SALA Conference Program 2009

For the past few years I've been posting the program of the annual South Asian Literary Association conference here. I won't be at the conference this year, but there are some really interesting features on the program, so I thought I would post the program all the same. People who are in Philadelphia on 12/26 and 12/27 might want to stop by.

As a hint, the events not to miss are at the end -- the plenary with Wendy Doniger and Rupa Viswanath on 12/27, and the special commemorative session on Meenakshi Mukherjee with Gayatri Spivak and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan that follows.

The Sacred and the Secular in South Asian Literature and Culture

Tenth Annual South Asian Literary Association (SALA) Conference Program
December 26-27, 2009
Radisson Plaza—Warwick Hotel, Philadelphia
1701 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Saturday, December 26

4:00-5:15: Session 1

1A. Sikhism and Religious Signification and Demarcation

Gina Singh, California State University-Long Beach, “Sikh Women: Markers of Insurgency”

Sharanpal Ruprai, York University, “The Top Knot: Sikh Women Weaving Gender into the Turban”

Rajender Kaur, William Paterson University, “Marking History, Tracing Diasporic Sikh Subnationalism and Subjectivity in Anita Rau Badami’s Can You Hear the Nightbird Call?”

1B. Religion and the South Asian Novel

Bina Gogineni, Columbia University, “God and the Novel in India”

Roger McNamara, Loyola University Chicago, “Secular Narratives and Parsi Identity in Rohinton Mistry’s Family Matters”

Prasad Bidaye, University of Toronto, “Thus Spake the Brahmin: The Rhetoric of Caste in Raja Rao’s The Serpent and the Rope”

1C. South Asian Protest Discourse

Namrata Mitra, Purdue University, “The Limits of the Secular: Riots and State Violence in Contemporary India”

Simran Chadha, Dyal Singh College, Delhi University, “Of Virgins, Martyrs, and Suicide Bombers”

Amber Fatima Riaz, University of Western Ontario, “The Blasphemy of Protest: Challenging Religiosity and the Zenana in Tehmina Durrani’s Blasphemy”

1D. Enchantments in Theory

Bed Giri, Dartmouth College, “Modernity Re-enchanted? On Postcolonial Modernity”

Ashmita Khasnabish, Boston University, “Reason versus Spirituality: Sri Aurobindao, Amartya Sen, and Mira Nair”

Mary Jo Caruso, St. John’s University, "Building a Community of India: Rabindranath Tagore and the Fusing of the Sacred and the Secular”

5:30-6:45: Session 2

2A. V. S. Naipaul: Diasporic and Transnational Contexts

Jayshree Singh, Bhupal Nobles Girls’ P. G. College, Udaipur, India, “The Context and Construction of Religion and Art vs. Reality: A Critical Study of Selected Travel Writing of V. S. Naipaul”

Bidhan Roy, California State University-Los Angeles, “Encountering Islam: Muslims, Travel Narrative and Globalization in V. S. Naipaul’s Beyond Belief”

Abdollah Zahiri, Seneca College, “A Contrapuntal Reading of Naipaul’s India: A Wounded Civilization: The Bhakti Movement”

2B. Religion, War, Terror, and Violence: The Effects of Trauma on the South Asian Child

Krista Paquin, University of the Fraser Valley, “Children of the Divide: Physical and Psychological Trauma on Children in Cracking India and ‘Pali’”

Mark Balmforth, University of Washington-Seattle, “Struggling to Abide by Sri Lanka: An Attempt to Engage in Responsible International Youth Activism”

Summer Pervez, University of the Fraser Valley, “The Absence of Childhood: Narratives of Kashmir”

2C. Sri Lanka and Gendered Spaces

Nalin Jayasena, Miami University, “Gendered Geopolitics in the Sri Lankan Armed Conflict: Santosh Sivan’s The Terrorist and Mani Ratnam’s A Peck on the Cheek”

Arch Mayfield, Wayland Baptist University, “Cultural Challenges in Sri Lanka: The Gonnoruwa Anicut Project”

Maryse Jayasuriya, University of Texas at El Paso, “Women Writing Religious Difference in Contemporary Sri Lanka”

2D. Diaspora and Postcolonial Writing

Sukanya Gupta, Louisiana State University, “In Search of ‘Destiny’: Cyril Dabydeen’s The Wizard Swami”

Jaspal K. Singh, Northern Michigan University. “Trauma of Exile and the Muslim Indian Diaspora in South Africa: Dual Ontology in Ahmed Essop’s Fiction”

Sohrab Homi Fracis, Independent, “From Darkness into Light: Zoroastrian Mythology and Secular Awakening in My A Man of the World”

Sunday, December 27

8:45-10:00: Session 3

3A. Partition Narratives

Shumona Dasgupta, St. Cloud State University, “Constructing Community: Negotiating Violence and National Identity in Partition Texts”

Prabhjot Parmar, University of Western Ontario, “Bridging the Communal Divide: Manoj Punj’s Shaheed-e-Mohabbat, Boota Singh”

Amrita Ghosh, Drew University, “Towards Alternative Imaginaries: Subversive Border Crossings in Qurrantulain Hyder’s Sita Betrayed”

3B. Anatomies of Postcolonial Theory

Maya Sharma, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College/CUNY, “The White Tiger as an Anatomy of Postcoloniality”

Waseem Anwar, Forman Christian College University, “Theorizing the Pakistani Post-Postcolonial Real: Ambivalent, Emerging, Amorphous, or Even Beyond!”

Moumin Quazi, Tarleton State University, “A Post-Structural Study of Binary Oppositions in Vikram Seth’s Two Lives”

3C. Songs and the Subaltern

Ira Raja, La Trobe University/University of Delhi, “Living to Tell: Mirabai and the Challenge of Categories”

Sheshalatha Reddy, University of Mary Washington, “‘In brotherhood of diverse creeds’: Hyderabad/India in the ‘speech and song and struggle’ of Sarojini Naidu

Aparajita De, University of Maryland, “The Caged Bird Sings: The Politics of Subaltern Agency in Pinjar”

3D. Arundhati Roy and the Secular

Rajiv Menon, The George Washington University, “’Whose God’s Own Country?’: Caste and Politics in Guruvayur and Roy’s The God’s of Small Things”

Navneet Kumar, University of Calgary, “Humanism, Secularism, and Universalism: Edward Said and Arundhati Roy”

Nicole Tabor, Moravian College, “Secular International Fantasy and Sacred Kathakali in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things”

10:15-11:45: Session 4

4A. Sacred or Secular? History and Identity in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Fiction

Madhuparna Mitra, University of North Texas, “History as Trope: Jhumpa Lahiri’s Narrative Habits”

Farha Shariff, University of Alberta, Canada, “Negotiating Cultural Identities: Second-Generation South Asian Identities and Contemporary Postcolonial Text”

Christine Vogt-William, Emory University, “Reflections on the Sancrosanctity of Names and Naming in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake”

4B. The South Asian Secular Citizen Body

Sukanya Banerjee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, “Bureaucratic Modernity, Moderate Nationalism, and the Secular Citizen Body”

Sami Ullah Band, Kashmir, India, “Whether the Secularism in Kashmir Has Stood the Test of Time”

Indrani Mitra, Mount St. Mary’s University, “Gendered Spaces, Minority Identities and Secular Formations: A Muslim Woman’s Voice”

Suhaan Mehta, The Ohio State University, “Other Stories: Aesthetics and Ideology in Kashmir Pending”

4C. Religion and Class/Caste

Chinnaiah Jangam, Wagner College, “Sanitizing the Sacred Space: Hinduization of Dalit Identity in Telegu Country, 1900-1935”

Smita Jha, Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, “Crisis of Indian Secularism: A Study of Untouchable, Waiting for the Mahatma, and Train to Pakistan”

George J. Filip, Arcadia University, “What’s in a Name? Hinduism, Christianity, and the Evolution of Dalit Identity”

Deepika Bahri, Emory University, “The Sign of the Cross: Colonialism, Christianity, and Class in South Asian Literature and Film”

4D. Constructions of South Asian Political Identities

Nivedita Majumdar, City University of New York, “Reclaiming the Secular: An Engagement with the Politics of Religious Identity in India”

Chandrima Chakraborty, McMaster University, “Masculine Asceticisms and the Indian Nation”
Nyla Ali Khan, University of Nebraska-Kearney, “Forces of Regionalism and Communalism in South Asia”
Anupama Arora, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, “Pandita Ramabai’s Encounter with American Orientalism”

1-2:15: Session 5

5A. Spiritual and Material Imagery in South Asian Poetry

Cynthia A. Leenerts, East Stroudsburg University, “Divine Migrations: Religious and Spiritual Imagery in Meena Alexander’s Poetry”

Mahwash Shoaib, Independent, “‘The grief of broken flesh’”: The Dialectic of Desire and Death in Agha Shahid Ali’s Lyrics”

5B. Bollywood and the Representation of Religion

Monia Acciari, University of Manchester, “Jhoom Barabar Jhoom: Worshipping the Star”
Karen Remedios, Southern Connecticut State University, “The Depiction of Christians in Indian Cinema: A Study of Essentialism”
Jogamaya Bayer, Independent, “Jodhaa: A Myth or a Fantasy of an Emperor?”

5C. Salman Rushdie and Postcolonial Epistemological Anxiety

Melissa Lam, Chinese University of Hong Kong, “Religious Autonomy and Midnight’s Children”

Umme Al-wazedi, Augustana College, “The Rise of Fundamentalism and the Negotiations of the Islamic Laws in South Asia: (Political) Shari’a, Fatwa, and the Taslima Nasrin and Salman Rushdie Affair”

Pennie Ticen, Virginia Military Institute, “Skeptical Belief and Faithful Questioning: The Satanic Verses 20 Years Later”

2:30-3:30: “A Conversation with Meena Alexander,” winner of the SALA 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award, Distinguished Professor of English at the City University of New York, Teacher in the MFA program at Hunter College and the Ph.D. Program at the Graduate Center, moderated by Cynthia Leenerts, East Stroudsburg University, and Lopamudra Basu, University of Wisconsin-Stout, with Parvinder Mehta, The University of Toledo, with an award presentation by Dr. P. S. Chauhan, Arcadia University

3:45-4:45: Plenary Keynote Roundtable Discussion: “India: Religion, Politics, and Culture,” with Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions in the University of Chicago Divinity School; also in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, the Committee on Social Thought, and the College; and Rupa Viswanath, University of Pennsylvania, with a presentation by Dr. P. S. Chauhan, Arcadia University

5:30-6:30: Commemorative Panel: “Remembering Meenakshi Mukherjee: The Teacher and the Scholar,” led by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Columbia University, with Rajeshwari Sunder Rajan, New York University, Amritjit Singh, Ohio University, and Anupama Arora, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, with introductions by Rajender Kaur, William Paterson University