“The Politics of the Public”:
2013 Sri Lanka Graduate Student Conference
The 2013 Sri Lanka Graduate Conference will be held on December 6th and 7th at the Center for South Asia at Stanford University. The conference is co-funded by the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies and the Center for South Asia, Stanford. As with the three previous graduate conferences, this workshop will bring together graduate students both in the final writing up stage and pre-research/planning stages from a variety of disciplines and institutions. The graduate conference aims to enhance intellectual exchange on Sri Lanka; emphasize the production of empirical and non-sectarian knowledge; focus attention on recent transformations of key concepts; strengthen and build a new cohort of researchers (and research) across disciplines and institutions; and strengthen relationships between American graduate students and local intellectual circles in Sri Lanka.
In 2013 our theme is the Politics of the Public. The past year in Sri Lanka has seen new issues concerning infrastructure and urban space, post-war reconstruction, and conflicts and challenges around multi-religious spaces. We welcome all paper proposals, and particularly encourage papers on the following themes: aesthetics and politics including topics related to literature (Sinhala, Tamil and English), public discourse, film, theatre, and urban visuality; urban transformations including infrastructure, urban and rural development, housing and transportation; and public religious life including conflicts around spaces of worship, public representation, and ethnic minorities.
The workshop takes place over 2 days. On December 6th, the first session will be a small closed pre-dissertation development seminar for selected participants (see below for details). In the evening, the Sri Lanka Graduate Conference and the Center for South Asia will present a jointly hosted public event with a performance by YaliniDream, a performer, poet, and community activist http://www.yalinidream.com/index.html. We will also be launching a new initiative to collaboratively evolve a bibliography of “significant” and “essential” reading on Sri Lanka - from the classics to contemporary texts. Participants will receive more details on this initiative prior to the workshop. On December 7th we will host three student panels.