News - Other Events Related to South Asian Studies


‘Negative solidarities’. The age of anger and hate speech in the Anglophone
globalized public sphere.
International Conference, November 9-10, palazzo Du Mesnil, University of Naples



When in 2017 Pankaj Mishra published Age of Anger: A History of the Present, he devised an iconic title for a shared contemporary condition. In articulating a widespread sense of general angst and resentment, Mishra reconsidered notions of traditional political theory to compare the “unprecedented political, economic and social disorder that accompanied the rise of the industrial capitalist economy” to the perplexing present of new holy wars and ideological crusades which have left few democracies untouched. Rejuvenated forms of nihilistic political violence and parochial chauvinism are arguably infecting much vaster geopolitical realities and wider strata of the population, thereby propelling local and global waves of loathing and fear, shaping national and international forms of right-wing extremism and/or religious fundamentalism and terrorism. Although they travel transnationally, all over the world, forms of ‘negative solidarity’ (Arendt, Men in Dark Times, 1968) manifest themselves in local adaptations. They prosper due to the weakening and severe limits of the impoverished welfare state which is unable to dispel a generalized perception of insecurity and disposability and produces systemic mistrust in personal agency and a correlated thirst for ‘problem-solving’ authoritarianism. Such insecurity and sense of disposability makes some individuals more prone to inventing scapegoats (e.g., intellectuals, elites, minorities such as Muslims, women, Blacks, Jews, and even mainstream politicians) for their real or imagined problems. Even the threat of global climate change tends to generate blind forms of social anxiety, pessimism and anti-scientific conspiracy theories instead of inspiring cooperative action. Moreover, neoliberal schemes of ruthless economic competition and free enterprise rhetoric create exasperated expectancies of individual self-distinction and economic realization fostering bitter feelings of resentment, disappointment, and frustration. The universalization of the culture of individualism has led to a frenetic pace of ever-accelerating rugged competition, and a clamorous, vociferous public sphere where social media accentuate social hierarchies thus catalyzing a toxic mix of anomie and sectarianism.



The present call for papers invites proposals focusing on the socio-political and cultural significance of manifestations of negative solidarities in the ‘Age of Anger’ and ‘Hate Speech’ and their representations in literature, film, tv, the performing and visual arts, as well as in news media and social media communication, and historical and political discourse.


Deadline for abstracts 15 May 2023

Notification of acceptance 5 June 2023


To open the call and for more information, please click here




Exhibit Asia: Partition and the Transition to Nation States in

South and East Asia



Dates: 1-2 September, 2023

Location: Royal Holloway, University of London (in person, with a hybrid option)



We invite proposals for papers that investigate trans-national histories, regional dynamics and nation-state formation in partitioned and postcolonial regions in South and East Asia, by using the mechanics and processes of exhibitions as the framework of investigation. For example, India/ Pakistan and Taiwan/ China started out as contested entities that had to produce their own sense of national identity and culture from a shared past. What role did exhibitions, arts and material culture play in this process? What place did princely/ royal heritage have (if any) in constructing national narratives in partitioned regions?


‘Exhibitions’ may be interpreted broadly. They could be on art, archaeology, agriculture, industry, housing, or any other topic. They need not be limited to those held in museums, or by state organisations.


Papers could:

• Discuss an exhibition that produced competing national narratives.


• Discuss national narratives that resulted from an exhibition in one region, paired with an example from its ‘other’. This could also be a joint paper between academics with overlapping regional expertise (for example, investigate two exhibitions in the two Koreas and the national narratives that they fed into).


• Discuss any exhibition in postcolonial South or East Asia, and its role in constructing post-partition national narratives.


• We welcome other relevant proposal ideas too. To discuss them, or in case of queries, please write to the organisers.


We invite proposals based on original, unpublished research that can be submitted as part of a journal special issue, planned as one of the outcomes of this conference. We welcome submissions from doctoral and early career researchers. Limited funding available.



Decisions will be communicated by 31 January 2023. 



To open the call and for more information, please click here

The Pakistan Conference: 75 Years of Independence

November 29-30, 2022

Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute,

Harvard University


Call for Papers


This conference aims to bring a focused, though not exclusionary, lens to the study of the country, where in a regional context, Pakistan is overshadowed by its much larger neighbor. Taking a long view of 75 years since independence this conference will provide the space to reflect upon the past, but also explore the lingering legacies and challenges that continue to cast a shadow over the country. In doing so, the themes will be framed around the local, the regional, the international and the overarching influence of (pan)-Islamism that informs or influences all these spaces. This approach will provide us with the ability to bring together strong interdisciplinary research that extends into multiple genres.


We are interested in papers and panels which assess Pakistan with the long arc of 75 years covering the following themes, which are not exclusive and are to be broadly interpreted:

  • Enduring legacies of Partition
  • Interrogating questions of identity and Islam
  • Role and place of minorities
  • Development of politics
  • Economic-Social change in society
  • Challenges of extremism
  • Demographic change and urban development
  • The impact of climate change
  • New tech and social media – especially its relationship with politics


The Process


To participate in the conference, please send a 200-word abstract to: by midnight GMT on September 30, 2022. Replies will be sent by October 10, 2022. The conference will then take place on November 29-30, 2022 at the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Both individual papers and panel proposals can be submitted, with panel proposals (3 papers plus a chair/discussant) to be submitted together by the convenor.

Please find the complete Call HERE.

Please also refer to the HOMEPAGE.

South Asia Bulletin
NIPoRe has started a monthly bulletin covering the major domestic development, regional engagement and global engagement of nine South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) starting July 2022. We found it concerning that the understanding of South Asian countries, especially beyond India, is limited, and that the global understanding of SA is Indo-centric. Each smaller state in the region has its unique interests, issues and political system, though there are areas of mutual interest.

Hence, we decided to publish a monthly Bulletin, called South Asia Bulletin, to summarize, inform and analyze the key issues of the region.


You can access the Bulletin here



Call for Submissions

Second Biennial SAMSA Book Award




The South Asian Muslim Studies Association (SAMSA) announces its second biennial SAMSA Book Award for a monograph published on the subject of South Asian Islam and Muslim societies during the calendar years of 2020 and 2021. Books from all disciplines in the Humanities and the Social Sciences will be considered. Only single-authored monographs are eligible; edited volumes, works of translation, literary fiction and short stories, or collections of poetry are not eligible. Monographs focused on all regions of South Asia (including Afghanistan) and time periods will be considered. Awards will be decided on the basis of the novelty of the book’s intervention in the field, its intellectual rigor and its clarity and quality of writing. Award recipient will be recognized at a SAMSA meeting and will be featured at a panel discussion. The award does not carry any monetary compensation. Submissions may be made by an author or by a publisher. To apply, please mail a copy of the book to Dr. Raisur Rahman, Department of History, P.O. Box 7806, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA no later than July 15, 2022. Additional copies of the monographs will be requested in due time.
Applicants must also email with the following information: book title, author email and phone contact, and publisher’s email and phone contact. Award will be announced in Spring 2023. For more information on SAMSA, click here:


Cultures of Data and Datafication in South Asia

Date: 7th July 2022

Format: Hybrid Workshop (In-Person & Online)

Location: Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford



Aims and Objectives:

Over the last decade, a number of public commentators have argued that ‘data is the new oil’. Such a comparison, albeit facile, nonetheless captures data’s status as the principal coveted commodity in the contemporary world, its centrality to the modern capitalist economy, its diverse use value, and its ability to act as the lightning rod for fierce political debates. Much like crude oil itself, data does not present itself ready-for-use. It requires careful collection, cleaning, and processing before it is rendered usable. Implicated in this process are an assemblage of actors, institutions, and social imaginaries that seek to define, inter alia, what constitutes data in the first place, what attributes define its quality, and how it should be used. This workshop invites papers that critically analyse the conceptualization, collection, compilation, curation, and consumption of data in different spheres of life in contemporary South Asia.


The production and consumption of data has had a long genealogy in modern South Asia where it has historically been associated with state power – from the use of censuses that rendered the native population legible for colonial officials to the heavy reliance on macroeconomic indicators by the dirigiste developmental state. In recent years, however, there has been an explosion in the volume and granularity of available data and the trend of ‘datafication’ has permeated social life more generally. Policy experts in fields as different as higher education and financial markets claim to be ‘data-driven’. In particular, the entry of big-tech firms, the widening base of social media users, and the ascendancy of the gig-economy have dovetailed to make ‘Big Data’ popular in everyday decision making. At the same time, the lack of access to accurate data (e.g. COVID-19 deaths) has become a major stumbling block. This workshop aims to bring together scholars to interrogate and reflect upon the implications of these trends for the future of South Asia. We seek papers that will reflect on the transformations and changes (and the lack thereof) that the culture of datafication has brought upon different domains, such as politics, the economy, civil society activism, journalism, development planning, education etc.  


Papers could explore themes including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Historical genealogies of data and datafication in South Asia; political/social/intellectual histories of statisticians, debates on data use within state institutions (e.g. The Planning Commission, Indian Statistical Institute), and the evolution of the meaning of data.
  • Ethnographic approaches that study the production of and/or producers of data in the sphere of development planning, bureaucracy, or the private corporate sector.
  • Uses of data in electoral and party politics viz. psephology, public opinion, data-driven campaigning.
  • State and governmental practices centred on data collection, control, and archiving.
  • The way data practices affect the everyday life of South Asian citizens and consumers.
  • Practices of civil society actors and new social movements that revolve around the use of data

We encourage scholars to draw upon diverse methodological approaches and sources. Disciplinary perspectives from political science, anthropology, sociology, history, and law are welcome, as are inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches from scholars in fields such as development studies, science & technology studies, and critical area studies.

Application Procedure:

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words using the following Google form: link. Deadline: 20th May 2022. A limited number of travel bursaries will be available for workshop participants to fully or partially cover the cost of attending the workshop in-person. We anticipate to complete the screening of abstracts by the end of May. For queries, please email Amogh Dhar Sharma at This workshop has been generously supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Call for Papers

Conversations: Searching for the Sacred in South Asia


We are excited to invite you to a postgraduate symposium on religion in South Asia, to be held in Cambridge on 1st October 2022. We seek to bring students together in a creative and collaborative way to discuss the variegated expressions of religiosity across South Asia, and to explore the dynamic intersections of religious discourse, creative arts, social location, ritual expression, and embodied practice. Participants may be affiliated to any faculty or department, and their research may span any time period.

Please submit abstracts of 150-200 words, by no later than June 1st 2022, using this submission portal. Any queries about the submission process should be directed to the organising committee at