The Rohingyas in Bangladesh and Myanmar: A Case of ‘Subhuman’ Life

Book Talk with Nasir Uddin 

Abstract: Citizenship is a legal status conferred by the state that makes non-citizens a new ‘other,’ a vulnerable category viewed as less than human that Uddin refers to as being treated as “sub-human.”  This talk will focus on the state of Rohingyas in Bangladesh and Myanmar, illuminating an intricate relation of statelessness, human rights and the paradox of the “sub-human.”

Speaker Bio: Nasir Uddin is a cultural anthropologist based in Bangladesh and Professor of Anthropology at Chittagong University.  His forthcoming book, “The Rohingya: A Case of Subhuman” is due to published by Oxford University Press later this year. He is the co-editor of  Deterritorialised Identity and Transborder Movement in South Asia (Springer, 2019).

Book Launch & Discussion | Australianama: Histories of Muslims In An Age of Escalating Islamophobia

Join us for a lecture by Samia Khatun based on her new book ‘Australianama: The South Asian Odyssey in Australia‘, on April 18. The book challenges a central idea that powerfully shapes history books across the Anglophone world: the colonial myth that European knowledge traditions are superior to the epistemologies of the colonized. Arguing that Aboriginal and South Asian language sources are keys to the vast, complex libraries that belie colonized geographies, Khatun shows that stories in colonized tongues can transform the very ground from which we view past, present, and future.

Cosponsored by Center for Global Asia, NYU &  The Islamicate Studies Working Group, Liberal Studies, NYU.

Event Details:

Featuring: Samia Khatun, PhD
Discussants: Vivek Bald (MIT), Ishan Chakrabarti (University of Chicago), and David Ludden (NYU)

Moderator: Dina M. Siddiqi (NYU)

When: April 18, 5 pm – 7 pm  
Where: Room 101, 5 Washington Place

Copies of the book will be available for sale.

Wine and cheese will be served. 

About Samia Khatun

Dr. Samia Khatun is a historian because she once lost her way to a mathematics lecture at the University of Sydney. Since then, she has chased truths about the past in Antigua, Kolkata, Istanbul, Berlin, New York, Dunedin, Melbourne, London, and Dhaka. Her documentaries have screened on ABC and SBS-TV in Australia and she has held postdoctoral fellowships at Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin and at the University of Melbourne. Teaching in Dhaka since 2017, Samia has been working on a project to decolonize the history classroom at the University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh. In September 2019 she will be taking up the position of Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London.

This event is open to the public. For non-NYU attendees, please bring a photo ID for security purposes.


Join us for a book launch of Vasu Varadhan’s new memoir on April 2. The book chronicles an immigrant’s struggle to forge an identity amidst the upheavals of geographical and cultural displacement. The author will read selections and engage in a conversation about the book with Radha S. Hegde.

Event Details:

Featuring: Vasu Varadhan (Gallatin, NYU)
When: April 2, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm | Reception: 5:30 – 6 pm 
Where: Media, Culture & Communication Event Space
239 Greene Street, 8th Floor

Drinks and light snacks will be served. 

About On My Own Terms
In moments of quiet despair following the death of her eldest son in the September 11 attack on The World Trade Center, Vasu Varadhan thought of her mother and father, a United Nations diplomat and champion of nuclear disarmament during the Cold War who died at the early age of 50; her childhood in New York City and young adulthood in India, and her arranged marriage at the age of 16. Circling back into personal family history led to her decision to write this memoir, a search for better understanding of life’s joys and sorrows. At its core, On My Own Terms is a classic story of an immigrant’s struggle to forge an identity of one’s own amidst the upheavals of geographical and cultural displacement. On another level, it is an homage to a remarkable woman’s struggle to maintain individuality, integrity and freedom as an accomplished scholar inside the orthodox Hindu culture in which she was born and raised.

About Vasu Varadhan
Vasu Varadhan holds a PhD in Media Studies from New York University where she is currently a member of the faculty at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has taught a wide range of interdisciplinary seminars on media theory, identity in a multi-cultural world, ancient Indian literature and South Asian literature with a special focus on emerging Indian writers in the diaspora. She is the featured subject of the documentary, Knowing Her Place, by Indu Krishnan which chronicles her struggle with “cultural schizophrenia” as an Indian American woman searching to forge her own identity. Her writing has been published in two of India’s leading newspapers, The Hindu and The Indian Express, in the South Asian Review and in the online publication, The Pythians. She lives in New York City.

This event is open to the public. For non-NYU attendees, please bring a photo ID for security purposes.