Krishna joined the University of Hawai'i in 1990 and is currently an Associate Professor. His areas of interest are South Asian politics and critical international relations theory. His current obessions include postcolonial nationalism, ethnic conflict in South Asia, and the popular culture of Indian nationalism. Safia is doing her dissertation on the political ecology of sanctification of village forests in the hill regions of Kumaun. She has just returned from fieldwork and is all set to return there over summer.
Without intending to sound dramatic, I feel the Center for South Asian Studies at UH-Manoa is at an important cross-roads in its existence. Budget cuts have whittled away the Center's limited resources. We no longer have a fully-compensated Director (I am doing this largely in a voluntary capacity) and the half-time Administrative Assistant position vacated by Mary Chin has not been filled. While we hope that both the full Directorship and the half-time Administrative Assistant position will be recovered by the Center in due course of time, as of now the Center is desperately short-staffed. We have been told that we cannot expect even current levels of funding in the year to come. Quite frankly the prospects are not very encouraging.
While this mirrors the situation on the Manoa campus at large, we as faculty and graduate students have certain important decisions to make. Quite simply, a viable Center requires an intellectual and personal commitment from each of us - even if it does not reward us in any finanical or material form. What this translates into is a willingness to offer colloquia or talks on our own research, attending presentations made by colleagues; volunteering one's help to the Center; encouraging friends who may visit Hawai'i to present talks under the Center's auspices; telling us what South Asia-related courses you are teaching; writing a book- or a film review for the newsletter - and in many other ways.
One crucial, yet simple, thing each of us can do is this: whenever you get an email from either Safia or myself requesting help - reply immediately (preferably in the affirmative) rather than either delaying your reply or immediately reaching for the 'delete' key on your board. In a context of scarce resources, such 'pro bono' efforts are the mainstay of the Center's functioning.
At this point, my view is that we should do our best to sustain the Center through the lean years in the belief that better (economic) times are around the corner. The extremely well- attended symposium and colloquia this semester ought to make us realize that a vibrant and active Center for South Asian Studies is in all our interests. In other words, irrespective of the budget situation and other matters, I think we owe it ourselves to do everything we can to support the Center and its activities. Cheers, Krishna.
Parna Sengupta, a doctoral student in History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, presented a talk on "The Molding of Native Character: Christian Missionaries and Primary Education in India, 1854-1906" on January 15.
Kathryn Besio, doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Hawai'i gave a talk on "Travelers, Transients, Women and Children in a Karakoram Mountain Community: A Study of Fields" on February 26.
David Haberman, professor of Religion at the Indiana University presented the paper "Yamuna: Religious Goddess, Polluted River" on April 30.
Lecture VIII in the Vedanta Series (co-sponsored by CSAS):
Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions, at the Divinity School, and the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, presented the paper "Gender and Memory in the Yogavasistha: The Case of Cudala," at the Department of Philosophy on February 5.
Sixteenth Annual Spring Symposium:
The XVI Annual Spring Symposium was held on April 15-17, 1999. This year's theme was: Aesthetics, Politics, and Society in Contemporary South Asia. In addition to an abundance of local talent (both graduate students and faculty) this year we had three outstation speakers: Professor Sudipta Kaviraj of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Professor Valentine Daniel of Columbia University, and Professor Kapila Vatsyayan of Indira Gandhi Center for the Arts, New Delhi.
Kaviraj's talk was titled "Gandhi's Trial Read as Theater: a study in the rhetoric of politics" while Val Daniel's spoke on "Narrating the Self in Late Modernity". Kapila Vatsyayan gave a stunning tour d'horizon of "The Indian Arts: some key concepts in theory and practice". While it would take us too long to go through the entire program (which can be accessed at www.hawaii.edu/csas/) the range of topics and the quality of the papers were impressive. Lee Siegel brought the symposium to a grand conclusion with his usual panache: his talk on "Dance of the Serpent: Indian Snake Charmers" packed the Korean Studies auditorium on a Saturday morning. The various sessions of the symposium were invariably well attended with audiences ranging in the 30s and 40s for every single panel. It provided an occasion for various people working on related topics to become aware of each other's research and was a reminder of the depth and talent in the field of South Asian studies on the Manoa campus.
South Asia Course Offerings:
In Fall 1999:
ARCH 390-2: Contemporary Architecture and the Modern world, Samia Rab
ARCH 271: A History of World Architecture-Part 1 (Learning Communities cohort), Samia Rab
ART 492: Art of Ancient India, Nancy Dowling
ASAN 202: Introduction to Asian Studies: South/Southeast Asia, Barbara Andaya
ASAN 320I: Asian Nation Studies: India, Mimi Sharma
ASAN 600S: Asian Studies Prosem: South/Southeast Asia, Aung-Thwin
HNDI 101: Elementary Hindi, Rama Nath Sharma
HNDI 201: Intermediate Hindi, Rama Nath Sharma
HIST 241: Civilizations of Asia, Jagdish Sharma
HIST 301: History of India & Pakistan, Jagdish Sharma
HIST 663: Seminar in Indian History, Jagdish Sharma
PHIL 711: Seminar on Nagarjuna, David Kalupahana
REL 662B: Seminar on Indian Religions, Lee Siegel
SNSK 181, 281, 381, 481: Sanskrit, Language,Walter Maurer.
In Spring 2000:
ARCH 390-2: Architecture and Culture, Samia Rab
ARCH 272: A History of World Architecture- Part 2 (Learning Communities cohort), Samia Rab
Samia Rab is an assistant professor at the School for Architecture at the University of Hawai'i, and a registered architect in Pakistan. She joined the University of Hawai'i in Fall of 1997.
Samia received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the National College of Arts in Pakistan. Thereafter she worked as an architect on a World Bank financed and supervised urban planning and conservation project that attempted to conserve the walled city of Lahore. While working on the project Samia became interested in architecture as it is influenced by political motives, and the theoretical issues behind architecture conservation and its linkages with urban development.
To pursue some of these interests Samia entered the Master's program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she received the Aga Khan Foundation Scholarship. In her Master's thesis, she studied sociological and anthropological views of the built environment and how these views influence perception of architectural forms. Focusing on informal housing in Quetta (the provincial capital of Baluchistan in Pakistan), she sought to clarify the linkages between ethnicity, migration, and the development and organization of informal settlements in this rapidly urbanizing city. Her experience in architectural conservation sought a grounding in architectural history and theory.
Samia decided to further pursue these interests in the doctoral program of the College of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, where she received a teaching fellowship. She pursued her major field of interest in History, Theory and Criticism in Architecture at Georgia Tech and her minor field in architectural conservation, preservation and restoration at the International Center for Conservation (ICCROM) in Rome, Italy. Her Ph.D. Dissertation traced the origin of the contemporary concerns of preserving the 'authenticity' of a 'monument' to the Enlightenment period in Europe. In her attempt to bridge the gap between architectural thought and conservation practice, she developed a critical understanding of the complex links between the beginning of the modern world and the processes of colonization, westernization, and globalization.
Samia has actively contributed to a number of major national and international conferences, including three American Collegiate Schools of Architecture International Conferences at Copenhagen, Berlin, and Rio de Janeiro. Her presentations at conferences have resulted in three publications and two entries in P. Oliver (ed.) Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (1998).
Her current research activities include the study of the various philosophical approaches to the analysis of the built environment and the cultural context within which such in vestigations take place. More specifically, Samia is interested in histories of early modern, Modern, and contemporary architectural thought; theories that influence the concept of the 'monument' in different historical periods and within distinct cultural contexts; and different attitudes toward the preservation and conservation of the built environment.
Vrinda Dalmiya joined the Philosophy Department at the University of Hawai'i in January 1998. She received her BA, MA and M.Phil degrees in Philosophy from Calcutta. After teaching at an undergaduate college in Calcutta for a couple of years, Vrinda entered the doctoral program at Brown University in 1983. Although her specialisation at the Masters level was in Vedanta, she focused on the study of epistemology in the Anglo American analytic tradition for her Ph.D. During her years at Brown she also became interested in feminist philosophy and womens issues.
Upon completing her doctorate, Vrinda joined the faculty at Montana State University in Bozeman. She taught there for five years covering a range of courses from epistemology, metaphysics, history of Western Philosophy to Indian Philosophy and Comparative Philosophy. During this time she also served as a visiting faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle for a year. In 1993 Vrinda left the US to join the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi. Here she made a shift from abstract to the more applied aspects of philosophy in her research and teaching, developing as a consequence an interest in environmental philosophy and its interface with feminism.
Vrinda's current research seeks to understand the links between epistemology and feminist theory. While aware that feminists generally pose a challenge to the individualistic, reason-based thinking embedded in logical and mathematical structures, Vrinda seeks out contact points between such critiques and mainstream analytic epistemology that may be used to enrich both traditions. More specifically, her interests lie in reconceptualising knowledge in terms of dialogue, emotions and work in ways that allow 'ordinary women' to acquire the status of 'cognitive experts'. Vrinda's continuing interest in environmental philosophy is not divorced from her work in theory of knowledge. Not only are new epistemological paradigms necessary to redress the twin exploitations of nature and minorities but they also suggest alternative metaphysics or non exploitative models of self-other relation that can serve the purposes of both environmentalism and feminism. Finally, Vrinda's engagement with the literature in ecofeminism has led her to take seriously the spiritual traditions based on Goddesses while looking critically at the political potentials of spirituality in general.
In Spring 2000, Vrinda plans to teach a new course on Gender and Environmental Philosophy which will include material from both the Western and Indian traditions.
Arindam Chakrabarti is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawai'i. He joined this University in 1997. Arindam completed his BA and MA from Calcutta University and took his doctorate from Oxford University. Before joining the University of Hawai'i he taught at the Universities of Calcutta, London (University College), Washington (in Seattle), Montana State University in Bozeman, and Delhi University in India. Alongside his academic career, Arindam has also had a parallel set of experiences as a monk for twelve years. While most of his formal educational training had been in Western philosophy, his life as a Hindu monk (Ramanuja order) provided him a living experience of the Indian philosophic tradition. In addition, Arindam studied Indian philosophy with traditional Pandits for a few years after completing his doctorate in England. Having been exposed to Sanskrit since childhood, he was able to communicate with Pandits who only spoke Sanksrit, and attempted to expose their views on Western philosophy that Arindam would expound to them. Some of these efforts took the form of a book, besides his many other publications.
Having received his formal training in contemporary western philosophy of the analytic sort, and later a traditional education in Indian logic (Nyaya), the two traditions served as distinct strands of thought for Arindam. He is currently working on integrating the two philosophical traditions. He finds that the University of Hawai'i provides an ideal environment that allows him to work on this process of integration. The University has shown a significant interest in both Asian and Western philosophy, both being at par with each other, rather than viewing Asian philosophy as an anthropological frill to be added for the sake of political correctness to the Western tradition, which generally tends to be the norm. At the University he also sees significant interest in comparative philosophic traditions, also reflected in the journal Philosophy East and West produced, for the last fifty years, by the U.H. Philosophy department.
Arindam's numerous writings have taken the form of monographs and edited volumes, journal articles in English as well as in Bengali. His most recent publications include Denying Existence, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 1997. "Concept-Possession, Sense Experience and Knowledge of a Language" in the volume: Philosophy of Sir Peter Strawson: Library of Living Philosophers edited by K.T. Hahn, "The Cosmic and Social Order of Eating" in Rta: Cosmic Order and Chaos edited by Kapila Vatsyayan (1997). "Nyaya Realism and the Sense Reference Distinction" in the Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (1997). "Seeing Daffodils,Seeing as Daffodils, Seeing Things Called Daffodils" in Relativism, Suffering and Beyond edited by J.N. Mohanty and P. Billimoria (1997), "Rationality in Indian Thought" in Blackwell's Companion to World Philosophy edited by Eliot Deutsch and Ronald Bontekoe (1997), and "Meat and Morality in the Mahabharata" in Epistemology, Meaning and Metaphysics After Matilal edited by Arindam Chakrabarti also in 1997. At the moment Arindam is working on a book on the moral psychology of emotions, and is also busy writing about individual and collective revenge on which he will be delivering the special "1999 Sadaat Hassan Manto Lectures" at the Centre for Study of Developing Societies, New Delhi, at the invitation of Ashis Nandy later this July.
Cromwell Crawford of the Religion Department and Lynette Wageman from the Asia Collection (Library) attended the Tenth International Congress of Vedanta, which was held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, March 10-14, 1999. Prof. Crawford presented a paper on "Hindu Contributions to Western Bioethical Studies" and Lynette Wageman's paper was on "Resources for the Study of Indian Philosophy and Religion in North American Universities."
Vrinda Dalmiya's recent publications include "Why Is Sexual Harassment Wrong?" published in Journal of Social Philosophy, Spring 1999, "Linguistic Erasures" published in Peace Review 10:4, 1998, and "Not Just 'Staying Alive'" published in Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research No 3, 1998.
Monica Ghosh presented the paper "Accenting the Accent as Humor in the South Asian American Diaspora," at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian American Studies held in Honolulu in June 1998. She presented "Historicizing the Chinese Diaspora to South Asia," at the International Conference for Asian Scholars held in Nordwijkerhout, Netherlands in June 1998, and she presented a paper titled "What's So Funny About an Indian Accent?" at the Annual South Asia Conference held in October 1998 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Sankaran Krishna presented the paper "A Disenchanted Season of Assassinations: Politics and Morality in Contemporary South Asia" at the International Studies Association Annual Meetings on March 13, 1998, a paper titled "Essentially Tamil: Ethnicty and Violence" at Macalester College on March 12, 1998 and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on March 16, 1998. On March 10, 1998 Krishna presented "Postcolonial Aporias: Nationalism, Ethnicity and Violence" at the Macarthur Series on International Security Seminars at the Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Krishna also attended the annual AIIS trustees meeting at the Association of Asian Studies Annual Meeting in March 1999.
Krishna's recent publications include "Divergent Narratives: Dravidian And Eelamist Tamil Nationalisms" published in Michael Roberts (ed.) Collective Identities Revisited, Volume 2, Colombo: Marga Press, 1998; "Mimetic History: Narrating Indian Through Foreign Policy", in S.P.Udayakumar (ed.) Handcuffed to History: Nationalism, Communalism and Violence in South Asia, Praeger press, (forthcoming), ³Decolonizing the Future: a Counter-Memorial Reading of Partition and 1971," in Ziauddin Sardar and Ashis Nandy (ed.),untitled volume, Pluto press (forthcoming). His first book titled "Postcolonial Insecurities: India, Sri Lanka and the Question of Nation-hood" is slated for publication from the University of Minnesota Press in November 1999.
Samia Rab's recent publications include "Hazaras, Pakistan, Kashgar, China," in Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World. (ed.) with P. Oliver (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), and "Rehabilitating Historic City Centers: A Critique of Some Underlying Assumptions of the 1950s Lahore Master Plan and the 1980s Lahore Urban Development and Transportation Study," in Proceedings of the 1998 ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) International Conference: Constructing New Worlds, May 23-27, 1998, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Washington, DC: ACSA Press, 1998).
Recently attended conferences by Samia include: ACSA Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (paper accepted) International Conference, May 29-June 2, 1998, Rome, Italy, where she presented the paper "An Urban Stronghold of Resistance: Retaining the Different Characteristics of the Old and the New Walled Cities of Sana'a in Yemen." Samia also presented a paper at the SEC/AAS Southeast Conference of Association of Asian Studies Annual Conference, January 15-17, 1999, held in Athens (Geogria), titled ³Architecture & Politics During the Reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar in India." In December 1998, Samia attended the IASTE International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments International Conference, in Cairo, Egypt, and presented the paper "Redeveloping Historic Cities in the Developing World."
Lee Siegel has published a new book titled Love in a Dead Language (University of Chicago Press: May, 1999). Prof. Siegel was also invited for lectures on street performance in South Asia at University of Pennsylvania and Louisiana State University, early this year.
Samrat Upadhyay completed his doctoral dissertation from the English Department (Creative Writing). He recently won the 1999 Best American Short Stories Award, the 1999 Scribnerıs Best of the Fiction Workshops Award, and the 1998 William and Stephen Stryker Award in Fiction.
His recent publications include "A Good Shopkeeper" in Manoa, Fall 1998, "Earthquake" in Hawaii Review, Summer 1998, "Mentor" in North Dakota Quarterly (forthcoming), "The Room Next Door" in Green Mountains Review (forthcoming), "Secretary" in Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999, Guest editor Sherman Alexie, "The Man with Long Hair in Confrontation," (forthcoming), and "A Bath in the River" in Tampa Review (forthcoming). Samrat's recent poetry publications include "Kathmandu" and "During the Revolution" in Chelsea, January 1998, "The Goddess Will Be Pleased" and "Trial" in Hawaii Review, Summer 1998. Samrat participated as a Chair/Discussant in the 1998 Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian American Studies held in Honolulu in June 1998. He will be teaching as an assistant professor at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, beginning Fall 1999.
The Census of India is now on line, and the website is http://www. censusindia.net/
SARAI (earlier South Asia gopher) is an important site for library resources on South Asia. Their website is: http://www.columbia. edu/cu/libraries/indiv/area/sarai/. For further information on South Asia library resources, please contact Monica Ghosh at Hamilton Library. Also check South Asia Collection website: http://www.hawaii. edu/asiaref/sasia/sawebsites.html (UH, South Asia collection).
Recently Acquired South Asia films at Sinclair library:
1) Jasaghar (The Music Room). Written and Directed by Satyajit Ray (1997).
2) Jana-Aranya (The Middleman). Written and Directed by Satyajit Ray (1997), originally produced in 1975.
3) Charulata (The Lonely Wife). Written and Directed by Satyajit Ray. (1997), originally produced in 1964.
4) Anandalahari (Waves of Joy). Directed by Deben Bhattacharya (1973).
5) Sikhism: The Golden Temple. Produced as a British documentary television program, traces the roots of Sikhism (1996).
6) Kings, Lovers and Thieves. Documentary on India's improvisational form of folk opera, Nautanki and Khyal, produced and directed by Bob Madley (1995).
7) Sadhus: India's Holy Men. Produced by Denis Whyte, Tamil with English subtitles, 3 volumes.
8) The New Puritans: The Sikhs of Yuba City. A documentary of the history and status of Sikhs in California, written and produced by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam (1985).
9) Monuments to Progress: India, the ironies of Empire. Documentary originally shown on PBS, 1989.
10) Tales of Pabuji: a Rajasthani Tradition. A documentary of the storytelling tradition in northwest India., produced by Bhopo Production (1996).
11) Mahatma Gandhi: Twentieth Century Prophet, written and produced by Edith Martin (1998).
The Watumull Scholarship for the Study of India competition is held annually. Three students are awarded $5,000 each to conduct study in India for a minimum of two months. For more information regarding the grant and please contact the Office of International Affairs (956-6940) on campus.
The sessions on Indian philosophy include Arindam Chakrabarti, Vrinda Dalmiya, Eliot Deutsch of the University of Hawai'i, and Elizabeth Buck and Peter Hershock of the East-West Center. Sessions in week two will focus on aspects of Indian history, art and literature,with talks by Surojit Gupta and Nancy Dowling of the University of Hawai'i, Ruth Vanita, and Mary Chin. Week three will focus on Indian politics and contemporary economic issues, with sessions led by Sankaran Krishna of University of Hawai'i, Meheroo Jussawalla of the East-West Center, and Pratap Mehta of Harvard University.
For more information regarding ASDP, or the India Institute, please contact Dr. Peter Hershock or Wendy Nohara (EWC 944-7349).
The 1999 Western Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, Sept. 17-18, 1999, to be held at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. Direct inquiries to: Shelton Woods, Program Chair, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho 83725,
The 36th meeting of (ICANAS) International Congress of Asian and North African Studies will be held in Montreal from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1, 2000. The theme of ICANAS 2000 is "Oriental and Asian Studies in the Era of Globalization: Heritage and Modernity - Opportunities and Challenges." Papers are invited, deadline for submission of abstracts is Aug. 2, 1999. For more information contact ICANAS 2000 Secretariat, Bureau des congres, Universite de Montreal, P.O.Box 6128, Station Downtown, Montreal (Quebec) H3C 3J7, Canada. Or check their internet website http://www.bcoc. umontreal.ca
XIth World Sanskrit Conference will be held at CESMEO, Turin (Torino), Italy, 3 to 8 April, 2000. There will be one General Section dealing with 1)Sanskrit language and literature, 2)Sanskrit grammer and linguistics, 3) Veda and Vedangas, 4) epics and Puranas, 5) Religion and philosophy, 6) Hinduism, 7) Buddhism, and 8) Jainism. There will also be five workshops on the following subject areas: 1) Architecture, fine arts and aesthetics, 2) Classical Sanskrit literature, 3) Scientific and technical Sanskrit literature, 4) Dharma Sastra and Artha Sastra, and 5) Agamas and Tantras. For further information please contact: Oscar Botto, President CESMEO, International Institute of Advanced Asian Studies, Via Cavour 17, 1-10123 Torino, Italy.
Your tax-deductible contribution will be greatly appreciated and should be made to the University of Hawai'i Foundation Account No. 130910, c/o Center for South Asian Studies, Moore 411, Unviersity of Hawai'i, Honolulu, HI 96822.
Contributions of short articles, opinions, book and film reviews, information, etc., are welcome. Please send them to the Center for South Asian Studies.