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and Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, South Asia - INSAF

Invites you to a lecture on

The Euro, the Crisis and the Future of the European Union

Prof. Michael Heinrich
University of Applied Sciences, Berlin

Prof. Michael Heinrich teaches Economics in Berlin and is Managing Editor of PROKLA: Journal for Critical Social Science. He is the author of 'The Science of Value: Marx's Critique of Political Economy between Scientific Revolution and Classical Tradition?, and editor, with Werner Bonefeld, of 'Capital and Critique: After the 'New Reading' of Marx?. His new book: 'An Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital? systematically covers all three volumes of Capital and explains all the basic aspects of Marx's critique of capitalism in a way that is clear and concise.

Prof. Michael Heinrich will speak on the banking crisis of 2008 overcome by an enormous intervention of the European states. The consequence was a state debt crisis. However this state debt crisis hit the members of the EU in rather different ways and degrees. Especially the southern member states, Portugal, Spain and especially Greece had and have huge problems, while Germany is the clear winner of the crisis. German companies as well as the German state have enormous benefits through the crisis. This unequal situation creates the biggest challenge the EU ever saw. The actual wave of refugees entering the EU and the still existing conflict in the Ukraine increase this challenge.

Date: Wedesday 2nd December 2015
Time: 3.00 pm
Venue: Committee Room, Ground Floor, School of Social Sciences I

Tea at 4.30



an interactive colloquium titled

Floating in the Cosmos of Ideas: Some glimpses into the way great ideas emerge in Cosmology

Swadesh M Mahajan
Professor of Physics, University of Texas, Austin, USA and
Distinguished Professor (visiting) at Shiv Nadar University, India.

The speaker, Swadesh M Mahajan, is Professor of Physics at the University of Texas at Austin, USA and Distinguished Professor (visiting) at Shiv Nadar University, India. His pursuits in Theoretical Physics encompass very practical to very abstract ideas. He has done pioneering work in a number of areas ranging from Nuclear Fusion Energy to non-linear quantum mechanics to Cosmology. He was the first to propose a practical Fusion-Fission Hybrid reactor, and first to weave together a somewhat comprehensive theory on how magnetic fields could be created in the early universe. His work is profusely quoted and written about.

The discussion is envisaged as a non-technical but `physics-y' and non-scholarly exploration of ancient and modern scientific cosmologies to reveal patterns of thinking and emergence of ideas, and speculating on the general relevance of such patterns and ideas to broad intellectual endeavors.

12 October 2015, Dean's Committee Room, Ground Floor, School of Social Sciences II


Round Table Discussion
Freeze-dried flexibility: a new morphology of labour: casualisation and value -
by Ricardo Antunes

The working class today: the new form of being of the class who lives from its labour - by Ricardo Antunes

9th October 2014 , 11.00 am, Room No. 326, School of Social Sciences III, JNU



The First Rosa Luxemburg Lecture on

The New Morphology of Labour and its main trends: Infromalisation, Casualisation (Un) materiality and Value
Prof. Ricardo Antunes

Abstract: Recent history has been ruthless in relation to such (mis) constructions: the appearance of finitude has actually been part of a process whereby labour has been redesigned, leading to new modalities of labour and the emergence of a new morphology: a new way of being for labour, that coexists with and combines with its past (and still existing) arrangements. It seems that the more labour appears to dwindle, the broader and more diversified are the forms in which it can rise again (in this context it is irrelevant whether the new forms are more or less precarious or more or less provided with rights).This article aims to pursue two of the key polysemic trends that are present in this framework: the casualisation of labour and the development of new forms of labour. It also addresses the implications of these interrelated connections for the law of value.

The Speaker: Ricardo Antunes is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Philosophy and Human Sciences at UNICAMP. He was Visiting Research Fellow at the University of SUSSEX, England. Did call for Holder (2000) and Free-Teaching (1994) in IFCH-UNICAMP, Sociology of Work. A PhD in Sociology, USP (1986) and a Masters in Political Science IFCH-UNICAMP (1980). Zeferino Vaz received the Award of Unicamp (2003) and the Chair of Florestan Fernandes CLASCO (20002). It CNPq researcher. Published, among others, the following books: Goodbye to Work ?, 13th ed, Ed Cortez, also published in Italy, Spain, Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela; Senses Labour, Ed Boitempo, 9th edition Boitempo also published in Argentina and Italy;The Neoliberal Desertification, Ed. Authors Associates. 2nd ed .; The Rebellion of Labor, Ed UNICAMP, 2nd edition.; The New Unionism in Brazil, Ed. Bridges and What is Syndicalism, Ed. Brasiliense. Aualmente coordinates Collections World of Work, by Boitempo and Editorial Work and Emancipation, by Editora Popular Expression. Regular contributor to magazines in Brazil and abroad. Operates on the following topics: job, new morphology of labor, ontology of social being, unionism, industrial structure and centrality of work.

October 9, 2014, at 2.30 p.m., Convention Centre, Lecture Hall-I, Jawaharlal Nehru University


a lecture on

Choreopolitics of Laboring Bodies: Questions of "Cultural Justice" and "Aesthetic Sensibility" in Left Cultural Movements

Brahma Prakash

Abstract: Whether it has been the case of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) in Maharashtra or Jana Natya Mandali (JNM) in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, labouring bodies have made their presence felt by re-defining the language and aesthetics of left political theatre [performance] in India. This paper would like to examine, what I would like to call, the choreocorporeality of labouring bodies in Indian political theatre – the relationship between the materiality of bodily practices and their resultant choreo (bodily movements) – to understand the changing choreopolitics and aesthetics of left cultural movements in India. While labouring bodies in this essay suggest a bodily subjectivity produced in the engagement with manual labour and lived experiences in Indian caste based society, choreo entails the utterances and gestures in actual performance practices. By placing labouring body as a mode of articulation, this paper attempts to conceptualize labouring bodies beyond "the mob" and "the followers" categories in contemporary left cultural movements.

Expounding on the choreopolitics of labouring bodies, the paper while discusses the shortcomings of the middle class led left cultural movements from a cultural labour perspective, it also offers a critique of the ongoing criticisms (of the left cultural movements) coming from an essentialised and a historical readings of art and politics from the discourses of desire. The paper claims that such criticisms are narrowly focused on the sensuous pleasures and satisfaction of sensuous needs than the larger questions of the "cultural justice" and "aesthetic sensibility" which could have become the basis of thinking about any transformative politics. Broadly, this paper will examine the relationship between the materiality of labouring bodies and the performativity of the regime of aesthetic-politics with a case study of the performance of Gaddar and Jana Natya Mandali (JNM) in Telangana-Andhra Pradesh region.

The Speaker: Dr. Brahma Prakash is teaching theatre and performance studies at the School of Arts & Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi. He completed his PhD in theatre and performance studies from Royal Holloway, University of London in 2013 on the topic of the performance of cultural labour and received the Dwight Conquer-good Award from the Performance Studies International for his important contribution. He is currently working on a monograph titled Cultural Labour: The Pathways of Labour and Performance in India that focuses on the aesthetic and performative dimension of the folk and community performances in India.

September 18, 2014, at 3.00 pm, School of Social Sciences III, CHS Committee Room-326


17th P.C.Joshi Memorial Lecture and Release of a Book 'People's 'Warrior': The words and Worlds of P.C. Joshi'

17th P.C. Joshi Memorial Lecture

PUBLIC ADDRESS: citing installation and performance art

Geeta Kapur
Art Theorist and Curator

Abstract:Artworks are produced in states of interiority and housed for the most part within institutions that develop corresponding conditions of display. At the same time, artworks draw on resources embedded in the social matrix and incarnate these in material and conceptual forms. In either case, meaning is revealed by strategic placement of artworks; public presence is gained by scale and by ideological positioning. .

'Public address' presupposes a standpoint on citizenship and the social contradictions it foregrounds. It also presupposes a critical engagement with the nation-space. Within the aesthetic domain, this address may be rhetorical or investigative, it may have a historical referent or offer performative provocations between artist and spectator.

An artist's claim to subjective sovereignty may seem to detract from the principle of democratic citizenship. But if art practice eludes rules of representation, it gains precisely from unsettling norms and relating tendentially to the political.

Taking two contemporary mediums of art practice, installation and performance art, Kapur presents different modes of public address and, with it, discursive possibilities of art practice in India.

The Speaker: Geeta Kapur is a Delhi-based art theorist and curator. Her essays on alternative modernisms, contemporary art practice and curatorial interventions in India and the global south are widely anthologized. Her books include When Was Modernism: Essays on Contemporary Cultural Practice in India (2000); Ends and Means: critical inscriptions in contemporary art (forthcoming 2014).

Her curation includes exhibitions at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi and Mumbai, and the Royal Academy of Arts, London. She co-curated Bombay/ Mumbai for the multi-part exhibition, Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, at the Tate Modern, London (2001); and subTerrain, for the Body. City project at the House of World Cultures, Berlin (2003). Recently, she curated a sequence of five exhibitions, Aesthetic Bind, to mark 50 Years of Chemould, Mumbai ( 2013-2014). Kapur is one of the founder-editors of Journal of Arts & Ideas and has served on advisory committees and juries for international museums, art journals and biennales. She has lectured in universities and museums worldwide and held Visiting Fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi, Clare Hall, University of Cambridge, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Delhi University. Geeta Kapur was awarded the Padmashri in 2009.

Book Release: A book titled 'People's 'Warrior': The Words and Worlds of P.C. Joshi' edited by Dr. Gargi Chakravartty will be released by Prof. Sudha Pai, Rector, JNU.

March 31, 2014, at 3.00 pm School of Arts and Aesthetics Auditorium


a Lecture on

Indian Girls in Search of the Party or the Lost Worlds of Indian Communism

Prof. Ania Loomba

Abstract: The lives of communist women in India have remained seriously underexplored. Alongside the public history of these women’s participation in the communist movement, it is important to reflect upon the texture of their everyday experiences which illuminate the protean lineages of Indian feminism. In particular, they allow us to explore how the family was reshaped, or not, by communist women, and the ways in which it either enabled or disabled their revolutionary activities.

The Speaker: Ania Loomba is Catherine Bryson Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of Shakespeare, Race, and Colonialism (OUP, 2002), Colonialism/ Postcolonialism (Routledge, 1998; second edition 2005, third edition, forthcoming), and Gender, Race, Renaissance Drama (Manchester University Press, 1989, Oxford 1992). She is co-editor of South Asian Feminisms (Duke, 2012), Race in Early Modern England: A Documentary Companion (Palgrave, 2007), Postcolonial Studies and Beyond (Duke 2005) and Post-Colonial Shakespeares (Routledge, 1998), and editor of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (Norton 2012).

January 30, 2014, at 3 p.m. Committee Room, Centre for Historical Studies



a Lecture on

Before the transition from "Real Socialism" to real capitalism

Prof. Lutz Niethammer

Abstract: Soviet regimes did not like oral history, because the experiences of common people and even militants under their rule seemed to be counterproductive to their goals and image. However, in 1987 by a series of misunderstandings the leftish liberal historian from western Germany, Lutz Niethammer and some of his even more leftist friends, got permission to interview 25 workers in the GDR about their lives all through from the Weimar Republic, the Nazi regime and the Sovietization of Eastern Germany to its crises in the 1980s. Because most of these workers were no longer workers, the project extended to some 150 interviews with people of all strands of that society, two years before the collapse of the regime. Niethammer will report some of the major findings of this project, published under the title of "Die volkseigeneErfahrung" in 1991, and reflect on the epistemological problems of such a project, as well as the transition from State socialism to capitalism, because in 1993 he returned to Eastern Germany in order to research and teach contemporary history there.

The Speaker: Lutz Niethammer has studied Theology, History and Social Sciences largely in Heidelberg, where he received his PH.D. in 1971. He taught modern and contemporary history at the Universities of Bochum, Essen, Hagen, and Jena, where he continues to supervise research as Emeritus since 2005. He has been a visiting scholar usually for a year in Oxford, Paris, Berlin East and Berlin West, Basle, Florence, Vienna, Warsaw and now since 2010 as a senior advisor at the ImreKerteszKolleg in Jena. He has published six monographs and four volumes of collected essays, and edited/copublished another 20 volumes. He has advised the German government on the compensation of former slave and forced workers in the German war economy. Since 1993 he has been a member of the board of curators of the memorial site of Buchenwald concentration camps at Weimar.

December 6, 2013, at 3 p.m. Committee Room, Centre for Historical Studies


a Lecture on

IPTA Women and 'Transgression' of Patriarchal Boundary

Dr. Lata Singh

Abstract: The Indian People's Theatre Association was developed in the context of the Indian Communist movement in the 1940s. It aimed to mobilize a people's theatre movement throughout the country as the means of revitalizing the stage and traditional arts, and making them at once the expression and organizer of people's struggle for freedom, cultural progress and economic justice. One of the most significant aspects of IPTA was its involvement of middle class women with its performance. Middle class women rarely associated themselves with performance for fear of being perceived as 'public' women. How and why did the middle class women come to perform in IPTA, and thereby breach boundaries of the 'respectable'? This presentation is an attempt to evaluate this progressive cultural organization from a gender perspective.

The Speaker: Dr. Lata Singh, who studied at JNU, teaches History at Maitreyi College, University of Delhi. She has previously been a fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla and a Visiting fellow at the British Academy. Lata Singh's publications include "Play-House of Power: Theatre in Colonial India" (OUP: 2009) and "Popular Translations of Nationalism: Bihar, 1920-22" (Primus: 2012).

November 21, 2013, at 3 p.m. Committee Room, Centre for Historical Studies


organised a Lecture on

Revisiting the history of Indian communalism - An encounter with the PC Joshi archive

Dr. Dilip Simeon

Abstract: The history of communal politics in late-colonial India is contentious terrain. During a recent exploration of the Archive undertaken for an article on the history of fascism, I found theoretical texts that I had heard of but never seen. I also found material I never knew existed. This encounter with forgotten doctrines reminded me of how the most topical debates are the ones we conduct with our ancestors; and how long-dead eye- witness can force open our minds with fresh insights.

The Speaker: Dr. Dilip Simeon is a well known historian and peace activist. He joined Delhi University in 1966. In 1970 he joined the Naxalite movement and left it in 1972 in the wake of the Bangladesh crisis. In 1974 he joined the History Department of Ramjas College, where he taught until 1994. His doctoral dissertation on the labour movement of Bihar was published in 1995, under the title "The Politics of Labour under Late Colonialism". From 1984 till 1992 he participated in a campaign for communal harmony and justice for the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh carnage through a citizen's organisation named the Sampradayikta Virodhi Andolan. Dilip has been a visiting scholar at the Universities of Surat, Sussex, Chicago, Leiden and Princeton. A wide range of commentary and writing by Dilip Simeon has been distributed on the South Asia Citizens Wire. He has also published extensively on historical and political issues in various newspapers and academic journals. His first novel, Revolution Highway, was published by Penguin India in September 2010. Dilip is now chairperson of the Aman Trust, which works to understand and reduce violent social conflict.

October 24, 2013, at 3 p.m. Committee Room, Centre for Historical Studies


organised a lecture on

Rethinking the Virangana: Women's Militancy and Martyrdom in Naxalbari (1967-75)

Mallarika Sinha Roy

Abstract: The paradigm of Virangana – the warrior woman – is a popular trope of representing women's militancy, combining canny strategic genius with an unswerving sense of honour and dignity. Even though Viranagana is often listed within different manifestations of stri-shakti, alongside mother goddesses like Durga and Kali, the new scholarship on Dalit Virangana legends has pushed the politics of class/caste/ethnicity beyond Hindu religious symbolism. This paper explores the entangled representational strategies that have emerged around the figure of the female militant in the Naxalbari movement. This is also an effort to rethink how the Naxalite ideology recourses back to stereotypes of Virangana – the very familiar nationalist trope – to explain women's participation in revolutionary violence.

The Speaker: Mallarika Roy Sinha is Assistant Professor in Women's Studies Programme, School of Social Sciences, JNU. Her book Gender and Radical Politics in India: Magic Moments of Naxalbari (1967-1975) (London and NY: Routledge) has been published recently. She has also published articles in peer-reviewed journals like Feminist Review, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Contemporary South Asia, Feminism and Psychology, and Journal of South Asian Development. Her research interests include social movement studies, gender and political violence, history and politics of South Asia.

September 26, 2013, at 3 p.m. Committee Room, Centre for Historical Studies


organised a lecture on

Marxism and Postcolonial Thinking

Prof. Sudipta Kaviraj

Sudipta Kaviraj, who has written one of the earliest critical histories of the Indian Left, and associated with the PC Joshi Archives on Contemporary History in its founding moments, will reflect in this lecture on PC Joshi and "our deep investment in Marxism in the early days of JNU" in order to connect it to his current theoretical concerns. He will demonstrate that there is a way of viewing Marxism which shows a close connection between Marxism and postcolonial theory, though it is quite different from and entirely opposed to the general Indian Marxist hostility to postcolonial theory. Indeed, Kaviraj's understanding of what postcolonial thinking means is also distinct in some ways from the position of some postcolonial theorists themselves.

The Speaker: Sudipta Kaviraj, Professor of Indian Politics and Intellectual History in Columbia University, USA, is one of the most creative and innovative thinkers on Indian politics and Indian intellectual history. A former student of, and teacher at, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Kaviraj, researched and wrote one of the most insightful studies of the Indian left. His published works include The Imaginary Institution of India (2010), Civil Society: History and Possibilities co-edited with Sunil Khilnani (2001), Politics in India (edited) (1999), and The Unhappy Consciousness: Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay and the Formation of Nationalist Discourse in India (1995).

August 12, 2013, at 3 p.m. Committee Room, School of Social Sciences I

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.