Commencement Forum: It’s a Girl! The Meaning of Being a Woman in an Indian Society

Beloved Daughters: Photographs by Fazal Sheikh, currently on display in the David Winton Bell Gallery, focuses on the situation of women in rural India. In conjunction with the exhibition, this Year of India forum will address the cultural construction of women in India as daughters, married women and widows. Professor of Anthropology Lina Fruzzetti will discuss issues of dowry and marriage for both Hindus and Muslims. What does it mean to be a widow? Who is a marginal person? And what are the alternatives for women in an Indian society?

Following the forum, there will be an informal reception to celebrate Brown’s 2009-10 Year of India–a program of major public lectures, cultural events, academic conferences, and other explorations of India and its dramatic rise on the world stage.

Location: List Art Building, Room 120, 64 College Street.

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Commencement Forum: Honorary Degree Recipient Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar, professor emerita of ancient Indian history at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, India, is a world-renowned scholar who revolutionized the study of early Indian history. She will speak on “The Past as Recorded in Early North India.”

The prevalent view is that Indian civilization lacked a sense of history and therefore wrote no history. This lecture will attempt to explain why this view came to prevail, why it is legitimate to question it, and how we can recognize the variety of ways in which historical consciousness was expressed in early India.

Location: List Art Center, Room 120, 64 College Street.
Read more about Professor Thapar and the other 2010 honorary degree recipients here.

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Odissi Dance Presentation by Neeta Pal ’09

“Odissi Dance: Bodies and Stories Unbound”
Neeta Pal ’09 will present Odissi, an Indian classical dance form originating in Orissa, India. Neeta has spent the past year studying at the Orissa Dance Academy (ODA) in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, on a Fulbright Creative and Performing Arts Fellowship. ODA is one of the largest institutions of Odissi dance in the world.

Apart from performing, Neeta will share her observations about Odissi as a lens onto globalized India, addressing issues such as the promotion and consumption of classical dance and the evolution of dance as livelihood, spiritual practice and entertainment.

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Related Event: Young Researchers Meet

A large number of new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs), IITs and Central Universities have been started recently in India. All these institutions and existing academic institutions require outstanding faculty members in mathematics and computer science. The primary goal of this meeting is to inform junior faculty, post-docs and senior graduate students in the US about academic opportunities available in India and motivate them to return to India. A delegation from India representing a wide cross-section of institutes and universities will make presentations on various aspects of an academic career in India. Prof. K. R. Sreenivasan of NYU, the former director of ICTP, Trieste will present an external perspective of challenges in science in India. Younger participants will also make brief presentations on their work.
Hosted by the Division of Applied Mathematics. More information available here.

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Samagam: Coming Together through Classical Indian Dance

Nehha Bhatnagar, a professional dancer from New Delhi, will perform Bharatanatyam and give a lecture on cultural diplomacy. Kabob ‘n Curry will be served before the performance, beginning at 6:45pm.
Presented by the International Relations Departmental Undergraduate Group. Co-sponsored by the South Asian Students Association and the Year of India.

Location: List Art Building, Room 120, 64 College Street.

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Fain Lecture on the Rise of India and China by Pranab Bardhan

The Department of Economics presents the 2010 Bernard I. Fain Lecture in Economics, “Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: A Comparative Economic Assessment of the Rise of China and India,” by Pranab Bardhan, professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Bardhan heads the MacAthur Foundation International Research Network on Inequality and Economic Performance, a unit of Berkeley’s Institute of International Studies, which conducts research on the interaction of economic equality and efficiency in both rich and poor countries. He also led the research program in development economics at Berkeley for many years while editing the Journal of Development Economics. Professor Bardhan’s lecture shares its title with his new book (Princeton University Press, 2010).

Sponsored by the Department of Economics, the Watson Institute, and the Year of India.
Location: Salomon Center 001, College Green.

Professor Bardhan will also present on “Democracy and Development in India” at the Six Decades of Indian Democracy Conference. See the conference schedule for more details.

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Conference: Six Decades of Indian Democracy

Co-Directors: Patrick Heller and Ashutosh Varshney, Brown University
“Six Decades of Indian Democracy: Achievements, Failures, Promises, Challenges” will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines to reflect on 60 years of India’s democracy. The conference will explore various dimensions of India’s democracy, including its historical success in operationalizing universal franchise before an industrial revolution had taken place and the remarkably limited degree to which it has been successful in providing for the welfare of marginal groups and tackling important social problems. In addition, the conference will look at Indian democracy from a global perspective, asking how the Indian experience of democracy can inform larger debates on democracy and development.

Free and open to the public.
Location: Watson Institute for International Studies, Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street.

Read an article on Minister Salman Khurshid’s keynote lecture, “Muslims and Emerging India,” and an article on Susanne Rudolph and Lloyd Rudolph’s keynote lecture, “Looking Back and Looking Forward: Researching Indian Politics for Almost Six Decades.” More coverage of the conference to follow.
Read the rest of this entry »

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World Music Star Zakir Hussain in Concert

World music star Zakir Hussain will perform a free evening concert. Hussain is a legendary percussionist and a 2009 Grammy Award winner. A tabla virtuoso, he has played a pioneering role in sharing Indian classical music with audiences in the United States and around the world. He has collaborated and performed with many other leading musicians – from George Harrison to YoYo Ma to John McLaughlin – and is widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement. Hussain will be accompanied by master violinist Ganesh Rajagopalan.
Free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30pm. This concert is made possible in part by Reliance Industries Limited.
Location: Salomon Center, DeCiccio Family Auditorium, College Green.
Photo credit: Susana Millman

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A Passage to Contemporary India: Graduate Students Research Presentations

A Passage to Contemporary India: Graduate Student Research on Politics, Development and Inequality
10:00am-12:00pm Encountering the State in Urban India
Chair: Patrick Heller
Gayatri Singh, Sociology and Trina Vithayathil, Sociology
Whose City is it Anyway? Contestations, Claims and Spaces of Engagement with the State in Two Indian Metropolitans
Sukriti Issar, Sociology
Making Markets: The State and Urban Development in Mumbai
12:00-1:00pm Lunch
1:00pm-3:00pm Everyday Life and Everyday Politics in Contemporary India
Chair: Lina Fruzzetti
Shruti Majumdar, Sociology
Multiple Politics of the Governed: State-Poor Encounters in Urban India
Bhawani Buswala, Anthropology
Man the Producer, Man the Protector: The Gendered Life of Meat among the Khatiks in Rajasthan
Sohini Kar, Anthropology
Creditable Lives: Microfinance, Development and Financial Risk in India
Location: Watson Institute for International Studies, McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street.

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Related Event: Brown Badmaash Dance Company Annual Show

Since 2005, Badmaash has been Brown’s nationally competitive South Asian dance company. All are invited to join them for “Tear It Up!”, their fourth annual dance show.
For more information, visit the Badmaash website or RSVP to their Facebook event.
Doors open at 6:15pm.
Location: Salomon Center, DeCiccio Family Auditorium, College Green.

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