Jamal J. Elias “Troubling Translations and the Elusive Original: Translating More than Text” 12 pm March 19, 2021
Please see the poster below for the Zoom link
Professor Jamal J. Elias is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in Islamic thought, literature, and history in Western, Central, and South Asia, with a focus on Sufism and Visual Culture. His most recent books are On Wings of Diesel: Trucks, Identity and Culture in Pakistan (Oxford 2011), Aisha’s Cushion: Religious Art, Perception and Practice in Islam (Cambridge, MA, 2012), and Alef is for Allah: Childhood, Emotion and Visual Culture in Islamic Societies (Berkeley, 2018).
Organized by the University at Buffalo Asian Studies Program and Translation Zone Humanities Institute Research Workshop
“Isolation to Responsibilization: Contradictions of Trans Activism in India during COVID-19”
The COVID-19 pandemic and the Indian state’s high-handed response in the form of severe lockdowns without adequate notice or welfare measures had profoundly debilitating effects on socially vulnerable groups, including trans and gender-diverse people. As many have documented, these impacts, including livelihood loss and psychosocial isolation, prompted a flurry of mobilization and fundraising by trans and kothi-hijra (transfeminine spectrum) activists and organizations for not just their own communities but also other marginalized social groups. This burgeoning sphere of COVID-related activism helped mitigate the intensified social and structural isolation of trans and other vulnerable groups during the pandemic, but evidences several contradictions. Since the immediate need for relief took precedence over challenging state policies, trans activism helped fill in for token welfare measures meted out to these communities, which intensified the process of neoliberal responsibilization wherein individuals and the “civil society” take up responsibility to make up for declining state infrastructure and social security. Further, this activism was characterized by profound inequalities in recognition and funding among activists based on class, caste and geographic location, and the state’s utilization of the pandemic period to institute undemocratic bodies for trans welfare, in which elite trans activists were complicit. Based on ethnography and collaborative activism in eastern India, this lecture will explore the conundrums and potentials of Indian trans activism during an unprecedented crisis.
Dr. Dutta is Associate Professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Iowa. Their work has appeared in journals such as Transgender Studies Quarterly, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Gender, and History, and South Asian History and Culture.
Friday, Feb 26 at 9 PM EST
Paul Livingstone & SANGAM, Guest Performers
Sangam is the chamber music duo of sitarist Paul Livingstone and cellist Peter Jacobson. They have been featured on three Grammy Award-winning records artists with Ozomatli, Quetzal & Rickey Kej.
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 bit.ly/translationzone
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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”
Please join fellow scholars and faculty for the first annual Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia at the University at Buffalo. The conference will feature a keynote lecture by Sujatha Gidla, acclaimed author ofAnts Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017). Undergraduate presenters from institutions located throughout the United States will share their current research on South Asia. Undergraduate scholars based in South Asia will be joining us via Skype.
The first annual Rustgi South Asian Undergraduate Research Conference is made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Vinod Rustgi and his family. The University at Buffalo Asian Studies Program, Department of Anthropology, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Linguistics, Honors College, Office of International Education, and Humanities Institute have provided additional support and funding.
Lecture 12:30 PM – Screening Room, Center for the Arts, UB
Workshop 2:30 to 5:00 PM – Art Studio, Center for the Arts, UB
Visiting artist Seema Kohli (India) has offered a rare opportunity for the UB and Buffalo area community to join her in a gold-leaf painting workshop. The gold-leaf painting workshop focuses on an ancient, traditional Indian art form.
The workshop is limited to 20 participants, and a ticket is required (register here). The workshop runs from 2:30pm to 5pm on Friday, October 27, 2017. The workshop is free, but is limited to 20 participants. All materials will be provided.
The workshop is directly after Seema Kohli’s 12:30pm public lecture “In Silence the Secrets Speak” (CFA Screening Room, UB North). The lecture traces the influence of ancient and modern Indian traditions (legends & myths) to Seema’s own spiritual quest and expression in her art. Registration for the 12:30pm lecture is NOT required.
Lucknow: A Historic Indian City in the Twenty-first Century
A Roundtable Asia@Noon presentation featuring:
Dr. Dauji Gupta, Former Mayor of Lucknow
Dr. Walter Hakala, UB Department of English and Asian Studies Program
Dr. Ashima Krishna, UB Department of Urban and Regional Planning
Ms. Kayleigh Reed, UB Asian Studies Program, Boren SAFLI Fellow in Lucknow
September 15, 12 pm in 280 Park Hall, UB North Campus
All are welcome.
Dr. Dauji Gupta is a former mayor of Lucknow, served as a State Senator, and is an author, poet, and linguist. His PhD is from the University of Lucknow, and he also has studied in Lucknow Christian College and the University of Vermont. In addition to his work as a politician and a scholar, Dr. Gupta led and was a member of movement for the emancipation of Dalits and the abolition of the caste system in India. Dr. Gupta was born in Lucknow, grew up there, and is deeply influenced by the cultural traditions of the city.
Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin, Law School
About the speaker: Mitra Sharafi is a legal historian of South Asia. She holds law degrees from Cambridge and Oxford (the UK equivalent of a JD and LLM) and a doctorate in history from Princeton. Sharafi’s book, Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia: Parsi Legal Culture, 1772-1947 (Cambridge University Press, 2014) won the Law and Society Association’s J. Willard Hurst Prize for socio-legal history in 2015. The book explores the legal culture of the Parsis or Zoroastrians of British India, an ethno-religious minority that was unusually invested in colonial law. Her research interests include South Asian legal history; the history of the legal profession; the history of colonialism; the history of contract law; law and society; law and religion; law and minorities; legal consciousness; legal pluralism; and the history of science and medicine. Sharafi is a regular contributor to the Legal History Blog. Since 2010, her South Asian Legal History Resources website has shared research guides and other tools for the historical study of law in South Asia. Follow her blogposts and follow her on Twitter @mjsharafi Read more. DOWNLOAD PAPER: “Corruption and Forensic Experts in Colonial India” (573 KB)
Urdu Travel Literature and Princely Politics in South Asia
Friday, March 10, 2017
12 to 1 pm
280 Park Hall
In 1851, the young Tukoji Holkar, Maharaja of Indore, went missing under suspicious circumstances. Some said his regent wanted him out of the picture. Others speculated that he’d been kidnapped and taken to Calcutta by nefarious colonial agents. In truth, he’d skipped town to make a clandestine tour of of North India. After his return, Holkar did something that was doubly unprecedented for a Persian-speaking court of his time: he wrote a travelogue, and he wrote it in Urdu. Following his lead, other princes across the region began to write their own, increasingly elaborate travel accounts. By the end of the 19th century, writing about travel have become a well established expression of princely praxis. Focusing on two narratives in Urdu from 1851, this talk will argue that the decision to write a travel account – and to do so in Urdu – reflected Holkar’s, and the princely states’, desire to use travel literature to stabilize their legitimacy at a time when colonial predations had rendered it increasingly precarious.
Daniel Majchrowicz is an Assistant Professor of South Asian Literature and Culture at Northwestern University. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 2015. He is currently working on two manuscripts. The first is a study of Urdu travel writing from 1830-1950, tentatively titled “Travel and the Means to Victory: Travel and Travel Writing in Modern South Asia.” The second is a collaborative project aimed at producing a scholarly anthology of Muslim women’s travel writing from across the world, entitled “Veiled Voyagers.”
Literary Decadence and Writing the History of Political Decline
A Public Lecture by
Arthur Dudney (Cambridge University)
Wednesday November 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm
306 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo (Amherst Campus)
Historians have always been interested in describing the trajectories of empires. The metaphor used for political development has often been that of a human life, from birth through to adolescence, maturity, senescence, and finally death. The topic of this lecture is the senescent phase of empires, more specifically the outmoded but still surprisingly prevalent assumption on the part of historians that whatever other factors have caused an empire to decline, an aesthetic or intellectual failure must also be identified. The
supposed decline in the quality of a late empire’s literary output, or “decadence” to use the term most commonly applied, is however poorly theorized both by historians and literary scholars. There is often a circular logic in the academic division of labor: Historians use the decontextualized insights of literary scholars to argue that literature decreased in quality in an empire’s last phase while literary scholars use historians’ work to read societal decline into literary works. Ultimately this reflects more of our own preconceptions than the thought of the society being studied. This lecture will draw on two very different historiographical case studies, namely the Roman Empire and the Mughal Empire, which ruled much of the Indian subcontinent from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century. Our understanding of the fall of Rome has become much more sophisticated in recent decades but in the case of India the colonial historiography (itself built upon some long-outdated ideas about the late Roman Empire) is still in need of being reconsidered.