Events Archive


SeminarSeries:  “Reporting South Asia”

posterPrint and visual media journalism in South Asia is robust.  Independent newspapers, magazines, and television networks compete fiercely to break stories and shape the news cycle.  Indeed, the vibrant media presence and the growing “mediatization” of society under globalization is part of the story of South Asia. This year the Program in South Asia Studies presents a series of talks on media coverage of South Asia featuring renowned journalists, scholars, and analysts from the U.S., Europe, and the region itself. Read more...


Thursday, September 29, 2011
Pakistani Journalists: Standing Tall, Against All Odds
Beena Sarwar, Ash Center for Democratic Governance, Harvard University; editor, Aman ki Asha
216 Aaron Burr

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Covering Conflict
Zahid Hussain, journalist and senior editor, Newsline
216 Aaron Burr

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Media in Pakistan: Hope, Hype, or Hysteria
Imran Aslam, president GEO Television, Pakistan

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Illusions and Snares: Reporting India to the West

A Conversation between Pankaj Mishra and Gyan Prakash
Pankaj Mishra, novelist and essayist, London
Gyan Prakash, Department of History
4:30 p.m.
219 Aaron Burr

Thursday, November 17, 2011
Freedom of Expression in Gujarat: With Special Reference to the Media
Christophe Jaffrelot, Centre d’etudes et de recherches internationales (CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS)
216 Aaron Burr

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Covering South Asia's Insurgencies and Small Wars across Three Decades
Steve Coll, journalist and president, New America Foundation
219 Aaron Burr Hall

Thursday, March 1, 2012
Media in Pakistan: Hope, Hype, or Histeria?
Imran Aslam, president, Geo Television, Pakistan
216 Aaron Burr Hall

Monday, March 5, 2012
New York Times and South Asia
Jim Yardley, New York Times
Noon, 219 Aaron Burr

Thursday, March 15, 2012
India, Pakistan, and Kashmir: A Long War, a Cold Peace
Basharat Peer, Kashmiri journalist and political commentator; author of Curfewed Night
219 Aaron Burr Hall

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Pakistan after American Withdrawal: Dealing with Al Qaeda and Taliban
Khaled Ahmed, South Asia Free Media Association, columnist, and political analyst

Thursday, April 12, 2012
The Media and the Pakistan-India Conflict
Beena Sarwar, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard University, and editor, Aman ki Asha
219 Aaron Burr Hall

Thursday, April 19, 2012
Mohammed Hanif, Pakistani journalist and novelist
4:30 p.m.
219 Aaron Burr Hall

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Covering the South Asian Economy
Vikas Bajaj, New York Times' Mumbai correspondent
219 Aaron Burr Hall

This series is cosponsored with the Council of the Humanities and the Edwin Ferris Journalism Program; the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia; and the University Center for Human Values.

Other Events

November 11-12, 2011
Collective Motion 2.0: Developing Empowered Communities
Conference on Sustainable Development
Bernard Amadei, EWB-USA founder
Hamish Fraser, Partners in Health
Nat Paynter, charity:water
Megha Agrawal, Unreasonable Institute
Riall Nolan, author of Developmental Anthropology
Carl A. Fields Center

Cosponsored by Engineers Without Borders-Princeton, PHCR, and P-UNICEF. Additional support from USG Projects Board, Pace Council for Civic Values, Progarm in South Asian Studies, Program in Latin American Studies, Center for Health and Wellness, and Program in African Studi

India by songThursday, November 17, 2012
Film Screening and Discussion with Director
India by Song
Vijay Singh
4:30 p.m.
307 Frist Campus Center

Saturday, April 7, 2012
Ustad Shahid Parvez, sitarist
Accompanied on tabla by Ashutosh Thakur '14.
7:00 p.m.
Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall
Open to the public, free admission
Sponsored by the Department of Music and the Program in South Asian Studies.

Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, 2012
After Subaltern Studies: Conference on South Asian Studies
Keynote Speaker: Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University
8:45 a.m. - 6, April 27
8:45 a.m. - 5, April 28
219 Aaron Burr Hall
Open to the public.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
The Rise of the Antipolitical: Anna Hazare Movement and Middle-Class Discontent

Zoya Hasan, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
4:30 p.m.
219 Aaron Burr Hall


The Transmission of Culture and Politics in South Asia

September 29, 2010
A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb: A Writer’s Report on the War on Terror

Amitava Kumar (Vassar College)

October 7, 2010
Portrait of an Artist: Art and Labor in the Colonial Economy
Niharika Dinkar (Boise State University)

October 26, 2010
Law, Lawlessness, and the Cinematic Popular in Postcolonial India: A Historian's Guide to Sholay, the Movie
Sudipta Sen (University of California, Davis)

November 11, 2010
Space in Cinema: The Case of British Geographical Films on India
Priya Jaikumar (University of Southern California)

December 7, 2010
‘More Kshatriya Than Thou!’: Debating Caste Hierarchy in Colonial Tamilnadu
A.R. Venkatachalapathy (Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, India)

February 17, 2011
Labors of Objectification in a Tamil Enlightenment Movement
Francis Cody (University of Toronto)
219 Aaron Burr Hall

March 10, 2011
Colonial Government, Corporate Governance: Reading Law as Economy
Ritu Birla (University of Toronto)

March 24, 2011
In Cold Blood: Police Vigilante Violence and its Publics in Contemporary India
Beatrice Jauregui (University of Cambridge)

March 31, 2011
Performative Dispensations: Mass Publicity and the Grounds of Film Censorship in Modern India
William Mazarella (University of Chicago)

April 7, 2011
Science, Culture, and Caste Identity among the Brahmans of Tamil Nadu
Chris Fuller (London School of Economics)

April 14, 2011
Insights into the Maoist Revolution in India
Alpa Shah (University of London)


Other Events

September 27, 2010
Pakistan After the Floods: Relief, Reconstruction, and the Role of the United States
Pervez Hoodbhoy (Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad)
4:30 p.m.
219 Aaron Burr Hall
Cosponsored by the Program in South Asian Studies, the Program on Global Security, and the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

November 8, 2010
Panel Discussion
Law and the Politics of Religion: The Ayodhya Judgment
Christophe Jaffrelot (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales)
Gyan Prakash (Department of History, Princeton University)
3rd Floor Atrium, Aaron Burr Hall

November 18
A Conversation with Amitav Ghosh
Luncheon with the noted Indian author whose collection of essays, Incendiary Circumstances, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin.
219 Aaron Burr Hall
Registration required. Contact

February 3, 2011
Municipal Disconnect: On Abjection and Absence in Mumbai’s Water Supply
Nikhil Anand (Stanford University)
216 Aaron Burr Hall

February 10, 2011
Regional Modernities and Cereal Research in India, 1947-1960
Madhumita Saha (Iowa State University)
216 Aaron Burr Hall

March 4, 2011
Marriage and Youth in Contemporary India
A workshop sponsored by an Oxford-Princeton Collaborative Research Grant
9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
216 Aaron Burr Hall

April 20, 2011
Displacement, Development, and Democracy
Medha Patkar (Social Activist, India)
219 Aaron Burr Hall



Islam, Modernity, and South AsiaIslam Poster
Seminar Series 2009-2010

All events were held in 202 Jones Hall.

Thursday, October 1, 2009
The Rise and Fall of Glitter: Old Delhi's Muslim Artisans
Mira Mohsini (School of Oriental and African Studies)

Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Gotarka PIR: Delegation and Exchange at A Muslim Shrine in Gujarat
Parvis Ghassen-Fachandi (Rutgers University)

Monday, November 9, 2009
Muslims in India Today: Towards Marginalisation?
Christophe Jaffrelot (Sciences Po, Paris)
4:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Kashmir: Fading Insurgency?
Salman Haidar (Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi)

Thursday, December 3, 2009
The Pakistani Military's Fight againt Talibanization
Ayesha Siddiqa (columnist, Dawn, an English daily in Pakistan)

Thursday, December 10, 2009
Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Challenges Ahead
Frank G. Wisner, Former U.S. Ambassador to India and Egypt

February 11, 2010
Bombay’s Urban Modernity and the Urdu Progressive Writers
Gyan Prakash
Dayton-Stockton Professor of History, Princeton University

February 25, 2010
Socioeconomic Conditions of Muslims in India: Issues and Policy Response
Rakesh Basant
Professor of Economics, Indian Institute of Management

March 11, 2010
The Battles for Kashmir: Kashmiris between India and Pakistan
Basharat Peer
Fellow, Open Society Institute

April 1, 2010
Hindu-Muslim Relations and the ‘War on Terror’
Philippa Williams
Smuts Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

April 15, 2010
Some Philosophical Issues in the Clash between Liberalism and Muslim Identity
Akeel Bilgrami
Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Cosponsored by the Program in South Asian Studies, Transregional Institute, Department and Program in Near Eastern Studies, and the Center for the Study of Religion, and sponsored in part by a gift to the University Center for Human Values in honor of James Moffett '29.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Democracy and Violence, Agonism and Community, Politics and Not Politics in Eastern Sri Lanka
Jonathan Spencer, University of Edinburgh
4:30 pm
216 Aaron Burr Hall

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Remembering Hind Swaraj: One Hundred Years of Mahatma Gandhi's Vision for India and the World
Panel Discussion: Jonathan Schell, The Nation Institute; Ronald Terchek, University of Maryland; Gyan Prakash, Princeton University; Jonathan Gold, Princeton University. Moderator: M. V. Ramana, Princeton University
219 Aaron Burr Hall

The Program in South Asian Studies hosts a panel discussion to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s most important political work, "Hind Swaraj."  In this book,Gandhi laid out a vision for India and his ideals for a better world.  The panel will assess the significance of Gandhi’s ideas in India today and what advicehe may have for world leaders and people today.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Globalization and Identity: An Indian View
Sudhir Kakar, psychoanalyst and writer, Goa, India
4:30 pm
219 Aaron Burr Hall

South Asia Film Society
Fall Film Festival

Cosponsored with the South Asian Students Association

 October 2, 2009
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995). Director: Aditya Chopra. The film that may soon make an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge has run in Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir for almost 14 years and still manages to draw a full house. A typical Bollywood movie experience complete with music, wedding scenes, melodrama, and dancing— a sweet love story in an NRI backdrop.   It was a trendsetter of sorts, with the lead couple being second-generation Indians living in England with deep Indian values.  The film’s music was a hit. Winner of 10 Filmfare awards.

October 23, 2009
Parzania (2007). Director: Rahul Dholakia. Parzania  (Heaven and Hell on Earth), in English, is based on a Zoroastrian family after the Gujarat riots of 2002. Inspired by the true story of a 10-year-old Parsi boy who disappeared during the communal riots and his family’s search to find him. Gives a rendition of the intensity of the Gujarat riots without sounding like a textbook. Awesome performances.

November 13, 2009
Dil Chahta Hai (2001). Director: Farhan Akhtar. The award-winning Dil Chahta Hai (The Heart Desires) is set in modern-day Mumbai, the film focuses on a major period of transition in the lives of three young friends. A Hindi-language film that portrays contemporary Indian youth accurately and in a fresh manner. Fun and relevant.

November 20, 2009
Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2005). Director: Sudhir Mishra. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi  (A ThousandWishes) tells the story of three young adults in India in the 1970s, when the country was undergoing massive social and political change.  The movie weaves through their lives, while in college and after, and is interlaced with the political upheaval of the times. Humanizes the political movements and dehumanizes the state. The characters are multilayered and complex and the actors give strong performances.

December 4, 2009
Rang De Basanti (2006). Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Rang De Basanti  (Color Me Saffron), is the story of a British filmmaker who is determined to make a film on Indian freedom fighters based on the diary entries of her grandfather, a former officer of the British Army in India. When she arrives in India, she asks a group of young men to act in the film; after they begin filming a friend of theirs is killed in a fighter-aircraft crash and they learn that government corruption was the root of the incident. The event radicalizes the group and they become determined to avenge their friend’s death.  An entertaining mix of romance, history, and social commentary that reflects contemporary India.



Monday, September 15, 2008
"The United States versus Shahawar Matin Siraj: Pakistani, American, Terrorist?"
Amitava Kumar, Vassar College 
4:30 p.m., Bowl 1, Robertson Hall, WWS

Monday, October 6, 2008
"Isvara in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras"
Edwin Bryant, Rutgers University
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Thursday, October 9, 2008
Support to Local Governments versus ‘Community Driven Development’ in South Asia: Cases from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh
Jeff Hammer, Princeton University
Noon, 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Monday, October 13, 2008
Illuminating the Ineffable: Metaphors in Yogacara Buddhist Philosophy
Jonathan Gold, Princeton University
Noon, 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Monday, October 20, 2008
Photography and the Transformation of Culture 
Christopher Pinney, University College London 
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Monday, November 3, 2008
 Boundaries of History: Historicizing Border Crossing
Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, Brown University
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Monday, November 10, 2008
The Politics of Waiting: Youth in Limbo and the Making of an Indian Middle Class” 
Craig Jeffrey, University of Washington
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Monday, November 24, 2008
The Crisis of Feminism in Some Recent Indian Fiction in English
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan, George Washington University
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall

February 6 and 7, 2009
"Approaching God: A Symposium on Hindu Devotion"
Friday, February 6, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; Saturday, February 7, 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
219 Aaron Burr Hall
Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion

Monday, February 16, 2009
Of Celestial Gods and Terrestrial Globes in Modern India
Sumathi Ramaswamy, Duke University
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall

Monday, February 23, 2009
 Culture Turns: Kathak, Nation, and Gender in Contemporary India
Pallabi Chakravorty, Swarthmore College
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall  

Monday, March 30, 2009
 Fictional Environments, Environmental Fictions: Ecology in Postcolonial Literature
Sangeeta Ray, University of Maryland
4:30 p.m., 216 Aaron Burr Hall

March 31, 2009 and April 1, 2009
A Festival of Kabir
Film and Music Celebrating Kabir, a 15th-Century North Indian PoetKabir Poster

Kabir, a fifteenth-century North Indian mystical poet who remains a popular and influential figure, is the focus of this music and documentary film program. He is admired by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, secularists, atheists, as well as by followers of the Kabir sect who claim him as a God. 

This program features Prahlad Singh Tipanya, a renowned Kabir folksinger, and Shabnam Virmani, a prominent Indian filmmaker, who will present her documentary films "Journeys with Kabir.”  It is sponsored by the Program in South Asian Studies, the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Council of the Humanities, and The Lewis Center for the Arts. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., 219 Aaron Burr Hall
 "Journeys with Kabir," a series of three documentary films, moves through contemporary spaces touched by the music and poetry of the fifteenth century mystic-weaver-poet Kabir. The films introduce a diverse array of people—an urban folklorist, a fruit vendor, a social activist, a Dalit folk singer, an American scholar, a neo-fascist cleric of a Kabir sect, and Muslim singers from Rajasthan and Pakistan—with each encounter offering moments of surprising insight into the poetry and its contemporary meanings. The films are a travelogue of changing landscapes, music, and colors that provides a glimpse of many Kabirs. Sometimes he beckons, sometimes he baffles, but always he pushes self interrogation and asks people to question the boundaries of identity, nation, caste, and religion. The films connect in significant ways, but each can be viewed independently.  Each film is approximately 90-minutes long.

Film 1: Koi Sunta Hoi (Someone is Listening: Journeys with Kumar and Kabir)
This film interweaves the folk traditions of Kabir in central India with the intensely personal narrative of the great classical singer Kumar Gandharva (1924–92), who lived in the same area and was deeply influenced by local folk music—especially Kabir.  Moving between folk and classical and rural and urban expressions of Kabir, the film finds moments of both continuity and rupture in these worlds.

Film 2: Had-Anahad (Borders and Beyond: Journeys with Ram and Kabir)
This film is an attempt to understand Kabir's “Ram” (a name for God in various Indian traditions) through encounters in India and Pakistan.  It delves into the heart of divisive Hindu-Muslim politics of religion and nationalism in contemporary society and probes the forces of history that have created disputatiously diverse Rams while also spawning many Kabirs.

Film 3: Kabira Khada Bazaar Me (In the Market Stands Kabir: Journeys in Sacred and Secular Worlds)
This film investigates the ironies and tensions between secular and sacred Kabir, interweaving the sacralization of Kabir by the Kabir Panth with the secular appropriation of the poet by the activist group Eklavya. The story unfolds through the life of Prahlad Singh Tipanya, a singer whose participation in the Panth and Eklavya begins to raise difficult questions for him about ritual and organized religion.

 An interview with the filmmaker Virmani is available at   

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
7:00 p.m., Chancellor Green
Prahlad Singh Tipanya 
Musical Concert in Folk, Sufi, and Classical Styles

Tipanya, one of the main artists featured in Virmani’s films, lives in the village of Lunyakhedi in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, near the cities of Dewas and Ujjain. A rural schoolteacher, he began singing in the late 1970s after being attracted by the sound of the folk tambura. His rare talent, passion, and insight have caused him to be increasingly recognized as a remarkable exponent of Kabir’s music and meanings. Among many other honors, he received the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2008. Tipanya will be joined on stage by his sons Vijay (manjira) and Ajay (dholak), brother Ambaram (majira, kartal, and harmonium), and Devnarayan Sarolia (violin).





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