SAAN 2014 ConferenceJanuary 17-18, 2014

Panorama: Capturing Change through the Lens of Culture

South Asian Awareness Network 2014 Conference

When: January 17-18, 2014
: Michigan League and Rackham Auditorium

The South Asian Awareness Network invites you to our annual conference - a two-day event featuring speakers from around the country who are advocates in a variety of fields. From environmental issues to women's rights to social entrepreneurship, our conference this year emphasizes how an individual's cultural background influences the work they engage in. For $29, participants receive four catered meals, the opportunity to network with professionals in a variety of fields, entertainment Friday night, and a formal Saturday night. Some speakers for this year include: Rafia Zakaria - the first Pakistani American woman on the board of directors for Amnesty International; Bushra Rehman - a poet and novelist who will be talking about how writing can be a source of empowerment; and Smita Satiani - a social innovation consultant for Ashoka Changemakers.

For more information and to register for the conference.

India as a Regional Power SymposiumJanuary 25, 2014 | Conference begins at 10:30am

For a detailed conference schedule, click here: Conference Schedule

On January 25, 2014, the Center for South Asian Studies will be hosting a one-day symposium on "India as a Regional Power." Given India’s rising prominence in geopolitics, this symposium will consider regional dynamics in South Asia, with particular attention to India as perceived in and its impact on Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. It will also consider India’s northeast region, both within and beyond its borders. The symposium is bringing together an interdisciplinary group: journalists, a lawyer, and an anthropologist/graphic artist. Students, faculty, and community members are invited to join us for the day of conversation.

Location: Room 1636, School of Social Work Building.

This symposium is cosponsored by the Department of Communication Studies, the International Policy Center, and the Institute for Humanities.

How Pakistanis See India

Mohammed Hanif, special correspondent for BBC Urdu, Karachi, Pakistan, and one of Pakistan’s preeminent fiction writers. He is the author of, A Case of Exploding Mangoes (2008), which was reviewed in such major publications as the New York Times, The Independent (UK), and The Guardian (UK). The book was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, short-listed for The Guardian First Book Award and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. His most recent novel, Our Lady of Alice Bhatti (2012), has similarly been reviewed in major publications, including the New York Times, The New Republic, and The Boston Globe.

Overlooking East: Is India’s Engagement with its Look East Policy Trapped in its own Northeast?

Arijit Sen, Senior Editor, Northeast India, CNN-IBN. Sen has over a dozen years of experience as a print and television journalist with leading news outlets such as The Pioneer, India Today, and The Indian Express. At CNN-IBN, he covers the eight states of India’s northeast region and the neighboring countries of Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, and the Sino-Indian borders along Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. He covers issues of conflict, armed struggle, peace negotiations, migration, and development, among others.

The Role of India and the UN in the search for Justice and Accountability in Sri Lanka

Bhavani Fonseka, lawyer and Senior Researcher, Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Fonseka is a human rights lawyer and activist, with a focus on assisting victims and affected populations in various parts of Sri Lanka. She has worked on a range of issues including the rights of the displaced, women, children, minorities, HIV/AIDS, land and legal issues. She has also been involved in and supported several key fundamental rights cases protecting the rights of victims and affected populations in recent times in Sri Lanka. This year, she is a fellow at the Mason Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

A Missing General, Indian Jawans, and Submerged Narratives of Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War

Naeem Mohaiemen, visual artist, writer, New York and Dhaka. Mohaiemen is also a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at Columbia University. Mohaiemen explores histories of the international left and the contradictions of nationalisms through essays, photography, film, and installation. Since 2006, he has worked on The Young Man Was, a history of the ultra-left in the 1970s, with each portion in a different medium. The latest installment of the project, United Red Army, is a film about the 1977 hijack of a Japan Airlines flight. The themes he has addressed in his work have been described as “not yet disillusioned fully with the capacity of human society” (Vijay Prashad, Take on Art).

Doris Duke's Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic ArtFebruary 1, 2014, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Symposium: Encounters with Islamic Art:Reception, Revival, and Response
Location: Helmut Stern Auditorium

This one-day symposium
will accompany the exhibition of Doris Duke’s collection of Islamic art, which will be on display at the University of Michigan Museum of Art from January to May 2014. The show exhibits Islamic art of the pre-modern period along with its reception, collection, and revival during the 19th and 20th centuries. The symposium aims to shed further light on the many ways in which collectors, scholars, artists, and architects have encountered Islamic artistic traditions during the modern period. Speakers will explore how “Islamic” art was defined and received in both European (French, British, German, and Greek) and American museum and academic contexts, as well as revived for a variety of nation-building purposes in Islamic lands today. Taken altogether, these presentations highlight how Islamic art—as a constructed scholarly discipline and corpus of selected objects—must be considered a global phenomenon that has been constructed through the efforts of various artistic entrepreneurs at the same time as it has been entangled in the cultural politics of Colonialism, Orientalism, and globalization over the course of the past two centuries.

This conference is organized by UMMA and UM Associate Professor of Islamic Art Christiane Gruber.

The exhibition Doris Duke's Shangri La: Architecture, Landscape, and Islamic Art was organized by The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, which is also providing generous support for its presentation at UMMA and national tour. Additional lead support for UMMA’s installation is provided by the University of Michigan Health System and the University of Michigan Office of the President. Other generous support is provided by the Monroe-Brown Foundation Discretionary Fund for Outreach to the State of Michigan, the Katherine Tuck Enrichment Fund, and the University of Michigan Center for South Asian Studies, CEW Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund, Department of the History of Art, Institute for Research on Women & Gender, Institute for the Humanities, Islamic Studies Program, and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.

For more information about this program and the exhibition, please visit UMMA.

U-M Pakistan Conference: Cultures of Activism: Arts, Expression, and PakistanApril 4, 2014 | North Quad Room 2435


Conference Schedule


11: 30 AM: Panelist, Sabeen Mahmud, Founder of The 2nd Floor Cafe
Sabeen is a Tech Guru who is the founder of The 2nd Floor Cafe (T2F) in Karachi, a project of PeaceNiche. It is a community space for open dialogue, T2F provides citizens with a platform for social change through rich cultural activities, public discourse, and advocacy using progressive ideas and the new media.



12:30 PM: Lunch

1:30 PM: Arif Hasan, Architect, planner, activist, social researcher, and writer
A Pakistani architect, planner, activist, social researcher, and writer, Arif is a recipient of Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the country's highest award for its citizens. Since 1982, he has been involved with the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) and is the founder Chairman of the Urban Resource Centre (URC), Karachi, since its inception in 1989.

2:30 PM: Shahzia Sikander, World-renowned artist and Macarther "Genius"
World-renowned artist and Macarthur "Genius" specializing in Miniature Painting, Shahzia's work employs ideas that are often subversive and polemical in nature. Her process-based work is concerned with examining the forces at stake in contested cultural and political histories. Sikander's art is has been and is part of the permanent collections of established institutions such as MOMA, Smithsonian, and the Whitney.

3:30 PM: Tea Break

4:00 PM: Screening of These Birds Walk, directed by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq