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Roluahpuia, the Mittal Institute’s Raghunathan Family Fellow, will discuss his research into the relationship between orality and nationalism at two levels through the lens of the Mizo case in northeast India. The first level surrounds the process of creating a vernacular language, involving the reframing and reconstruction of nationalist ideas. The second is the irrepressibility of the oral vernacular against the state’s violent response to the nationalist movement. As a result, the “vernacularization” of nationalist ideas reveals peoples’ agency to construct their own sense and understanding of the nation.

This discussion will be chaired by Sugata Bose, Gardiner Professor of Oceanic History and Affairs in the Department of History at Harvard University.

Lunch and refreshments will be served.