The University of Iowa

Reading by Kiran Nagarkar

When: Friday, February 25, 2011, at 3 p.m.
Where: Gilmore Hall, 3rd Floor Atrium

Kiran Nagarkar, one of India’s best known novelists and former participant in the University of Iowa’s International Writer’s Program (IWP), will be reading from his new novel in progress, a continuation of an earlier book titled Ravan and Eddie about two boys, one Christian and one Hindu, living in the same apartment building in Bombay in the 1950s.

The talk is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. in the atrium on the third floor of Gilmore Hall.

In 2001 Nagarkar won India’s prestigious Sahitya Akademi award (comparable to America’s Pulitzer Prize or the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction) for his 1997 historical novel Cuckold, which describes the life and tumultuous times of the great poet Mirabai in early sixteenth century India. A discussion of the implications Nagarkar’s work will follow his reading.

The event, sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program, the Department of Religious Studies and UI International Programs, is free and open to the public.

Challenges to Indian Multilingualism

When: Thursday, March 24, 2011, at 4 p.m.
Where: 1117 University Capitol Centre
Presented by: Prof. E. Annamalai (University of Chicago)

India is noted by sociolinguists for its stable multilingualism from a demographic standpoint, but it is undergoing a transformation with regard to political relationships between the languages within multilingualism. This transformation comes from many factors: the opening up of economic opportunities, embracing modernity that includes dislocation to urban areas and uprooting from traditional social mores, formation of linguistic states contributing to the emergence of dominant languages within states, emergence of political pluralism which allows the speakers of minority languages to question the role of regional languages in their lives, and the demand for English to have a commanding place in education, employment and other sectors.

The talk will elaborate on the changing linguistic scene in India, and attempt to theorize this change.

Prof. Annamalai received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Chicago. He was Deputy Director and then Director of the Central Institute for Indian Languages in Mysore, where he directed the study of indigenous languages and their use in education. As Director he was involved in formulating language policy and implementing the policies of the Government of India. Subsequently he has been a visiting scholar at universities in Japan, Europe and Australia. He was a visiting professor for five years at Yale University, and is now visiting professor at the University of Chicago. His research interests include grammatical descriptions as well as political and social dimensions of Indian languages, with special reference to Tamil. He has studied language contact and its linguistic consequences, and the application of linguistics in the field of language teaching and dictionary making. His most recent book, written with Ron Asher, is Social Dimensions of Modern Tamil (2011).

“Drunkards Beware!: Temperance and Nationalist Politics in India in the 1930’s”


When: Thursday March 31, 2011, at 4 p.m.
Where: 468 Phillips Hall
Presented by: Eric Colvard, a doctoral candidate in history

Abstract: Eric Colvard’s dissertation traces the evolution of the notion that Indians have historically eschewed drink. In the 1880’s, mass movements emerged in the Bombay Presidency, agitating for greater access to alcohol. In the 1920’s, increasingly radical Indian nationalists consciously invoked the image of the Abstemious Indian as a symbol of national purity in a context of increasing colonial contamination. By the late 1930’s, the height of the Indian freedom struggle, nationalists sought to impose on the population of India, many of them drinkers, a new standard for moral behavior based on an imagined past. As nationalists took the levers of state power from their colonial predecessors, the Abstemious Indian, once a rhetorical figure deployed in the service of the global temperance movement and nationalist politics, inspired the inclusion of prohibition as state policy in the Constitution of Free India.

“Economic Policies and Public Finance in Sri Lanka: Did War Expenditure Matter?”


When: Thursday, April 14, 2011, at 4 p.m.

Where: 1117 UCC
Presented by: Hennadige N. Thenuwara (adjunct assistant professor in economics at The University of Iowa)

Hennadige N. Thenuwara is an adjunct assistant professor of economics at The University of Iowa. Prior to visiting Iowa, he was the Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. He completed doctorate in economics at the Tippie Business College in 1997.

Thenuwara has a wide range of experience in design of economic policy. In Sri Lanka he was closely associated with the design of monetary and exchange rate policy, fiscal policy, debt policy and trade policy. He has also served as the Director of Economic Research of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, and the Head of the Debt Office. He has regularly advised Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Trade. He also has represented Sri Lanka at the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, World bank, World Trade Organization and several neighboring countries on bilateral trade issues.

His research interests are in the fields of monetary economics, international trade, and economic growth. He published the book ‘Money, Inflation and Economic Growth’ in 2010.

“Some (Not so) Lost Aquatic Traditions: Goans Going Fishing in the Indian Ocean”


Presented by: Anthropologist Pamila Gupta When: Friday, Nov. 11, from 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Where: 302 Schaeffer Hall.
See the event poster

Gupta will discuss how rituals enhance community and diasporic ties between Portugal, Mozambique, and Goa, India. She will focus on the role rituals play in re-creating sensual and bodily experiences and memories, and in representing notions of Goan popular culture, all to be passed onto subsequent generations of Goan Mozambicans.

Gupta is a senior researcher based at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently a visiting professor in the Department of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research in New York.

Fall 2011 Events

“Transforming Social Realities into Research Questions: Experiences of Working with Women in Forest Dependent Communities in the Western Ghats”

Date: Sept. 8, 2011
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: 315 Phillips Hall
More Information

Presenter: Dr. Indira Ramarao, Professor of Sociology, Director of the International Centre, University of Mysore, India; visiting Fulbright lecturer in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies

This event is sponsored by the South Asian Studies Program within UI International Programs and the UI Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Indian playwright and director Gowri Ramnarayan

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 19 and Wednesday, Sept. 20
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Theatre B, Theatre Building
More Information

Ramnarayan has written and directed four plays in English that have been staged all over India. In addition to playwriting, Ramnarayan has scripted and directed two theatre productions in Tamil and translated Marathi plays and Tamil short stories. She has authored several children’s books, served as a jury member at various international film festivals, and she is a feature writer of music, cinema, theatre and literature with the nationwide English daily “The Hindu” in India.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Theatre Arts in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the South Asian Studies Programs within UI International Programs.

“New Culture and New Welfare in South Asia: the Arts in India”

October 6-8, 2011

A public conference and short course (287:150:SCM) organized by the South Asian Studies Program (SASP) with support from an International Programs Major Project grant, an Undergraduate Studies International and Foreign Language grant from the US Department of Education and the South Asian Studies Program Anathamurthy funds.

See the full schedule of events for this conference

Learn more about the WorldCanvass program connected to this conference.

South Asian Studies Program lecture, presented by Ken Botnick


Date: Thursday Oct. 27, 2011
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: University Capitol Center, Room 2390
Topic: "The Aesthetics of Accommodation: Signs, Streets, and Democratic Spaces in Urban India"

Ken Botnick has been printing and publishing works in limited edition for over 25 years, first as co-proprietor of Red Ozier Press in New York, and today under the imprint emdash in St Louis. His work is found in rare book collections around the world, including The Getty Center for Humanities, The Library of Congress, The Newberry Library, the Yale Arts of the Book Collection, libraries at Smith, Harvard, Wellesley and notable private collections. Botnick’s design work has been recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts for its “50 Books/50 Covers” exhibit ( 2008), and by the American Association of University Presses. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship in 2006 to support his residency at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India, and at other leading Indian design institutes. His two primary research areas are in visual perception and, in India, the role of craft practice as a component of design thinking. He is Professor of Art at Washington University in St Louis where he directs the Kranzberg Book Studio.