Contemporary South Asia: Zone, Construct, Artifact

Picture: plate X.D.1 from Schwartzberg, Joseph E. A Historical Atlas of South Asia, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Courtesy Digital South Asia Library, University of Chicago

Nineteenth and twentieth century notions of South Asia borrowed from shared imperial circulations, nationalist interlinkages, and developmental timelines. It is less clear in the twenty-first century if South Asia remains a meaningful analytical optic with which to understand salient solidarities and strategies in the region. The eclipse of western area-studies conventions; the deeper awareness of historical links and contemporary connections to Central and Southeast Asia, and across Indian Ocean; and regional fragmentation vis-a-vis political units such as nation-states, suggests that the time is ripe to evaluate how scholars frame their studies there. Does scholarly inquiry benefit from being situated in an intellectual tradition emphasizing the region? The participants of this roundtable, spanning the humanities and social sciences, will discuss South Asia’s relevance as a continued and coherent arena of study.

Drinks afterwards. Registration required. 

Convener: Ajay Gandhi, Leiden University


Xonxoi Barbora (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati)

Ajay Gandhi (Leiden University)

Radhika Gupta (Leiden University)

Dolly Kikon (University of Melbourne)

Sanjukta Sunderason (Leiden University)

Sebastian Schwecke (IIAS Leiden)

Nira Wickramasinghe (Leiden University)

Registration (required)

Please send an email to h.m.van.der.minne@iias.nl if yould like to attend this roundtable.