Presentations on South Asia - Guha and Ikegame
38th Annual Conference on South Asia, Madison Wisconsin
Annual South Asia Conference
1) Ramachandra Guha speakes on The Challenge of Contemporary History Hear the Talk (1 hour 11 minutes)
Saturday, October 18, 2008 3:45-5:00pm Capital Ballroom PLENARY SESSION
Ramchandra Guha
A prolific and multifaceted scholar and author, Ram Guha is a public intellectual and teacher who has examined historical themes ranging from the environment and peasantry to academic biography and cricket. Most recently, he published India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (Harper Collins, 2007), a penetrating and thorough study of the contemporary historical development of India’s unique and flourishing form of democracy with all its attendant conflicts and contradictions.

2) Aya Ikegame "Dasara, durbar, and dolls: multi-dimensionality of public ritual in Princely Mysore Hear the Talk (24 minutes)
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Aya panel Aya listening
Dasara has been the most important state festival in Mysore. This paper analyses three different dimensions in which the various rituals of Dasara were performed and the contestations of power, authority, and people’s agency were played out. At one level, Dasara was an occasion in which the king became not only a patron-executer of sanskritised ‘sacrificial’ rituals, but the rituals themselves demanded objectification of the king as a sacred object. The British Residents, on the other hand, tried to insert their own ritual codes into the Mysore Dasara in order to assert their presence and authority. The people of Mysore, although they were sometimes in awe of the king’s magical power, nonetheless exercised their agency too, within domestic spaces in which rituals were performed, parallel in time and symbol, connecting them to the ritual space of the palace.

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Webber Philip McEldowney
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