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India Research Centre

2012 Events

 Assoc Prof. Kalpana Ram to speak at Epic Women conference in Chennai, India

The Director of the IRN, Assoc Prof. Kalpana Ram will be speaking at Epic Women, a conference in Chennai bringing together the performing arts, scholars and activists. Her talk, part of the Plenary, is entitled  The Power of Performance and Human Agency: Some Questions for Feminist Evaluations of Epic Women. The conference is organised by Kartik Fine Arts and Arangham Trust, December 20-23, 2012, and will focus on iconic women in myth, history, literature and life. 

For more information on the event please click here


India Research Centre Workshop

India Research Network cordially invites you to attend the workshop on Goldie Osuri's new book - Religious Freedom in India: Sovereignty and (Anti) Conversion (Routledge, 2013). For more information on the book please see the attached flyer

Details of the workshop are below:

Where: Building W6A 708, Macquarie University
When: November 29, 2012
Time: 1pm-3pm

The IRC will be hosting, on this occasion, the Faculty of Arts' Working group on theory and method in the study of religion convened by Sean Durbin. 


Nritya Roopa

Shruti Ghosh and Aruna Gandhimathinathan

  • When: Tuesday 27 November 2012 
  • Time: 1pm
  • Where: Drama Studio (Room 187), Y3A
  • Cost: Free

The India Research Network, Macquarie University in conjunction with the Macquarie University Art Gallery presents 'Nritya Roopa' a collaborative work by Shruti Ghosh and Aruna Gandhimathinathan, featuring the Indian classical dance forms of Kathak and Bharatanatyam. This event is part of the current exhibition ChinaIndia: Imaginings and Transformations which highlights artistic practices in China and India.

Through a lecture-demonstration and performance, Aruna and Shruti will explore the various facets of the two dance forms, sharing an insight into the style, technique, rhythmic movements and the art of storytelling through gestures and facial expressions.
'Nritya Roopa' weaves together the North Indian and South Indian forms of music and dance, costumes and stories, and showcases the blending of two distinct artistic styles.

Shruti Ghosh is a Kathak dancer and a PhD student in the Department of Media Music Communication and Cultural studies at Macquarie University, Sydney.

Aruna Gandhimathinathan is a Bharatanatyam performing artiste and choreographer and the Founder-Director of Silambam-Sydney School of Indian Traditional


Workshop on Health and the Political Economy of Hope in South Asia

2nd October, 9:30 - 4:30

Building W6A, Room 708 (Level 7)

Guests: Professor Tess Lea, Associate Professor Kalpana Ram

Organisers: Dr Victoria Loblay, Dr Sumant Badami

This workshop invites papers concerned with contemporary health care in South Asia. Recent social science analyses have observed how hope has emerged as a crucial factor in health and illness. Whereas many of these analyses are based on research conducted in Western clinical settings, we are specifically interested in the ideological, legal, social and ethical questions related to the use of hope as a currency in the political economy of health provision in South Asia. We consider the construction of "hope" as both a political act and a social practice. This workshop explicitly asks: in what ways does the political economy of hope influence beliefs, attitudes and behaviours, and how does it construct cultural configurations of health, agency and identity? Exchanging patient data for medications at a primary health camp for indigenous communities in Wayanad, southern India. Photo by Dr Sumant Badami.

Hope for a cure, hope for medical or social inclusion, and hope for access to new reproductive technologies may be exchanged for patient data and/or co-option in biomedical research and practice. In the political economy of hope, local practices between patient and practitioner intersect with global discourses and flows of capital whereby relations of inequality are often reproduced and reinforced.

Through a one-day workshop, we are seeking to critically engage with the way "hope" intersects with some of the shifts taking place in the provision of health care in the region.

Ultimately, the theme of "hope" is designed to provoke a conversation about the imagined futures of health in South Asia, and our role as social scientists in contributing to, and critiquing such visions. Program Flyer

Seminar: Abstract Constitutionalism

30th May, 12.30 Room 708, Level 7, W6A
Professor Ujjwal Kumar Singh, currently the Rajiv Gandhi Chair Professor in Contemporary Indian Studies at UTS will present a seminar entitled Abstract Constitutionalism


Is constitutionalism in India robust enough to protect civil rights?
Constitutionalism is generally understood as a set of normative principles and ideological contexts, which provide the organizational framework for structures of governance and modes of exercise and legitimation of power; on the other hand, constitutionalism also lays down the terms of belonging of those who constitute the political community, which is not always determined by the structures of governance but often constitutes a political space where power may be contested, and notions of rights, justice, and belonging may be reconstituted. While post-colonial constitutions are generally seen as having continuities with former structures of colonial rule, they are also seen as texts embodying 'insurgent' and 'transformative' constitutionalism, marking a rupture from the principles of governance, which marked colonial practices of rule. This paper, while identifying the two contradictory practices and idioms in the Indian constitution, will attempt to present the manner in which constitutionalism in India, has by and large unfolded as a critique of the dominant forms of social power, and has therefore provided a site where social and political contests have played out. Yet, this critique has been uneven, and interspersed with moments where sustenance rather than dismantling of power becomes the dominant concern.

Creative Practice Research Symposium

1st June 2.00 - 5.15 pm (MQU) Art Gallery, E11A

In this exciting and unique event traditionality, interculturality and the politics of representation in creative practice research will be explored alternately by a leading international practitioner and a leading international cultural theorist.

Dr. Anita Ratnam

With a career spanning 4 decades and over 1000 performances in 15 countries, Anita is one of India's most recognized innovative dance icons, in addition to being an independent scholar, arts presenter

Professor Yudhishthir Raj Isar, Professor of Cultural Policy Studies with The American University of Paris, is an independent writer, public speaker and advisor on cultural policy issues. He holds and has had positions with many of the world's leading institutions including UNESCO, the World Commission on Culture and Development, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the World Bank. He is co-founder and co-editor of The Cultures and Globalization Series published by SAGE, of which five volumes have appeared. Professor Isar is currently an Eminent Research Visitor at the University of Western Sydney's Institute for Culture and Society.

Inquiries can be directed to: Adrian McNeil (acting director of IRC) 02 9850 2196