Sacred Cows & False Prophets
Traversing History and Religion in South Asia

April 21st & 22nd, 2006

This conference to honor the scholarship and mentorship of Ronald B. Inden revolves around some of his central concerns and themes in history and religion of India: imperial formations and agency in Indian history, production and consumption of texts in their environments, historical constructions and representations in Orientalist and post-Orientalist scholarship, historiography and the ideas of history. Our primary focus is on critical transformations in South Asian religious traditions, a topic we believe to be of contemporary relevance given the increasingly complex and contested intersections between religion and polity in the world today. All the papers of this conference will seek to conceive of these transformations in ways occluded by the recent post-Orientalist emphasis on the colonial encounter and the 'invention' of tradition. By concentrating on empirical studies of pre-modern and modern processes, our objective is to follow the precedent of Professor Inden's own appeals for scholarship that represents the agency of real historical agents in shaping and intervening in the worlds which we study, as well as to provide a challenge to reification of religious traditions within modern South Asia.


Manan Ahmed [Chicago] . Daud Ali [SOAS] . Bronwen Bledsoe [Cornell] . Richard H. Davis [Bard] . Faisal Devji [New School] . Gautam Ghosh [Penn] . Charles Hallisey [Wisconsin]. Vinay Lal [UCLA] . Parimal Patil [Harvard] . Pedram Partovi [Chicago] . Michael Rabé [Xavier] . Ajay Rao [UToronto] . Prithvi Datta Chandra Shobhi [Chicago] . Sudipta Sen [UC-Davis] . Jon Walters [Whitman]


Ida B. Noyes Hall, University of Chicago

Program & Abstracts

The program and the abstracts.

Thanks to

Committee on Southern Asian Studies, Division of the Humanities, Division of the Social Sciences, Department of History and the Center for International Studies Norman Wait Harris Fund.

For all inquiries, please contact manan ahmed