Globalisation in/and Mofussil India
06 and 07 July, 2009, LSE
Convenor: Dr. Haripriya Narasimhan, LSE
Venue: Seligman Library, Old Building, 6th Floor, LSE
Anthropological research on India has chronicled dramatic changes brought on by economic liberalisation and globalisation. This focus has, not surprisingly, confined most scholars to metropolitan India, while provincial India has been relegated to the background. Provincial or mofussil India is generally seen as slow-paced, lacking the dynamism and energy characteristic of the cities. The aim of this workshop is to return the anthropological gaze to the 'mofussil-dom' (Kumar 2006). It will address some of the following questions: How are 'provinciality', 'modernity' and 'cosmopolitanism' understood and enacted in mofussils? What strategies do people employ to overcome 'institutional vacuums' (Jeffery et al 2008) in education and employment in various mofussils? Given the uneven but rapid spread of technologies, what new forms of entertainment and communication have emerged in these settings? How do aspirations and expectations about marriage, sexuality, and kinship roles express themselves in provincial discourses? In what ways do local, national and global events/ histories manifest themselves and operate in the politics of these places? The workshop will bring together scholars who have conducted substantial fieldwork in provincial India and have thus witnessed remarkable changes in the lives of their informants and field sites, as well as those in the initial stages of their research work in such mofussils.