The 2014 Sri Lanka Graduate Conference will be held on November 7th and 8th at the Center for South Asia at Stanford University. The conference is co-funded by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and the Center for South Asia, Stanford. As with the four previous graduate conferences, this workshop will bring together graduate students both in the final writing up stage and pre-research/planning stages from a variety of disciplines and institutions. The graduate conference aims to enhance intellectual exchange on Sri Lanka; emphasize the production of empirical and non-sectarian knowledge; focus attention on recent transformations of key concepts; strengthen and build a new cohort of researchers across disciplines and institutions; and strengthen relationships between American graduate students and local intellectual circles in Sri Lanka.
For 2014, our conference is titled “Sri Lanka Otherwise? Resituating Topography and Temporality.” In keeping with the term, “otherwise”, we suggest a speculative theme for this year. “Otherwise” suggests we ask ourselves what it would be like to think in circumstances different than those present or considered. Current academic, political and policy debates across the political spectrum in Sri Lanka are concerned with speculating about Sri Lanka’s pasts and futures, and with re-envisioning its spaces. We suggest that contributors to the conference either present papers that put forward different ways of thinking about Sri Lanka’s spaces and temporal schemas, or, soberly examine the current mode of speculation. What might a different spatiotemporal imagination produce, if, for example, we stop thinking of Sri Lanka as an island unto itself? What are the spatiotemporal orders that anchor dominant tropes? What kinds of futures and pasts are being narrated, hoped for, described, and implemented, and, what do we as scholars have to say about this? We welcome papers across a range of disciplines and time periods.
The workshop will take place over 2 days. On November 7th, the first session will include a small closed pre-dissertation development seminar for selected participants (see below for details). We will also be holding a special session in memoriam of the distinguished anthropologist of South and South-East Asia, Stanley Jeyaraja Tambiah. On November 8th we will host three student panels.
Our call for papers invites three sets of participants. Firstly, paper and panel proposals for the three student panels. Panel proposals and single papers proposals are due on October 8th. Secondly, we invite participants to apply for the pre-dissertation development seminar. This seminar is to assist graduate students in developing their research projects and will be a closed session for 4-5 participants. Students in Masters and PhD programs across the humanities and social sciences are encouraged to apply. Those interested in the Pre-dissertation Development Seminar should email a 300-word explanation of your interests and why you would like to participate by October 8th. Those who wish to participate in the conference without presenting must send expressions of their interest by October 11th. We have limited funding for travel.
Please send your proposals and inquiries with “Sri Lanka Graduate Student Workshop” in the subject line to Sharika Thiranagama, at [email protected]