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2018 Tenth Annual Global South Asia NYU Conference: Justice on the Move

February 23, 2018, 4:00 am - February 24, 2018, 2:00 pm

Our tenth annual NYU Global South Asia conference theme is “Justice on the Move.”  The conference will be held at the Institute for Public Knowledge (20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor), on 23-24 February, 2018.  We will be focusing from a range of perspectives on interactions of justice and movement in South Asia, where the term “movement” evokes both mobility and mobilization, at many levels of scale, from the local to global. Justice struggles are ever present in South Asia, from social movements to legislative assemblies, court rooms to street protests, class rooms to NGO debates, newspapers to film, public and private, inside and outside the domains of official politics, audible in some registers and faint in others. In bringing together justice and movement, we want to foreground how justice travels within and across borders in and around South Asia, as ideas and ideals, as repertoires of practice, as solidarities and antagonisms, as expertise and professionalized networks. We want to approach this topic not only as a window into South Asia today, but also with historical and comparative perspectives.
Please take a look at the conference schedule below:

South Asia NYU Annual Conference



All events are free and open to the public.




8:30–9:00 AM: BREAKFAST

Vasuki Nesiah (NYU Gallatin) and David Ludden (NYU, Department of History)

9:15–11:00 AM: Panel: Peoples’ Struggles Against Injustice: Global Experience in Local Resistance

ChairRumela Sen (Columbia, Political Science)

“Rebel Retirement Through Informal Exit Networks: Evidence from India” Rumela Sen (Columbia, Political Science)
“Crisis, Credibility, and Corruption: How Ideas and Institutions Shape Government Behaviour in India” Bilal Baloch (University of Pennsylvania, Advanced Studies)
“Imagining an Equal Order in Gujarat: Religion, Caste, and Resistance Poetics and Materialities” Dolly Daftary (University of Massachusetts, International Development)
“After Shahbag – Democracy, Islam, and Politics in Bangladesh” Nayma Qayum (Manhattanville College, Asian Studies)

11:00–11:15 AM: COFFEE BREAK
11:15 AM–1:00 PM: Panel: Rights on Trial – Within and Across Borders

Chair: Anil Kalhan (Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law)
“The HPV Trials: Controversy and Contestation” Aziza Ahmed (Northeastern University, School of Law)
“Deep Impunity” Kamala Visweswaran (UC San Diego, Department of Ethnic Studies)
“Caught Between the Lines: Colonial Borders, FATA and Faltering Movement of Justice in Pakistan”  Tayyab Mahmud (Seattle University, Law)
“Unhappy Results: Finding Justice for Victims of War in Sri Lanka?” Sujith Xavier (University of Windsor, Law)

1:00–2:00 PM: LUNCH
2:00-4:00 PM: Panel: Between “#MeToo” and “the List”: Locating Feminist Politics and Sexual Violence

Chair: Ritty Lukose (NYU, Gallatin)
“Smashing Cis-Brahminical Patriarchy: Moving from Reactionary to Visionary Politics” Thenmozhi Soundararajan (Human Rights Activist)
“Re-Imagining justice: when due processes in law fail survivors of trauma” Raya Sarkar (University of California, Law)
“Loitering online: Spatial reflections on feminist possibilities” Shilpa Phadke (TISS, School of Media and Cultural Studies)
“Feminist Art as Protest, Protest as Feminist Art: Dispatches from the Studio, Social Media & the Street” Swati Khurana (Artist and Writer)

4:00–4:15 PM: COFFEE BREAK

Thamotharampillai Sanathanan (University of Jaffna, Department of Fine Arts and Founder, Sri Lankan Archive for Contemporary Art, Architecture & Design)
Chair: Vasuki Nesiah (NYU, Gallatin)

6:00–7:00 PM: RECEPTION




8:30–9:00 AM: BREAKFAST
9:00–11:00 AM: Panel: “Contested Memories: Gender, Violence, and Extremism in Sri Lanka”

Chair: Zachariah Mampilly (Vassar College, Political Science, Africana Studies and International Studies)
“On Moments & Movements: Radicalization & Memory for Tamil Women” Nimmi Gowrinathan (Founder and Director, Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative)
“In Memory’s Wake: Reflections on the Life and Work of A Sivanandan” Fathima Cader (University of Windsor, Law)
“Remembering voices, Recalling Testimonies: Three Vignettes from the Conflict Zones” Sujith Xavier (University of Windsor, Law)

11:00–11:15 AM: COFFEE BREAK

Naeem Mohaiemen (Columbia University, Anthropology)
Chair: Radha Hegde (NYU, Media, Culture and Communication)

1:00–2:00 PM: LUNCH
2:00–4:00 PM: Panel: Territorial Rights and Mobile Spaces

Chair: David Ludden (NYU, Department of History)
“Illiberal gains: The American branch campus and the kafala system” Neha Vora (Lafayette College, Anthropology and Sociology)
“Labor, drugs, and refuge: Notes across a ‘friendly’ border” Sahana Ghosh (Yale University, Anthropology)
“Assumptions of Temporariness and Suspension: Migrant Domestic Workers in the Gulf Region” Attiya Ahmad (George Washington University, Anthropology and International Affairs)
Maya Mikdashi (Rutgers University, Women’s and Gender Studies)

4:00–4:15 PM: COFFEE BREAK

Sadia Saeed (University of San Francisco, Sociology)
Chair: Dina Siddiqi (BRAC University, Anthropology)

6:00–7:00 PM: RECEPTION


Co-sponsors:  Office of the Provost NYU, Dean of Humanities, NYU

Department of History, Center for the Humanities, Gallatin, Department of Media, Culture and Communication, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative (The City College of New York), Institute for Public Knowledge NYU


David Ludden studies the very-long term history of globalization. He focused originally on southern India and then shifted his focus to Bangladesh and adjacent tropical mountains and coastal regions.  He is now finishing a book entitled Global Asia: Making Space for Modernity, to narrate the expansive formation of spaces of connectivity in Asia over two millennia before 1850.

Vasuki Nesiah is a legal scholar who has published widely on the history and politics of human rights, humanitarianism, international criminal law, international feminisms and colonial legal history. Her current research focuses on debates regarding reparations for colonialism and slavery. Her recent publications include a co-edited volume, A Global History of Bandung and Critical Traditions in International Law (Cambridge 2017), and book chapters such as “Indebted: The Cruel Optimism of Leaning-in to Empowerment” in Janet Halley et. al, ed.s, Governance Feminisms, UMinn. (2018) and “The Escher Human Rights Elevator: Technologies of the Local” in Sally Merry et. al, eds., Human Rights Transformation in an Unequal World, UPenn (2018). Nesiah teaches human rights, critical legal studies and the politics of property at the Gallatin School, NYU. She also continues as core faculty in Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP). She is from Colombo and New York.


Rumela Sen is the postdoctoral research fellow in the department of political science at Columbia University.  She studied Comparative Politics in the Department of Government at Cornell University. Her current research focuses on rebel retirement and reintegration with empirical evidence drawn primarily from South Asia.


Bilal Baloch is a Lecturer at the Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at CASI, where he focuses on the political economy of government behavior in India and other developing democracies. While at CASI, Bilal is revising his doctoral dissertation, Crisis, Credibility, and Corruption: How Ideas and Institutions Shape Government Behavior in India, into a monograph. Bilal has presented academic papers at several international conferences, including the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. In addition to his scholarly publications, his commentary has appeared in a number of outlets including The Guardian, Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, and The Hindu. Prior to his doctoral studies, Bilal was Chief of Staff to Dean Vali Nasr at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. While at SAIS, he co-established the annual SAIS Emerging Markets Series alongside former First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, John Lipsky. He also assisted in editing and contributed research toward Nasr’s book, The Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat (2013). Bilal has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Tufts University, where he also contributed research toward Ayesha Jalal’s book, The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics (2014). Bilal completed his undergraduate studies in philosophy, logic, and the scientific method at The London School of Economics where he was the Anthony Giddens Scholar, and holds a Master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where he was the Samuel J. Elder Scholar. 

Dolly Daftary is an assistant professor for International Development at the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development in University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her areas pf expertise include institutional change, social and economic change processes, market-driven policy paradigms, democratic decentralization, resource-dependent communities, political economy of development, identity and cultural politics, survey research, mixed methods research, ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative methods.

Nayma Qayum is an assistant professor in Asian studies. She also teaches for the international studies program. Her research interests include informal institutions, gender and development, poverty, and migration, with regional expertise in South Asia. Dr. Qayum has previously taught at the State University of New York at Geneseo, Pace University, and CUNY City College. She has held research positions at BRAC Bangladesh and UNDP NY.


Aziza Ahmed is an internationally renowned expert in health law, criminal law and human rights.  Her scholarship examines the legal, regulatory and political environments on health in US domestic law, US foreign policy and international law. She teaches Property Law, Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights, and International Health Law: Governance, Development and Rights. Professor Ahmed has been selected as a fellow with the Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) at Princeton University. She is combining her sabbatical and her fellowship to spend the 2017-2018 academic year developing her work on law, feminism and science into a book with particular emphasis on how women’s health advocates shaped the AIDS response. She has also written extensively about abortion and reproductive health. Professor Ahmed’s scholarship has appeared in the University of Miami Law Review, American Journal of Law and Medicine, University of Denver Law Review, Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Boston University Law Review (online), and the American Journal of International Law (online), among other journals. Prior to joining the School of Law, Professor Ahmed was a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health Program on International Health and Human Rights. She came to that position after a Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship with the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW). Professor Ahmed has also consulted with various United Nations agencies and international and domestic non-governmental organizations. Professor Ahmed was a member of the Technical Advisory Group on HIV and the Law convened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and has been an expert for many institutions, including the American Bar Association and UNDP. In 2016, she was appointed to serve a three-year term on the advisory board of the Northeastern University Humanities Center.


Kamala Visweswaran writes in the fields of feminist theory and ethnography, South Asian social movements, ethnic and political conflict, human rights, colonial law, postcolonial theory, South Asian literatures, transnational and diaspora studies, comparative South Asia and Middle East studies. She has worked in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat, India, and has received Fulbright and American Institute of Indian Studies research awards, as well as fellowships at the University of Chicago Humanities Institute, the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, and the Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies. She has served on the advisory board of the journal Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism and is a past editor of Cultural Dynamics and Feminist Studies. She is the author of Fictions of Feminist Ethnography (University of Minnesota Press,1994) and Un/common Cultures: Racism and the Rearticulation of Cultural Difference (Duke, 2010). She is also the editor of Perspectives on Modern South Asia (Wiley/Blackwell, 2011) and Everyday Occupations: Experiencing Militarism in South Asia and the Middle East (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013). She is currently working on two book manuscripts: “Histories of Rights, Histories of Law” and “A Thousand Genocides Now: Gujarat in the Modern Imaginary of Violence.


Tayyab Mahmud is Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Global Justice at Seattle University School of Law. A graduate of University of California Hastings College of the Law, he was a Law & Public Affairs (LAPA) Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 2011-12, and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Law School in 1997-1998. From 2006-2008, Professor Mahmud was Co-President of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the Board of Directors of Latina/o Critical Legal Studies, Inc. (LatCrit). He has served on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Comparative Law, Hastings Int’l & Comparative Law Review, Journal of Third World Legal Studies, and the Journal of Humanities Research. Professor Mahmud has published extensively in the areas of comparative constitutional law, human rights, international law, legal history and legal theory. His primary research areas are critical legal theory, colonial legal regimes, international law, and post-colonial legal systems. His current research is focused on neoliberal political economy and extra-constitutional usurpation of power in post-colonial states.


Sujith Xavier, LL.B. (Law and Human Rights) (Essex, 2005), LL.M. (McGill, 2007), Barrister and Solicitor (Law Society of Upper Canada) joined the University of Windsor Faculty of Law in January of 2014 as an Assistant Professor. In 2015, Dr. Xavier was appointed Director, Transnational Law and Justice Network, University of Windsor Faculty of Law. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law, Professor Xavier articled with, and worked for, Jackman, Nazami & Associates where he specialized in administrative and constitutional law, national security, international criminal law, and public international law in Toronto, Canada. He completed his Ph.D. at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University in Toronto, Canada in 2015. Dr. Xavier has significant field experience in Palestine and Sri Lanka working with local grassroots non-governmental organizations. In 2011, while living in The Hague, he worked for Judge Agius (now President) in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. His varied research interests span domestic and international legal theory, international law, legal ethics, Third World Approaches to International Law, as well as the intersections of law and society with a focus on race, colonialism and imperialism, and gender and sexuality.

Ritty Lukose is an assistant professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study in New York University. Her teaching and research interests explore the relations between culture, politics, and economy as they manifest themselves in discourses and practices of gender across the varied terrain of globalization, especially as they impact contemporary South Asia. With a background in anthropology, she is currently interested in the relationship between Western, global and non-Western feminisms. Professor Lukose’s research has been funded by the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Fulbright Program, the Spencer Foundation, and the National Academy of Education, and she has published several book chapters and articles on this research in journals such as Cultural Anthropology, Social History, Social Analysis, and Anthropology, and Education Quarterly. Her book, Liberalization’s Children: Gender, Youth and Consumer Citizenship in Globalizing India, was published by Duke University Press in 2009 and co-published in India by Orient Blackswan in 2010. A co-edited book, South Asian Feminisms was published by Duke University Press (2012) and Zubaan, a leading feminist press in India. She teaches courses on globalization, India/South Asia, sex/gender and feminisms within global contexts, and ethnography.

Thenmozhi Soundararajan is a Dalit American transmedia artist, technologist and activist who who is the executive director of Equality Labs  Equality Labs is a South Asian American human rights arts organization working at the intersection of storytelling, design, technology and digital security to end caste apartheid, islamophobia, and religious intolerance. Equality Labs work includes the Dalit History Month Project and the award winning Digital Security Curriculum Digital Security For All. Her work as an artist has been recognized  by the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship, the Producers Guild of America Diversity Program, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Annenberg Innovation Center, Slamdance, Chicken and Egg Films, MIT Center for New Media Studies, The Sorbonne, Source Magazine, Utne Reader, Eyebam, The National Center for the Humanities, The National Science Foundation,The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Atlantic Philanthropy foundation. She has also been named part of the inaugural cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity. You can can find her on twitter at @dalitdiva or about the work at Equality Labs @equalitylabs.

Raya Sarkar is a law student, creator of the sexual harassers list in South Asian academia and a dalit women’s rights activist.

Shilpa Phadke is Associate Professor at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai. She is currently Madeleine Haas Russell Visiting Professor in South Asian Studies at Brandeis University, MA. She is co-author, Why Loiter? Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets (2011). She writes both academically and in the popular media. Her work focuses on gender and the politics of space, the middle classes, sexuality and the body, feminist politics among young women, reproductive subjectivities, feminist parenting,  and pedagogic practices. 


Swati Khurana is an artist and writer who contemplates memory, pasts, artifice, artifacts, public spaces, popular culture, and the seductive promises made by rituals. She holds a B.A. in History from Columbia University, an M.A. in Studio Art & Art Criticism from NYU’s Gallatin School, and a M.F.A. in Fiction from Hunter College. Her multidisciplinary visual artwork has been supported by fellowships and residencies from Jerome Foundation, Bronx Arts Council, Center for Books Arts, Cooper Union, Henry Street Settlement, Wave Hill, Rotunda Gallery, Bronx Museum, Atlantic Center for the Arts. She has presented her artwork in solo exhibitions at Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai), A/P/A Gallery at NYU, Safari Gardens (The Gambia) and Diaspora Vibe (Miami), and over a hundred group exhibitions and festivals. In 2011, she left her the art market and a studio-based practice and to focus on collaborative art projects, essays, and fiction. She has been published in The New York Times, Guernica, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Offing, The Rumpus, Art-India and in the Good Girls Marry Doctors anthology edited by Piyali Bhattacharya. Currently, she is working on her novel The No.1 Printshop of Lahore through recent Center for Fiction’s Emerging Writers and Vermont Studio Center’s Grace Paley Fiction Fellowships. In 1997, she was a founding member of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC), an organization dedicated to the advancement, visibility, and development of emerging and established South Asian women artists across disciplines. From 1997-2001 and 2007-2010, she served two terms as a Board Member organizing artist showcases, exhibitions, donor campaigns, fundraisers, necessary paperwork and salons. Though she has not been formally on SAWCC’s organizational structure for eight years, she has been involved on certain projects, including organizing a “Writing Politics Across Genres” panel at the 2016 SAWCC Litfest featuring writers whose work engages with Islamophobia, casteism, racism, and displacement; and making wood-block letterpress protest posters for SAWCC’s “Freedom Safety Now” action at the Indian Consulate following the Delhi bus gang-rape-murder (2012) and Jaishri Abichandani’s “Me Too” silent performance at the Met Breuer’s retrospective of Raghubir Singh (2017).

Thamotharampillai Sanathanan is a visual artist living and working in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. His work has been exhibited widely in Sri Lanka and at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Vancouver; Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane; Museum of Ethnology, Vienna; Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi, Asian Art Archive, Hong Kong; Kochi Art Biennial; Museum of Modern Art, New York. Dhaka Art Summit  among others. His artist book projects include ‘The One Year Drawing Project’, ‘The Incomplete Thombu’, and ‘A–Z of Conflict’ (forthcoming). He holds degrees in painting from the University of Delhi and a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Art History, Department of Fine Arts,  University of Jaffna and co funder of Sri Lankan archive for contemporary art, architecture and design.
Zachariah Mampilly is Associate Professor of Political Science, Africana Studies and International Studies at Vassar College. In 2012/2013, he was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is the author of Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life during War  (Cornell U. Press 2011) and with Adam Branch, Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change (African Arguments, Zed Press 2015). He is the coeditor of Rebel Governance in Civil Wars  (Cambridge U. Press 2015) with Ana Arjona and Nelson Kasfir; and Peacemaking: From Practice to Theory (Praeger 2011) with Andrea Bartoli and Susan Allen Nan.
Nimmi Gowrinathan is the Founder and Director of the Politics of Sexual Violence Initiative, a global initiative examining the impact of rape on women’s political identities, and a Visiting Research Professor at the Colin Powell Center for Global and Civic Leadership at City College New York. She is currently the founder and director a new program under this initiative, Beyond Identity: A Gendered-Platform for Scholar Activists. She is also currently a Senior Scholar the Center for Political Conflict, Gender, and People’s Rights at the University of California, Berkeley and the creator of the Female Fighter Series at Guernica Magazine.  She has recently been a senior advisor for the Asian Development Bank/UN Women Benchmark Paper on SDG’s in the Asia-Pacific region; a Gender Expert for the United Nations Human Development Report on Afghanistan; and a policy consultant and analyst for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the International Crisis Group, researching and analyzing gender inclusion in peace-building and women’s insecurities in Sri Lanka. She was formerly the Director of South Asia Programs and UN Representative for Operation USA. Dr. Gowrinathan received her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles titled “Why Women Rebel: Understanding Female Fighters in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” which received the Jean and Irving Stone Award for Innovation in Gender Studies. She provides expert analysis for CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and the BBC, and has published in Harper’s Magazine, Foreign Affairs, Guernica Magazine, and Al Jazeera English, among others. Her work, and writings, can be found at www.deviarchy.com.
Fathima Cader is a writer, lawyer, and adjunct professor currently based in Toronto. Her recent publications include creative non-fiction in Hazlitt and Warscapes, poetry in Apogee Journal and Canadian Woman Studies: les cahiers de la femme, and criticism in The New Inquiry and The Funambulist. Her research interests are particularly focused on the migrations of war and state violence.

Naeem Mohaiemen combines films and essays to research failed left utopias– framed by Third World Internationalism and World Socialism. His films have shown at documenta 14, Sharjah, Marrakech, and Venice Biennales, Tate Britain, British Museum, and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. A solo show, There is no Last Man, is currently on view at MoMA, New York (“Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett mixed with Julio Cortázar, threaded through the needle of colonialism and 21st-century security states.”, New York Times, 01/19/2018). His essays include “Traitors, a Mutable Lexicon” (Supercommunity, 2018), “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Campaign” (Assuming Boycott, 2017), “Simulation at Wars’ End: A ‘Documentary’ in the Field of Evidence Quest,” (BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies, 2016), “Anabasis of the Japanese Red Army” (e-flux Journal, 2015), and “Islamic roots of Hip-Hop” (Sound Unbound, 2008). He co-edited Chittagong Hill Tracts in the Blind Spot of Bangladesh Nationalism (Drishtipat 2010) and System Error: War is a Force that Gives us Meaning (Papesse, 2006). He has received a Guggenheim fellowship for his film work, and SSRC and Wenner-Gren for academic research. Naeem is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at Columbia University, researching left histories outside state patronage.

Radha Hegde is a Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University. Her research and teaching focus on gender, globalization, migration and global media flows. Her edited book, Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures, was published by NYU Press in July 2011. Radha is currently working on a book Mediating Migration where she examines a series of sites (including music and food) where technology mediates the meanings and value of tradition in the diasporic context. Another ongoing ethnographic project focuses on the growth of English language and communication training in India and the shaping of aspirations about digital futures. Her earlier work focused on gender identities and reproductive politics in south India. She serves on the editorial board of several major journals in the field of media and cultural studies, and was recently appointed as co-editor for the journal Feminist Media Studies. She was a journalist with the Indian Express in Chennai, India before her academic career. She is also one of the founder members of Manavi, the first feminist South Asian group in the United States.
Neha Vora is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Lafayette College. Her research focuses on citizenship, migration, higher education, and South Asian and Muslim diasporas. Her next book, Teach for Arabia: American universities, liberalism, and transnational Qatar, is forthcoming with Stanford University Press.
Sahana Ghosh researches, teaches, and writes about borders, transnational mobilities, militarization and paying particular attention to gender and sexuality. She conducts ethnographic and historical research in, primarily, agrarian India and Bangladesh. She is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University.

Attiya Ahmad is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at The George Washington University (Washington DC, USA). Broadly conceived, her research focuses on the gendered interrelation of Islamic reform movements and political economic processes spanning South Asia and the Middle East, in particular the greater Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean regions.  Dr. Ahmad is currently working on a project focusing on the development of global halal tourism networks.  She is the author of Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait (Duke Press, 2017), which has received the Clifford Geertz Prize honorable mention from the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, and the Sara Whaley Prize honorable mention from the National Women’s Studies Association.  She has held several fellowships and grants, including the ACLS/LUCE fellowship in Religion, Journalism and International Affairs, Stanford Humanities Center, and National Science Foundation.


Maya Mikdashi is an assistant professor at the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and a lecturer in the program in Middle East Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.  Maya is an anthropologist (PhD Columbia University, 2014) who is deeply engaged in ethnographic, legal, and archival theory and methodology. She currently is completing a book manuscript that examines the war on terror, sexual difference, secularism, and state power in the contemporary Middle East from the vantage point of Lebanon. Maya is also at the beginning stages of a book project that focuses on settler colonialism, the multiple and simultaneous temporalities of history and the “present,” and the affects of both archives and archival research. She engages with these questions via the collected and auto-ethnographic story of her great grandmother, who was an Ojibwa woman living in the early twentieth century Midwestern United states. Maya has been a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow from 2014-2016 at Rutgers University, and a Faculty Fellow/Director of Graduate Studies, Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University (2012-2014). She has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, in addition to online platforms. She is a co-founding editor of the e-zine Jadaliyya.com.Maya is also a filmmaker and writer, she is co-director of the feature length documentary film About Baghdad (2004), co- founding member of filmmaking cooperative Quilting Point Productions, and director of Notes on The War (2006). Most recently Maya co-conceptualized, co-wrote (with director Carlos Motta), and performed in a historical fantasy film set in 19th century Beirut and Bogota, Deseos/رغبات”, which is currently playing in international film and art festivals.


Sadia Saeed is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of San Francisco. She is a historical sociologist with substantive interests in sociology of religion, political sociology, human rights, and international law. Her first book, Politics of Desecularization: Law and the Minority Question in Pakistan, examines how the contentious relationship between Islam, nationalism, and rights of religious minorities has been debated and institutionalized in colonial India and Pakistan. Her current research focuses on the emergence and evolution of minority rights in international law. Saeed received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Previously, she held postdoctoral fellowships at the Maurer School of Law and Indiana University, Bloomington and Yale University.

Dina M. Siddiqi divides her time between New York and Dhaka, where she is Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Economics and Socials Sciences, BRAC University. Her publications, grounded in the study of Bangladesh, cover a broad spectrum: the global garment industry; gender justice and non-state dispute resolution systems, and the intersections of Islam, nationalism and feminist cultural politics. Siddiqi is on the editorial board of Routledge’s Women in Asia Publication Series, a member of the South Asia Council of the Association of Asian Studies (AAS), and on the Gender Advisory Council of the Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS). She is also part of the Advisory Council of the South Asian Network of Gender Activists and Trainers (SANGAT). She is currently a fellow at the Center for the Study of Social Difference (CSSD) at Columbia University.


February 23, 2018, 4:00 am
February 24, 2018, 2:00 pm
Event Category:


South Asia | NYU


20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor
20 Cooper Square
New York City, NY 10003 United States
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