Dalit Panthers and Postcolonial Anxieties
Tuesday 06 December, 4:30-6:00p
203 Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave, Yale University
I will be giving a talk on my new research project at the South Asian Studies Council Colloquium Series.
Yale South Asia Council
I will be joining Yale University as a Postdoctoral Associate in the South Asia Council and Lecturer in the Department of History and in South Asian Studies. Sad to be moving away from London, but hope to be back before long!
The Future City: cruel or consoling Utopia?
Saturday 27 February 2016, 5:00-6:30p
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
This is a panel discussion organized by Ed Charlton and me, and part of the LSE LitFest 2016. "LSE's 8th Literary Festival, inspired by the anniversary of Thomas More's Utopia, will explore the power of dreams and the imagination and the importance of idealism, dissidence, escapism and nostalgia, as well as the benefits of looking at the world in different ways."). The event is co-sponsored by LSE Cities and the Mellon Fellowship in Cities and the Humanities.
The Future City, as an idea that often relies upon Utopian thinking to sustain itself, can be as cruel as it is consoling. Even as it makes possible investment into urban space as a site of future fulfillment, it regularly fails to deliver upon this promise. This panel asks what futures such Utopian thinking makes available for the city and what present realities it denies? It will query more specifically the Utopias that have come to structure London’s own particular futures. What Utopian thinking is operative, for instance, in a city so firmly structured around the logic of speculation intrinsic to finance capital? And what futures might present citizens be imagining for themselves?
Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai
Thursday 21 January 2016, 6:30-8:00p
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Lisa Björkman will deliver a talk on her award-winning book Pipe Politics, Contested Waters: Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai. I will be serving as a respondent for the book. [Event page]
Here are two questions around which I hope to kick off the discussion:
Talk at SOAS
"Art that leads to action": Progressive Writing and Marathi workers in Bombay, 1940-60
24 November 2015, 5:00p
SOAS, Russell Square. Main Building, Room G51
While Hindi-Urdu progressive writing in Bombay succumbed to the pressures of the film 'industry' right from the first-known film script by Premchand, Marathi writers turned to the city's Marathi working class in their search for new subjects. These socially-conscious writers, especially influenced by the distinct cosmopolitanism of the city, discovered creative ways of rewriting the role of Marathi workers in building the city’s industry and society. This paper will argue that Marathi progressive writers and public intellectuals drew upon key concepts of Urdu progressives—a rejection of sentimentality and the search for literature that 'creates the power to act'—to account for new forms of labor and labor relations in Bombay's industrial society. As the city's working class was appropriated by the nationalist movement in the 1940s, these progressive writers began to craft an idea of "Marathi socialism" with Marathi workers as the last bulwark against capitalism, and posited that a territorial expression of such workers would be tantamount to a victory for socialism. Facilitating this myth was a longer history of Marathi literature and theater, but at the core of Bombay’s nativist turn was the most progressive literary movement in India.