CFP — 2nd Biennial University of Toronto Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions – The Methods of Memory, November 1-2, 2013.

 In Call for Papers, Uncategorized

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the 2nd Biennial University of Toronto Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions – The Methods of Memory, to be held on November 1-2, 2013.

A poster for the call is available at

Please distribute this call to any graduate student who may be interested in participating.

Arun Brahmbhatt

Doctoral Candidate
Department for the Study of Religion
Centre for South Asian Studies
University of Toronto


2nd Biennial University of Toronto Graduate Student Conference on South Asian Religions:

The Methods of Memory

November 1-2, 2013

We extend a cordial call to graduate students for papers exploring the nature, scope, and practice of memory in South Asian religious traditions.

While memory is often popularly conceived as the act of recollection or as a mental storage space, recent theorizations encourage a much more diverse and dynamic understanding of memory and its role in cultural phenomena. Scholars of South Asia in particular, including Christian Lee Novetzke, Prachi Deshpande and Ramya Sreenivasan, have highlighted memory’s role in the formation of public spheres, the emergence of regional identities, and the authorizing of particular discourses about the past. This conference seeks to continue and expand this ongoing conversation on memory with respect to a wide range of South Asian religious phenomena including, but not limited to, the engagement with sacred texts, the creation and veneration of sacred figures and places, the design and performance of rituals, and the projection and transmission of visualized and embodied aesthetic forms.

In doing so, we hope to raise questions such as the following:

– What is memory, or rather, when is memory, and how and at which temporal junctures is it evoked in South Asian religious traditions?
– How are memories transmitted and enacted, performed and deployed, encouraged and suppressed? How reliable are these archives?
– What role does remembering – or forgetting – play in the construction of identities and in the negotiation of sacred time and space?
– How is the past imagined and realized through memory, and what part does memory play in the envisioning of competing futures?
– What is the role of memory in historiography and what are the opportunities memory offers for an alternative understanding of history?
– How useful is memory as an analytic category in the study of South Asian religious traditions?

Proposals broadly addressing themes such as these are welcomed from graduate students engaged in original research in any field related to the study of South Asian religious traditions (e.g. Religion, Philosophy, Anthropology, History, Art History, Sociology, South Asian Studies, Diaspora and Transnational Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Linguistics, etc.). This conference will offer a congenial platform for graduate students to present, discuss, and receive feedback on their work from both their peers and faculty in related disciplines.

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Vasudha Dalmia, Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon Professor of Hindu Studies at Yale University, will be delivering the conference’s keynote address.

Proposals of no more than 300 words, a list of five keywords, and a CV should be sent to by September 1, 2013. For further enquiries, please contact or

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