Monthly Archives: November 2020

Christi Merrill (U Michigan): “the artistry and afterlives of anti-caste activism” (Dec. 4)

Christi Merrill December 4 2020 lecture announcement

The Translation Zone Humanities Institute research workshop is happy to invite you to our end-of-semester talk by Dr. Christi A. Merrill, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, South Asian Literature, and Postcolonial Theory, University of Michigan. The title of her talk is “the artistry and afterlives of anti-caste activism.”

The hour-long event will take place at 4:00 PM on Friday, 4th December, 2020. To join the online event, please visit

As a noted translator and anti-caste academic, Dr. Merrill will speak to us about translation practices in Dalit literature, her own translation work and publishing ventures, as well as larger questions concerning the identities of the author, the translator, and the publisher. You can find out more about her prolific body of translation work and teaching here

We are very excited to be hosting her as part of our workshop and look forward to having you all join us for this talk! Questions may be directed to Shantam Goyal <>

Abhipsa Chakraborty : “Activism of Intersectionality: Dalit Politics at the Cusp of Caste, Class and Gender in Contemporary India” (3:30 pm Dec. 1)

Poster announcing Chakraborty lecture December 1, 2020 at 3:30 pm

We are very pleased to announce the first talk in the social justice works-in-progress series, which emerged from one of the Department of English affinity groups and is intended to bring academic and activist work into close conjunction:

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 3:30 p.m.

Abhipsa Chakraborty, University at Buffalo Department of English

“Activism of Intersectionality: Dalit Politics at the Cusp of Caste, Class and Gender in Contemporary India”

For a Zoom invitation to join, please email Doug Basford <>.

Please make plans to attend and help us spread the word!

CfP: 2021 Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia

Isolation and its Discontents
February 26th and 27th, 2021
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Lodhi Gardens at Night (photo credit: Walter Hakala)

We present the third annual Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia by reflecting upon the rich history of South Asia and its connection to present-day conditions. We invite papers on the theme of “Isolation,” where isolation may be interpreted broadly, whether in its social, political, or environmental sense. To a lot of us today, isolation on a global scale would seem like a novel phenomenon. But both in its metaphorical and literal manifestations, isolation has throughout history been a marker of something tempestuous and has provoked resistance. The conference will feature a keynote lecture from Aniruddha Dutta, Associate Professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa.

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

  • Socio-political forms of isolation, including separation and seclusion
  • Physical isolation
  • Surveillance
  • Efforts to isolate certain “master categories” (caste, race, gender, nationality) out of the messy reality of humanity
  • Myths of environmental isolation
  • Atavistic claims, be they nationalist, religious, linguistic, or otherwise
  • Isolation and diaspora

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 around presentations addressing similar issues that draw from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including the social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, management, humanities, fine arts, and others. 

Please click to submit proposals.


The conference will be held online on Friday, February 26th, and Saturday, February 27th, 2021. Students 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 ( by January 1st, 2021.

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.


Please contact for more information about the conference. 

To view past conference programs, please visit or

The third annual Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia is made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Vinod Rustgi and his family.