CFP: Heritage and History in South Asia

Heritage and History in South Asia

This is a call for papers for a cross-disciplinary international conference on concepts and constructions of heritage and history in South Asia, jointly organized by the SOAS South Asia Institute in London and Presidency University in Kolkata.  The conference will take the form of two linked workshops, of which the first will be held in London on 5-6 September 2016 to mark the centenary of SOAS, and the second in Kolkata to mark the bicentenary of Presidency University in 2017.
Contributors are asked to address the following questions in their papers:

1. Theorising Heritage

How is the notion of ‘heritage’ conceptualised in contemporary South Asia? Do we find heritage to be a catalyst of politics or is it a tool of empowerment? Is heritage a source of identity or a means of cultural expression? Does heritage affect the production of reality in societies and is it the material and/or mental proof of history?

2. Between the Global and Local Forms of South Asian Heritage

To what extent is the conservation of a particular legacy from South Asia’s past, whether tangible or intangible, inspired or influenced by global discourses and evaluations, and to what extent by more purely local considerations?

3. Dynamic Heritage

What are the new manifestations of heritage and from what sense of history do they spring? In what way does the contemporary interpretation of heritageshape social relations and the understanding of coherence in societies?

4. Heritage Politics

To what extent are South Asian definitions and evaluations of ‘heritage’ changing or being contested in the countries of the region today? How is cultural heritage anchored in law and practised as a right? Can we perceive heritage as the key to human/nonhuman relations or to the politics of citizenship?

We invite contributions which address one or more of these four areas in relation to South Asian cultural production (especially film, literature, media, music, art, architecture and food), religious institutions and practices, intellectual traditions, and the practices and customs of everyday life, both domestic and public.

Selected papers from the two workshops will be published in an edited volume or special journal issue.

This initial call is being sent only to members of SOAS and Presidency faculty.  A further call for papers from members of other institutions will be issued later in the autumn.

If you would like to present a paper at either of these conferences, please send a 400-word abstract accompanied by a one-page CV/biodata to the organizing committee, using the email address by the end of the working day on 13
November 2015. We will aim to make our selection of papers and inform those who have submitted abstracts by the end of November.

Draft papers will be required for circulation among participants one month in advance of the conference date.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes

Michael Hutt, on behalf of the conference organizing committee: Michael
Hutt, Crispin Branfoot, Eleanor Newbigin, Stefanie Lotter
(SOAS); UpalChakrabarti, Sukanya Sarbadhikary, Soumen Mukherjee

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