China has undergone rapid urbanization since the policy of opening up to reforms. By the end of 2015, 56% of the total population lived in urban areas. If urbanization continues to progress as the Chinese government plans, by 2025, 70% of Chinese citizen will live in cities. Urbanization has tremendous impact not only on the environment but also on people and their cultural fabric in everyday life. State-led urbanization on such a scale also further blurs the boundaries between cities and villages as they are more closely embedded in each other, with more and more people living in both cities and villages.
We welcome you to the Symposium on Irfan Ahmad’s bookReligion as Critique: Islamic Critical Thinking from Mecca to the Marketplace (University of North Carolina Press, 2017 and Oxford University Press, Delhi)
William Mazzarella is the Neukom Family Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 2001. His work deals with the political anthropology of mass publicity. He is, in addition to a broad range of articles on media, aesthetics, affect, and crowds, the author of Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (2003), Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity (2013), and The Mana of Mass Publicity (2017). He is also the editor of K D Katrak: Collected Poems (2016) and the co-editor, with Raminder Kaur, of Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (2009).
Thomas J. Csordas is the Dr. James Y. Chan Presidential Chair in Global Health, Professor and Chair in the Department of Anthropology, Director of the Global Health Program, and Associate Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of California, San Diego, as well as a past president of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion and a member of the American Society for the Study of Religion. His research interests include anthropological theory, comparative religion, medical and psychological anthropology, cultural phenomenology and embodiment, globalization and social change, and language and culture. He has conducted ethnographic research among Charismatic Catholics, Navajo Indians, adolescent psychiatric patients in New Mexico, and Catholic exorcists in the United States and Italy. Among his publications are The Sacred Self: A Cultural Phenomenology of Charismatic Healing (1994); Embodiment and Experience: The Existential Ground of Culture and Self (1994); Language, Charisma, and Creativity: Ritual Life in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal (1997); Body/Meaning/Healing (2002); and Transnational Transcendence: Essays on Religion and Globalization (2009).
Nils Bubandt is Professor of Anthropology at Aarhus University, where he (with Anna Tsing) co-directs AURA (Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene). With Mark Graham, he is also editor-in-chief of Ethnos. Recent and forthcoming publications include The Empty Seashell: Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island (Cornell University Press, 2014); Democracy, Corruption and the Politics of Spirits in Contemporary Indonesia (Routledge 2014); and Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet (co-edited with Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson and Elaine Gan)(University of Minnesota Press, 2017).
Gabriel Abend is an associate professor of sociology at New York University and a current fellow of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg. He got his undergraduate degree at the Universidad de la República (Montevideo, Uruguay) and his PhD at Northwestern University (Evanston, United States). One of his ongoing projects takes issue with prevalent approaches to morality, because of their overreliance on individuals’ judgments, neglect of thick concepts, and blindness to the moral background that makes moral life possible. It shows what sociological, anthropological, and historical contributions can help rectify these errors. Another line of research compares the epistemological assumptions of different social scientific communities—see his articles “The Meaning of ‘Theory’”; “Styles of Causal Thought: An Empirical Investigation” (with C. Petre and M. Sauder); and “Styles of Sociological Thought: Sociologies, Epistemologies, and the Mexican and U.S. Quests for Truth.” A third ongoing project examines how the brain figures in societies’ institutionalized understandings about love, art, religion, spirituality, empathy, and morality.
Françoise Robin is a maître de conférence at l’INALCO and is a specialist of Tibet.
She received a DEA at INALCO in 1999. In 2003, she submitted a doctoral thesis on TIbetan literature also at l’INALCO, under the supervision of Heather Stoddard, titled « La littérature de fiction d’expression tibétaine au Tibet (RPC) depuis 1950 : sources textuelles anciennes, courants principaux et fonctions dans la société contemporaine tibétaine ». She has had many trips to China specifically to Tibet University as part of her research.
Françoise Robin is a member of UMR 8155 « Centre de recherche sur les civilisations chinoise, japonaise et tibétaine » and is responsible for the programme « Dictionnaire thématique français-tibétain » au sein de l’UMR 8155.
Directors Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar are Professors at the Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Both of them are involved in media production, teaching and research. A presiding thematic of much of their work has been a problematising of notions of self and the other, of normality and deviance, of the local and the global, through the exploration of diverse narratives and rituals. These range from the stories and paintings of indigenous peoples to the poetry of prison inmates. Jointly they have won twenty-eight national and international awards for their films.
Alberto Gomes is Professor of Anthropology at the School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne. He has published three books and numerous papers based on his ethnographic research on Malaysian Aborigines (Orang Asli).
John Bowen is the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. He studies problems of pluralism, law, and religion, and in particular contemporary efforts to rethink Islamic norms and law in Asia, Europe, and North America.
David Gellner is Professor of Social Anthropology, a Fellow of All Souls, and Head of the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography. His doctoral research (1982-4) was on the traditional, Vajrayana Buddhism of the Newars and on Newar social organization, in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.
He has carried out fieldwork in the Kathmandu Valley on many subsequent occasions, broadening his interests to include politics and ethnicity, healers, mediums, and popular approaches to misfortune, religious change, activism, and democratization. His current research is on religion in the Nepali diaspora in the UK.
This workshop intends to further an anthropological understanding of the current political crisis in Thailand and the use of a symbolic repertoire by the different groups that are engaged in political struggle.
Workshop with Chris Fuller (London School of Economics), Carol Upadhya (School of Social Sciences in Bangalore, Indien) and Nicole Mayer-Ahuja (Soziologisches Forschungsinstitut Göttingen - SOFI)
Tansen Sen is Associate Professor of Asian history and religons at Baruch College, The City University of New York. Currently he is visiting senior research fellow at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. He received his MA from Peking University and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has special scholarly interests in Buddhism, Sino-Indian relations, Indian Ocean trade, and Silk Road archeology. He has done extensive research in India, China, and Japan with grants from the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Japan Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.