Call for Papers: Ireland India Institute South Asian Studies Conference 2019, Dublin City University

The Ireland India Institute, Dublin City University is pleased to announce its Third Conference on South Asia, which will be held on the 24-26 April 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. Doctoral researchers, academics and activists are invited to send proposals for papers and panels addressing one of the thematic sections listed below.

Proposals for papers should include a title and abstract (300 words). Proposals should be submitted via Google forms no later than 10th December 2018. We especially encourage papers from underrepresented groups including queer, Dalit and minority perspectives. Without the mention of relevant themes, abstracts will not be included. We also invite panels with no more than 4 panellists. Panel Proposals can be made via email. Please write to us at for more information.

Travel Bursaries: The organisers hope to be able to offer a number of bursaries to support the participation of PhD students from South Asia. To apply for a travel bursary, please attach a 300-word justification statement in the space provided within the google form, explaining why you believe you are a suitable candidate for a bursary. The bursary will only be awarded as reimbursements after the conference. Participants have to arrange for their own travel and accommodation.

Registration Fee (General): €50
Registration Fee (Student): €20


Contemporary Nationalisms in South Asia
Acknowledging that the idea of ‘the Nation’ is a contested concept this section explores the impact of the current rise of nationalism and the legacy of nation-building in South Asia. Economic globalisation and the internet revolution has made the world more interconnected than ever before; however, the past decade has also seen an acceleration in the growth of nationalisms and a retreat into the ‘nation-state’. This section invites papers that address the following questions: In the context of South Asia, what are the contradictions for modernising societies associated with the re-emergence of nationalism? What are the political trends that are being shaped by nationalisms? What are the implications of current nation-building projects in the region? What are the ongoing implications of past nation-building projects?

Electoral Transformations in South Asia: Forging New Hegemonies?
Situating itself in the contemporary electoral landscape of South Asian politics, this section focuses on the political impact of recently held or scheduled general elections. This section invites papers that address the following topics: Do recent elections represent an ideological and material shift in the political systems of South Asia? Does the rise of right-wing and populist politics, reflected in the establishment of the electoral dominance of single parties – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India or the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Pakistan – represent a political paradigm shift? Papers on these topic areas can range from empirical studies on the general elections, electoral behaviour, and the influence of these elections on federal relations to theoretical reflections on whether the elections contribute to the creation of new dominant ideological frameworks in the region.

Framing identities in South Asia
Identity politics in South Asia today stands at an interesting threshold, which is in flux between co-operation and conflict, with different emerging nationalistic discourses in the region. This section explores the construction of identities in both the macro and in the micro-politics of its operation. How are majoritarian identities framed vis-a-vis the minority identities? How are emotions, ideologies and sense of belongingness mobilised to create languages of solidarity and or languages of hate? How are discursive identities (which are not necessarily minority identities) framed/maintained for the perpetuation of majoritarian identities? Are there common parameters or spaces in which majority and minority identities intersect to assert themselves? At the various levels of this hierarchy, what affirms assertions in the interests of the competing identities? This section applies these questions to an analysis of the contemporary debates around Refugee, Queer, Dalit and Indigenous tribal identities in South Asia, while examining the constructions and the contradictions that drive both the discourses of hate and of solidarity in these debates.

The Politics of Environmental policies
The adoption of policies in response to the severity of climate change varies considerably across South Asia, this includes the adoption of different strategies when implementing similar environmental policies. This section welcomes papers that address the following questions. What explains this cross-national variation in both policy adoption and implementation? Why do some countries perform better than others in addressing environmental issues? What are the roles of party politics at the national and local level in the design, adoption and implementation of policies? What are the roles of political and economic institutions in South Asia in the formation and adoption of an environmental policy, including from a comparative perspective? How have South Asian states responded to international debates on climate change and international agreements on environmental policy?

Interpreting the past, predicting the future: Literature and film in South Asia
Literature and film in South Asia encompass a diverse range of narratives. Within this broad topic area, the section welcomes papers that engage with narratives that reflect perspectives on the past and on present representations of these experiences. How do these perspectives influence, or shape, literary and cinematic discourses? Papers in this section, for example, can discuss these themes through the lens of South Asian diasporic literature; Dalit narratives; representation of Minorities/Dalits in South Asian cinema; literatures on South Asian Conflicts; literatures in translation; vernacular South Asian literature; depiction of gender, sexuality, class, and caste in regional South Asian films; and new literary genres in South Asia.

Interrogating Colonial Relationships
The impact of colonialism on the South Asian subcontinent continues to exert a major influence on the form of both state and society. These post-colonial relationships have been interrogated from a range of perspectives, including anthropological studies of post-colonial state institutions; studies of bureaucratic traditions; the impact on governance; the study of state-sponsored violence, providing evidence of the ongoing impact of colonialism on the political culture of South Asia. This section invites papers on this topic through the lens of history, anthropology, contemporary literary and cultural studies, that critically discuss the nuances of the colonial legacy, including on-going interactions with former colonial powers and with other post-colonial states.

The politics of cyberspace
In the wake of the proliferation of smartphones with high-speed internet, the capacity of the individual to communicate information to an almost unlimited audience has been hailed as the ‘democratization of communication’. This ‘democratization of communication’ presents a paradox as although the communication revolution has created space for previously unheard, subaltern voices and perspectives it has also enabled the rapid spread of misinformation and the manipulation of information by elite groups. This section asks what has been the South Asian experiences of this paradox? How is cyberspace shaping social interactions and the day to day experience of politics in South Asian? What are the hierarchies that exist in this space? Contributions are invited on the role of fake news and rumour campaigns that use cyberspace as a platform, the role of cyberspace in contemporary politics, and on the role of cyberspace in the wake of #metoo in Indian academia.