SASNET Conference 2020 on Memory Politics in South Asia
The current debates around the politics of memory and memorialization reinforce that the act of remembrance and forgetting in the present does not exist in isolation from the past that informs them. This mnemohistorical continuity becomes even more apparent in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic which has highlighted, like never before the structural and systemic nature of privilege and inequality. The groups and categories of people who have been most adversely affected by the pandemic are also those who have been at the receiving end of historical injustice and oppression and in turn also the most likely to fall through the cracks of the meta-narratives of history and collective memory. Further, what makes the on-going discourse on memory politics immensely relevant is its universality in that it resonates with and speaks to experiences and histories of marginalization, exploitation and exclusion across national borders and cultures.
How, and to what extent, do religion, region, caste and class and their intersectionalities play into and inform the processes of crafting and curating national histories and memories in South Asia? What are the silences that exist within it and how are they contested? What are the alternative modes of remembering, marking and accounting for ‘difficult pasts’ beyond the confines of state regulated memorial projects? Also, what events constitute dominant and rightful entry points into the field of memory studies and what are ignored? These are some of the questions that constitute the focus of this conference that calls for a rethinking of memory studies in South Asia beyond the analytical lens of the Partition that has tended to (and deservedly so) occupy center stage in scholarship on the politics of memory in the region.
We invite abstract submissions for various panels. Read our call for abstracts here and submit latest by October 3, 2020. Given the constraints on mobility imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to facilitate as wide-ranging participation as possible, the conference will be held on an entirely online platform.
Isha Dubey (Post-doctoral Fellow, SASNET)
Andreas Johansson (Director, SASNET)
Hanna Geschewski (hanna [dot] geschewski [at] sasnet [dot] lu [dot] se)
Isha Dubey (Isha [dot] dubey [at] sasnet [dot] lu [dot] se)