Friday, March 31, 2023
man in black t-shirt and beard

The South Asian Studies Program, an International Programs affinity group, and the UI Department of Anthropology invite you to "Graphic Politics in Eastern India: Script and the Quest for Autonomy," a talk by Nishaant Choksi, on Thursday, April 13, from 10 - 11:15 a.m. (CDT), via Zoom

Linguistic anthropologist Nishaant Choksi, an assistant professor in the Humanities and Social Science Department at the Indian Institute of Technology-Gandhinagar, will discuss his recently published monograph entitled Graphic Politics in Eastern India: Script and the Quest for Autonomy (2021, Bloomsbury). The book provides an account of the importance of script in regional movements for autonomy in South Asia through an ethnographic investigation of the use of writing among the indigenous (Adivasi) Santal-speaking community in eastern India. Based on extensive fieldwork in the villages of southwestern West Bengal, it explores the use of multiple scripts to write Santali, the creation of a new independent script for Santali known as Ol-Chiki, and the ways in which the deployment of scripts in everyday spaces like village markets, schools, and in the local press, mediate longstanding Adivasi demands for cultural and political autonomy. 

“Professor Choksi's work addresses important issues of language, script, and indigenous movements for political autonomy in South Asia,” said Meena Khandelwal, director of the South Asian Studies Program. “He offers an ethnographic perspective based on long-term field research in eastern India, though the topic of language politics is of broad global interest.” 

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Daniel Vorwerk at, 319-467-1619. 


International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement.  IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.