Graduate Student Conference
Sites of Modernity
March 1st-2nd, 2012
CALL FOR PAPERS - DEADLINE EXTENDED
Deadline: January 15, 2012
Keynote Speaker: Gyan Prakash
Dayton-Stockton Professor of History, Princeton University
The Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies at Columbia University invites submissions for its third annual graduate student conference, entitled "Sites of Modernity," to be held March 1-2, 2012.
The concept of modernity, thematized or not, lies at the root of most of the human sciences, even and especially those that constitute their objects as premodern. Traditional thinking about modernity as a specifically Western phenomenon has been challenged in recent years, and students in (current and erstwhile) “area studies” are particularly well-placed to reflect on the local or translocal nature of modernity: what are the “sites” of modernity? Of what specific places---whether we conceive of these as geocultural or geopolitical, or as translocal institutions or practices---can we justifiably apply the predicate “modern”? What logics organize the sites of modernity? And what insights into this contested concept can students of the Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Africa in particular provide?
Themes that papers or panels might explore include (but are not limited to):
• the spread or polygenesis of modern institutions;
• comparative modernities or pre-modernities;
• “provincializing” Western modernity;
• ownership of modernity and its narratives;
• colonial and post-colonial modernities;
• urban spaces and modernity;
• modernity and development;
• language practices (including standardization);
• institutions of learning;
• intellectual and literary cultures;
• printing and print capitalism;
• religious traditions and institutions;
• the nation and internationalism;
• transregional trade and finance;
• forms of social organization;
• political mobilization.
Students who are interested in presenting a 20-minute paper should submit a 300-word abstract, with your name and institutional affiliation, to firstname.lastname@example.org January 15, 2012. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by January 31. A limited amount of funds may be available to defray accommodation costs; further information will be available to participants at the end of January.
Information will be posted on the conference website: http://www.mesaasgradconference.org. For any other inquiry please contact us via: email@example.com
Please circulate widely.
Columbia University in the City of New York
Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
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