Monthly Archives: September 2012
Professor of English, Subramanian Shankar, has published Flesh and Fish Blood: Postcolonialism, Translation, and the Vernacular (University of California Press).
In Flesh and Fish Blood Subramanian Shankar breaks new ground in postcolonial studies by exploring the rich potential of vernacular literary expressions. Shankar pushes beyond the postcolonial Anglophone canon and works with Indian literature and film in English, Tamil, and Hindi to present one of the first extended explorations of representations of caste, including a critical consideration of Tamil Dalit (so-called untouchable) literature. Shankar shows how these vernacular materials are often unexpectedly politically progressive and feminist, and provides insight on these oft-overlooked–but nonetheless sophisticated–South Asian cultural spaces. With its calls for renewed attention to translation issues and comparative methods in uncovering disregarded aspects of postcolonial societies, and provocative remarks on humanism and cosmopolitanism, Flesh and Fish Blood opens up new horizons of theoretical possibility for postcolonial studies and cultural analysis.
In Geography, Associate Professor of Geography, Reece Jones, has published Border Walls: Security and the War on Terror in the United States, India and Israel (Zed Books).
Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, why are leading democracies like the United States, India, and Israel building massive walls and fences on their borders? Despite predictions of a borderless world through globalization, these three countries alone have built an astonishing combined total of 5,700 kilometers of security barriers. In this groundbreaking work, Reece Jones analyzes how these controversial border security projects were justified in their respective countries, what consequences these physical barriers have on the lives of those living in these newly securitized spaces, and what long-term effects the hardening of political borders will have in these societies and globally.
Border Walls is a bold, important intervention that demonstrates that the exclusion and violence necessary to secure the borders of the modern state often undermine the very ideals of freedom and democracy they are meant to protect.
Two of the J. Watumull Study in India scholarships went to Christopher de Venecia and Joshua Mandelstam.
Christopher de Venecia is a Masters student at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. His research interests focus on environmental planning, communtiy-based economic development, and natural resource management. His J. Watumull scholarship allows him to conduct research this summer and fall on waste-to energy power plants in Assam for his masters thesis.
Joshua Mandelstam is Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy. His J. Watumull scholarship allows him to examine Gandhi’s writings in the archives at the Sabarmati ashram and through this research, aim to get a deeper understanding of Gandhi’s action, context, and how by acting in accordance with a larger self, his interactions with others changed. This research will aid his PhD dissertation, the topic of which is how one’s conception of ‘self’ influences one’s moral attitudes and actions generally.
Monisha Das Gupta is the director of the Center for South Asian Studies, and associate professor of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is the author of Unruly Immigrants: Rights, Activism, and Transnational South Asian Politics (Duke University press, 2006), and has written about the post-9/11 racial landscape, and its impact on South Asians. The essay, “Of Hardship and Hostility” in Wounded City: The Social Impact of 9/11 edited by Nancy Foner (Russell Sage Foundation, 2005) documents the violence directed at South Asian and Middle Eastern yellow cab drivers in New York City.