CfP: Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia, University at Buffalo, November 2, 2019 (deadline August 1)

2019 Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia

Exploring Culture, Climate, and Connections

November 2, 2019

University at Buffalo, SUNY

We present the second annual Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia by reflecting upon the rich history of South Asia, and its connection to present day conditions regarding culture and climate. We invite papers on the theme of “Exploring Culture, Climate, and Connections,” where climate may be interpreted broadly, whether in its social, political, or environmental sense. The conference will feature a keynote lecture from Suraj Yengde, award-winning scholar and activist from India.

Undergraduate participants from all disciplines, working on any topic relating to the region, are welcome to submit proposals. Possible topics of discussion include:

  • Social issues, human rights issues, LGBTQ issues, gender and caste concerns in present-day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
  • Literary genres, artistic movements, new and old technologies, trends in South Asian cinema and pop culture.
  • Sustainability and environmental revitalization efforts.
  • Human migration, population shifts, and related environmental issues.
  • Modern social movements.
  • The ebb and flow of religious factions and fundamentalisms within Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Sikhism.   
  • Trends in domestic and international law, including NGO and INGO work.
  • The impact, or lack thereof, regarding education and the spread of accurate information.
  • Wars, genocides, ethnic or political violence, and refugee issues (in recent or long-standing conflicts).
  • Responses to climate change in entrepreneurship, infrastructure, urban planning, science, engineering, and finance.

While this list of suggestions is by no means exhaustive, we encourage papers that address less commonly researched sociopolitical issues, communities, or theories. We hope to organize panels with presenters addressing similar issues from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Please click to submit proposals. Accepted applicants who submit complete proposals by August 1, 2019 may be eligible for a travel subvention of up to $400, with several options for reimbursement of accommodations. Applicants should also seek funding from their home institutions. The conference organizers will assist participants in seeking affordable accommodations in Buffalo.


The conference will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the University at Buffalo. Student presenters should plan for 15-minute presentations. Each panel will include 30 minutes for discussion.


Proposals, including 250-word abstracts and the contact information of a faculty supervisor, must be submitted via the online submissions portal ( Those seeking travel subventions must submit their complete application (including a brief justification of expenses and efforts to seek supplemental funding) no later than August 1, 2019. Submissions will be accepted after this date on a rolling basis, space permitting, until September 7, 2019. Applicants will be notified about the status of their submissions and the availability of travel subventions beginning in late August 2019.

When submitting abstracts, applicants must affirm that they will be enrolled as undergraduate students at the time of the conference. Those in graduate programs or not currently enrolled in an undergraduate program will not be permitted to present. The organizers reserve the right to confirm student status with their advisor and home institution. The organizers regret that they are unable to assist international applicants who require visas to enter the United States.


Please contact for more information about the conference.

The second annual Rustgi South Asian Undergraduate Research Conference is made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Vinod Rustgi and his family.