Friday, January 19, 2007

stanford events: South Asia Colloquium

jan 19th, 2007

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From: South Asia Electronic Mailing for Seminars/Conferences <>
Date: Jan 20, 2007 4:34 AM
Subject: South Asia Colloquium


South Asia Colloquium

Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center,

Freeman Spogli Institute, Stanford University

Winter Quarter 2007

Tuesday, February 6
"Pakistan: the Limits of Islamization"
Frederic Grare, Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The islamization process in Pakistan is at the core of the contradictions and identity conflict of Pakistan. It is the permanent attempt to rewrite the history whose founding fathers intended to make the homeland for the Muslims of the Indian Subcontinent, much the against the will of the clergy. However it is also an instrument of perpetuation in power of a largely secular military, which constantly manipulates Islamic symbols.   
Although widely discussed, the process of islamization in Pakistan has remained relatively limited. No elected legislature went beyond the expression of the idea of the supremacy of the Islamic law. No elected legislature ever passed a somewhat substantial provision. Despite an increasingly strong, or at least vocal religious pressure, the constitution and the legislation of the Pakistani state are still based on a compromise between modernist institutions and ever more pressing religious demands, yet still limited. The supremacy of the Sharia is regularly reaffirmed, yet its implementation does not progress.   
The presentation will analyze the impact of the islamization policies, less however on the legal and constitutional system than on the economic, political and social life of Pakistan. Starting from the observation that the islamization process is more limited that it may seem, the presentation will draw on to say that this process reinforces more than it challenges the existing political and social order, and its most salient political expression, the current military regime, by preventing, on the one side the emergence of any real alternative political project and, although in a more pragmatic manner, by bringing back in mainstream politics the fraction of the social body which could possibly be tempted by more radical means of actions.  
In this perspective, four dimensions will be more specifically studied: 1) The evolution of the role of religious movements and parties within the Pakistani state; 2) The relationship between these same religious movements and parties and the Pakistani establishment; 3) The specific role of the madrasas in this relation; 4) The relation the religious parties entertains with democracy.  
Frederic Grare is a visiting scholar with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He will lead a project assessing U.S. and European policies toward Pakistan and, where appropriate, recommending alternatives with Ashley J. Tellis and George Perkovich. Grare will focus on the tension between stability and democratization in Pakistan, including challenges of sectarian conflict, Islamist political mobilization, and educational reform.   Grare also will facilitate interactions between U.S. experts and officials and European counterparts on the main policy challenges in South Asia.
Grare is a leading expert and writer on South Asia, having served most recently in the French embassy in Pakistan and, from 1999 to 2003 in New Delhi as director of the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities.   Grare has written extensively on security issues, Islamist movements, and sectarian conflict in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  He also has edited the volume, India, China, Russia: Intricacies of an Asian Triangle.
His most recent publications include: "India, China, Russia: Intricacies of an Asian Triangle, with Gilles Boquérat" (eds), (New Delhi, India Research Press, 2003); " Pakistan and the Afghan Conflict, 1979-1985: At the Turn of the Cold War" (Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2003); "Political Islam in the Indian Subcontinent: The Jamaat-i-Islami" (New Delhi, Manohar, 2001)
Grare has an advanced degree from Paris Institut d'Etudes Politiques and received his Ph.D. from the Graduate Institute of International Studies.
12:00 – 1:30p.m.
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, third floor, central
Contact Debbie Warren at or 650-723-2408 for more information.
Tuesday, February 13
"Nuclearization and Indian National Identity"
Lowell Dittmer, Professor Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Dittmer received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1971. His scholarly expertise is the study of contemporary China. He teaches courses on contemporary China, Northeast Asia, and the Pacific Rim. His current research interests include a study of the impact of reform on Chinese communist authority, a survey of patterns of informal politics in East Asia, and a project on the China-Taiwan-US triangle in the context of East Asian regional politics. Professor Dittmer's recently published books and monographs include " Sino-Soviet Normalization and Its International Implications" (University of Washington Press, 1992), "China's Quest for National Identity " (with Samuel Kim, Cornell University Press, 1993), "China Under Modernization" (Westview Press, 1994), and "South Asia's Nuclear Crisis " (M. E. Sharpe, 2005)
12:00 – 1:30p.m.
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, third floor, central
Contact Debbie Warren at or 650-723-2408 for more information.
Tuesday, February 20
"Imagining the Indian Nation: The role of literature in the nationalist movement: 1920-1947"
Ulka Anjaria, Ph.D. candidate in the program of Modern Thought and Literature, Stanford University
There was nothing inherently unified about the diverse cultures, religions and languages that comprised the Indian subcontinent under colonialism.  The European model of nationalism, which took for granted the existence of one religion, one language or one ethnicity was doomed to failure.  It was for this impossibility that the British argued that India was not fit to rule itself.  It was on behalf of this sense of identity that, beginning in the nineteenth century, Indian writers of literature began to imagine cultural unity through their fictional and poetic works.  
By the 1920s and 1930s, literature had come to occupy a central role in the Indian nationalist movement.  Yet literary texts not only reflected the politics of India's leaders—increasingly represented by the Indian National Congress—but questioned some of their assumptions about the path India's future should take.   For instance, the Hindi novelist Premchand set his stories primarily in rural India and satirized the machinations of the urban elite, emphasizing the rural-urban divide that was increasingly visible in mainstream nationalist politics.   Likewise, the English-language author Mulk Raj Anand located his stories among the urban poor, disempowered not only by colonialism, but also by the kind of heavy industrialization supported by Congress.  
Authors affected by Partition, such as Saadat Hasan Manto, painted a poignant picture of the injustices perpetrated on displaced families on both sides of the India-Pakistan border.   Attention to the details and artistry of these and other fictional writings can add to our understanding of these hugely significant decades in sub-continental history.
Ulka Anjaria is a Ph.D. candidate in the Program of Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University.  Her dissertation, entitled " Novel Forms: Literary Realism and the Politics of Modernity in India, 1920-1947," discusses the works of Premchand, Mulk Raj Anand, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay, Raja Rao, Manik Bandopadhyay and Ahmed Ali, relating innovations these authors make on the novel form to larger political developments of the pre-Independence period.   She has published articles in Sarai Reader and Economic and Political Weekly .
12:00 – 1:30p.m.
Philippines Conference Room

Encina Hall, third floor, central

Contact Debbie Warren at or 650-723-2408 for more information
Monday, February 26
"Mohandas Gandhi - the man, his people and an Empire"
Rajmohan Gandhi, author, visiting professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
Rajmohan Gandhi, the author of "Mohandas," a major new biography on his grandfather the Mahatma, is currently a visiting professor in the Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Faculty Director of Global Crossroads, a learning and living community at the University of Illinois.
He is a jury member for the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award, and co-chair, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, Gurgaon, India. A former member of the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the Indian Parliament), he led the Indian delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission in 1990. He is a commentator in the Indian media, and the author of several books. In 2002 he received the Sahitya Akademi (India's National Academy of Letters) Award for his Rajaji: A Life, a biography of Chakravarti Rajagoplachari (1878-1972), leading figure in India's freedom movement and Governor General of free India, 1948-50.
In 2004 he received the International Humanitarian Award (Human Rights) from the City of Champaign, and in 1997 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of law from the University of Calgary and an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Obirin University, Tokyo.
His new book, Mohandas: a True Story of a Man, his People and an Empire, has just been published by Viking/Penguin India. Other books by Gandhi include Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent
Badshah of the Pakhtuns (Penguin 2004); Revenge & Reconciliation: Understanding South Asian History (Penguin, 1999); The Good Boatman: A Portrait of Gandhi (Penguin, 1995); Patel: A Life," a biography of Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950) , Deputy Prime Minister of India, 1947-50 (Navajivan, Ahmedabad, 1990); and Eight Lives: A Study of the Hindu-Muslim Encounter (SUNY, 1987).
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, third floor, central
Contact Debbie Warren at or 650-723-2408 for more information
Tuesday March 6,
"State Building and Industrialization in India"
Vivek Chibber, Director Graduate Studies, Sociology Department, New York University
Vivek Chibber is associate professor of sociology and director of graduate studies at New York University. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, his M.A. in sociology in 1991 from the University of Wisconsin and his B.A.  in political science in 1987 from Northwestern University.
His recent publications include: "The Good Empire," The Boston Review, February/March 2005;  "From Class Compromise to Class Accommodation: Labor's Incorporation into the Indian Political Economy", Social Movements and Poverty in India, Mary Katzenstein and Raka Ray eds. (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005);   "The Return of Imperialism to Social Science", Archives de Europeenes de Sociologie-The European Journal of Sociology, December, 2004; "Reviving the Developmental State? The Myth of the 'National Bourgeoisie'," Socialist Register 2005.
His research focuses on economic sociology; sociology of development; Marxian theory; political sociology; comparative-historical sociology; social theory.
12:00 – 1:30p.m.
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, third floor
Contact Debbie Warren at or 650-723-2408 for more information

PDF File of South Asia Colloquium schedule


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