Postgraduate Research Seminar

Indira Gandhi 1977

Postgraduate Research Seminar

Tuesday, 9 February 2016 - 2:00pm
Fellows' Dining Room
Conor Meleady (St Antony's)
Anwesha Sengupta (St Catherine's)
Smriti Sawkar (St Cross)
Gautham Shiralagi (Keble)
Dr F Devji
South Asia Seminar

Understanding Islamic Revivalism in the British Caliphate: Processes and Consequences
Conor Meleady, St Antony's College, will seek to present the processes and consequences of British forms of intelligence and information gathering with relation to Islamic revivalism and sectarianism in their broader historiographical context. More specifically, he will argue for the need for a South Asia-centric approach to the questions at hand, while acknowledging the impact of the British Empire's long engagement with alternative geographical spheres of imperial action. The presentation will finish by suggesting a number of questions which will drive future research in this area.

Indira and the Indian Transformation: The Emergency and After
Smriti Sawkar, St Cross College, explores the remaking of Indira Gandhi's political image after the contentious experiences of the Emergency in India. In particular, I look at the 'state spectacles' that Mrs. Gandhi used as instruments to re-gain her lost legitimacy upon her re-election in 1980. In particular, I analyse her relationship with the Indian middle-class that was the prime 'consumer' of these spectacles.

Introducing a Medieval Love Poem: A Comparative Study between the Prologues of Jayasi’s Padmavat and Alaol’s Padmabati

Anwesha Sengupta, St Catherine’s College, will discuss the 17th century Bengali poet Alaol and his work Padmabati, an adaptation of Malik Muhammad Jayasi’s Padmavat. Briefly comparing the prologues of both lyrical narratives, the speaker will discuss issues of translation, historicisation and circulation for these texts.

The End of Art at the Beginning of Politics: Gandhi’s critique of Aesthetics
Gautham Shiralagi, Keble College, studies M.K. Gandhi’s engagement with aesthetics as part of his critique of ‘Modern Civilisation’. This presentation will locate Gandhi’s ideas on art in Indian and European genealogies, before examining his arguments with Tagore and his relationships with a variety of artists in the 1930s and 1940s. In this reading Jacques Rancière’s notion of the ‘aesthetic paradigm’ will be used to investigate the dialogue between politics, art and modernity in late colonial India.

This seminar series is organised with the support of the History Faculty.