News about upcoming South Asia-related CSAS events - Fall 2013
Center for South Asia Studies, UC Berkeley
Dear Friends,

Welcome to the new academic year and to this month’s edition of Aaj Kal!
I hope all of you had a wonderful summer. In addition to our annual publication, Khabar, providing in-depth discussion of CSAS-related events and faculty, postdoctoral, and student research, Aaj Kal offers more frequent CSAS news and features: along with event mailings, it provides a way to ensure that you are up to date with the Center and its myriad events.
We have a great series of seminars, conferences, lecturers, and performances planned for Fall 2013 and we hope to see you here at the CSAS quite often. It is an extraordinary year, in which the already notable scholarship and expertise of our faculty, community, and students is joined by an impressive and unusually large group of new professors, lecturers, and fellows, starting with the arrival of our Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, the preeminent South Asia scholar, anthropologist, and historian. I am very excited by Chancellor Dirks’ arrival: his work on the history of caste and colonial government transformed debate in many disciplines, and in particular in my own field of anthropology. Among his more recent work is a shift to the mid-twentieth century and a careful engagement with the rise of South Asian Studies in the United States during and in the aftermath of the Second World War. This latter work is of critical importance for understanding the recent past--and the future--of South Asian studies and of institutions like the CSAS at Berkeley.
We introduce some of these colleagues in this edition of Aaj Kal and more in subsequent editions.

We kick off the semester with our Annual Reception on Thursday, September 12 from 4-6 pm in 10 Stephens Hall. This year’s reception includes a few new events. The well-known duo Anirvan Chatterjee and Barnali Ghosh, whose Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour has received rave reviews, will be speaking and performing along with others.

And this year we also have an open house leading up to the reception. Are you new to Berkeley or for old-timers are there questions about the CSAS and its programs you always wanted to ask?  Have you thought about helping organize a working group or program?  Do you have ideas for future events? Please feel free to drop in any time between 10 and 4 pm to learn more about CSAS' activities as well as our upcoming programs.

Our first major event is the Annual Maharaj Kaul Memorial Lecture - a lecture series on the theme of social justice - to be held on September 26. This year we are honored to have Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association and a leading activist focused on violence against women, as the third speaker in this series following P. Sainath (2011) and Aruna Roy (2012). (Details in box below.)

October and November are packed months so please save these dates on your calendars: October 4, the noted writer, Amit Chaudhuri will return to Berkeley to read from his latest book Calcutta -- Two Years in the City. October 8, Pakistani lawyer and famed human rights activist, Asma Jahangir will launch UC Berkeley's Pakistan Studies Initiative with our inaugural Mahomedali Habib Distinguished Lecture. Come join us to launch this important initiative, spearheading the development of Pakistan scholarship at Berkeley. (Details in box below). October 10, the distinguished LSE Anthropologist Chris Fuller will talk about caste and society in India. October 11, prominent Bangladeshi economist, Rehman Sobhan discusses the challenge of tackling poverty in South Asia (Details in box below). Oct 14, M. Kannan, a researcher at the French Institute of Pondicherry, will talk on Dalit literature. We end October with a day-long symposium in honor of Prof. Padmanabh Jaini's 90th birthday titled, Reflections on the Study of Jainism, to be held on October 26 in Berkeley.

Our highlight for November is a week long festival on Dastangoi - or the art of Urdu public storytelling. Mahmood Farooqui, the well-known Delhi-based poet, literary figure and Urdu booster who has been credited with almost single-handedly reviving the art of Dastangoi, will be visiting CSAS as artist-in-residence and will offer a series of dastangoi performances and workshops. For further details on his Berkeley schedule please see box on right. He will be accompanied by his wife, Anusha Rizvi, the director of Peepli Live, the 2010 Indian comic satire movie that explores the topic of "farmer suicides" and the subsequent media and political response. Join us on November 7, for a screening of the movie and a Q&A session with her.

We also
wanted to let you know that Gurcharan Das has been selected as a Regents' Lecturer for Fall 2013. He will be in residence from October 21 through November 1. There will be a number of lectures and events during his residency. We are still in the process of finalizing his Berkeley schedule and will be sending you more information on this as well as each of the above-mentioned events by our regular email bulletins.

Our CSAS affiliated faculty have, as always, excelled in their various fields. This year, we are proud to announce that our very own Prof. Robert Goldman has just received a highly prestigious and extraordinary honor from the President of India. Prof. Goldman has been named the 2013 recipient of the Presidential Award Certificate of Honor in Sanskrit (International). The Presidential Awards were established in India in 1958 to honor eminent senior scholars of classical languages. A formal ceremony will follow, and we will pass on news of this as we can. Prof. Jacob Dalton won two 2013 book prizes from the Association for Asian Studies: the Smith Prize for an English-language scholarly book on Inner Asia, and the Cohn Prize for a first book on South Asia. Both are for his The Taming of the Demons: Violence and Liberation in Tibetan Buddhism (Yale University Press, 2011). Please click here for more about his awards . Prof. Raka Ray, former chair of the CSAS, won the 2013 Graduate Mentoring Award from the Graduate Division. Read more about the award committee had to say about her here

CSAS welcomes Professors Janaki Bakhle, S. Bharathy, Vasudha Paramasivan, and Pranjali Sirasao, new South Asia-related faculty on campus. Please see boxes on right for more information on them.

Behnaz Raufi, our Programs and Publications Assistant for the last three years, has left the Center to pursue an MA at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. We are sad to see her leave but wish her all the best!  Manali Sheth joins us as the Center's new Program and Publications Assistant. Manali received her B.A. in Ethnomusicology and Global Studies from UCLA in 2011 and since then has lived, worked, and studied in Delhi and Istanbul.

Hope all of you have a wonderful semester. We look forward to seeing you at our Annual Reception on Sept. 12 from 4-6 pm in 10 Stephens Hall.

Best wishes,

Lawrence Cohen
Sarah Kailath Professor of India Studies
Director, Center for South Asia Studies
Women Want Freedom:
Shifting the Terms of the Debate

The Maharaj Kaul Memorial Lecture by Kavita Krishnan, the Secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), a women’s group that is especially active among women workers, agricultural laborers, and poor laboring women in rural and urban India.

Thursday, September 26
5-7 p.m.
The Bancroft Hotel
Democratic Transitions in Pakistan and its Impact on Human Rights

The Inaugural Mahomedali Habib Distinguished Lecture
by Asma Jahangir, a leading Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist, who works both in Pakistan and internationally to prevent the persecution of religious minorities, women, and exploitation of children.

Tuesday, October 8
7-9 p.m.
The Bancroft Hotel

About the CSAS

One of the world's leading institutes for research and programs on South Asia, the Center for South Asia Studies (CSAS) at the University of California, Berkeley works with faculty members, graduate students, community members, private institutions, and non-profit organizations to deepen understanding of the region and to create new generations of scholars of South Asia. Read more here

Videos of CSAS programs are available within a week of the event date and also in our podcast feed.


For two weeks in early November 2013, the Berkeley Urdu Initiative will host Mahmood Farooqui as a visiting artist-in-residence. Mr. Farooqui, a well-known Delhi-based poet, literary figure and Urdu booster who has been credited with almost singlehandedly reviving the art of Urdu public storytelling (dastangoi) will offer a series of dastangoi performances and  workshops to train the first generation of Urdu dastangos in the Bay Area. For further details on individual programs please click the links below.
Janaki Bakhle, Associate Professor of History. Research Interests: Intellectual History of Religion, Politics and Modern India. More here
S. Bharathy. Lecturer - Tamil. Research Interests: Tamil Language and Literature. More here.
Vasudha Paramasivan, Assistant Professor of South & Southeast Asian Studies. Research interests: Hindi Literature and Cultures. More here
Pranjali Sirasao, Lecturer - Hindi. Research Interests: Second language acquisition theory and practices. More here.
Challenging the Injustice of Poverty:
An agenda for inclusive development in South Asia

Prominent Bangladeshi economist, Rehman Sobhan discusses the challenge of tackling poverty in South Asia.

Friday, October 11, 2013
6-7:30 p.m.
Alumni House, Toll Room
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