Past Events

Reclaiming Home: Resisting Exclusion in India Today
March 23, 5pm
Pane Room, Alexander Library, 169 College Ave
Reflecting on recent protests among prominent writers and the Indian Writers' Forum's broader opposition to censorship, Githa Hariharan reads from and speaks about her newest book, Almost Home.
What does a medieval city in South India have in common with Washington D.C.? How do people in Kashmir imagine the freedom they long for? Who does Delhi, city of grand monuments and hidden slums, actually belong to? Most of all, what makes a city, or any place, home?
In a series of intricately carved essays combining memoir with historical narrative, anecdote with poetry, Almost Home explores cities through the lives of people, and how they see home and belonging.

For more information click pdf here (677 KB) for the flyer.

New Perspectives on the Comparative Study of South Asia and the Middle East
Friday, January 29, 2016, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Teleconference Hall, Alexander Library, 169 College Ave

Some of the most innovative and influential works in the humanities and the social sciences in the last two decades were those that cast "comparative perspectives on South Asia and the Middle East." This conference will focus on scholarship that typically goes beyond area studies models despite working within specific areas, and while displaying social scientific scrutiny, also frames larger historical and theoretical contexts of global, humanistic relevance. Its questions and contexts, which seem to have formed common discursive grounds as we speak, range from "minority" in multiple Middle Eastern and South Asian social and religious, historical and contemporary frames (South Asian, "Islamicate," Persianate, Ottoman, Indian etc.) to the rather more provocative issue of the theoretical relevance of the "Jewish question" in South Asia; from the question of "global Arabic" and the particularities of non-Western secularisms to the globalization of "caste injustice" and the alternative modernities of India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Israel in a comparative setting. In addition to outlining the common discursive grounds that "comparative perspectives on South Asia and the Middle East" have developed in the last decades, this trans-disciplinary conference will also address specific historical and theoretical questions that currently occupy scholars from different fields to enrich our understanding of the common grounds in question.

Guests include: Aamir Mufti (UCLA) Jassal Smita (Middle East Technical University, Ankara) Mujib Rehman (Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi) Rajeev Bhargava (CSDS, Delhi) Sebnem Akcapar (South Asian University, Delhi) Shail Mayaram(CSDS, Delhi)
Sponsors: The Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA) • The Office of the Executive VicePresident for Academic Affairs • The Office of the Dean of Humanities • African, Middle Eastern, and South AsianLanguages and Literatures (AMESALL) • Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) • South Asian Studies Program (SASP)

Contact : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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APRIL 3-5, 2015
Theme: The Expanding World of Hindi: Possibilities and Challenges


5:00 - 6:00 PM

6:00 - 7:00 PM
Introduction and Welcome Conducted by Dr. Manoj Kumar Mahapatr, DCG, Consulate General of India, New York

Welcome remarks: Rutgers University South Asian Program Director Asher Ghetner and AMESALL Chairman (introduction by Prof Shaheen Parveen)
Hindi Sangam ORGANIZING COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES; (Introduction by Ashok Ojha, Dr. Naveen Mehta, Dr. P. Jayaraman and Deepak Dave)

1. Inauguration: TBD
2. Chief Guests: (PROPOSED) Shatrughan Sinha, Member, Lok Sabha, Former Minister, Govt of India; Hrivansh, Member Rajya Sabha, Dr. KK. Goyanka, and KL Verma (presentation of bouquet), NJ ASSEMBLYMAN RAJ MUKHERJEE, Ex NJ Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula,
3. Guest of Honor: Ambassador Dnyaneshwar Mulay,
Guest of Honor: Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.;
Other speakers: Assemblyman Raj Mukherjee and Ex Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula

VENUE: VAN DYCK HALL, College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ
7:00 - 8:00 PM

Cultural Presentations followed by Reception/Dinner


9:00 - 10:30 AM
Plenary Session: The Expanding World of Hindi: Possibilities and Challenges

Focus Area: Hindi in Higher Education
Prof. Gabriela Nik Ilieva, New York University, NY, introduces the theme, topic and speakers from USA and India.

Key-note speeches:
Dr. Mary Curran, Associate Dean, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers: Promotion of Hindi Teaching: A Local-Global Partnership
Dr. Mahendra Verma, York University, UK (Teaching of Hindi: Global & Local Perspectives)
Prof. Keshri Lal Verma, Chairman, Commission for Scientific & Technical Terminology & Director, Central Hindi Directorate (Hindi in Higher Education: Official perspective from India)

10:30 - 10:45 AM
Tea Break

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM
Open Session-1

Language for Professional Purposes: Business, Health, Banking :

Chairperson and Main speaker: Dr. Surendra Gambhir, Univ of Penn (Business Communication in India).

Other Speakers:
2. Anand Dwivedi and Haimanti Banerjee with students from Lauder School of Business, UPenn
3. Ashok Garg (CEO, Bank of Baroda, US Operations): Hindi in Banking Sector: Possibilities and Challenges

12:15 - 1:30 PM

1:30 - 3:00 PM
Round Table-1
Chair: Rajni Bhargava, Director, Hindi STARTALK Program, West Windsor, NJ

1. Prakash Hindustani, Journalist and Blogger, India
2. Dr. Rekha sethi and HarshBala Sharma, IP College, Delhi (Communicative Language Teaching Methodology)

Round Table-2:
Chair: Dr. Rakesh Ranjan, Columbia University

1. Dr. Mohan, Central Hindi Institute, Agra: Production of Teaching Material in India.
2. Dr. Warsi
3. Nilakshi Phukan: Pedagogical implications of using audio-video materials to model quasi real life communication and to engage students in interactive activities at different ACTFL levels

3:00 - 3:15PM
Tea Break

3:15 - 4:45 PM
Round Table-3
State of Contemporary Literature

Chair: Dr. Susham Bedi, Columbia University

1. Dr. Kamal Kishor Goyanaka, Vice President, Central Hindi Institute, Delhi
2. Anil Prabha
3. Dr. Shailaja Saxena;
4. Dr. Navin Mehta;
5. Anup Bhargava

Round Table-4
The National Standards For Learning Hindi: Theory and Application
Chair: Dr. Vijay Gambhir

1. Dr. Vijay Gambhir
2. Dr. Sungok Hong, UMN
3. Dr. Shaheen Parveen, Rutgers University

5:00 - 5:30 PM
Why am I Learning Hindi: Debate Pro and Against by High School Students. Moderated by a Rutgers Volunteer

Creative Writing Competition Results and Prize Distribution by Consul General.
Moderator: Sushma Malhotra, New York Board of Education, NY

5:30 - 6:00 PM
Tea Break

6:00 - 9:00 PM
Kavi Sammelan Conducted by: Dr. Bijoya Mehta and Bindu Agarwal (NYU) 6:00 - 8:00 PM

Dinner: 8:00 - 9:00 PM

NOTE: Venue must be vacated by 9 PM


9:00 - 10:30 AM
Open Session-1
Where Do We Go From Here: Hindi Center; From Concept to Reality
Topic introduction and moderation by Ashok Ojha,

Main Speakers:
1. Ved Chaudhury
2. Dr. Navin Mehta
3. Dr. L P Yarlagadda, Member, Hindi Samiti, India
4. Upendra Chivukula, ex-NJAssemblyman
5. Dr. Surendra Gambhir

Concluding Remarks: Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay

10:30 - 10:45 AM
Tea Break

10:45 -12:15 PM
Round Table 4
Hindi Learning in US Schools: Innovative Approaches
Chair: Sushma Malhotra, NY

1. Vidya Nahar, Chicago
2. Madhu Agarwal, CA
3. Neelam Mishra, NJ

Round Table 5
Hindi Learning in Community Setting: Role of STARTALK

1. YHS 2. Educators Society 3. Sushma Kumar
2. Archana Kumar/ Ruchita Singh, Hindi USA
3. Purnima Desa

12:30 - 1:30 PM
Concluding Session and Recommendations of the Conference

1:30 - 3:30 PM
Kahani Manch Workshop

Chairs: Dr. Susham Bedi, Columbia University and Seema Khurana, Yale University

A reading and talk by Rohini Mohan on her new book on the aftermath of Sri Lanka's Civil War. October 29th, 4:30pm, Graduate Student Lounge, 126 College Ave, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Rohini Mohan Book Reading 2014

Home Life vs. Home Rule: The Embrace of the Secular in Non-Brahmin Political Theory
A Talk by Dr. Matthew H. Baxter
Friday, October 24, 4:30pm
202AB, Livingston Student Center, 61 Joyce Kilmer Ave, Piscataway, NJ

Non-Brahmins in late colonial India were concerned that Gandhian self-rule would extend, rather than erase, forms of hierarchy they associated with "Brahminism." The "secular" seemed to offer an instrument to oppose such Brahminism, yet the multiple ways in which "secular" was translated into Tamil by Non-Brahmins reveal levels of political theorizing far beyond simple opposition. This presentation looks at two such translations. I argue that the more common (cultivating scientific reason) was also the most fraught, while the less common (refiguring home life) better captured the goal of Non-Brahmin political theory: self-respect.

Dr. Matthew H. Baxter received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley in 2013 with a dissertation titled For SubContinental Political Theory: On the Non-Brahmin Self-Respect Critique of Gandhian Self-Rule. He works on questions of comparative political theory, with a particular focus on engagements between Tamil-speaking South India and the wider world as they relate to opportunities for or obstacles to liberation. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers.

Baxter Poster 2014

Find out more information about The Origins and Evolution of Indian Music.

Find out more information about the Genetically modified food crops in Asia and Africa event.