2015: Technologies and Traditions

Technology in South Asia has been a site of contestation and a vehicle for claim making, it has recast tradition and been reworked by it. However, the scholarship on technology and tradition in South Asia has hinged on a forced binary of modernity and authenticity. The ‘alienness’ of technology has been pitted against the ‘nativeness’ of tradition. Their relationship is viewed as antagonistic, representing divergent trajectories of development. Polarized along the axes of pre-colonial tradition and European modernity on the one hand, and Gandhian technophobia and Nehruvian technocracy on the other, the question of technology deserves further exploration.

The fourth annual Princeton South Asia Conference invites papers that query the career of technology in South Asia and its relationship with tradition. We welcome submissions from early career scholars (graduate students and junior faculty) in all disciplines that engage with South Asia. Papers may address, but need not be limited to the following themes:

  • Communities and everyday practices
  • Technocracies and statehood
  • Media and consumption
  • Labor and livelihoods
  • Transnational flows

Proposal Guidelines

Proposals should include a title, 250-word abstract, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Please submit proposals to the following link by January 10, 2015http://goo.gl/WDZQfi

The event will be held on April 17-18, 2015 in Princeton, NJ. Questions can be directed to: princeton.sas2015@gmail.com.

The organizing committee of the 2015 South Asia Conference would like to acknowledge the generous support of Dr. Sudhir Patwardhan for the image used above for this year’s workshop.

Detail from Street Corner, 1985, 60 x 72 inches. Oil on canvas.

All images © Dr. Sudhir Patwardhan