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CWS Current Events

CWS Current Events

Date: 14th October, 2014
Speaker: Ayesha Kidwai
Professor, Centre for Linguistics, JNU.

Title: "Are we women not citizens?" Mridula Sarabhai's Social workers and the recovery of Abducted Women.

Abstract: In this talk, Kidwai argues for a re-examination of the by-now standard conclusion that Mridula Sarabhai and her social workers' efforts and intentions in the recovery of women abducted under the Abducted Persons (Recovery and Rehabilitation) Ordinances and Act, in force till 1957, were in consonance with those of the patriarchal State. Using the newspaper archive from the period, she shall contend that the perception that the 'recovery' operation signalled, in the words of Das (1995), "an alliance between the state and social work as a profession" to be a reading that occludes the complexities of the past and the internal history of the close to decade long recovery operation.


Date: 21st October, 2014
Speaker: Trina Nileena Banerjee
Assistant Professor, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta.

Title: Performing the Limits of Shame: Female Nudity, Respectability and the Sacred in Manipuri Performance.

Abstract: This paper seeks to examine two instances of performance of shame in contemporary Manipur. Veteran actress Sabitri Heisnam appears in the nude on stage in protest against her rapists during the climax of Manipuri director H. Kanhailal's play "Draupadi" (2001). Three years later, in July 2004, a group of Manipuri women stripped naked in front of the Western Gate of Kangla fort in Imphal, to protest the brutal rape and death of Thangjam Manorama, a 34-year-old suspected insurgent. From the evidence gathered on the field so far, it is fairly certain that the individual activists at Kangla were not aware of the existence of "Draupadi",the play. The paper seeks to examine this apparent paradox: the differential configurations/receptions of nudity within these strangely reverberating theatrical and political events in contemporary Manipur.


Date: 28th October, 2014
Speaker: Navaneetha Mokkil 
Assistant Professor, Centre for Women's Studies, JNU.

Title: Living Together, Dying Together: The Lesbian as a Political Subject.

Abstract:This paper will analyze the political mobilization on "lesbian suicides" from late 1990s in Kerala. Analyzing activist documentation on lesbian suicides, this paper seeks to pursue the questions: What does it mean to produce a discourse around lesbian sexuality that has at its centre the event of suicide and the specters of women whose lives could have been saved? What is the impetus behind the recording of the lives of two women who are beyond the pale of any politics? What are the narrative tropes through which the lesbian as a figure surfaces in the public sphere of post-1990s Kerala? The analysis straddles a close reading of the form and content of the oral narratives and a meta-critical analysis of the politics of conducting and publishing these interviews.

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.