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Writing the Region: Knowledge, Practice, and Power in South Asia

Princeton South Asia Conference

April 17, 2020-April 18, 2020 · A71 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building

Program in South Asian Studies; Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies; Humanities Council
South Asia

Recent scholarship on borderlands, frontiers, and wider networks of the Indian Ocean has displaced the long-standing centrality of states, and offered us new ways to imagine South Asia. Networks and processes that transcend state borders coexist with popular imaginations and practices that are shaped in resistance to them. Thus, while some regionalities transcend boundaries, others are constituted by their sense of difference, separation, and autonomy.

The 2020 Princeton South Asia Conference engages the question of region by foregrounding the overlapping, contradictory, and contested processes shaping regional identities in South Asia. Using this theme as a starting point, the conference explores questions such as: How have the political, social, and ethical been imagined across South Asian regions and languages? And, how does the translation and movement of ideas and practices across regions lead, in turn, to the creation of new regional identities and attachments? The trajectories of state and popular politics in South Asia have been shaped historically by diverse forms of regional assertions. Today, as majoritarian nationalisms become increasingly hegemonic, the conference encourages participants to consider new genealogies of South Asia’s plural and contesting regionalities. The ninth annual Princeton South Asia Conference will bring together early career scholars (advanced graduate students and postdoctoral researchers) across disciplines that engage with South Asia.

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