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The Problem of Freedom: Ethics, Autonomy and Rights in South Asia

The Problem of Freedom: Ethics, Autonomy and Rights in South Asia

04 July 2011, Seligman Library (OLD 6.05), LSE

Co-organisers: Laura Bear, Indira Arumugam and Mukulika Banerjee, LSE

In 2002 Laidlaw argued that the anthropological study of ethics must include at its centre an examination of idioms of freedom. Other theorists have argued that freedom is always a normative concept that is central to the tactics of secular governance and a Protestant derived western modernity (Asad 2003, Keane 2007). We seek to enter this field of debate by exploring how the problem of freedom is posed, experienced and represented in South Asia. We also wish to examine the relationships between the practices and idioms of self-realisation used within ethical, ritual and political contexts.

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