South Asia in Transition
The first international seminar on the topic “South Asia in Transition” organized by the Department of Sociology and Social Work, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, India, is a multidisciplinary platform and invites professors, research scholars, students, professionals and activists at all levels to participate/present papers. The seminar is expected to initiate inter-disciplinarian and inter-continental dialogues, resulting in a dynamic exchange of ideas and to inaugurate collaborations between scholars from universities and organisations across the globe. The seminar also carries strong publication plans in either SCOPUS indexed journals or as books with ISSN/ISBN numbers through reputed publishers. A brief concept note is provided below after which the themes and sub themes can be identified. Papers which address issues and concerns outside the list will also be considered if they fall within the area of the seminar.
South Asia elicits exciting imaginations of a region that is filled with religions, traditions, cultures and ‘systems’ that have interacted, coexisted and conditioned each other for several centuries. It is also a region which is ambivalent enough to escape any coherent form of conceptualization. The encounter of this region with modern social sciences can roughly be traced to the beginning of 19th century as a result of the colonial administration’s attempts to ‘understand’ its colonies and its natives’ cultures. Since then a number of theories and formulations have visited these terrains in the hope of explaining its social, cultural and political textures.
South Asia is a primary site where the reality of human/social existence is, to a great extent, still configured in the standard lexicons of the erstwhile oriental knowledge. The umpteen sites of controversies that are encountered at the everyday level of these geographies are historically shaped and configured amidst the persisting, dynamic interlinks between tradition and modernity. The complexities of these societies elicit nuanced approaches towards understanding their reality and the changes that they consistently undergo. Now with the age of globalization in full swing and previously under the aegis of colonialism South Asia has witnessed radical transitions in its material and non-material conditions. The region also remains elusive, for all the attempts to address its material backwardness through the language of development have elicited multiple responses. The complexity vis a vis the experience with development emerges from the fact that it often gets mixed up in the national and regional politics and is often countered by the indigenous cultural systems. The socio-cultural dynamics often come in the way of development efforts. Thus, the caste, class, religious, ethnic, linguistic and gender differences, all gain equally important influence.