absent father. The tense, uncertain family life created by her parents' distant and fractious marriage and their separate ambitions informs her every action and emotion. Then one evening, in a moment of uncharacteristic transparency and vulnerability, Amma tells Surekha and her older sister Didi of the family tragedy that changed the course of her life. Finally, the daughters begin to understand the source of their mother's deep commitment to the Indian nationalist movement and her seemingly unending willingness to sacrifice in the name of that pursuit. In this re-memory based on the published and unpublished work of Amma and Surekha, Meenal Shrivastava, Surekha's daughter, uncovers the history of the female foot soldiers of Gandhi's national movement in the early twentieth century. As Meenal weaves these written accounts together with archival research and family history, she gives voice and honour to the hundreds of thousands of largely forgotten or unacknowledged women who, threatened with imprisonment for treason and sedition, relentlessly and selflessly gave toward the revolution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Roselyn Hsueh, "Micro-Institutional Foundations of Capitalism" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2022 51:26


Roselyn Hsueh's Micro-Institutional Foundations of Capitalism (Cambridge, 2022) presents a new framework for understanding how developing countries integrate into the global economy. Examining the labor-intensive textile sector and the capital-intensive telecommunications sector in China, India, and Russia, Hsueh shows how differences in the way elites perceive the strategic value of a sector can lead to dramatically different patterns of governance. Author Roselyn Hsueh is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University, where she co-directs the Certificate in Political Economy. She is also the author of China's Regulatory State: A New Strategy for Globalization and scholarly articles and book chapters on states and markets, comparative regulation and governance, and development and globalization. She is a frequent commentator on international politics, finance and trade, and comparative economic development. BBC World News, The Economist, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and other media outlets have featured her research. She earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Host Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of San Francisco. His own research focus is the political economy of governance in China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Koushiki Dasgupta, "Sadhus in Indian Politics: Dynamics of Hindutva" (Sage, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 33:12


Koushiki Dasgupta's Sadhus in Indian Politics: Dynamics of Hindutva (Sage, 2021) maps the changing face of contemporary Hindu politics, evaluating the influence of sadhus (ascetics) on the course of politics in India. This book explores the anxieties around ascetic engagement with public affairs, understanding politics as janaseva and polities as rajniti, and the authority exercised by these sadhus. It investigates the spirit of ‘individualism' reflected by the sadhus in the organized and unorganized domains of politics, and traces the dialectics of ‘Hindutva' reflected through selected case studies, exposing the patterns of how the sadhus got involved in the muddled world of politics. This book also demonstrates the uneasy conflict between the modern Hindu right wing and Hindu traditionalists with their advocacy of Sanatan Dharma. It turns towards sadhus and gurus to explore the ‘Hindu-ness' of the Hindus and confronts the metanarrative of Hindutva offered by various institutions. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Kajri Jain, "Gods in the Time of Democracy" (Duke UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 53:33


In 2018 India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the world's tallest statue: a 597-foot figure of nationalist leader Sardar Patel. Twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, it is but one of many massive statues built following India's economic reforms of the 1990s. In Gods in the Time of Democracy (Duke UP, 2021), Kajri Jain examines how monumental icons emerged as a religious and political form in contemporary India, mobilizing the concept of emergence toward a radical treatment of art historical objects as dynamic assemblages. Drawing on a decade of fieldwork at giant statue sites in India and its diaspora and interviews with sculptors, patrons, and visitors, Jain masterfully describes how public icons materialize the intersections between new image technologies, neospiritual religious movements, Hindu nationalist politics, globalization, and Dalit-Bahujan verifications of equality and presence. Centering the ex-colony in rethinking key concepts of the image, Jain demonstrates how these new aesthetic forms entail a simultaneously religious and political retooling of the "infrastructures of the sensible." Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Wendy Doniger, "After the War: The Last Books of the Mahabharata" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 57:37


Wendy Doniger's After the War: The Last Books of the Mahabharata (Oxford UP, 2022) is a new translation of the final part of the Mahabharata, the great Sanskrit Epic poem about a devastating fraternal war. In this aftermath of the great war, the surviving heroes find various deaths, ranging from a drunken debacle in which they kill many of their own comrades to suicide through meditation and, finally, magical transportation to both heaven and hell. Bereaved mothers and widows on earth are comforted when their dead sons and husbands are magically conjured up from heaven and emerge from a river to spend one glorious night on earth with their loved ones. Ultimately, the bitterly opposed heroes of both sides are reconciled in heaven, but only when they finally let go of the vindictive masculine pride that has made each episode of violence give rise to another. Throughout the text, issues of truth and reconciliation, of the competing beliefs in various afterlives, and of the ultimate purpose of human life are debated. This last part of the Mahabharata has much to tell us both about the deep wisdom of Indian poets during the centuries from 300 BCE to 300 CE (the dates of the recension of this enormous text) and about the problems that we ourselves confront in the aftermath of our own genocidal and internecine wars. The author, a distinguished translator of Sanskrit texts (including the Rig Veda, the Laws of Manu, and the Kamasutra), puts the text into clear, flowing, contemporary prose, with a comprehensive but unintrusive critical apparatus. This book will delight general readers and enlighten students of Indian civilization and of great world literature. Ujaan Ghosh is a graduate student at the Department of Art History at University of Wisconsin, Madison Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Suman Nath, "Democracy and Social Cleavage in India: Ethnography of Riots, Everyday Politics and Communalism in West Bengal (2012-2021)" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 27:57


Suman Nath's book Democracy and Social Cleavage in India: Ethnography of Riots, Everyday Politics and Communalism in West Bengal (2012-2021) (Routledge, 2022) explores the emergence of identity politics and violence at the forefront of political life in an Indian state. Through a close reading of everyday politics in West Bengal, India, which until recently boasted of the longest-serving elected communist government in the world, the volume presents unique observations on Indian politics and its trajectories. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Lachlan Fleetwood, "Science on the Roof of the World: Empire and the Remaking of the Himalaya" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 45:51


Today, the idea that the Himalayas have the world's tallest peaks—by a large margin—is entirely uncontroversial. Just about anyone can name Mount Everest and K2 as the world's tallest and second-tallest mountains respectively. But the idea that this mountain range had the highest summits used to be quite controversial. Mountaineers claimed that the Himalayas could not be taller than peaks in Europe or South America, like Ecuador's Chimborazo. Even when it was proven that the Himalayas were taller, mountaineers would praised the aesthetic quality of European and South American peaks—essentially giving the nineteenth-century equivalent of “height isn't everything” That's merely one of the historical details from Lachlan Fleetwood's Science on the Roof of the World: Empire and the Remaking of the Himalaya (Cambridge University Press, 2022), which studies the first attempts to survey this mountain range. Fleetwood's book examines not just the expeditions themselves, but also how surveyors procured their equipment, how they handled altitude sickness, and the fossils they found (among other details), in order to analyze the connection between knowledge, the frontier, and empire. Lachlan Fleetwood is a historian of science, empire, geography and environment. He holds a PhD in history from Cambridge University, and is currently a research fellow at University College Dublin. He is currently developing a new project that examines climatic sciences and environmental determinism in imperial surveys of Central Asia and Mesopotamia in the long nineteenth century. In this interview, Lachlan and I talk about the Himalayas, how the first surveyors studied them, and why these early efforts to understand this mountain range are important to how we understand the history of science. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Science on the Roof of the World. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Sarah Lamb, "Being Single in India: Stories of Gender, Exclusion, and Possibility" (U California Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 52:41


Today, the majority of the world's population lives in a country with falling marriage rates, a phenomenon with profound impacts on women, gender, and sexuality.  In Being Single in India: Stories of Gender, Exclusion, and Possibility (U California Press, 2022), Sarah Lamb probes the gendered trend of single women living in India, examining what makes living outside marriage for women increasingly possible and yet incredibly challenging. Featuring the stories of never-married women as young as 35 and as old as 92, the book offers a remarkable portrait of a way of life experienced by women across class and caste divides, from urban professionals and rural day laborers, to those who identify as heterosexual and lesbian, to others who evaded marriage both by choice and by circumstance. For women in India, complex social-cultural and political-economic contexts are foundational to their lives and decisions, and evading marriage is often an unintended consequence of other pressing life priorities. Arguing that never-married women are able to illuminate their society's broader social-cultural values, Lamb offers a new and startling look at prevailing systems of gender, sexuality, kinship, freedom, and social belonging in India today. Garima Jaju is currently a post-doc at Cambridge University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Simran Jeet Singh, "The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life" (Riverhead, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 19, 2022 44:02


An inspiring approach to a happier, more fulfilling life through Sikh teachings on love and service.  As a boy growing up in South Texas, Simran Jeet Singh and his brothers confronted racism daily: at school, in their neighborhood, playing sports, and later in college and beyond. Instead, Singh delved deep into the Sikh teachings that he grew up with and embraced the lessons to seek the good in every person and situation and to find positive ways to direct his energy. Singh reaches beyond his comfort zone to practice this deeper form of living and explores how everyone can learn the insights and skills that have kept him engaged and led him to commit to activism without becoming consumed by anger, self-pity, or burnout. Part memoir, part spiritual journey, The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life (Riverhead, 2022) is a transformative book of hope that shows how each of us can turn away from fear and uncertainty and move toward renewal and positive change. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Publishing in Asian Studies Journals

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 15, 2022 62:34


How can we get our articles in Asian studies published? What criteria should we use in selecting what journals to target? On what basis do journal editors make decisions on what articles to publish? How should prospective authors deal with harsh and even contradictory reviewer reports? In this special double-length summer podcast, based on an online event convened by NIAS in 2021, two editors of Asian studies journals discuss the challenges of publishing high-quality articles in the field, in a lively and wide-ranging conversation with NIAS Director Duncan McCargo. Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki. One of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science, until recently Julie was also the editor-in-chief of Asian Ethnicity. Hyung-Gu Lynn is AECL/KEPCO Chair in Korean Research at the University of British Columbiaand the longstanding editor of Pacific Affairs. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Antonio Rigopoulos, "The Hagiographer and the Avatar: The Life and Works of Narayan Kasturi" (SUNY Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 52:50


In The Hagiographer and the Avatar: The Life and Works of Narayan Kasturi (SUNY Press, 2021), Antonio Rigopoulos explores the fundamental role of a hagiographer within a charismatic religious movement: in this case, the postsectarian, cosmopolitan community of the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. The guru's hagiographer, Narayan Kasturi, was already a distinguished litterateur by the time he first met Sathya Sai Baba in 1948. Drawing on years of research on the movement as well as interviews with Kasturi himself, this book deepens our understanding of this important pan-Indian figure and his charismatic religious movement. You can find oral testimonies about Sai Baba here.  Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Reena Kukreja, "Why Would I Be Married Here?: Marriage Migration and Dispossession in Neoliberal India" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 51:13


Why Would I Be Married Here?: Marriage Migration and Dispossession in Neoliberal India (Cornell UP, 2022) examines marriage migration undertaken by rural bachelors in North India, unable to marry locally, who travel across the breadth of India seeking brides who do not share the same caste, ethnicity, language, or customs as themselves. Combining rich ethnographic evidence with Dalit feminist and political economy frameworks, Reena Kukreja connects the macro-political violent process of neoliberalism to the micro-personal level of marriage and intimate gender relations to analyze the lived reality of this set of migrant brides in cross-region marriages among dominant-peasant caste Hindus and Meo Muslims in rural North India. Why Would I Be Married Here? reveals how predatory capitalism links with patriarchy to dispossess many poor women from India's marginalized Dalit and Muslim communities of marriage choices in their local communities. It reveals how, within the context of the increasing spread of capitalist relations, these women's pragmatic cross-region migration for marriage needs to be reframed as an exercise of their agency that simultaneously exposes them to new forms of gender subordination and internal othering of caste discrimination and ethnocentrism in conjugal communities. Why Would I Be Married Here? offers powerful examples of how contemporary forces of neoliberalism reshape the structural oppressions compelling poor women from marginalized communities worldwide into making compromised choices about their bodies, their labor, and their lives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Rochelle Potkar, "Bombay Hangovers" (Vishwakarma Publications, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 19:19


The stories in Bombay Hangovers (Vishwakarma Publications, 2021) are laced with the grit, sleaze and dynamism of Bombay. They explore the nerve centre of a great metropolis with caustic wit and uncompromising realism. From the red-light corner of Kamathipura and the race course of Mahalaxmi, from South Bombay where a perfume maker works on exotic fragrances to the throbbing epicentre of Thana and the township of Kalyan, from Bandra to Andheri, the city is brought alive through memorable characters, piquant situations and no holds barred language. With the occasional foray into Goa, the poet Rochelle Potkar makes an impressive debut in short fiction, a genre unfairly neglected by most publishers in India. Sharonee Dasgupta is currently a graduate student in the department of anthropology at UMass Amherst. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Jayita Sarkar, "Ploughshares and Swords: India's Nuclear Program in the Global Cold War" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 66:27


Ploughshares and Swords: India's Nuclear Program in the Global Cold War (Cornell University Press, 2022) by Jayita Sarkar challenges this received wisdom by narrating a global story of India's nuclear program during its first forty years. The book foregrounds the program's civilian and military features by probing its close relationship with the space program. Through nuclear and space technologies, India's leaders served the technopolitical aims of economic modernity and the geopolitical goals of deterring adversaries. The politically savvy, transnationally connected scientists and engineers who steered the program obtained technologies, materials, and information through a variety of state and nonstate actors from Europe and North America, including both superpowers. They thus maneuvered around Cold War politics and the choke points of the nonproliferation regime. Hyperdiversification increased choices for the leaders of the nuclear program but reduced democratic accountability at home. The nuclear program became a consensus-enforcing device in the name of the nation. Ploughshares and Swords is a provocative new history with global implications. It shows how geopolitical and technopolitical visions influence decisions about the nation after decolonization. Thanks to generous funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation, the ebook editions of this book are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open (cornellopen.org) and other repositories. You can access the ebook here. Jayita Sarkar is Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History at the University Of Glasgow and the Founding Director of the Global Decolonization Initiative. Follow her on Twitter @DrJSarkar or check out her website (www.JayitaSarkar.com). Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate at the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Apabhraṃśa

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 8, 2022 17:39


Abhishek Avtans talks about the apabhraṃśa, a word that refers to the middle stage of the Indo-Aryan languages, crucial links between ancient languages like Sanskrit, and modern South Asian languages such as Hindi, Bangla, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Marathi, Nepali, and others. The first mention of apabhraṃśas is in Mahabhasya, a 2nd century BCE text by Patanjali, where the author refers to languages considered deviations from Sanskrit. However, research into apabhraṃśas, for the same reason, has become crucial in dispelling notions of linguistic purity and politics that is dependent on these notions. Abhishek Avtans is a lecturer of Indic language/s at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He loves to work on literature and linguistics of languages spoken in south Asia. He has contributed in making dictionaries of Great Andamanese, Bhojpuri and Brajbhasha. He writes a column Dialectical for the Himal SouthAsian Magazine. He tweets at @avtansa. Image: © 2021 Saronik Bosu (the stanza of verse in the image comes from the text of Bāhubalī rāsa by 13th Century AD Jain poet Shalibhadra Suri, it is an onomatopoeic stanza that describes the activities done by elephants, soldiers and horses.) Music used in promotional material: “Rajasthani Folk Instrumental Music” by Rupayan Sansthan, Jodhpur, from the collection of Shri Komal Kothari Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Naman P. Ahuja, "Marg Magazine: Readings on the Temple"

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 34:11


In October 1946, shortly before Independence, Mulk Raj Anand founded Marg, a magazine that soon became a pioneering forum for research on Indian and South Asian art and architecture. Over its 75 years, Marg (in its quarterly magazine as well as books) has promoted a deeper understanding of eras past while examining contemporary art practices. To mark our platinum anniversary, we are delving into Marg's archive of writing on temple art and architecture, to understand the shifts in perspective over the decades. The result is a lavishly illustrated magazine, which could also serve as a guide for educators teaching the Indian Temple over a semester. It presents a cross-section of themes and covers both key sites—Khajuraho, Thanjavur and Konarak—and those less written about—Kashmir, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Kerala. These are unique not only architecturally, but also from the point of view of patronage and the diverse public functions they served. Conceptualized and curated by our General Editor, Dr Naman P. Ahuja, the essays have been contextualised through a contemporary lens. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Matthew Clark, "Botanical Ecstasies: Psychoactive Plant Formulas in India and Beyond" (Psychedelic Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 59:52


In Botanical Ecstasies: Psychoactive Plant Formulas in India and Beyond, Dr Matthew Clark proposes that soma/hoama is instead an ayahuasca-like plant complex made from many different species. He discusses a range of candidates that reliably grow in the right areas and which in combination might produce an effect similar to the so-called 'classic' psychedelics. These early ecstatic experiences, he suggests, contributed to the emergent concept and ritual techniques of mysticism. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information see rajbalkaran.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Leila Neti, "Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 58:05


Situated at the intersection of law and literature, nineteenth-century studies and post-colonialism, Colonial Law in India and the Victorian Imagination (Cambridge UP, 2021) draws on original archival research to shed new light on Victorian literature. Each chapter explores the relationship between the shared cultural logic of law and literature, and considers how this inflected colonial sociality. Leila Neti approaches the legal archive in a distinctly literary fashion, attending to nuances of voice, character, diction and narrative, while also tracing elements of fact and procedure, reading the case summaries as literary texts to reveal the common turns of imagination that motivated both fictional and legal narratives. What emerges is an innovative political analytic for understanding the entanglements between judicial and cultural norms in Britain and the colony, bridging the critical gap in how law and literature interact within the colonial arena. Leila Neti is an associate professor of English at Occidental College, Los Angeles.   Gargi Binju is a researcher at the University of Tübingen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

Pallavi Banerjee, "The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families, and the Failures of the Dependent Visa Program" (NYU Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 74:07


The Opportunity Trap: High-Skilled Workers, Indian Families, and the Failures of the Dependent Visa Program (NYU Press, 2022) is the first book to look at the impact of the H-4 dependent visa programs on women and men visa holders in Indian families in America. Comparing two distinct groups of Indian immigrant families -families of male high-tech workers and female nurses-Pallavi Banerjee reveals how visa policies that are legally gender and race neutral in fact have gendered and racialized ramifications for visa holders and their spouses. Drawing on interviews with fifty-five Indian couples, Banerjee highlights the experiences of high-skilled immigrants as they struggle to cope with visa laws, which forbid their spouses from working paid jobs. She examines how these unfair restrictions destabilize-if not completely dismantle-families, who often break under this marital, financial, and emotional stress. Banerjee shows us, through the eyes of immigrants themselves, how the visa process strips them of their rights, forcing them to depend on their spouses and the government in fundamentally challenging ways. The Opportunity Trap provides a critical look at our visa system, underscoring how it fails immigrant families. Lakshita Malik is a doctoral student in the department of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on questions of intimacies, class, gender, and beauty in South Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

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