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Past Events

Azad Essa: ‘Hostile Homelands’

Wednesday 21st February, 2024

5:00 pm, Queen Mary University of London

The QMUL South Asia Forum is pleased to welcome Azad Essa for a discussion of his new book Hostile Homelands: The New Alliance Between India and Israel (Pluto, 2023). The book contextualises the political and ideological links between these two countries, from the origins of Zionism and Hindutva to today’s growing military-industrial relationship.

Azad Essa is an award-winning journalist and author based between Johannesburg and New York City. He is a senior reporter for Middle East Eye, covering American foreign policy, Islamaphobia and Race in the US. Essa is author of The Moslems are Coming (HarperCollins, 2012) and Zuma’s Bastard (Two Dogs, 2011).

Azad Essa will be joined in conversation with Sharri Plonski, Senior Lecturer in International Politics at QMUL, and the event wil be chaired by Tanroop Sandhu, PhD Candidate in the School of History at QMUL.

*Please Register via TicketTailor to Receive Room Info*This is an in-person event though Essa will join via Zoom.

Co-hosted with Peace in India and the South Asia Solidarity Group.

Reading Group: Srila Roy’s ‘Changing the Subject’

Thursday 7th December, 2023

2:00 pm, ArtsTwo SCR (4th Floor)

The South Asia Forum and the Sexual Cultures Research Group are pleased to welcome Srila Roy for a discussion of her new book, Changing the Subject (Duke University Press, 2023). The book maps the rapidly transforming terrain of gender and sexual politics in India under the conditions of global neoliberalism.

Srila Roy is Professor of Sociology at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is the author of Remembering Revolution: Gender, Violence and Subjectivity in India’s Naxalbari Movement (OUP, 2012) and editor of New South Asian Feminisms: Paradoxes and Possibilities (Zed Books, 2012).

Participants are encouraged to read ‘Preface’ and ‘Chapter 1’ ahead of the discussion. For a PDF, please RSVP to c.moffat [at] qmul.ac.uk

Film Screening: ‘Chaityabhumi’

Thursday 2nd November, 2023

6:00 pm, Hitchcock Cinema, ArtsOne Building, QMUL Mile End Campus

The QMUL South Asia Forum is pleased to welcome the filmmaker Somnath Waghmare for a screening and discussion of his new documentary, Chaityabhumi (2023).

Every year, from 1-6 December, millions of Dalit-Bahujan arrive in Dadar, Mumbai, to pay tribute to Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the great anti-caste leader. Following Ambedkar's death on 6 December 1956, his followers built a Buddhist Chaitya in Dadar. The commemoration of his death is, however, met with disdain by the city's media and elite Mumbaikars. Waghmare's documentary explores the tensions of caste and public space in Mumbai as well as Ambedkar's legacy in India today.

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Hafsa Kanjwal: ‘Colonizing Kashmir’

Thursday 12th October, 2023

6:00 pm, QMUL Mile End Campus

The QMUL South Asia Forum is pleased to welcome Hafsa Kanjwal for a seminar on her new book, Colonizing Kashmir (Stanford University Press, 2023). The book interrogates how Kashmir was made 'integral' to India in the aftermath of Partition, tracing new hierarchies of power and domination in a postcolonial state.

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Ghazala Jamil: ‘Critical Silences, Missing Frames – Identity-Based Spatiality in India’

Tuesday 30th May, 2023

3:00 pm, Bancroft 3.20

The South Asia Forum is pleased to welcome Dr Ghazala Jamil to QMUL for this in-person seminar. Dr Jamil will speak about her research into discrimination, segregation and urban environments in India, assessing the conceptual frames available to researchers studying identity-based spatiality in this context.

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Simona Sawhney: ‘Comrades, Strikes and Strifes’

Thursday 6th April, 2023

1:00 pm, Online

All are welcome to this South Asia Forum discussion of Yashpal's semi-autobiographical novel Dada Comrade (1941), a pioneering work of Hindi literature. We will be joined in conversation by the literary scholar and political theorist Simona Sawhney, translator of the new Penguin 'Modern Classics' English edition.

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Nicky Falkof, Shilpa Phadke and Srila Roy: ‘Intimacy and Injury’

Thursday 9th March, 2023

12:30 pm, 14:00

Please join this South Asia Forum conversation with the editors of a new volume, Intimacy and Injury: In the Wake of #MeToo in India and South Africa (Manchester University Press, 2022). The book maps the shifting political field around gender-based violence in the global south, providing new directions for transnational feminist knowledge and solidarity.

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Yogesh Maitreya: ‘Ambedkar – Loving and Publishing in the Time of Caste’

Tuesday 6th December, 2022

6:00 pm, QMUL Mile End Campus

On the occasion of Dr BR Ambedkar’s 66th death anniversary, the QMUL South Asia Forum is pleased to host this in-person seminar with Yogesh Maitreya. Maitreya will discuss his book, Ambedkar 2021, and explore Dr Ambedkar’s role not simply in the struggle for political and social liberation but as a literary force, too.

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Vinayak Chaturvedi: ‘Hindutva, Violence and the Politics of History’

Monday 14th November, 2022

5:00 pm, QMUL Mile End Campus

The QMUL South Asia Forum is pleased to host this in-person seminar with Vinayak Chaturvedi on his new book Hindutva and Violence (SUNY Press, 2022). The book presents an intellectual history of VD Savarkar, the most controversial Indian political thinker of the 20th century and a key architect of modern Hindu nationalism.

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Shruti Kapila: ‘On Violence, or the Importance of Indian Political Thought’

Wednesday 27th April, 2022

5:15 pm, Online and In Person (UCL)

The QMUL South Asia Forum is pleased to co-host this event with the IHR Seminar in the History of Political Ideas. Shruti Kapila will reflect on themes related to her new book, Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age (Princeton, 2021), a groundbreaking history of the political ideas that made modern India.

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Book Discussion: ‘Tata’ by Mircea Raianu

Thursday 27th January, 2022

4:00 pm, Online

The QMUL South Asia Forum is pleased to welcome Mircea Raianu for this discussion of his new book, Tata: The Global Corporation that Built Indian Capitalism (Harvard University Press, 2021). Raianu will be in conversation with QMUL's Noam Maggor and Amit S Rai, chaired by Philippa Williams.

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Bangladesh at 50: Beyond Rhetoric

Thursday 9th December, 2021

1:00 pm, Online

Please join us for a three-day online conference on Bangladesh at 50, hosted by the QMUL South Asia Forum. The conference will bring together scholars of, and from, Bangladesh for critical discussions on history, politics, and culture. Going beyond the much-celebrated rhetoric of economic growth and development, scholars will engage with the following questions: what visions emerged in the making of Bangladesh? Who are the powerful and the excluded? What has it meant to live on the margins of the state?  What are the spaces and politics of resistance?  The conference will address issues affecting the lives of marginalised in Bangladesh, exploring a wide-range of topics such as climate change, capitalism, labour rights, LGBT issues, violence and state power. Come along for this urgent discussion at the important juncture of Bangladesh turning 50. This conference will be hosted on Zoom.

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In Conversation with Marvi Mazhar: ‘Karachi’s Edge’

Tuesday 16th November, 2021

1:00 pm, QMUL Mile End Campus; ArtsTwo SCR

Please join the QMUL South Asia Forum for this special In Conversation event with the Karachi-based architect and researcher Marvi Mazhar. Mazhar will share aspects of her recent research on Karachi's urban coastal periphery and its ecology. She will place this work in the context of her longer interest in Karachi's inner city.

Marvi Mazhar is an architect and researcher whose practice combines visual culture, spatial advocacy and interventions. Her architecture and design studio, Marvi Mazhar & Associates, is based in Karachi, Pakistan. Mazhar has recently completed a Masters in Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University of London. 

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Screening + Podcast: Filmmaking and Revolutionary Possibility in India, with Sanjay Kak

Monday 14th December, 2020

12:00 pm, Online

The QM South Asia Forum is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Deptford Cinema, London.
From today, 14 December, until Monday, 4 January, Deptford Cinema will be screening Sanjay Kak’s 2013 film on the life of revolutionary possibility in India, Red Ant Dream. Documenting contemporary struggles against the state, from Bastar to the Niyamgiri Hills to Punjab, the film is a gripping portrait of India’s twenty-first century. It resonates powerfully with the current political moment, when mass protests by farmers have surrounded the capital in New Delhi, opposing government attempts to increase the power of private corporations in the agricultural industry, amongst other demands. Click here to watch.
Alongside the film, Sanjay Kak joined Pragya Dhital (School of English and Drama, QMUL) and Chris Moffat (School of History, QMUL) for an episode of the Deptford Cinema podcast, which you can listen to by clicking here.
On the Deptford Cinema Journal, a short essay by the artist and writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta, ‘Footage for a Film Without End’, reflects on the film and Sanjay Kak’s approach to the documentary form.
Please watch, listen, read and share!

Discussion of ‘Imagining Afghanistan’ by Nivi Manchanda

Wednesday 18th November, 2020

5:00 pm, Online


All are welcome to this South Asia Forum discussion on Nivi Manchanda’s new book Imagining Afghanistan: The History and Politics of Imperial Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2020). The online webinar will feature contributions from the author, Dr Nivi Manchanda (SPIR, QMUL), and a response from Prof Kim Wagner (History, QMUL).

Please read Chapter 1 in advance of our meeting: tinyurl.com/QMSAFManchanda

Register online at: https://qmsafmanchanda.eventbrite.co.uk 

Film Screening + Panel Discussion: Lynch Nation

Friday 30th October, 2020

6:00 pm, Online


Please join us for this South Asia Forum public event in collaboration with the UK Asian Film Festival. The screening and panel discussion are free but be sure to register to attend via Zoom.

Lynch Nation: A relentless journey across India, listening to heart-wrenching stories of mob lynching that have torn apart families and shaken the entire nation. The film documents seven incidents of mob lynching by traveling through the personal spaces of the victims and recording the testimonies of their families and survivors.

India, 2018 | 43 mins, Hindi with English subtitles. Directed by Ashfaque EJ, Shaheen Ahmed, Furqan Faridi, Vishu Sejwal.

The film will be available to watch for 36 hours starting from 13:00 on 29 October 2020.

At 18:00 on Friday, 30 October, there will be an online Panel Discussion hosted by Ashvin Devasundaram (QMUL) and Akshi Singh (QMUL). Panel Participants include: Furqan Faridi (Director); Amrit Wilson (Author and Activist); Rohit Dasgupta (University of Loughborough and Labour Councillor, Newham); and Annapurna Waughray (Manchester Metropolitan University, Co-Investigator, Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘Caste in Britain’ Project).

Poster image: Kurshidin in Ghatmika Village, Rajasthan, from Lynch Nation

Film Screening + Panel Discussion: Lynch Nation – POSTPONED

Friday 27th March, 2020

5:30 pm, ArtsOne LT

Please join us for this South Asia Forum public event,  in collaboration with the UK Asian Film Festival. Attendance is free but register to attend via Eventbrite. 

Lynch Nation: A relentless journey across India, listening to heart-wrenching stories of mob lynching that have torn apart families and shaken the entire nation. The film documents seven incidents of mob lynching by traveling through the personal spaces of the victims and recording the testimonies of their families and survivors.

Panel Participants include: Furqan Faridi (Director); Amrit Wilson (Author and Activist); Rohit Dasgupta (University of Loughborough and Labour Councillor, Newham); Akshi Singh (QMUL); and Annapurna Waughray (Manchester Metropolitan University, Co-Investigator, Equality and Human Rights Commission ‘Caste in Britain’ Project). Chaired by Ashvin Devasundaram (QMUL).

More Information …

Public Lecture: Renisa Mawani, ‘Turning Nationals into Foreigners: The Ingress into India Ordinance’

Thursday 5th March, 2020

6:00 pm, Arts Two LT

The 2019-20 Cotterrell Lecture in Sociological Jurisprudence: In this lecture Professor Renisa Mawani will trace the emergence, development, and consequences of the Ingress into India Ordinance across colonial India, Burma, and Siam. Issued by the Indian colonial government in September 1914, in direct response to the anticipated arrival of the Komagata Maru, the ordinance afforded unprecedented power to Indian authorities. It allowed local police and magistrates to apprehend, arrest, and detain anyone suspected of seditious and anti-British sentiments, thereby unleashing a violent expression of juridical power that was justified through the onset of World War I. What is notable in the longer history of India’s ordinances is the prominent role of the sea.

In this lecture, Professor Mawani will read the oceanic elements of the Ingress and trace its expansive reach across the Bay of Bengal – from India to Burma and Siam - through the lives of Indian merchants suspected of sedition and radicalism abroad.

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CLSGC Symposium: On Renisa Mawani’s ‘Across Oceans of Law’

Tuesday 3rd March, 2020

4:00 pm, Room 313, School of Law

The CLSGC is delighted to be hosting an interdisciplinary symposium on Professor Renisa Mawani’s Across Oceans of Law.

Professor Mawani is Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Professor Mawani will introduce the book, and this will be followed by comments and discussion.

Commentators: Dr Luis Eslava (Kent, TBC)Professor Laleh Khalili (QMUL)Professor Stewart Motha (Birkbeck)Dr Simon Layton (QMUL); and Dr Surabhi Ranganathan (University of Cambridge).

Chaired by Dr Eva Nanopoulos (QMUL) and organised by Professor Maks Del Mar (QMUL).

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Public Lecture: Sunil Gupta, ‘From Here to Eternity – Race, Migration and Queer Identity’

Wednesday 12th February, 2020

6:00 pm, QMUL Mile End Campus, Arts One LT

In this South Asia Forum public lecture, photographer and curator Sunil Gupta will critically address issues of race, migration and queer identity with a focus on India in relation to his photographic practice since the 1970s. Over the last thirty years, Gupta’s work has focused on agency and empowerment in India’s gay communities, where until September 2018 homosexuality was a criminal act under colonial-era law, punishable with ten years of imprisonment. RSVP via Eventbrite here: qmsunilgupta.eventbrite.com

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Teach-In: ‘Hindutva and the University’

Wednesday 22nd January, 2020

6:00 pm, QMUL Mile End Campus, ArtsTwo 3.20

With Mehroosh Tak (Kashmir Solidarity Movement), Meena Dhanda (Wolverhampton), Akanksha Mehta (Goldsmiths) and Rahul Rao (SOAS), chaired by Akshi Singh (QMUL). This panel will discuss the role played by pedagogy and knowledge production in the Hindu nationalist project, as well as the forms of learning, knowledge, and organising that are seen as threats to it. In doing so, it will place the recent attacks on Indian universities within a longer history of military occupations and everyday violence against minorities in India.

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Discussion of ‘Jugaad Time’ by Amit S Rai

Wednesday 9th October, 2019

5:00 pm, Arts Two Senior Common Room (4th Floor), QMUL

All are welcome to the South Asia Forum discussion of our colleague Amit S Rai’s new book, Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India (Duke University Press, 2019). Amit, who is Reader in Creative Industries and Arts Organising at QMUL, will be in conversation with Gerard Hanlon (Professor of Organisational Sociology, QMUL), chaired by Shital Pravinchandra (Lecturer in Comparative Literature, QMUL).

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Film Screening: Many Months in Mirya, with Renu Savant

Wednesday 21st November, 2018

2:00 pm, Alfred Hitchcock Theatre, Arts One, QMUL

Many Months in Mirya is an anonymous researcher's diary, in video. Drawing from auto-ethnography, the film records the time of a village over three seasons, in 2015 India. Telling stories of characters and forces in the village, natural and human-made, historical and present, the film draws its power from frugal economy and long duration. The film is the winner of the 2017 John Abraham National Award for Best Documentary, Kerala, India. Join us for this free screening, followed by a discussion with the director Renu Savant.

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Geography Postgraduate Research Frameworks: Screening of ‘Cities of Sleep’

Tuesday 13th November, 2018

4:00 pm, G.O. Jones 208, QMUL

Taking us into the heady world of insurgent sleeper communities in India’s capital, Cities of Sleep trails the lives of two individuals. Shakeel, a young man who has spent seven years sleeping rough, is now having to deal with the “sleep mafia”—goons who capitalise on the scarcity of safe sleeping spaces in the absence of government safety nets. The film follows his attempts to secure a safe sleeping space as the infamous winter rains of Delhi are due. We also meet Ranjeet, who runs a ‘sleep-cinema’ community under a huge double-storey iron bridge that straddles the banks of the Yamuna River. The thin strip of land houses shanty cinemas where over 400 homeless come and sleep through the day for a nominal price. The flooding of the river poses a threat to the people sleeping there every monsoon.

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Launch Event: Gyan Prakash, ‘Democracy and Emergency in Modern India’

Thursday 1st November, 2018

6:00 pm, Arts Two Lecture Theatre, QMUL

RSVP online at modernindia.eventbrite.co.uk

On the night of June 25, 1975, Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in India, suspending constitutional rights and rounding up her political opponents in midnight raids across the country. In the twenty-one harrowing months that followed, her regime unleashed a brutal campaign of coercion and intimidation, arresting and torturing people by the tens of thousands, razing slums, and imposing compulsory sterilization on the poor. In spite of this searing experience, the Emergency has received little historical study. Stripping away the comfortable myth that this authoritarian turn was a momentary episode brought on entirely by Indira's crisis of power, Professor Gyan Prakash argues that the political crisis was long in the making and was a turning point in the history of India’s democracy. Prakash focuses on the stories of the imprisonment of leaders to illustrate how this moment raised searching questions about the meanings of public and personal freedom.

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