Select Page

Thursday, April 25

12:30 – 1:00 am Registration


1:00 – 1:15 pm


Tarun KhannaDirector, South Asia Institute at Harvard University, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School


1:15 – 1:30 pm

 Opening Remarks

Diana Sorensen, Dean of Arts and Humanities, James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, and of Comparative Literature, Harvard University


1:30 – 2:45 pm

 Why Europe Got Rich and Asia Did Not

Prasannan ParthasarathiDirector, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Boston College
Moderator: Parimal PatilProfessor of Religion and Indian Philosophy, Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Prasannan will engage the audience in a discussion of the historical pressures facing both Europe and Asia that have produced very different state policies and economic outcomes in these regions of the world. Working against notions that this divergence occurred because of superior European markets and institutions, the panelists ask what lessons this re-oriented view of history has for the development of the world economy today.


3:00 – 4:15 pm

 Historicity and Modernity of Caste

Narendra Subramanian, Associate Professor, Political Science, McGill University
Anupama Rao, Associate ProfessorHistory, Barnard College
Lucinda Ramberg, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Cornell University
Moderator: Ajantha SubramanianProfessor, Social Anthropology Program, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

Caste is a topic which has produced a voluminous literature. It has long been emblematic of South Asian cultural difference and hierarchy. In this panel, we depart from the most emblematic representations of caste as a purely religious, ritualistic, or “traditional” phenomenon to consider the historicity and modernity of caste. We look at the historical and contemporary social life of caste, and its dynamic role in changing economic, cultural, and political formations.


4:15 – 5:30 pm

 Gender and Contemporary South Asia

Abbas Jaffer, Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Mitakshara Kumari, M.Ed. Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Litcy Kurisinkal, MPP Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School
Moderator: Jacqueline Bhabha, University Advisor on Human Rights Education; Director of Research FXB Center; Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Lecturer on Law; Research Director for the FXB Center, Harvard University

The concept of masculinity in South Asia is in desperate need of innovation and evolution. While men in South Asia are obliged to fit into the traditionally defined mold of masculinity, the increasing awareness about gender violence necessitates us to uncover the old relics that perceive masculinity as an ever-fixed concept. The panel will take the audience to different dimensions of masculinity, which would include the influence of music and digital technology on the formation of elite masculine ideals in Pakistan, misconstrued internalization of masculinity among children living on the streets in South Asia and the representation of masculinity in the cultural landscape of India.


5:30 – 6:30 pm


All are welcome