Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Workshop on Navarātri, Navarātra and Durgāpūjā in South Asia and beyond

Fri, November 18, 2016 | Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118)

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Photo by Ute Hüsken
Photo by Ute Hüsken

Today a festival called alternatively Navarātri / Navarātra / Durgāpūjā / Dusshera / Dassain is celebrated all over South Asia, often with great fervor and massive public participation. The festival lasts for nine nights and ends with a celebration called Vijayadaśami ("the tenth (day) of victory"). We find such Navarātri celebrations all over South Asia and worldwide, wherever South Asians settle. While in some traditions several Navarātris are celebrated, the most widely known and publicly celebrated Navarātri festival takes place in the month of Āśvina (September-October).

On November 17 and 18, a working group that grew out of a collaboration grant between UT Austin and the University of Oslowill will meet for a workshop at UT Austin to present their research on the Navarātri festival. 

November 17, 1:00PM - 5:00PM and November 18, 10:00AM - 2:00PM
Location: Meyerson Conference Room (WCH 4.118)

SCHEDULE for November 18, 10:00AM - 2:00PM

Session 3: Negotiations of Power and Identity

  • Jennifer D. Ortegren (Middlebury): “Going Home for Navarātri”: Negotiating Caste, Class and Gender Between Rural and Urban Rajasthan
  • Caleb Simmons (Tucson/Bochum): Domains of Dasara: Reflections on the struggle for significance in contemporary Mysore

11:45am–12   Coffee/tea break

Session 4: Authority and Agency

  • Xenia Zeiler (Helsinki): Durgāpūjā on WhatsApp and Facebook. Digital Practices of Festival Visitors Reshaping Identity Negotiations
  • Astrid Zotter (Heidelberg): Who kills the buffalo? Authority and Agency in the Ritual Logistics of the Nepalese Dasain Festival 

2pm   Lunch (Meyerson Conference Room)

For abstracts on each presentation, and more information on the workshops, please visit


Sponsored by: Sponsored by: South Asia Institute, Department of Asian Studies, and the UT-Oslo Collaboration Grant

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