South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

18th International Conference on Maharashtra

Sat, January 26, 2019 | Glickman Conference Center, Rooms RLP 1.302A and B, UT Austin campus

9:00 AM - 6:30 PM

18th International Conference on Maharashtra

The 18th International Conference on Maharashtra: Culture and Society will be held at the University of Texas at Austin, January 24-26, 2019, 9 AM-6:30 PM. Its theme is: Communication and Community in historic and contemporary Maharashtra

Any community is created by communication among its members. In a major culture zone, such as the one where the Marathi language is understood, communication has taken many forms through time. Traditionally these forms have included large pilgrimages accompanied by images and songs that traverse city and countryside, the circulation of texts in manuscript form and orally by individual itinerant puraniks and performers, and gatherings in local shrines, bazaars, forts, courts, and kachehris, where official business, daily activities, or simple curiosity have brought people together. In modern times, printing brought new forms of communication and community formation. Print, we know, underwent revolutionary changes in the colonial period, changes that intensified with the development of 'modern' education and the press. The past century added cinema, and the last few decades have also seen the meteoric rise of cybermedia.

Maharashtra has had a strong presence in all these forms of communication, and many communities related to these forms have emerged and disappeared through time.

This conference seeks to bring together scholars of all disciplines with an interest in this theme through the past and present of Maharashtra. Members of the public are most welcome as observers. Proceedings will integrate English and Marathi. There will be no registration fee.

DAY 1: Thursday, January 24, 2019

DAY 2: Friday, January 25, 2019

DAY 3: Saturday, January 26, 2019

9:00-10:30 AM: Ambedkar and Maharashtra
Chair: Shraddha Kumbhojkar
Shailaja Paik (University of Cincinnati), Ambedkari Jalse (Ambedkarite Jalsas): Fighting Caste, Gender, Sexual Politics, and Constructing Community in Late Colonial Mumbai
Tereza Menšíková (Masaryk University), Maharashtra's Dalits: Buddhism as a Communication Tool of Socio-political Protest
Scott Stroud (University of Texas at Austin), Communication, Community, and Pragmatism in the Early Thought of Bhimrao Ambedkar: Analysis of Ambedkar’s Philosophy

10:30-10:45 AM: BREAK

10:45 AM -12:15 PM: Religiosity of Dalit Neo-Buddhists at Pune University
Chair: Scott Stroud
Vidya Nadkarni (University of San Diego), From the Ground: The Struggle for Equality through the Eyes of Dalit Students
Joel Gruber (University of San Diego), The Religiosity of Dalit Neo-Buddhists at Pune University: Preliminary Findings of a Diachronic Ethnographic Study
Shraddha Kumbhojkar (Savitribai Phule Pune University), Weekly Deenmitra: The Friend of the Oppressed

12:15-1:00 PM: BREAK

1:00-2:30 PM: Changing Forms of Rural Communication
Chair: Anne Feldhaus
Anna C. Schultz, (University of Chicago), Visual Amplification, Performance, and Community at Alandi’s Sacred SkylineC.
Anagha Tambe (Mount Holyoke College), ‘Vulgar’ Songs/Stories of Khandoba in the Contemporary Music Industry and New Religiosities in Urban Maharashtra
Lee Schlesinger (Independent Scholar), Social Structure and Village Talk: Referring to One Another in Apshinge

2:30-3:30 PM: Eighteenth-century Statecraft
Chair: Rosalind O’Hanlon
Nikhil Bellarykar (Independent Scholar), From Ships to Press: How Europe Saw Maratha Navy
Rupali Warke (University of Texas at Austin), Pilgrimage as a Mode of Political Diplomacy

3:30-4:00 PM: BREAK

4:00-5:00 PM: Missionaries, Pedagogy, Print, Language
Chair: Prachi Deshpande
Mohini Savedkar (K.V. Pendharkar College), Christian Missionaries and the Indigenous Marathi Community: Linguistic and Cultural Interface
Jessica Chandras (George Washington University), The Aksharnandan School: Marathi-medium Education for the Middle Class in India

5:00-6:30 PM: Plenary and Planning Session

Sponsored by: South Asia Institute, Department of History

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